Transcript for Episode 261: Women World Cup Trip Report

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Categories: Active Vacations in France, Family Travel

Discussed in this Episode

  • How was the Women's World Cup? [02:17]
  • The US women's team in soccer Is in a league of their own [03:07]
  • How women's sports got so big in the US [05:37]
  • Buying tickets for the Women's World Cup [06:19]
  • Seeing the game in a Fan Zone [09:22]
  • Comparing games in France to other countries [10:09]
  • Using the Metro and Uber to and from the game [14:26]
  • You can't move around freely once in the stadium [16:28]
  • Paper tickets or e-tickets? [18:46]
  • Ambiance at French stadiums [19:59]
  • Seeing players in minor French cities [23:39]
  • The culture of sports in France vs the US [25:21]
  • Games in France felt "more civilized" [28:53]
  • What to do about obnoxious fans [30:34]
  • Security and machine guns in France [31:44]
  • The French are proud of their culture [33:00]
  • French people are NOT rude [35:00]
  • Paris has free WiFi in public parks [37:01]
  • It's worth getting the Disneyland fastpass in Paris [37:44]
  • The food at Disneyland Paris and at sports venues in France in no good [38:25]
  • The best food is in France is in places you've never heard of! [38:51]
  • Eating vegetarian in France [39:39]
  • Thank you for supporting Join Us in France [42:29]
  • Check out my self-guided walking tours on the VoiceMap app [43:46]
  • How to pronounce La Croix [44:06]
  • About strikes in France [45:31]
  • Thank you for spreading the word about Join Us in France! [46:06]
Hotel we recommend in Reims: Hôtel Continental Reims



Annie Sargent 0:00
This is join us in France Episode 261 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. Hopefully you’ll get inspired to go beyond Paris and enjoy the rest of France too!

Annie Sargent 0:18
On the podcast I invite travel enthusiasts and Francophiles, such as my guest, Kimberly Coleman, and her daughters, who join me for a conversation about how their trip went, what they loved, what they didn’t like as much what they can recommend for you and give you some inspiration for your next trip to France.

Annie Sargent 0:38
We talk about their June 29 team trip to France to attend the Women’s World Cup, and we discuss how that went compared to other sports events that they’ve been to. We talk about women’s sports in general about the value of taking your kids to those events, if you can. We also talk about getting the tickets, finding the accommodation, getting to the venues and smaller French cities such as Reims, the fan zones, the atmosphere, using e-tickets in France and all that good stuff.

Annie Sargent 1:12
Join Us in France is a listener supported podcast. Take a listen and if you like what you hear, please support the show. More on that after the interview. Show Notes for this episode are on join us in forward slash 261 the number 261

Annie Sargent 2:03
Kimberly Haley and Maggie and welcome to Join Us in France.

Kimberly Coleman 2:08
Bonjour Annie,

Annie Sargent 2:09
how are you?

Daughter 2:10

How was the Women’s World Cup?

Annie Sargent 2:11
Nice to talk to the three of you. Hopefully Skype is going to cooperate. So today we are talking about visiting France for a sports event. So how was the Women’s World Cup?

Daughter 2:23
It was so amazing. It was like the best, like sporting event I’ve ever been to ever It was so crazy amazing.

Annie Sargent 2:32
Yeah. So is that because that your favorite sport?

Daughter 2:37
Yeah, I I love soccer. I’ve been following that that team for a long time. And like, a few years ago, when I first heard about that the World Cup would be in France. I was like, we have to go because like, Mom, you’ve been wanting to take us to France for like, a long time that you wanted us to be a little bit older. Right? like it’d be the perfect time. Right? came together. And it was just amazing. Oh, no, you know,

The US women’s team in soccer Is in a league of their own

Kimberly Coleman 3:07
Yeah. And when it comes to women’s sports, Women’s US Women’s Soccer is kind of in a unique league in terms of the number of people who follow it and the kind of performance they give. And you know, there was some controversy there, because that first game we went to, they beat Thailand 13 to zero, so a lot going on around it. And anyway, so it was a wonderful experience. And we would have gone to France, frankly, probably about this time. Regardless, if the World Cup hadn’t been here. they’ve traveled a lot. And we were just waiting because of so many things that France has to offer. I wanted to wait so they’re now 13 and 15. And I just felt like a good time for them to

Annie Sargent 3:44
Oh, sorry. It’s perfect. It’s perfect. Yeah. And it’s true that the women’s soccer team in the US women’s soccer team is kind of A League of Their Own indie because they are so I mean, I listened to a Anyway, stuff about the French women’s team. And France is quite a bit behind because we haven’t had women’s team for for as long as the Americans and we certainly haven’t promoted women’s soccer for as long as the Americans have. And now this is changing everything. There’s the uptick of young French girls, registering in soccer clubs 20% more this year compared to last year, and I’m sure it has a lot to do with the excitement surrounding the World Cup little girls want to play soccer.

Kimberly Coleman 4:35
Yes, I think a lot of people haven’t seen women’s sports. You know, maybe Serena Williams or ice skating. There are a few stereotypical sports where women have gotten attention, but this is you know, the women’s team in the US gets more attention than the men’s and they certainly perform better. No one would dispute that. Yeah. And so having this be a time where they’re even discussing equal pay, haven’t happened in France, so not even just in France in the US, I would say around Around the world it’s showing any us has certain reasons there’s been a lot of attention I mean Title Nine right

Daughter 5:09
girls my age are like it’s soccer is so big here it’s like people have they don’t really know how to put it

Kimberly Coleman 5:20
they’ve got select teams where they’re it from a very young age

Daughter 5:24
It’s really competitive and it’s really fun to watch but it’s just really big in the US

Annie Sargent 5:31
So is it is it linked to your school is there like a

How women’s sports got so big in the US

Kimberly Coleman 5:37
I my feeling about this So ever since Title Nine where there has to be the same amount of money spent on sports for women as men. To get scholarships. You got to remember like a private school like in Southern Methodist University $70,000 a year in a public one UT is something like 25,000 year. So after four years in the US, the kind of debt people are saddled with Huge so they start looking for scholarships early. And one of the primary ways they’ll be doing this through sports, which sports are women participating and where they’re more likely it’s soccer happens to be one. So very early on, parents will really support their kids in this sport, in the hopes of so I think that’s one of many reasons. Hmm.

Buying tickets for the Women’s World Cup

Annie Sargent 6:19
And it’s a very enjoyable sport, also. Both to watch and to play. So, tell me about the kind of the proceedings of these games. Did you get your tickets in advance?

Kimberly Coleman 6:35
Yes, so I had purchased on I’d actually purchased a membership with the soccer league so that I would get somebody like two or three days advance notice to purchase them. And I would actually say that while it was easy to do it, our tickets weren’t good at that event, and We bought the most expensive tier ticket we could.

Daughter 7:04
Yeah. Because it’s such a small stadium. It wasn’t like compared to I mean, I thought it would be much bigger Stadium in the first match we went to

Annie Sargent 7:15
Which was in which city?

Kimberly Coleman 7:19

Daughter 7:20
And it was just like it was much less touristy. And then the one we went to in Paris, but also smaller and so the gate the our seats, they seemed not the best compared to the stadium. But really, we were pretty close to the players and we can see a lot more than I thought

Kimberly Coleman 7:39
they weren’t bad. It’s just that so we had other friends who bought tickets after the fact and we bought the highest tier level, which was something like $30, which seemed like a huge bargain to me and we know for other events, and then our friends who had bought them after the fact through basically reseller Got front row seats for $50. Well, I would have done that if that had been an option.

Kimberly Coleman 8:06
So in a way so but we actually attended, in a sense, in three different ways three different games while we were there, one in Reims, one in Paris, and then one through the What did they call it? The FIFA.

Daughter 8:19
Yeah, it was just where the game was doing the game was played on a big screen in the park. People could walk in it was it was really great. It was.

Kimberly Coleman 8:30
So we kind of experienced it three different ways. And the second game we were not intending to go to in Paris. It’s like stade Dauphine. I can’t remember what it’s called. But the Yeah, so we ended up buying tickets. We actually went to a hotel into a concierge, and they were going to see if they could find something. But while we were sitting there on the phone, we just bought some that were resold it they were all sold out all the games. So I was surprised it was fairly easy. We just had to print it out. There was a hotel and go in. So we did do it. And those were actually the only downside of that is our tickets were in separate areas. So the two, my girl that together and then I sat in a separate area and it was fine.

Annie Sargent 9:12
Yeah, yeah, they’re old enough, but that’s not a problem. Yeah. So did you so how far in advance Did you buy these tickets? Was it like months before?

Seeing the game in a Fan Zone

Kimberly Coleman 9:22
I’m gonna say it was probably February and the game was in June. And then the ones that would the one we ended up going to in Paris, we probably bought it the day before. But again, we were having to buy it through reseller. Right. And then the third event which was open to anyone in a park. You know, we just walked anybody could have it was free.

Annie Sargent 9:44
Yeah, right. free event, right. They do a lot of these. We call them fan zones. I think

Kimberly Coleman 9:49
that’s what it was fan zone,

Annie Sargent 9:51
right. I’ve seen games that way. And it’s fun. You know, it’s, it’s, yeah, it’s it’s a very good experience most of the time, especially if your team is winning. Right? So did you did you see any scalpers about the stadium or?

Comparing games in France to other countries

Kimberly Coleman 10:09
We really didn’t know is an interesting experiment, not just the game itself, but you know, the lead up to it. We’ve gone to a variety of events in other countries. And you know, so compared to those so for example, we had gone to a soccer game and Argentina were where we were we saw another not I can’t remember but and, you know, that was so different because the approach to the stadium was probably a quarter mile and we had to go through three different levels of security and are not allowed to not only can you not bring a purse in, you couldn’t, you know, have a water bottle or chapstick, or anything because it could be thrown as a weapon. Yeah. There is much less of this much, much less of that. I mean, they did have security where they patted us down

Daughter 10:58
metal detectors. He’s interesting that you obviously had to separate from women and men when you go through the security line. And the women’s side was like, three times longer than the men side. Right. So my son is really interesting because there weren’t as many men.

Kimberly Coleman 11:16
Point Yeah, to see so many women’s sporting a sporting event. I would also have to say, I think that we felt most of the audience a good maybe 75% was clearly from the US. Wow.

Daughter 11:28
Yeah, they’re a lot like a lot of my friends went to Paris and France this year. But not always at the same time. I don’t know why. Because like, all of my friends suddenly, like, this year thing. A lot of them go to France. I don’t know if it’s age, or like the airfare was cheaper or something.

Kimberly Coleman 11:48
I’m not sure but the security lines. While they were long, they went fast and we were able to have purses we didn’t have to have clear bags like in a lot of the stadiums in the US. You know you wouldn’t if you try to sneak in any sort of food or drink I’m pretty sure it would have been caught because they did do a pretty thorough check of that. But in terms of comparing it to a place like Argentina or Brazil, you know in Argentina in Brazil, they’ve they separate the opposing fan from the home crowd fans because it has been violence happening people who’ve died they’ve got you know, we didn’t see any of that.

Unknown Speaker 12:24

Kimberly Coleman 12:27
And and now there was no alcohol at the stadium just like there isn’t in a lot of Latin American cities in the US it would be weird to go to a major stadium like this and not have alcohol as an option. And obviously a little surprised that there wasn’t even hoping there’d be wine or champagne particularly when we arrived. But outside of the stadiums like at the FIFA fans zone, oh, and they had it right. And, and the food options also, at neither stadium where they any good they were in France has such good food that disappointing to see they basically had bad hotdogs on bad breadand Pepsi. I mean that was about the option.

Annie Sargent 13:09
Yeah, so don’t don’t plan on eating much at the stadium

Daughter 13:13
before and after stopped by a bakery. What are they called?

Kimberly Coleman 13:18

Daughter 13:19
Yeah, we stopped by one of those in got just some bread and I think we might have stopped by cheese.

Kimberly Coleman 13:25
And we’ve lost over

Kimberly Coleman 13:27
walking over because they have you park or get out or you can’t you can’t get a car right there. But at this time we have to walk a few blocks away.

Daughter 13:37
And we ate and it was obviously much much better than the stadium. Yeah. And so then we were full when we went in. It was we didn’t we weren’t really hungry for the awful hot dog.

Kimberly Coleman 13:52
The first the first game that boy Don’t count on any sort of good food. Now we also did as we were leap so we took the subway there when we are in Paris and last we were just able to walk, both coming and going. So we stayed close in Paris, because it was found whatever it was way west of Paris, okay, and it took us maybe an hour on the subway now that subway was packed and uncomfortable and even though it’s 70 degrees

Daughter 14:22
out that packed they were completely packed with fans too

Using the Metro and Uber to and from the game

Kimberly Coleman 14:26
Oh, yeah, they were. They were totally packed with fans but you know, you couldn’t sit and you couldn’t really move. Yeah. And I think there was some photos I sent you’ll see how crammed in we were that was the most crammed subway we were in or Metro Metro. But then once you got there you walk obviously everybody was there together. It’s very easy to find because you just follow the crowd.

Kimberly Coleman 14:47
As we were leaving. You know, I was worried that you would have to wait for so many trains before you could get on that we decided to Uber and we didn’t know how good or bad that would be so we clicked Uber. And it said it was three minutes away. But we hadn’t counted on what roads would be shut down. And I don’t think Uber had the ability to know that quickly. It does mention that so we just had to walk a couple of blocks away. Here’s one thing I will caution is I speak French. So I was able to call the driver and explain, hey, we see you, we’re going to walk to you. It’s, that could be tricky for somebody if you were the Uber driver didn’t speak any English. Yeah. And we’re happy to say, Hey, I see where you are. I’m gonna have to come to you because they’ve, they’ve got a cop here. Not letting us cross that. Yeah,

Annie Sargent 15:34
yeah. Yeah, that can be a problem. And generally speaking, I recommend before you even call the Uber go get to a place where cars can get by other you know, and make a call from there. Otherwise, if you start moving around, sometimes it’s a bit complicated, for the driver to find you.

Kimberly Coleman 15:52
You’re right.

Daughter 15:53
The way they had it reminded me a lot of the Red Sox game we went to. You weren’t there because right girl took me and it was really cool to I started setup same because we took the train there the called the tube or something. And we got off ways before we entered the stadium walk through security like really similarly set up. When we got out we had to walk a ways away to like a designated like Uber area. Right.

You can’t move around freely once in the stadium

Kimberly Coleman 16:28
You know one thing remember one thing that’s very different about this French experience of going to the game was whatever your seat is, that is the only place you can sit. You know here in US stadiums. If you go with a friend and you know somebody else in another part of the stadium and they could come and say hi to you where you’re sitting unless maybe you’re, you know, on the on the court of a basketball game. Aside from that you can there’s a fair amount of free flow you can go and move around. That is not the case in Paris. They have somebody on every aisle checking and making sure and so when we were separated at that stadium I kind of thought oh, maybe I’ll be able to go and sit with him for. Nope, you really can’t do that. It’s just much stricter than both of the stadiums we went to that would not have been possible go and sit for a minute with a friend that’s got another area huh

Annie Sargent 17:19
yeah, that’s that’s basic crowd control measure is people stay where they supposed to be. And yeah, you don’t let people go because they, I mean, if I don’t remember any big problems with soccer games recently, but years ago, there were big problems at soccer games and they had to crack down because fans would get in fights and just go rush the, you know, the opposing fans or whatever. Yeah, so yeah. So So, for the most part, it was similar to what you’re used to, did they ask you for ID?

Kimberly Coleman 17:55
No, and that was different, you know, when again, just comparing it to other games and when we were in Buenos Aires, you have to be a member of the club games. And so for the purpose of those games, you know, I was Maria and my husband was Jose and you know, there were names printed on them that were ours.

Annie Sargent 18:13

Kimberly Coleman 18:14
And no, no, they there was no form of ID requested and you know, heavy security. And then security once you got in kind of keeping you in your seats, and there’s no way to kind of stand up and walk to your right or left way over to get into other sections that just doesn’t work. They cut their cordoned off. But no, no ID needed. Right. That was easy, right? Yeah. We felt safe and secure though. We did not feel any sense of danger.

Paper tickets or e-tickets?

Annie Sargent 18:46
Yeah, yeah. Did they did you use tickets, e-tickets or paper tickets?

Kimberly Coleman 18:53
So we printed our tickets. Now I want to say in the last one, we may have had the old fashioned tickets that came in the mail we did for the ones in Paris we printed the E ticket. And we did have to present it we didn’t have it on our phone. I don’t like having them on our phones Anyway, I’m always worried that what if my phone loses battery? Yeah,

Kimberly Coleman 19:15
But and we we found out the hard way I lost our tickets to get up to the Eiffel Tower which were printed out e-tickets and on the tickets it tells you you must have the printout it says that. And I realized it right as we walked up, and oh my god, my heart Just sank. But they they actually took it when I showed them on my phone the Yeah.

Annie Sargent 19:39
Yeah. I mean, they scan the same.

Kimberly Coleman 19:42
Yeah. Yeah. But anyway, so now the ticket situation was easy. And I think it really depended on when you bought it, which venue you bought it from whether it was you know, so it’s possible that would have just had been able to read a skewer a queue code or whatever. Right

Ambiance at French stadiums

Annie Sargent 19:59
on our Right, right, right. So there was anything really surprising about the experience where people rowdier, less rowdy more enthusiastic, quieter I don’t know.

Kimberly Coleman 20:10
So, you know, from our here’s what was so the crowd because it was a US crowd. Now they were cheering mostly for the US team. The screens in both stadiums were small and set up in the corner so they were difficult to see. And, you know, there’s a lot of criticism after the first game that the women had some people felt they celebrated too much, although I’m sure if they hadn’t won by as much they would have been criticized for not having won by more but anyway, we could not see even though we could see the game just fine. We really didn’t. We weren’t able to see or witness sideline celebration in the way that you would have if you were at home looking at it on TV. And you know, there weren’t a lot of replays or slow mo or any of that, that in the US. If you’re watching professional Football where they have just a million cameras and dazzling effects that was missing.

Annie Sargent 21:06
Right But in, but in football like American football, they stop all the time so they have all this time to fill. You know in soccer, I’m not sure they really have the time to do that. Because

Kimberly Coleman 21:18
Yeah, yeah, that’s true. I think you’re right.

Annie Sargent 21:21
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, like, I go to basketball games and they do play. Like the best points during like, if there’s, if there’s a timeout or something, they’ll play a few things, but they don’t have as much time. I mean, American football they it’s like, right. They stop every 15 seconds. Yeah. Anyway, I’m not used to American football. I went to one game I couldn’t even tell it was happening.

Kimberly Coleman 21:49
We’re in Texas, It’s a primary topic of conversation especially.

Annie Sargent 21:56
Right? Well, I’m sure it’s fabulous. When if you know what’s happening. It’s When we don’t

Kimberly Coleman 22:03

Kimberly Coleman 22:06
we did you know, so they do have a couple of screens and obviously they’re the score’s up to date and all that. And you know, there’s a bit of pre ceremony at any game where they march out with younger athletes and where they play they sing the national anthem and all that and the crowd was really sound strange to say, well behaved You know, there was there nothing was being thrown onto the field and there was no again no violence there.

Kimberly Coleman 22:34
There were people doing the wave people that and I think you know, a few cheers here and there. You know, when at some of the games you’ve been to internationally, there was a sense that things could turn bad very quickly, like Argentina, we will felt like we were one of very few that were not men there. And you got the sense that it I’m a we’re a game and real where we left because we felt like we could have gotten crushed in the violent reactions of what was happening. We didn’t feel that way in France at all. Yeah, and there were fans there. It’s hard to get a sense of how many but the ones that were there did seem to be supporting.

Daughter 23:21
You can’t really tell because in when we played Chile, both France Chile and USA both had red, white and blue, their national colors.

Kimberly Coleman 23:32
Audience and everybody’s wearing the same colors. Yeah, yeah.

Seeing players in minor French cities

Kimberly Coleman 23:39
Really enjoyed when we we in Reims, aside from the champagne caves, is as we were walking around, we didn’t intend to but we figured out pretty quickly where the teams were staying just walking around because we saw all the people waiting outside of what was it the Marriot or something for the US team and we saw

Kimberly Coleman 23:59
What’s your name with pink hair?

Daughter 24:00
Rapinoffino come out, wow.

Kimberly Coleman 24:03
And then we saw where the top players were, they were standing in front of their home. So we got up and we took a picture with them, and they signed autographs. And

Daughter 24:14
like, so when I was standing outside of the Marriott waiting to see some of the players, I remember I was talking to this girl from Germany. And she said that she’s more of a fan of the US team, even though Germany has a great team too. And she said that was mainly because of the fans because in the US, we have so much more support behind like, it’s more like we have more of a fan. Like we will have more of like a like a following. Yeah.

Daughter 24:49
So it was interesting to see that. Like, it can be kind of magnetic that support for the US,

Kimberly Coleman 24:58
for women. In fact, That’s so in my I do business. We’ve got programs 25 countries and whenever I’m talking about women’s sports, they say that the guys will often Express surprise that people would be willing to follow any female team to a different country to see it. Really soccer here in the US is big enough. Not a surprise.

The culture of sports in France vs the US

Annie Sargent 25:21
Yeah, it’s a top game. Yeah, yeah. And I have to say that for somebody who has family in both the US and France, when last Christmas, we went to the US for to spend Christmas with my husband’s family, and one of their kids plays basketball, but I mean, he’s like, eight. But the whole family went to, to watch the game. Now my daughter has played basketball here for a while. She doesn’t play right now, but she’s she played for a long, long time and I always attended her father. came very often friends and family sometimes came. But for the most part French families don’t go to games little kids games, they just don’t they you know, it’s not something that enters their mind that you could that your 12 year old is playing soccer and you’re going to go clap for them. They

Kimberly Coleman 26:19
were talking about this earlier this morning. And it is true it’s interesting because here in the US it is a part of the culture and and some of its which part of the US but like on a Friday night in Texas, you’re generally at a high school football game. Yeah.

Daughter 26:35
Our similar school we we often like do like things with, we often go to their Friday night football game if it’s at home, not necessarily to watch the game just to be with friends and

Kimberly Coleman 26:50
like that’s true. It becomes the venue even if they’re not watching the event like the kids will just walk around the stadium and I don’t know France has some equivalent but Fridays is high school Saturday is college and Sunday is pro so it’s just a full college and doing them family sports I’m proud that both of Haley and Maggie do sports and our families will try and go to as many of those games as possible so you’re right it is a very much a cultural thing yeah anyway to see in France how that how that’s different we enjoyable more traveling going and seeing sports so if we’re going to you know England we go to a cricket game and for a non Australia we go to you know, we just try and pick up whatever the local one so in France we have to say we failed because we were seeing a major sporting event there but we were doing it for niche US point of view but

Daughter 27:47
interesting in the watching from the TV, the French games because Yeah, that’s true. They are not bad at all. They actually I think, what is a place third?

Kimberly Coleman 27:59
Yeah, remember, they were Isn’t it? Yeah,

Kimberly Coleman 28:02
they were they had a great team.

Annie Sargent 28:04
Yeah, they were good. They they didn’t quite. It wasn’t exactly the same. It’s like, you know, you have Team A and Team B. It’s like the French team was Team B. Is this pretty close? Pretty close? Yeah. Not quite.

Kimberly Coleman 28:18
The US team is probably only A team. Oh, yeah. which happen to be in that spot.

Annie Sargent 28:24
Not only that, but everybody on the bench is just as good as well.

Kimberly Coleman 28:28
Yeah. So.

Annie Sargent 28:29
So that’s a big difference. I mean, I follow basketball a lot. And that’s always our problem is in basketball is the first five are really good. But then the rest of the people on the bench, not quite not there, you know.

Daughter 28:44
And basketball. Oftentimes the great players get tired. Just like, I don’t know, I Yeah, I agree.

Games in France felt “more civilized”

Kimberly Coleman 28:53
Yeah, I felt like less. Seeing these games in France. There was it there was a more

Kimberly Coleman 29:02
How do I put it more sober less fanatic behavior all the way around I feel like people were more civilized all the way more civilized than in the US more civilized than in Latin America. It was just more maybe that’s just slide and

Daughter 29:17

Kimberly Coleman 29:20
If it was a security I don’t know but they

Kimberly Coleman 29:23
felt you know,

Annie Sargent 29:24
yeah, well no alcohol helps.

Unknown Speaker 29:27

Kimberly Coleman 29:28
yeah. But you know, a lot of married they don’t allow alcohol there and, and it doesn’t matter. In fact, when we saw the games in Argentina, the kinds of insults that are being thrown out you’re not just insulting the players you’re hearing people insult the players, mothers and sisters and their own players, mothers and sisters and the referee. I mean, you know, it gets ugly.

Daughter 29:52
Not to say that the fans at the at the game we went to were less passionate. They just weren’t

Kimberly Coleman 29:59
as They’re very civilized.

Daughter 30:01
They weren’t just like, aggressive riding.

Kimberly Coleman 30:04
Okay? stadium Remember there weren’t people who had their chests all painted up with multicolored wigs and you know, the kind of thing that might happen here. There was very little people were definitely wearing the red, white and blue. For whatever time they did take a few flags away. Do you remember why they

Daughter 30:21
Because it blocks the view Oh, right. If you hold it flag up, it might

Kimberly Coleman 30:26
block the person behind you. Right? I seen them take that away in the US, but enough

Kimberly Coleman 30:32
separable and

Daughter 30:33
everything they do that,

What to do about obnoxious fans

Annie Sargent 30:34
huh? Yeah. Yeah, and it’s true. I mean, we’ve had a problem recently, there’s been a bunch of news articles about because the soccer, soccer is starting up again, the French National Championship, and there’s been a lot of articles about homophobic chants and the like in the stands and Everybody is saying, you know what, we have to stop this and we will stop the game and empty the game, empty the stadium and finish finish the game with nobody there an hour later obviously goes to empty the big stadium would take a long time, because they want the fans to stop.

Annie Sargent 31:22
So they’re they’re not sure what they want to do. Are they going to empty the stadium to finish the game? Or are they going to take away points in the championships to the to the teams that have, you know, awful fans so that each team needs to police their own fans and just push the push the message that this is not acceptable.

Things that have changed in France in recent years

Security and machine guns in France

Kimberly Coleman 31:44
Interesting. Yeah, it certainly wasn’t an issue what we’re where we were. Now one thing I will say for people who if they went to France their first time 20 years ago and haven’t been in a while one of the things we’ve observed in terms of behaviors, security that’s different now. Yeah. has been increased over the time to me that was visible was, you know, from the moment you arrive in airports if you’re not used to seeing security with, you know, machine guns and visible weapons, you know, that’s very much visible and apparent we felt safe and fine. If you’re not used to that, you know, in the US you don’t see people walking around games with machine gun strapped to their, their chest, right.

Annie Sargent 32:25
But there might be open carry, right. It’s a little intimidating. It’s not. I mean, you know,

Daughter 32:32
when, you know, we’re allowed to have like, concealed guns. I have to say I’d much prefer the alternative.

Kimberly Coleman 32:38
Yeah, I like I don’t mind that there was security there. And I like the audience members didn’t have guns. I think this is only a good thing, right? For people who aren’t used to seeing them, right, right, right.

Annie Sargent 32:52
It can be yes, it can be like we’re machine guns in the airport. What is this? It’s a show. It’s a show.

The French are proud of their culture

Kimberly Coleman 33:00
And again, it made me feel safe. And I just don’t remember that. My first 35 years ago when I went to France and it may just be the time has changed my perception, but Gosh, everything thought, you know, we had we were there six weeks after the fire of Notre Dame. And people were so respectful and still gathering around every which way. Speaking with love about the building as a symbol, and I don’t know, it’s just wonderful to see France retain its beautiful culture and pride and it’s still obviously just alive and well in terms of the true and deep abiding appreciation it has for its monuments.

Annie Sargent 33:47
Thank you. Yeah, I think French people most of us appreciate our monument monument. Some people of course, in any country. When you spend money on, you know, a monument they will say why don’t you spend it on stray cats and if you spend the money on stray cats they will say why don’t you spend it on something else? Yeah, no, you’re absolutely right. You know, so Haley, she’s 15 she’s been to, I don’t know, 52 countries. Oh, goodness. Ask them what they’ve seen some of the most light helpful people and they will tell you, Paris, France.

Daughter 34:25

Daughter 34:35
So, yes, we’re mature, respectful and not mean to them. 100%

Kimberly Coleman 34:40
gonna be Yeah, but we were asking for help. If we say bonjour out of

Kimberly Coleman 34:54
the amazing, polite, friendly behavior we saw just wonderful.

French people are NOT rude

Annie Sargent 35:00
Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that. You notice that because, you know, the old cliches have a hard time dying. Sure, yeah. And then there’s the old cliche that the French people are rude is just not true. I was today I was at the train station, buying tickets, and I had to go to the to talk to a person normally I do this online, but I had to talk to a person. And I was surprised how friendly the the person last time I bought tickets at at a train station was you know, 40 years ago or whatever. And they were like grouchy. But today everybody’s friendly. Smiley, like, how can I help you? Whatever. I’m like, wow, it’s this, this country is really making progress in terms of customer service, as well, you know, even at a place like SNCF, I mean, for heaven’s sakes, this is the last place you would have expected to see customer service 40 years ago, and now it’s Good.

Kimberly Coleman 36:00
Oh, I just think it’s fantastic. And I think it was actually one of your podcasts we were listening to, they’re talking about, about service and, and how, you know, if you’re a mom and pop on shop, you are, you’ve got less employees, and the focus is on getting the good food out quickly, not on sitting and chatting and telling your life history if you’re a waiter. So if you’re considering customer service to be a chatty waiter, then you’re going to have a different response. But if you’re thinking about, you know, good, quick, efficient food, where they actually allow you time to sit and dine, France is way, leagues above the United States in terms of customer services so much, it’s just, you know, setting and calibrating your expectations and knowing a bit about where you’re going. Very true.

Annie Sargent 36:46
So is there anything you did not like?

Kimberly Coleman 36:50
Gosh, what should we not like? I you know, if we had been there in the heat, without air conditioning,

Daughter 36:55
I mean, yeah, we’re with the weather. We work with some Texas. It’s

Paris has free WiFi in public parks

Kimberly Coleman 37:01
I tell you what one of the things we really loved and that a lot of people forget is that there’s free Wi Fi not like a Luxembourg and Tuileries and place des Vosges. So we find ourselves going back over and over with wine and cheese and fruit and looking and the girls could catch up with their friends and such a pretty setting but what did we not like? I just feel like we It was such a good trip. You know, we went to see Giverny and Mont Saint Michel. Versailles, Reims, Paris, we really didn’t have any negative.

Daughter 37:37
I’m trying to think,

Annie Sargent 37:39
Is there anything that you were like, Oh, I thought this would be very different.

It’s worth getting the Disneyland fastpass in Paris

Kimberly Coleman 37:44
Well, you know, we went to Disney World, and I mean, Paris, the Disneyland, right?

Kimberly Coleman 37:52
We we we had bought a pass where you get unlimited, no waiting. And I and when you do that In other places you end up still in a line in a lot of other people that have paid for that, and in Paris there was nobody in those lines so you could just keep redoing the rides expecting that I was thinking that it would be like it was in other parts other parks

Annie Sargent 38:21
people are too cheap to pay extra for the

The food at Disneyland Paris and at sports venues in France in no good

Kimberly Coleman 38:25
The other thing I was thinking that the food would be better in Disneyland Paris, Paris but it was it was US style food. Yes.

Annie Sargent 38:35
No, no, no. Yeah. No, don’t go to sports venues for the food or Disneyland or places like that or Mont Saint Michel for that matter. It’s actually pretty awful. in those places.

Daughter 38:48
Yeah, we found like,

The best food is in France is in places you’ve never heard of!

Daughter 38:51
just shops that were like smaller and seemed more like locally owned almost had the best best food. Yeah, not necessarily like the most Famous places yeah not even the most popular just like if you were walking down a street which we found amazing because there’s not a lot of like in areas in in the US if you could you could just like walk into a lady’s yeah

Kimberly Coleman 39:15
like ruf Cler how much we enjoy just buying cheese on rue Cler even just you know like

Daughter 39:22
yeah get what is so lovely is just amazing and the foodThe food is just great

Annie Sargent 39:31
yes we do enjoy good cheese in France that’s for sure I certainly over indulge in good cheese

Eating vegetarian in France

Kimberly Coleman 39:39
and we actually found like if you were vegetarian because Haley’s vegetarian and we did not find it overly difficult for her to find options there and and my my memory of Paris eating was that it wasn’t overly easy to eat in but I think that’s changing and yeah, if you’re fine, good options.

Annie Sargent 39:58
Yeah, Paris. Paris is pretty Even if you’re vegan, other, you know rural places in France, you know, not not as good, but you’d have to go very rural. Like, if you’re going around looking at all the, you know, the most beautiful villages of France? Well, most of the most of those places will have one restaurant. Because there’s, I mean, there’s not that many visitors, you get maybe 50 visitors a day, and that doesn’t warrant having three or four restaurants. And usually they don’t have anything. You know, I mean, you could ask them to, you know, leave the meat on, you know, don’t give you the meat or whatever. But they wouldn’t have that many options.

Annie Sargent 40:40
But in Paris, vegetarian, even vegan, gluten free, all of that is fairly straightforward by now. Being in Paris. Yeah, yeah. All right, ladies, it has been a delight talking to you. Thank you so much. I really enjoyed hearing about this because I didn’t get to go To The World Cup I for some reason there were no games in Toulouse. This was the organization was a little strange. They put all these games in minor towns, minor cities, so still cities but you know, not the big big ones. The nearest stadium to me was Montpellier which is three hours away. And I just didn’t didn’t plan it right. But I next time yes next time I go to plenty of basketball games that’s that’s what I hardly ever miss

Daughter 41:33
Is basketball big in France?

Annie Sargent 41:35
It’s not it’s just me. It’s not it’s not very big. Women’s Basketball is, you know, just something that I like to watch, but and I like to photograph as well. So

Daughter 41:49
it’s a challenge.

Unknown Speaker 41:53

Daughter 41:54
court is smaller and yeah,

Annie Sargent 41:57
yeah. Well, I would have no idea how to how to photograph a soccer game too big. I don’t have the equipment. You know, it’s a different ballgame.

Daughter 42:07
Yes, players in the ball just so much

Kimberly Coleman 42:09

Annie Sargent 42:11
All right, thank you so much. And hopefully you’ll keep listening to the to the podcast for your next trip to France, and thank you for sharing all this good stuff with us.

Kimberly Coleman 42:24
Any Thank you so much, we really do appreciate it.

Thank you for supporting Join Us in France

Annie Sargent 42:29
Thank you, Allison Hudson and Leslie for them for pledging to support the show on Patreon this week. patrons enjoy several rewards including membership into a secret Facebook group where I answer questions every day. And any of you can also hire me to be your trip consultant. for a fee of $50. I will review your trip outline, talk to you on the phone and send you and send you a report on some of the things you might want to look at. Visit forward slash join us to see the different reward tiers. And thank you so much for giving back.

Annie Sargent 43:08
My thanks also to Steven Fernandez and Amy Roberts for sending in a one time donation by using the green button on any page on Join Us in That says tip your guide.

Annie Sargent 43:22
And if you’d like to support the show without spending a penny you wouldn’t have otherwise, before you go shopping on Amazon, go to the bottom of any page on Join Us in France. com and click on the Amazon ad. Because you came to Amazon through my site, I get a small commission, and it does not cost you a penny more. And it’s the same thing with the ad. And thank you so much.

Check out my self-guided walking tours on the VoiceMap app

Annie Sargent 43:46
And if you’re going to Paris, you need to check out my self guided audio tours on the VoiceMap app. It’s the cost effective way to go on a guided tour. See all the best of Paris and do it on your own schedule today. Go to Join Us in forward slash audio tours to see the details.

How to pronounce La Croix in French

Annie Sargent 44:06
So there was something funny that happened on the Facebook group this week, somebody posted a meme. And memes are a little difficult for me because even though I speak decent English, I don’t have all the cultural references that you have, especially for anything pretty recent. So this meme shows two women, one of them is upset and pointing a finger. And on the other side, you have a white cat with ears pulled back, and there’s a soda bottle on the table. And that reads like La Croix, I didn’t know what this was. And normally when I don’t know what something is on the group I delet it from the group but this time I decided I wanted to know.

Annie Sargent 44:45
So I figured it was supposed to be funny, but you know, French humor and American humor are not the same at all. And I’m often baffled by things that my husband roar with laughter

Annie Sargent 44:57
So the cat and the So can the writing on the woman side said it’s Lacroy and on the cat, it says, Lakwaaaa. Folks, I can settle this one. They are both wrong. It’s La Croix. La Croix, La Croix, what can you do that French R. La Croix. Anyway very few Americans can do this, but it’s definitely not Lacroy. And it’s not La Kwa. It’s La Croix.

About strikes in France

Annie Sargent 45:31
Now that’s going to do it for me. I have just posted a short episode about the strikes in France. Yeah. Well, the people who get the newsletter will read more about that for me. I think it’s hugely overblown, but that’s just my opinion. You can all relax, its

Annie Sargent 45:56
Strikes in France are really common and it It will cause some disagreeable moments for travelers, but nothing too major.

Thank you for spreading the word about Join Us in France!

Annie Sargent 46:06
If you want to recommend the podcast to someone who already listens to podcasts, tell them that they will find Join Us in France anywhere they get their podcasts, including Spotify, Pandora, the Amazon Alexa thingy. Anyway, anywhere they get their podcast.

Annie Sargent 46:22
If they normally don’t listen to anything on their phones, you can send them to Join Us in There’s a play button there as well. And I’m trying to make the show notes better all the time, so it’s easier to find the stuff.

Annie Sargent 46:37
Thank you so much for listening and spreading the word. Send questions or feedback to Annie at Join Us in Have a great week of trip planning and I’ll talk to you next week, au revoir!

Annie Sargent 46:49
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 Creative Commons attribution non commercial no derivatives license

Kimberly and one of her daughters in front of the Mont Saint Michel: Women World Cup Trip Report episode

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Categories: Active Vacations in France, Family Travel