Transcript for Episode 259: An Action-Packed Holiday in France with Kids

Categories: Burgundy Area, Family Travel, Loire Valley, Paris

Discussed in this Episode

  • [3:49] Booking a private transfer instead of a taxi in Paris
  • [6:20] Apartment rental in Paris
  • [7:44] River Cruise in Paris
  • [10:03] Storing suitcases in Paris
  • [12:54] Bike tour of Versailles
  • [18:39] Disneyland Paris
  • [20:20] Walking tour with David Blanc in Paris
  • [22:44] Tips for visiting the Catacombs
  • [25:05] Amboise bike adventures and how to visit the Loire Valley easily
  • [30:16] Spending Bastille Day in Paris
  • [32:46] Nintendo Switch Guides in the Louvre for kids
  • [33:30] Taking the train for a visit to Beaune and doing a private car tour of Burgundy (Flaviny-sur-Ozerain + Fontenay Abbey + Chateauneuf du Pape)
  • [36:49] Going all the way to the top of the Eiffel Tower
  • [37:54] Taking the Eurostar
  • [44:55] Do you need "Skip the line" tickets?



Annie Sargent 0:00
This is join us in France Episode 259 Bonjour, I’m Annie Sargent and join us in France is a podcast where you’ll hear pragmatic advice for your next trip to France. On today’s episode, my guest, Joanne Scott from Australia takes us along on her incredible adventures around France with her husband and two children.

Annie Sargent 0:24
We’ll talk about a lot of stuff, for example:

Annie Sargent 0:27
Booking a private transfer instead of a taxi and why that was not a great idea.

Annie Sargent 0:34
Their apartment rental in Paris.

Annie Sargent 0:37
Their river cruise experience.

Annie Sargent 0:39
A bike tour of Versailles, which they loved.

Annie Sargent 0:43
Taking the kids to Disneyland Paris, which the kids loved.

Annie Sargent 0:48
Walking tour with David Blanc who was on episode 254, where we talked about different ways to get around France. And you need to listen to this especially if you’re going to be in France next week. Starting on December 5, we have a big transportation strike starting. And on episode 254. David Blanc tells us how to get around France without the train and the flights.

Annie Sargent 1:14
Then they also went to the catacombs.

Annie Sargent 1:16
They went on a visit to Amboise.

Annie Sargent 1:19
And they spent Bastille Day in Paris, including a brilliant suggestion that I hadn’t heard from anyone yet on the podcast. And I think it was really good.

Annie Sargent 1:29
Taking the train for a visit to burner and doing a private car tour of Burgundy.

Annie Sargent 1:35
And going all the way up the Eiffel Tower, which I have never done yet because I’m afraid of heights.

Annie Sargent 1:41
And taking the Eurostar.

Annie Sargent 1:43
And of course, all of that peppered with lots of other insights and good ideas about various things.

Annie Sargent 1:51
Join us in France is a listener supported podcast, both in terms of who appears on the podcast and thank you Joanne and in helping me pay my bills so I can keep doing this. More on that after the interview. Please don’t take this show for granted support it.

Annie Sargent 2:09
You can see show notes guest notes and transcript for this episode on join us in France. com forward slash 259 the number 259

Annie Sargent 2:52
Bonjour Joanne and welcome to join us in France all the way from Sydney, Australia.

Joanne Scott 3:00
Annie, it’s lovely to speak with you.

Annie Sargent 3:02
It sounds like you had a great time. And what I really liked about what you sent me is that you had a lot of good observations about what worked out and what didn’t. So I’m looking forward to, to hearing about all of that. First, tell us about your family. I’m composition of your family. And when you took your trip,

Joanne Scott 3:23
Our family which consists of myself, my husband, and my two children, went to France in July 2017. And at the time, I had a son and a nine year old, and we went to Paris for 10 day, ourselves there to see other parts of France.

Annie Sargent 3:45
Very good.

Joanne Scott 3:47
Jam packed trip. Excellent,

Private Transfer or Paris Taxi?

Annie Sargent 3:49
Very good. So let’s take it from from the first day. It looks like the first thing you did is you had booked a transfer to get into the city. How did that work out for you?

Joanne Scott 4:02
Well, in hindsight it was actually didn’t work all that well. And I wish I had found your podcast before we went on our trip because I only found it on the return last year. And had I listened to your podcast, I would have booked a taxi. But we were booked to transfer through a private company because I was apprehensive about getting the metro finding a cab ourselves. But it was a little bit of a disaster because I think we had booked through a company that was based in Spain. And so the driver didn’t turn up and we were trying to track him down. It was fine in the end, but the driver didn’t speak English. He was about an hour late. It’s a little bit stressful. Yeah. To be arriving and what we were doing but we got there in the end, right? In hindsight,

Annie Sargent 4:54
Right, right. So my recommendation for this is don’t even reserve Taxi, this is a major world capital, there are dozens of taxis waiting at the door, the only thing you need to make sure of is that you go into the official taxi line. And it’s easy to recognize because it’s indicated and you’ll see indications of it. And it looks like an official taxi line. I don’t know what else to tell you. Like, you know, if somebody stops you along the way and this always happens and says, Do you need a ride into the city? Just Say No, you go to the official taxi line, it’s a set rate. There’s there are always taxis there. That’s just the easiest way to do this. That way if your flight is delayed, or if whatever happens, they’re ready when you are. Well wait,

Joanne Scott 5:47
wait going back next year and we will just gone find the taxi line and grab a

Annie Sargent 5:52
Taxi into Paris much easier. Right? And also with a family of four. You actually don’t save that much money by taking The public transportation because the taxi is a while depending on what airport and where you’re going, it might be between 30 and 55 euros and a train ticket is 11 euros and change per person. So

Joanne Scott 6:15
Yeah, yeah, definitely do that next time. So that’s one minor thing that I would change

Apartment Rental in Paris

Annie Sargent 6:20
on our holiday. You rented an apartment right?

Joanne Scott 6:23
We did. We bought through one of the usual sites and booked an apartment for 10 nights in the restaurant and it was a great location just for transport and getting to the metro was new the point nerf and rid of Rivoli so right me think it was Chatelet was the nearest Metro right very can’t because we’re such a main metro station. Yep. And excellent. We had a kitchen so kids, you need some. You need to be able to access supermarkets and cook because you can’t eat out every meal kids are too tired. And they don’t always eat food. So you’ve got to be a little bit accommodating. But what 12 beautiful apartment and yeah, I do it again if we went back for a long period i’d book an apartment. Yeah. Rather than an eye hotel.

Annie Sargent 7:17
Would you say that your kids are picky eaters are not so much

Joanne Scott 7:20
look my daughter isn’t but my quite a picky eater. He does have some food allergies. He’s got a knot intolerance and accelerant so it’s okay, if you can have contaminant cross contamination. It’s not as serious, serious allergies, but he’s a little bit so we did do a little bit of cooking at home, right. Okay,

River Cruise in Paris

Annie Sargent 7:44
so your first day looks like you did a river cruise with Vedettes du Pont Neuf which is right near where your apartment was. Was this Was that okay?

Joanne Scott 7:56
That was excellent. And I would thoroughly recommend to Something like that at the beginning of a trip because we got to see all the main tourist sites. It was so wonderful to arrive and then see the Eiffel Tower. It was a special moment to feel like we were in Paris. Yeah. And it was it was it. Excellent, very informative. And we chose that one Zoo because we’re dying. I know I think the complete the main one the baton wash, right. He’s a further a different pickup point. Right?

Unknown Speaker 8:33
Yeah. And you will lose excellent. I thoroughly.

Annie Sargent 8:37
Yeah, you really need to just go to the nearest one. You don’t. This, they all do pretty much the same thing. So go to the nearest one. And they cost around 15 euros. You know, I wouldn’t walk for a long time just to get to a specific one. Honestly, it’s it just depends where you are staying.

Joanne Scott 9:00
I had actually pre booked tickets for that from here. In hindsight, there was probably no need to do that. That right there. It was busy, but it wasn’t full. Correct. I researched which is the most place and that’s why I chose that that particular provider.

Annie Sargent 9:17
Yeah. Yeah, very good. Excellent. I’d

Joanne Scott 9:21
love to do it not that twinkling but BIT bit tricky when you’ve got children in the sunset so late.

Annie Sargent 9:26
Yeah, that’s true in the summers sunsets very late. So when you fly in from Australia, what time do you typically arrive in Paris?

Joanne Scott 9:34
Well, we we actually came from Italy. So we I think we got in early afternoon but from from Australia, it’s about 5:30 in the morning, usually. Oh, that’s brutal on a lot of it is pretty brutal. Yeah, I think when we’re coming your way. Yeah, some crazy hour, but that’s okay. You just have to get up, get moving. stay outside. enjoy the sunshine, get to bed at a reasonable time.

Storing Suitcases in Paris

Annie Sargent 10:03
So in that case, what I mean like most Airbnb or hotels or apartment, they can check you in at 545 in the morning or at six in the morning. How do you deal with that?

Joanne Scott 10:16
Well, yeah, you either have to we always travel with carry on luggage only. So for us, it’s not too much of a problem. So you have to take your luggage with you until you can check in at say three o’clock in the afternoon. Or alternatively, I know there are some companies that do allow you to check in your baggage for the day. Yeah, if we were coming in, you could look at doing that.

Annie Sargent 10:43
Yeah, there’s a thing I heard about called Nanny Bag and they have, I have never used them. But what they do is they have arrangements with lots of business owners. So like it’s going to be a laundromat or it’s going to be a tobacco shop. Something and yes, at the set time you go and you deposit your bags and they’re they’re expecting you and they’ll just keep your bags for a few few hours and then you come back and get it. But again, if you show up at six in the morning, nothing’s gonna be open. So for at least a few hours you’ll have your bags.

Joanne Scott 11:17
Yeah, that’s the benefit of traveling light. I guess you go and find a cafe and have a meal and take the bag with you. And then when when everything opens you can check it in somewhere. Yeah. But yeah, I never travel with lots and lots of bags one carry on he is all the kids are allowed and if they can’t fit it in that doesn’t come

Joanne Scott 11:38
your strict mother that’s good. Yeah, and and I suppose you could book your hotel for an extra night. Because there’s usually at a hotel, there’s always somebody at the desk who can let you in. But you know, you’d have to pay for an extra night. Yeah, that’s what that would look like.

Joanne Scott 11:58
hotels are generally quite good. I will let you if I’ve got a 24 hour day school they’re open they will let you generally luggage up need to check in but they’ll take the bags and then you can go back later and chicken at three o’clock and freshen up and get your luggage. Yeah, so manageable. So that’s something you do have to think about the timing and whether an apartment or would work in terms of logistics. It worked fine for us. We were arriving mid afternoon so we met the owner know we should be leaving checking out at a ridiculous ridiculous time in the morning to catch a flight. That’s another reason to think about a hotel for with the apartments. They won’t let you check out before a certain time and I challenge

Annie Sargent 12:46
that Yeah, yeah, you have to pay attention to these things. Okay, so what did you do on On the following day? So the following

Bike Tour of Versailles

Joanne Scott 12:54
day, so I think we arrived on a Saturday afternoon and on the Sunday we went to the side for the Day and it was amazing. And I think it was my favorite day of our visit. We went on a bike tour. And there’s a lot of companies that that run different bike tours through Versailles but I picked Bike About Tours is they just appealed to me. And they picked us up. They met us outside Notre Dame and they caught the train with us out to the side. We picked up bicycles. And then we rode into the side and we spent the whole day riding around the gardens. And we went to the local markets and bought produce and went and had a beautiful picnic on the main canal there. It was amazing. It was just I can’t if anyone’s thinking about it, do it. It’s amazing.

Annie Sargent 13:52
Yeah, I think if you if you can book a tour, whether it’s a bike tour, or one of the official tours, with the Versailles guides it’s a much much better experience because Versailles is super busy and it’s also a very large facility you know it’s a very large area and so with a bike you can see a lot more of it. I didn’t actually realize quite

Joanne Scott 14:18
so large how large it was and I think if we had just got on a train and gone by ourselves we wouldn’t have ventured out to see you know, Mary Antoinette village and saying the Queen’s Hamlet and going around and saying all the beautiful the petite in the grand Trianon palaces because they’re not that accessible. You get off the train, you walk to the side and there’s the the main shaft Oh,

Joanne Scott 14:44
yeah, on a two I get striding you skip the lines. And when you’ve got limited time, it’s worth spending that money to skip those queues. Yes,

Annie Sargent 14:55
yes. And also, the Hamlet is a must see, you know, You can do it by yourself you can walk there by yourself. Some people take their little there’s a little choo choo train you know, tourists train, I’ll take you there, but actually, you can get there faster if you walk because the train is cobblestone. So the little train rocks, you know, people get all jolted so it has to go very slowly or it would be unbearable on that train. So walking you go just as fast To tell you the truth. But but with a bike it’s ideal you know, you can you can really explore it’s it’s great.

Joanne Scott 15:35
And the park was great.

Annie Sargent 15:36
Yeah. And yes, even mentioned that’s really good to know is that you can bring your own food into Versailles. So that’s what French people do a lot is they just bring a picnic and they do it. But you can also buy. There’s a lot of places where you can buy food along the gardens and stuff. Everybody wants to go to Angelina’s, but there’s always a long line there. So if that’s what you want to do, But I would do it somewhere else. If I if I had my, my choice,

Joanne Scott 16:05
I would go and buy some food, whether it be outside or in there and go and sit by the canal and have a beautiful lunch. There was so many people sitting having picnics, it was just so picturesque. And you really getting to enjoy the scenery and being outside and you felt like you were experiencing the moment. It was wonderful. Absolutely.

Annie Sargent 16:27
All right, let’s move on to your next adventure. So the guy took you back all the way to Paris, right?

Joanne Scott 16:37
Oh, no, the guide actually. I hadn’t quite follow read the instructions properly. But we were in the gardens pretty much all day. And at four o’clock, he left us outside the Chateau. We hadn’t been in the mansion, though. So he went back to Paris and left us there. And we could have the following back. We’ll go in and we thought, well, we haven’t actually seen it yet. And we’ve been here on Let’s go in. Yeah, so we spent about two or three hours in there and it was beautiful. And then we caught the train back by ourselves, which was a bit challenging because I hadn’t really paid attention how we got there. And we don’t speak French. Yeah, no work out. How do we get back?

Joanne Scott 17:24
It was fine. Yeah, yeah. Adventure.

Annie Sargent 17:26
It’s marked. And you just follow the crowds.

Joanne Scott 17:31
Yeah, that was a very easy anyone could do it.

Annie Sargent 17:34
Yeah. Yeah. And tour guides. That’s the thing. You know, there’s not a lot of tour guides, you’re going to spend 12 hours with you. Like if you if you meet the tour guide at 8:45 in the morning, like you say you did, they’re not going to stay with you until 8:45 at night because that is a super long day and they do this day in and day out. They can’t keep doing this every day. So that’s why typically they will leave in the middle of the afternoon. But they did the right thing by having you go inside of the Chateau at 4pm. That’s the that’s the right way to do it.

Joanne Scott 18:08
All was excellent. There were hardly any people there were people around but the queues were very manageable. There was small and when we were in there, the number of people was also manageable. So I think it was excellent to leave the shadow for late in the day and avoid the crowd.

Annie Sargent 18:26
Yeah, definitely. Yeah. So that’s I took the whole day. The whole day. We got home about

Joanne Scott 18:32
10 o’clock at night, so very tired. I bet.

Disneyland Paris

Unknown Speaker 18:39
We’re the day at Disneyland The following day, which was probably mad to do but up at 7:30 on on the train because we wanted to be there for when the doors opened and we spent the whole day there. And we got home about 10 o’clock from Disneyland and the kids had an absolute ball. It was it was wonderful. I wasn’t we put it on the list for something that the kids would love. I wanted to do Versailles and I thought they’d not really want to do it in me and they loved Versailles it I was excellent Yeah, we put the Disneyland on the list to tick the box for the kids and they didn’t want to late they wouldn’t go home

Annie Sargent 19:23
yeah, they’re the right age you know nine and 11 you said that’s the right age for Disneyland.

Joanne Scott 19:28
Oh, they loved it and they’re not big Disney fans but we got in there and within an hour we’re looking for the Mickey is to buy magical day Yeah. Wonderful. I definitely recommend it and so we we caught the train was all very easy if anyone is considering just jumping on the train. If I’ve got time go to Euro Disney for the day. It’s the last stop on the line. You walk out it’s right there very easy for non French speaking people to ask. Very good. Yeah,

Annie Sargent 20:01
yeah Disney is good at his they’re good at doing this they’re they know what they’re doing even people are not Disney fans have a good time. So I’m gonna go back

Joanne Scott 20:11
next year we loved it so much. Good.

Annie Sargent 20:15
All right the following day so that was also a full day right Disney you can’t do that in less than a day.

Walking Tour with David Blanc

Joanne Scott 20:20
No. No. day we went on a walking tour. We actually had a local French person his name was David Blanc. Think I’m pronouncing that correctly. You are I booked him to a book team just threw a I think to spot locals was the travel site and you can hook up with local people who walk you around their town and he was wonderful. He took us for two and a half hour walking to a through Paris that morning. We went through the Marais we went through Luxembourg Gardens. He took us to the most Amazing falafel shop in the Marais. So we had to indulge, yeah, it was wonderful. Excellent. Yeah. And he took us to a chocolate shop. We bought ice creams.

Joanne Scott 21:13
It was beautiful. And what I liked about doing a two is someone in such a personal way is he basically adapted how we wanted the tour to be. So we said, Look, if you’re interested in history, I’ll tell you about history. If you want to go and have a coffee, we can go and sit in a coffee shop, whatever you like. And so we ended up we were quite interested about the history and and we got so much out of that to all the little stories and he’d stop outside of building and, and show us a plaque from the war and and tell us he told us a lot about the Jewish community that I wasn’t aware of. It was very insightful to So yeah I thoroughly recommend people trying to get a local to a with somebody whether it be through a lease or anyone else. It does offer a different experience you become walk with someone who knows the area.

Annie Sargent 22:13
Right. And David Blanc has been on the podcast he talked about can remember the episode is called but it’s something about a cost effective ways to travel around France. And I know him personally, he’s a wonderful guy. So I would I would definitely recommend him. Well, you don’t know that because it hasn’t been released yet.

Joanne Scott 22:35
So by

Annie Sargent 22:36
by the time yours is released, he will have been on the podcast. This is the magic of podcasting. Its future everything. Fantastic.

Joanne Scott 22:44
I’ll give him a plug if anyone’s looking for a good guide in Paris, he excellent, very good.

Annie Sargent 22:49
Okay. And then that day, you also went to the catacombs.

Tips for Visiting the Catacombs

Joanne Scott 22:53
We did and we bought tickets here before we went we bought the skip the line tickets and all The way that the tickets worked is you could go anytime in the afternoon that you wanted. So I think, yeah, mid afternoon we went across and the queue for the general public was on believable. Yeah, we went up to the front showed our ticket and he moved to the garden. We went straight in. Yep. And when we were getting out audio bits, there was a tourist there who was very cross and she was getting very upset with the person at the ticket window. But she said, she said she just queued four hours to get in.

Annie Sargent 23:38
Yeah. Don’t do that, folks. You can buy it in advance. You don’t need to queue for four hours. And the difficulty with the catacombs is that the there’s a line for the tickets but there’s also aligned to enter Well, there’s always a security line also. So the they can’t have you know more than a specific amount of People going up and down those stairs at any given time. So they have to let you in slowly. And so if you’re just queuing up, it’s it’s ours. I had a funny thing on the Facebook group recently, somebody said, Oh, we don’t need to buy the catacombs ticket. I’m sure the hotel will have discount tickets. No, nobody has discount tickets to the catacombs. It’s always packed. It’s always more people than they can take. So buy your tickets online, pay the full price and do it the way you guys did. Bubble. This is how you do it.

Joanne Scott 24:34
Yeah, no, it’s perfect. I wouldn’t. I loved it, but I wouldn’t keep four hours to see it. And when you can access everything online, I don’t understand why people don’t buy tickets beforehand. It’s very easy to do.

Annie Sargent 24:46
Right. But mostly it’s because people don’t want to decide when they want to go.

Joanne Scott 24:50
No, I understand. But I guess when you’ve only got a short amount of time and you coming from the other side of the world. It’s good to be organized. I like to be organized. Agreed.

Annie Sargent 25:00
Alright, so that was a very full day and then the following day you went out of Paris.

Tips for a Visit to the Loire Valley

Joanne Scott 25:05
We did. We caught the train of the RER and we went to Amboise, which is in the Loire Valley is a gorgeous town. I wish we’d stayed there longer. So we had one night only there

Annie Sargent 25:20
now this is not an RER. Well, okay, maybe you caught the RER, but at some point you got onto a regional train, a TER

Joanne Scott 25:28
we did. I think we caught the RER to Dijon and then change them Dijon.

Annie Sargent 25:33
Know the RER is only the is only the very close proximity to Paris. You’re far away. So it’s TER, but it’s okay. That’s just Yes.

Joanne Scott 25:45
Sorry, my mistake.

Annie Sargent 25:46
Yeah, yeah. Alright,

Joanne Scott 25:47
So we arrived in mid afternoon and I had an idea that we were going to do a lovely ride to the local Chateau. So I wanted to see chateau I always get the pronounciation wrong, Chenonceau?

Annie Sargent 26:01
Chenonceau, yeah.

Joanne Scott 26:02
So I had been reading about it. And I think I was reading some writing blogs. But we went to the local bike shop hired some bikes with a view that we would get a map from the bike shop and we would cycle to the Chateau, which was meant to only be 10 kilometers 10 to 15 kilometers. So when I got back, the gentleman in the bike shop didn’t speak any English. It was it was very funny. We were trying to ask him for a map. He gave us a little brochure, which wasn’t really a map. Yeah.

Joanne Scott 26:38
And we realized then that maybe we weren’t quite equipped for a 10 kilometer ride. Anyway, we we obviously took a wrong turn. And it ended up being a 30 kilometer bike ride, just to get there. And I’m not I haven’t been on a bike I’m in my mid 40s I haven’t been on a bike since I was about 17 so you’re behind was not funny so I was not happy Yeah, unfortunately my daughter’s bike was too small so anyway we got there it was beautiful I had tickets we went in and store it but then we had to turn around and ride back in I couldn’t do it so we we found a local train station so we wrote to Blois yet we my daughter and I separated from my husband and my son and we got on a train and we made our way back to the where we were staying and my husband and my son rode like the wind because I had to get back to get our credit cards before the shop closed. So then I might have back before us they thought it was great. I love bike riding, right my daughter and I wanted to get on another bike again. Yeah. Yeah, I hear you.

Annie Sargent 28:01
Yeah, my husband loves biking too and I’m like oh no

Joanne Scott 28:06
I’m fishing. Oh, so it was gorgeous I’d recommend definitely go there and on was we had the most amazing meal that evening I think probably because we were also famished. It’s a beautiful little town. We didn’t get to go to the shadow there. I’d recommend doing that. Yeah. So

Annie Sargent 28:27
the bike adventure there wasn’t quite as good as what you had to say.

Joanne Scott 28:33
Funny story yeah and traumatic at the time.

Annie Sargent 28:38
So obviously that also was a whole day. That was a whole

Joanne Scott 28:42
day probably a little bit ambitious. Yeah, whole afternoon, had dinner and then we got up and left at 1030 The next morning back to Paris. Right and I don’t really

Annie Sargent 28:51
have a suggestion for how to do it easier because I have not I mean, I’ve been to on was and shown on so but on a car in a car. So I don’t, I haven’t looked into how to do this easier. But there’s got to be easier ways to do this. My gut feeling would be probably you can go to the Paris tourist office. That’s right by the main city hall. And they sell bus ticket they sell they do hold buses that go to the Loire Valley. So it’s cost effective, and they’ll just drop you off and pick you up at a set time.

Joanne Scott 29:29
Yeah, yeah, I think that would be better. Good luck back riding and you can go the correct route. I’m sure it would have been

Annie Sargent 29:38
much easier. Yeah.

Joanne Scott 29:41
tricky when you’re not sure what you’re doing? Yeah, it was good. It’s a big part of the adventure. Yeah, that’s good.

Annie Sargent 29:47
All right. Let’s talk about your next day there.

Joanne Scott 29:49
Oh, so we got the train back to Paris. And then I think we actually just had an afternoon of, of just wandering around and Going to cafes and having a very quiet afternoon. We went back to the marae and bought falafels again, but just a quiet one just because it been so busy

Annie Sargent 30:11
and also use down. That was July the 14th. So it was Bastille Day.

Spending Bastille Day in Paris

Joanne Scott 30:16
The following day was Bastille Day

Annie Sargent 30:18
Oh, sorry. I skipped one. Sorry.

Joanne Scott 30:20
Yeah. So the following day was Bastille Day and that was a fantastic day to be in Paris. Also. You spent a

Annie Sargent 30:27
night in the Loire Valley. We did.

Joanne Scott 30:30
Okay. Evening,

Annie Sargent 30:32
okay. Okay. Now that makes more sense. All right. Very good.

Unknown Speaker 30:36
Yeah. So, yeah, Bastille Day was fantastic, because the parade was coming right down Rue de Rivoli. So we made a conscious decision not to go and see the parade up the Champs Elysees because I was a little bit worried about security and no back in July 2017, and hadn’t been all that long since. All those terrible things that happened in Paris. I made a conscious decision to sort of stay away from crowds on at that occasion, but the they came right down route of really the parade and it was wonderful. So and we saw the Jets go over, huh? It was it had a lot of apps. And then we decided that night we went to the loo that DAGs we thought it would be fairly quiet, which was it wasn’t too bad. We moved us. And that was wonderful. But we only tackled two things at the loop. So we did the Mona Lisa, which everybody does. And we did the Egyptian exhibit. And then we decided we leave. We didn’t want to be there all day right. Now what really well limit what we did. Then we went to Angelina’s, everyone has to go to Angelina, so we hadn’t been there. And it’s not very far. Yeah, just around the corner. And then what we had done that not is we booked a hotel room just for one night which had a view of the Eiffel Tower.

Annie Sargent 31:59
Oh Nice

Joanne Scott 32:02
to see the fireworks say the three quarters of the Eiffel Tower on the fireworks from our hotel room.

Joanne Scott 32:11
Yeah, and walk the kids off at 11 o’clock and said fireworks are happening in five minutes. So they got up watch the fireworks and we’re back to bed. Oh, that is so

Annie Sargent 32:20
clever. I love it.

Joanne Scott 32:22
It was wonderful. And we’ve kids you’ve it’s hard because even been just my husband and I we would have gone out and spent the night partying and I would have gone some of the fire stations and seeing the bowls. But yeah, you’ve got young children at do that. So that was our way of seeing some of the special event.

Annie Sargent 32:42
That’s clever. I like it. I like it. Very good.

Nintendo Switch Guides for Kids at the Louvre

Unknown Speaker 32:46
Excellent. Also there. You mentioned

Annie Sargent 32:48
here that you used a Nintendo Switch audio guides. I never heard of those. Yeah.

Joanne Scott 32:56
I have those in the Louvre for kids. They’re the 3D Nintendo switches. So it’s a little console that you open up like a normal 3d console and the kids love it. We bought a couple of guys put their earphones in and quite interactive. That’s a good suggestion for me.

Annie Sargent 33:15
Yeah, it’s good for people who are going to live with teenagers. That’s great. It was excellent.

A Visit to Burgundy

Joanne Scott 33:21
I think it was about five euro roughly per console. So it was really cheap. Yeah. And we pre booked that online and just went in and picked it up. It was all very smooth. Excellent. Oh, and then the next day, you had a big day again. What did we do? I went up really early. The next we went to your crazy so we checked it out. We checked out of our apartment that we stayed in for one night, had a little backpack age and then went and got on a train and went to bone. Wow. And it was it was beautiful. But the problem is I booked a bike riding tour in the Afternoon.

Joanne Scott 34:02
So we had to get back on bikes so good.

Joanne Scott 34:11
But it was much easier. It was just cycling through the vineyards and having a glass of wine. It was very easy But yeah, I don’t think I was quite ready for that. Yeah, so that was three hours on a Bach in the afternoon and so we were very tired and Dina and then Early to bed so but it was fun, beautiful. We didn’t go to the hospice or hospital there to done that.

Annie Sargent 34:39
Yeah, time. So did you go back that night or do to get on the train back that night? I stayed the night okay. You stayed the night

Joanne Scott 34:46
we stayed the night we actually stayed two nights in Beaune. So the following day we had a tour guide just to took our family around in her car for the day all around Burgundy. And that was a highlight of my trip so we went to Flaviny. Am I pronouncing that correctly? No, I don’t know what he was said.

Annie Sargent 35:09

Unknown Speaker 35:11
Yes. l

Annie Sargent 35:12
Flaviny-sur-Ozerain. Yes. Lovely. Nice.

Joanne Scott 35:17
Yeah. It’s one of the most beautiful villages of France. Yeah. And it’s gorgeous. So we wanted to go there because that’s where the movie Chocolat was set. And so I wanted to see the little window of the chocolate shop and see the church. Yeah. And we had a beautiful, beautiful lunch there. They have like a farmers Co Op, where you can go in and buy lunch from all the local produce in a lack of cafeteria or area and a little farm house. Nice. And so we went with a woman speaking French and that was that was excellent. I felt very in the moment doing that. Mm hmm. We went to Fontenay Abbey, I thoroughly recommend that if anyone is interested in old buildings, the 12th century Abbey and the UNESCO heritage world site, I think yes, yeah. Gorgeous. We went to Chateauneuf.

Annie Sargent 36:16
Yes. Chateauneuf du Pape.

Joanne Scott 36:19
Yep. Yes. And that was gorgeous as well. So we did a medieval day seeing all the love medieval villages. And yeah, it was it was beautiful. So that was a full day pottering around in the car.

Annie Sargent 36:31
Right? So we’ll have they’ll have that in your guest notes if they want to book the same tour guide and everything. Her name is Tracy Serling. It looks like she’s great. Yep. So then, you know next day, so you slept in born again that night. And then you went back to Paris The next morning,

Going to the Top of the Eiffel Tower

Joanne Scott 36:49
back to Paris for our last full day in Paris. And that’s when we decided in the afternoon we’ve got the Eiffel Tower. Hmm. So that was magical. We went right to the top the elevator’s amazing. We loved that elevator and it was fantastic. So much fun that was worth the trip to the top just to go on the elevator. Is it different from

Annie Sargent 37:10
the ones that go to the second floor? I can’t remember

Joanne Scott 37:13
I’ve got a video of us going up right to the top. It’s it’s kind of freaky like you just going up and up and up. And I was dramatic going up from the bottom to the first floor. Okay, but it was good fun.

Annie Sargent 37:28
Yeah, I have I’ve never been to the tippy top. I’m afraid of heights. So I’m like, Okay, second floor is all I can do. And I really enjoyed that one. But the tippy top No.

Joanne Scott 37:39
No, but it great. Like I could say why people, some people say you don’t need to go to the top. You had a fantastic view from the lower level. Yeah, both excellent. Right. And, yeah, the following day we left so it was it was a very busy 10 days. But

Annie Sargent 37:54
absolutely. I just want to have a brief mention of your Eurostar to London. Was that fairly easy? Look at was

Joanne Scott 38:03
I would, it’s a second time we’ve caught the Eurostar from Paris to London and it is a fairly easy exercise. buy tickets online beforehand, obviously you’ve got to go through the checking passport, but yeah, overall the stars excellent.

Annie Sargent 38:20
Okay. Very good. Good to know. Good to know. All right, let’s see. So let’s, from what from everything you’ve said you really liked. So you have your list of your five favorite experiences. Tell us tell us about those. Again. Okay.

Joanne Scott 38:36
my five favorite I think, going to Versailles and doing the bike tour and seeing the grounds as well as the Chateau. That would be my number one. My number two was probably my day in the car through Burgundy. It’s such a beautiful part of France. I’m really love to go. Hmm. Number three, probably the walking to up with David Blanc because I felt like we were really getting to know a little bit about Paris. It was very special actually. Yeah, I really enjoy. Number four has to be the fireworks from our hotel room. Yeah, still day. That was amazing. And number five, I couldn’t pick a number five. So I can say all the rolled in together would be my number five.

Joanne Scott 39:27
And I think if the kids had to pick number one, it would be Disneyland. Yeah,

Annie Sargent 39:31
that’s all right. And then you have some reflections you wanted to share, which sounds really clever to me. Oh, well, I was just

Joanne Scott 39:39
I guess, going on a holiday with kids is very different to going as a couple or on your own. But I think a lot of people a bit apprehensive about taking children. But I think you shouldn’t underestimate the ability of your children to actually become engaged in what they’re doing and to win Enjoy the experience if you plan it well and any of you include them in what you’re planning and what you’re doing. Our kids absolutely loved it. But you do have to accommodate what you do so with kids, you need to if you have full on all day and early you have to have early dinners, by French standards Early to bed so that otherwise you end up with really cranky kids the next day and give them some downtime. Well so a little bit of downtime we’d go back to the hotel room every now and then and I might have you know an hour just relaxing before we have something to eat for we set out on our next adventure.

Annie Sargent 40:41
Right It works perfectly. Right so this might not be so good if the kids are younger, because if you take like a five year old and a seven year old back to the hotel, they might never want to leave again. Don’t put up with your kids were little older and Obviously you could reason with them so, but I mean parents to their kids, you know, so yeah, I’m

Joanne Scott 41:06
talking about not yet nine and 11 year olds if you’ve got a three year old who has a dice life and it doesn’t quite work that way, but when you’ve got tweens, you know, eight 910 young teenagers, you know, you need to give them a bit more credit as to how they can actually be engaging in what you’re doing. Yeah, it’s quite amazing. They’re different on holiday to at home winching about things that have a great time.

Annie Sargent 41:30
Yeah, very good. So what would you do differently next time?

Joanne Scott 41:36
Okay, so I would get a cab as you’ve recommended in one of your podcast from the airport, I wouldn’t book a trip to transfer. I probably wouldn’t do the bike riding that we did in the Loire Valley, although my husband and son would disagree on that. Yeah. If you got something like that you have to research it and be a bit more organized and have maps and know what your Doing we just kind of went with the flow and it didn’t work. And yeah, I probably wouldn’t have booked another bike trip for us after doing that one just with the length of it, but I wouldn’t change anything. Fundamentally, it was an extremely busy holiday. And I now look back at our notes and I go, oh, my goodness, what was I thinking?

Annie Sargent 42:23

Joanne Scott 42:25
I don’t think for our first big family trip i’d fundamentally change anything because you need to see an experience it to know what you want to go back and see next time and, and I think when we do go back next time, we will do it differently. We will slow down I’ll think a bit more about enjoying the culture and eating and just a different pace. But I feel like I can do that now because we went so hard the first time. Sorry, yeah, no, it’s definitely you gotta try to figure As much as you can, but we won’t be doing the same type again.

Annie Sargent 43:05
Right? And then you have some general tips that sound clever to me as well.

Joanne Scott 43:10
Oh, yeah, I was just thinking just general things. I think if you’re wandering around doing general walking tours on your own, it’s a really good idea to at least buy an audio tour. And I know any you’ve got your new audio tours out, we’re going to use those when we come back next year. Yeah. So I recommend doing that it makes such a difference to have someone in your area telling you about where you are and little stories than just endlessly wandering around reading a book, agree, very different.

Annie Sargent 43:43
Agreed and people who plan to do with the book, they put the book away after a while because it’s hard to do it that way. Whereas an audio tour it short enough. It’s you go directly to the interesting places, you know, it’s much easier.

Joanne Scott 43:57
Absolutely and you can stop it. If you want too, or if you want to do half of it and come and do the other half another time, you can do that, but definitely recommend an audio tour. The other thing is I’d recommend data on your phone. So if we before we went, we bought two Sims. Yeah. And so when we operated in the Loire Valley, it was actually very handy that we could track each other and contact each other and phone each other. Yeah. So I think it’s not expensive. Get Data, you can use Google Maps and get yourself around. Don’t rely on hotel data, because it’s no, it’s not for a good. Yeah. And my final tip is yet always do your research. And if you can buy tickets online, buy them. Don’t queue up with every person that hasn’t researched on the day. Do as much planning as she can and get skip the line tickets. Excellent.

Do You Need Skip the Line Tickets?

Annie Sargent 44:55
Excellent. Well, and actually there’s a lot of places you have to be mindful of this too. TripAdvisor they sell they’re very good at marketing. So they will resell things that they call skip the line tickets for the Eiffel Tower for example. But all they’re doing is they’re buying the Eiffel Tower tickets for you. There’s no more skipping the line with the TripAdvisor ones than the official Eiffel Tower ones. It’s there it’s the same thing except a TripAdvisor charges an extra 50 bucks per person to do this for you. So just go to the Eiffel Tower official site and buy your time tickets you know from there same with the catacombs go to the catacomb sites and buy your tickets there. Because if you do it through TripAdvisor or all of these other travel aggregators, well guess what? They tack on extra costs for that and this exact same ticket you you always have to line up for security anyway, right? So all you’re skipping is the ticket line, which is very important because that’s a very long one some places, so,

Joanne Scott 46:09

Annie Sargent 46:11
That has been very informative. Thank you so much, Joanna. It’s that’s great.

Joanne Scott 46:17
I’ll thank you Annie. It was lovely to speak with you. And I hope my Aussie accent hasn’t put anyone off over there in America.

Annie Sargent 46:25
No, I love it. I could take a nosey accent any day. I love it.

Joanne Scott 46:29
I love your podcast, any You are so wonderful. I listened to every day my car. There’s nothing like that, that you can access in Australia where you’ve got someone like yourself talking about France, which I love. So it really I put all my friends onto it, and it’s wonderful. So keep up the good work. Okay, thank you, Lucy.

Annie Sargent 46:55
Thank you, Satoshi Steinmetz, I hope I’m saying correctly Satoshi for pledging to support the show on Patreon this week. patrons enjoys several rewards including membership into a secret Facebook group where I answer your questions as soon as they come up. You can also hire me for an hour to be your trip consultant and help you work out the details you need help with for your trip. Visit /joinsus. Join us no spaces or dashes to see the different reward tiers and thank you so much for helping me continue to do this.

Annie Sargent 47:37
My thanks also to Steven Fernandez for sending in a one time donation by using the green button on any page on join us in France calm that says tip your guide donations of $20 and above also get you an invite to the secret Facebook group.

Annie Sargent 47:55
And if you’d like to support the show without spending a penny you wouldn’t have otherwise Before you go shopping on Amazon, and I know you’ll be doing a lot of that, in the next few days since Christmas is coming up, go to the bottom of any page on join us in France calm and click on the Amazon ad, because you came to Amazon through my site, I get a small commission, and it doesn’t cost you a penny more. And the same thing is true with the add if you decide to book your trip through booking, start on join us in France. com, click on that ad and then buy a new room you want and the show gets a small commission and thank you so much.

Annie Sargent 48:39
For my personal update. This week, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends, including Elyse and her husband and I hope you did too. It’s a long day of cooking and setting up but it’s so worth it. And now I’m going to do it all over again for my friends family tomorrow night. So, but this time I’ve cheated a little bit. I already know Do a few of the side dishes and I’ll just have to bake them on Sunday. So that’ll be a little shorter day.

Family Meeting About Christmas Eve Dinner

Annie Sargent 49:07
And speaking of my siblings, my older brother called a family meeting last week. Can you guess what the hot topic of conversation he wanted to bring up on this occasion? Did we have some world business to discuss? No, no, it was the menu for our Christmas Eve dinner. He wanted us to iron out all the details. decide who’s making what are the oysters worth it because they take so long to open? When’s the last time we had goose for Christmas dinner? Maybe we should get Oh no, no goose is too fatty. It messes up the kitchen. Let’s do chapon in French, I think is it capon? I don’t know how to say that in English, but it’s a chapon it’s like a massive chicken. It’s moister than Turkey. Right? You agree with me? Anyway, these are the things we worry about in France. Well, at least in my family, so we’ll all be very well prepared. I’ll bring the shrimp cocktail, the chapon and chestnut stuffing now you know!

Annie Sargent 50:12
Oh, and I have to tell you that they finished up my walking path, it is a marvelous so it is the it’s just a crush down gravel I guess it’s fabulous. And they closed all the entrances to the cars, which really annoys the delivery people because, you know, even in France these days, we get a lot of deliveries. I mean, Amazon is not quite as big in France as it is in America. But it’s getting there and so the delivery guys there on the clock, you know, and to save just a couple minutes between the two villages. They will take that walking path and they are now denied which is good.

Annie Sargent 50:56
If you want to recommend the podcast to someone who already listens to podcast, Well tell them they can look for join us in France anywhere they get their podcast, if they listen to music, but not podcasts on their phones, tell them to search for join us in France on Spotify or Pandora. And also on these. What do you call them? Smart speakers, we’re on that too. And if they don’t normally listen to anything on their phones, send them to join us in, because they can listen there, too. Thank you so much for listening and for spreading the word, send questions or feedback to

Why You Should Take an Audio Walking Tour by Annie

Annie Sargent 51:37
And don’t forget about my walking tours, they are selling really well. But I’m seeing a lot of people who come to the group and talk about their trip they just had in France, and they didn’t try my walking tours. And I think they’re just missing out because those tours are good. There are people who don’t know me from Adam that by them and that leave You know great reviews they love them so give them a try. It’s on the VoiceMap app on your phone. Look for tours in Paris by Annie Sargent. I have three of them. I have one in le Marais. Ile de la Cite (which is around Notre Dame) and Montmartre.

Annie Sargent 52:16
And Elyse has been continued to work on her Toulouse tour and I hope it will be out soon because she knows Toulouse like the back of her hand and she knows all the good stories anyway. So voice map app. These are self guided walking tours, you can take them anytime you don’t have to go when it’s raining or if it’s really really hot or whatever. You can go whenever you want. You can start and stop they are great. It’s a great way to experience Paris and not miss a thing. And actually know what you’re looking at, which is not valued as highly as it should be because I see visitors in Paris all the time. Just let you know looking around their mouth agape. They don’t have a clue what they’re looking at. So many great things happen there. Anyway. Sorry I’m a little passionate about this.

Annie Sargent 53:10
Have a great week of trip planning and I’ll talk to you next week also send questions or feedback to I forgot to say that. All of the join us in France travel podcast is written and produced by Annie Sargent and copyright 2019 by addicted to France. It is released under a Creative Commons Attribution non commercial, no derivatives license.

Joanne's daughter holding her fallafel sandwich from As du Fallafel in the Marais
Joanne’s daughter holding her fallafel sandwich from As du Fallafel in the Marais
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Categories: Burgundy Area, Family Travel, Loire Valley, Paris