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Discussed in this Episode
- 3 days in Paris [06:21]
- Why did you decide to take your preschool children? [07:21]
- Preparing preschool children for a trip to Paris [08:12]
- Language Apps for children [08:39]
- Most French people react positively to young children [10:25]
- Learning about the Thinking Man before the trip [[10:44]
- Paris Hide and Seek book [11:18]
- Mission Paris book [11:50]
- Bringing Up Bébé book [12:47]
- Annie's Spotify French music playlist [[14:41]
- Teaching the kids about pickpockets [15:53]
- Getting cameras for the children [16:50]
- Debating about taking a stroller or not [18:01]
- Company in Paris that will rent you a stroller if you need one [18:37]
- Strollers are not cheap in France [18:53]
- Dropping off bags at Nanny Bag [20:04]
- Check opening and closing hours! [20:50]
- Kids loved Notre Dame because they had seen the Disney movie [21:10]
- Quick visit to the Sainte Chapelle [22:02]
- River cruise with Vedettes du Pont Neuf [22:03]
- Don't schedule anything on your first day in Paris! [23:38]
- Enjoying the Place des Vosges [24:58]
- Listening to Annie's VoiceMap Tour in advance [26:08]
- Getting food at Maison Plisson [27:07]
- Plan on dinners at the airbnb [27:41]
- The Louvre isn't good for preschool children [28:09]
- Great visit to the Luxembourg Gardens [30:03]
- Save your legs for the venues by using Citymapper [30:20]
- No walking on the grass at the Luxembourg Gardens [32:16]
- French people don't understand Mexican food at all [33:23]
- Do a photoshoot! [33:55]
- Pickpockets at the Eiffel Tower [34:54]
- Preschoolers love the Eiffel Tower [35:21]
- A lovely dinner at Qui Plume la Lune [36:18]
- The Rodin Museum is great with preschool children [38:04]
- Dinner at L'Entrecôte [38:16]
- Going to Bordeaux and the Gers [39:38]
- When traveling with kids it's good to get out of big cities [40:10]
- The price of Uber rides in Paris [40:35]
- L'Atelier des Lumières is great with kids [42:40]
- Potty training in France [43:06]
- Have a separate room for the kids [43:48]
- It was all worth it! [45:20]
- Thank you Patrons and Donors! [46:56]
- Annie's Itinerary Review service [49:06]
- Support the show without spending a penny more [49:56]
- Top 10 Join Us in France episode of 2019 [50:34]
- 2020 plans for the Join Us in France Travel Podcast [55:35]
- Share the word about the podcast! [58:39]
paris, france, kids, people, french, trip, podcast, louvre, episode, thought, children, eiffel tower, wonderful, walked, elyse, tours, number, husband, join us, daughter
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan, Annie Sargent
Annie Sargent 00:00
This is Join Us in France Episode 265. Bonjour and Happy New Year everyone. I’m Annie Sargent and Join Us in France comes to you with the support of wonderful patrons. If this is your first time joining us, welcome to you!
Annie Sargent 00:17
And let me explain that on Join Us in France you’ll hear four types of episodes: Number one trip reports where I chat with somebody about how their trip went. Number two episodes with Elyse, who is a great friend and a licensed tour guide in France. Number three solo shows with me where I answer your questions that come up a lot about visiting France in general and where I bring in my French native perspective. Number four short episodes where I answer something that keeps coming up on the show’s Facebook group, and I try to do it under five minutes.
Annie Sargent 00:56
Oh, and I normally don’t sound like that, but I can explain: I was savagely attacked by a cold virus that my own brother brought into his country home on Christmas Day. You can’t even trust family any more. Believe it or not, I sounded worse yesterday.
Annie Sargent 01:16
So today’s episode is a trip report with Michelle Donell Adzhemyan. And you have a second last name Michelle, but I’m not even going to try to say it. But I’ll write it on the show notes.
Annie Sargent 01:28
She took a trip to Paris in late August 2019 with her husband and two preschool children. You may have wondered if taking your four and a half year old and your two and a half year old to Paris is a good idea. Because you know, we’re all a bit judgey but before you jump to conclusions, let’s hear how it went for Michelle and her family.
Annie Sargent 01:50
And since I lived in the US, when my only daughter was born, I made the long trip home to France to visit my family on many occasions. Traveling with young kids is not something most people look forward to. But it can be done with class and panache as you will hear from Michelle.
Annie Sargent 02:09
In this episode, she talks about why they decided to take their two children how they prepared them for the trip, she brings up the ever lasting stroller dilemma. She warns about some mistakes they made and not something I had to deal with the very real challenges of traveling while your child is going through potty training. And she lived to tell the tale.
Annie Sargent 02:33
And because they love food almost as much as I do, but not quite. Michelle gives us some great restaurant recommendations, and list their favorite activities in Paris. You’ll see it’s a great trip report.
Annie Sargent 02:47
Show Notes for this episode are on Join Us in france.com forward slash 265 the number 265 and if you’re planning a trip to France, this site is chock full of great resources huge Check it out.
Annie Sargent 03:34
Bonjour Michelle and welcome to Join Us in France!
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 03:39
Bonjour, Annie. Hello.
Annie Sargent 03:41
Nice to talk to you, bienvenue to you! Today we are going to talk about having a trip to France. Mostly we’ll talk about Paris but other places as well with your preschool children. So that’s that’s something that would intimidate many of us!
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 04:03
trust me it intimidated us too!
Annie Sargent 04:05
Yes, yes. So let’s see how you pulled it off and what recommendations you have for other people who are considering doing something like this. First of all, please introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about your family.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 04:18
My name is Michelle Adzhemyan, we live in Atlanta, and we traveled to France in late August and early September with my husband and then our two children who were four and a half and two and a half at that time,
Annie Sargent 04:32
Right. And that’s 2019.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 04:33
Annie Sargent 04:34
Right? Because people might listen to this in five years. I’m gonna make sure it’s clear. Okay, and and and why did you I mean, how did you plan your trip and why did you decide on France
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 04:47
we decided that France, interestingly enough, because last year around Christmas time, my daughter at her preschool had a secret santa exchange. Do you have those in France?
Annie Sargent 04:59
Not really. But I’ve had them in the US, so I know what you mean
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 05:02
Okay, great. So what it is, is when you choose a name out of a hat, and then you give that person a gift, and they have to guess who gave it to them. And what my daughter got was a snow globe of Paris and the Eiffel Tower.
Annie Sargent 05:15
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 05:16
Yeah. And so she started asking a lot about what’s this building? Where is this location? And so she wanted to learn about France. And so we had an atlas at home, read to her about France, and thought, well, maybe we should go to Paris sometime soon, maybe in a few years. And we’re very fortunate that there are a lot of great deals out of Atlanta to Paris to Charles de Gaulle. So we cashed in some Delta miles and flew to Paris and got a really great redemption.
Annie Sargent 05:46
Yeah, that makes it easier, doesn’t it when you live in a hub?
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 05:50
Annie Sargent 05:51
It’s good. All right. And I hear you, you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 05:58
Yeah. Right after we booked our tickets in March of 2019. I started doing some research online. I looked through Apple podcasts. And of course, Rick Steves was the first one that came up.
Annie Sargent 06:10
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 06:10
If you keep scrolling down a little bit, I saw Join Us in France and I listened to an episode with you and Elyse, and we were hooked after that. podcast has been really helpful in planning our trip.
3 Days in Paris with Preschool Children
Annie Sargent 06:21
Oh, thank you. That’s great. Okay, so what did you go?
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 06:25
We started out in Paris. We spent about three days there. And then we went down to Bordeaux for three days. And we actually chose Bordeaux because of advice from your Facebook group. We were debating between Bordeaux and Burgundy and Bordeaux won out. And then we went to the Gers for four days. We wanted to have kind of a French countryside experience.
Annie Sargent 06:47
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 06:48
Yeah. And it was it was very rural and rustic and wonderful. So then we went back to Paris for a day and then flew back.
Annie Sargent 06:55
I think with kids, it’s a good idea to have some time in the countryside. So I would second recommendation.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 07:01
I’m still there. I just don’t i don’t want to interrupt here.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 07:06
I agree. It was great. And we really wanted to make sure having small kids on the trip that we gave them a lot of time to run outside and to explore. And that really went into the planning of the trip. And we got that everywhere, which was wonderful.
Why did you decide to take your preschool children?
Annie Sargent 07:21
That’s cool. Okay, so why you said you hesitated taking the kids, why did you decide decide to take them in the end?
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 07:30
There were a couple of reasons. I think first and foremost, we wanted them to get some wonderful travel experiences as children. My husband and I didn’t really get to travel much as kids and so we wanted something different for our kids. Also, and we live far away from family. We just moved to Atlanta A few years ago, and it would have been hard for either set of grandparents to come to Atlanta and care for the kids. And if we if we wanted to fly them to California or Minnesota, where the ground Parents are, it would have been too much hassle, we probably would have been spending more money and more time doing that. So we just decided, you know what, let’s take them and see what happens.
Annie Sargent 08:09
Oh, cool. Yes, that’s very good.
Preparing preschool children for a trip to Paris
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 08:12
We also spent a lot of time preparing our kids for the trip, we knew that in order for them to get a lot out of it, that would be important. And so we did a lot of research on language apps. We prepared them with art and music and told them a few different things about that. Do you want me to go into that?
Annie Sargent 08:30
Yes, yes. No, I was surprised how much you did with a language actually, because most people don’t do that much. But yeah, I want to hear about that.
Language Apps for children
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 08:39
First of all, we looked at a few different language apps, we looked at Dino or Dino Lingo. And we looked at Muzzy BBC. And with Dino Lingo, it was a little expensive, about $17 a month, but that one I thought was geared the most towards kids my children’s age because I had a lot of random cartoons and animations. And then it had these really great games that the kids could play and the kids really love that and that solidified their learning of for example, colors.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 09:11
So I would recommend Dino Lingo for kids that are my children’s age, right?
Annie Sargent 09:16
So under five
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 09:17
Under five, yes, I would say for kids over five Muzzy BBC would be a good one. That one is $29 for three months. It has a very consistent storyline of a king and a queen and a princess who falls in love with her Gardner. And then there’s the evil wizard who loves the princess. And so it was really cute and it was very seamless, but I would say that the games in that one we’re geared more towards older children, so my children didn’t really like that. I see. Okay,
Annie Sargent 09:47
I see. Okay, interesting. And I mean, how much French Did you kids actually use in France?
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 09:54
Some we really made a point of learning a few key phrases. My daughter learned to say “je m’appelle Ashley”.
Annie Sargent 10:03
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 10:03
“Je suis 4 ans”. Hope. Hopefully that’s all making sense. And
Annie Sargent 10:10
Well, “J’ai 4 ans” actually, but
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 10:13
Oh, sorry. Yes, that’s what she said “J’ai 4 ans”. And “Je suis une fille”
Annie Sargent 10:19
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 10:20
So she said that my son could say “Bonjour” and I was about it.
Annie Sargent 10:24
Most French people react positively to young children
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 10:25
It worked out and people understood them and seemed very charmed by that.
Annie Sargent 10:29
Yeah, I think as long as they know how to say bonjour and understand when people are asking for their names, French people love kids usually. I mean, I don’t you’ll tell me if that’s what you experienced. But in generally speaking French people love to see little kids.
Learning about the Thinking Man before the trip
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 10:44
Yeah. And people were incredibly friendly to us and to our children. We didn’t have any problems with that. I think to it helped that we prepared the kids for French culture. My husband taught them a lot about Rodin and thinking man and so before the trip. They would make the pose and trying to guess what the thinking man was thinking. For instance, my daughter would say, What’s that smell? Or I think I’m going to have ice cream for dessert. So she was trying to guess what the thinking man was thinking.
Annie Sargent 11:13
That’s adorable. I love that.
Paris Hide and Seek book
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 11:18
Another great book was Paris Hide and Seek. That was recommended to us through the Facebook page, and it says 24 different pages. And you have to find this little boy and this dog and his balloon all throughout the different Paris landscapes. And so, every night before we went to bed, the kids got to do a few pages. And they remember seeing those things when we were in Paris. Oh, we remember seeing that in our book. So that worked out really just putting the prep in in advance I think made the trip more meaningful for them.
Mission Paris book
Annie Sargent 11:50
Hmm, yeah, I’ll put the links to the books. There’s another one that you talked about Mission Paris.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 11:57
Yes. So that one, depending on your Amazon membership if you have one can be free. And that taught us for instance, when we were driving to the Louvre, we read about the Mona Lisa and it talked all about the theft of the Mona Lisa. And so my daughter was really curious about that. And it taught us to look for the Fleur de Lys and the castle prints at the Sainte Chappelle because those are the family symbols of the family that built that I think, right?
Annie Sargent 12:27
Yes. So yes, yeah. So the fleur de lys is the it’s the symbol of French royalty.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 12:35
And so they saw that and that was very cool for them. So I would definitely recommend those books.
Annie Sargent 12:40
Excellent. And then one that you liked is Bringing Up Bébé which I’ve heard of it, I haven’t read it.
Bringing Up Bébé book
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 12:47
Yeah. And I didn’t get to read it all before the trip, but I’ve finished it since I got home and it’s written by an American mother who’s raising kids in Paris with her British husband. And what she does is she researches how French parenting differs from American parenting. And she noticed that French children were much more well behaved and then her own child and so she wanted to know why. And I think some of the key takeaways were that French parents are much more reserved before giving into their children. So they don’t just give in immediately, like most American parents do.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 13:23
And she said that French children aren’t praised for every single little thing that they do like American children, so I thought it was a great book. I wished I’d read it before my own kids were born. But it is what it is. So I’m recommending it to all my friends who are new mom.
Annie Sargent 13:39
Yeah, this is funny because I had this conversation with my friend Patricia. I stay with her when I go to Paris. And, and I said, Oh, yeah, French kids, you know, we’re lucky they are usually well behaved and then the next day I took the train, and it was a mom with three children and one of them was Demon from no one.
Annie Sargent 14:03
And they were it was definitely a French family. And I thought, Oh, this is what I get for saying that French kids are well behaved I get stuck on a train for four and a half hours with this child. So it can I mean, you can have difficult children in any country, you know, be assured. But but yeah, generally speaking French people it’s it’s like if they tell their kids, you know, you have to talk to me in a civilized manner before I give you what you want, they’re going to stick to it. Like, you know, they’re not going to put up with whining and screaming and stuff like that, typically.
Annie’s Spotify French music playlist
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 14:41
Yeah, it said that, you know, Americans tend to let their lives revolve around their children and that’s not necessarily the case in in France, so I thought it was a lot of really good tips. Interesting. We also prepared the kids with music so my husband downloaded a lot of French music. I think he referenced your Spotify list. that you had created. Yeah. So that was really good. And I think the kids in particular liked Mika and Bénabar. Yes. Those names ring a bell.
Annie Sargent 15:09
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yeah. And it’s funny becauseone of the songs that you say they liked by Mika is kind of a, it talks about sex. And they wouldn’t have known that so it’s okay, but okay.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 15:28
All right. There none the wiser. So
Annie Sargent 15:30
That’s right. It doesn’t really matter. They don’t know. That’s right. They don’t.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 15:34
Yeah, for the adults. My husband and I really liked Zaz and Stromae a lot.
Annie Sargent 15:38
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 15:39
Yeah. Great music. Great French music.
Annie Sargent 15:41
Cool. Yeah, I don’t remember the name of the of the playlist I made public on Spotify. I know there’s one but I can’t I can’t remember. Anyway, doesn’t matter.
Teaching the kids about pickpockets
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 15:53
The other thing that we really wanted to talk to the kids about was pickpockets just because we knew that. If we had encountered people who we suspected were pickpockets, we were probably going to be pretty rude and gruff with them.
Annie Sargent 16:06
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 16:06
And that’s not normally how we are around normal people. And so we, we told the kids, you know, there might be some strangers that come up to us and try to start talking to us. And if we say no, and we run away from them or walk away from them, you have to follow us. And that actually did come in handy because we did encounter a few pickpockets when we were by the Eiffel Tower, but thanks to your podcast, and to your Facebook group, we knew exactly how to respond.
Annie Sargent 16:32
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 16:33
We just said no, and made sure they walked away or we walked away from them. And so the kids understood what was going on. And that went really well.
Annie Sargent 16:41
That’s good. Yeah, saves a lot of hassle. If you don’t engage with these people who can recognize what’s happening and you don’t engage. It’s much, much better.
Getting cameras for the children
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 16:50
Yeah. The other thing we did too, was, there was one of your podcasts where you interviewed a mom who was a photographer.
Annie Sargent 16:57
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 16:57
And she and she talked about getting a camera for her kids. And I believe that her kids were much older than my kids were but I thought that there was a lot of value in that. And so we researched cameras, and I know you’re a photographer too.
Annie Sargent 17:12
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 17:13
And we picked so you tell me if this was a good pic or not, we picked the Fujifilm Instax 90.
Annie Sargent 17:19
You know, I have never used that camera. But usually Fuji film is a good camera. So I would my guess would be probably very good, but I’ve never used it.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 17:28
But we liked it. It was cheap. It was only $50 and it was an instant camera. So that was more satisfying for the kids.
Annie Sargent 17:37
So I put it puts out a photo printed photo right away.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 17:40
Annie Sargent 17:41
Yeah. Okay. Okay. Nice!
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 17:43
And, yeah, it was really cool. And my daughter definitely took pictures of things. Whereas my son just took random pictures, but they ended up being very artsy. So in the end, it was pretty cool.
Annie Sargent 17:54
Well, he’s little he was two and a half.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 17:58
He did well, we’re proud.
Annie Sargent 18:00
Debating about taking a stroller or not
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 18:01
The other big question that we really spent a lot of time considering, and I’m sure others who travel with kids this age due too is whether or not we should bring a stroller. And yeah, so that was a big one. And our daughter hadn’t been using a stroller for a while. With our son. We’ve been using a stroller somewhat though he’d mostly outgrown it. So what we decided in the end was not to bring a stroller because we thought if we brought one it was just one extra thing to carry and the kids might fight over it.
Annie Sargent 18:35
Company in Paris that will rent you a stroller if you need one
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 18:37
So we didn’t bring it but we did identify a company that we could call in Paris if we wanted to rent a stroller.
Annie Sargent 18:43
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 18:45
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 18:45
Annie Sargent 18:45
Yeah, you put the link in there. You put the link in there. It’s called the babytems.com.
Strollers are not cheap in France
Annie Sargent 18:53
I’ll put I’ll put it in the show notes so people can find it. But yeah, that’s that’s good that you can rent a stroller because strollers are not cheap in France.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 19:01
Annie Sargent 19:01
Yeah. Well, some people say, you know, I want to buy a cheapo umbrella stroller like a get at Walmart for 30 bucks or whatever. Not going to find that. I’ve never seen one, you know, so. So it’d be a couple hundred is what you’d find.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 19:19
Wow. Well, we’re glad that we didn’t need one because we could have either bought the company or we were thinking we could just go to Monoprix and get one but it sounds like that’s not the case.
Annie Sargent 19:26
You can but it’s not cheap. They do sell them at Monoprix. I mean, mind you, I haven’t been shopping for strollers in a very long time. But, I doubt you’d find it that cheap.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 19:39
Okay. Well, we didn’t need one. We’re very happy that we didn’t bring one others might want to bring them but for us not having a stroller was the best decision.
Annie Sargent 19:47
So are you kids good walkers, or did you carry them a lot?
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 19:51
A little of both. Okay, especially with my son. But yeah, they were pretty good walkers. They really amazed us.
Annie Sargent 19:57
Yeah. So let’s talk about your actual trip to Paris and what you did day to day a little bit.
Dropping off bags at Nanny Bag
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 20:04
Okay, we got in on a Tuesday morning and we arrived really early. And so our air b&b that we had got in Le Marais wasn’t ready yet. So what we did was we used a company called nanny bag and basically dropped off our bags at a souvenir shop until the early afternoon.
Annie Sargent 20:24
Oh, that’s Nanny Bag, hum?
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 20:27
Nanny Bag, and it had really good reviews and we had a really good experience with them. So if you’re in a typical American situation where you’re flying in and getting in really early in the morning, but you can’t check in yet, I would recommend Nanny Bag
Annie Sargent 20:39
Right, and they probably have contacts in a lot of places all around Paris,
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 20:45
All around Paris and all around the world actually
Annie Sargent 20:47
Really? Cool. Very good to know.
Check opening and closing hours!
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 20:50
Yeah, we liked them. And we thought we were really smart because we picked a location that was right across the street from the Pompidou Center. And we thought we’d take the kids there for the morning. But we learned that it’s closed on Tuesday mornings. So that didn’t happen.
Annie Sargent 21:06
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 21:08
You live and you learn.
Annie Sargent 21:09
Kids loved Notre Dame because they had seen the Disney movie
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 21:10
what we ended up doing that first day, we went to Île de la Cité. And we walked across the street from Notre Dame. And even though you can’t get very close, the kids loved it. And they were so excited because as I mentioned earlier, they they recognize it from their book, and they had heard all about it. they’d seen the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and so we didn’t feel like we were missing out on anything, even though we couldn’t get near it.
Annie Sargent 21:38
Yeah, you can’t. I mean, it’s getting better. You can get a little closer now. But yeah, yeah, there’s construction going on. So that limits your movements around the cathedral.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 21:48
Yeah, it definitely did. So after that, we went to Sainte Chapelle, and we were really lucky on our trip. I would recommend going at the time of year that we went because we hardly encountered any lines anywhere.
Annie Sargent 22:01
Quick visit to the Sainte Chapelle
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 22:02
Um, yeah, we were able to walk right into Sainte Chapelle. And just spent a few minutes there. And after that, we decided to take a boat trip. So we did it with Vedettes du Pont Neuf.
River cruise with Vedettes du Pont Neuf
Annie Sargent 22:14
Right. Just close to where you were.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 22:16
Yeah. So it was just walking down some stairs, basically. And the kids loves the boat ride. I mean, I think that’s a must do for kids that age.
Annie Sargent 22:25
Yeah. Yeah. It’s fun for anybody. But for the kids. It’s perfect.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 22:32
Oh, it was perfect. And we couldn’t hear anything that the narrator was saying, but we didn’t care.
Annie Sargent 22:37
No, you didn’t miss much. I heard I’ve heard the Vedettes du Pont Neuf schpeel a few times. And yeah, no, no, not fascinating. I mean, pretty much the list the names of the… Because in Paris, unlike many other cities, a lot of the very famous monuments are right along the River. And so as you as you float along the river you they named the buildings and usually they tell you some little silly story and that’s it, you know? Cool.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 23:11
So we didn’t miss anything and we had a great time.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 23:15
After that, we went to our Airbnb which was in Le Marais. It was kind of right on the border of where the third fourth and 11th arrondissements come together,
Annie Sargent 23:24
Right, so near the Pompidou Center?
Don’t schedule anything on your first day in Paris!
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 23:28
Okay, then maybe I’m wrong. It was actually really close to we were about two blocks north of Place des Vosges.
Annie Sargent 23:37
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 23:38
And I think it was technically the third But anyway, we went back there and we knew that we shouldn’t fall asleep but of course, we fell asleep. And, and that’s normally the kids nap time anyway, so we figured it hurt and I thought I was so smart because I had planned a late afternoon activity. We were going to go to the Ateliers de Lumiere. Did I say that right?
Annie Sargent 24:01
Yeah. L’Atelier des Lumières. Yeah, yes, yes. Which is very popular. I haven’t seen it in Paris, but I’ve seen it in Les Baux de Provence, and it’s fabulous.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 24:12
Well, I heard wonderful things, and we really wanted to go, but I booked our tickets for 4pm. And we had the kids nap until about 3:30. And my daughter who is normally the even keeled child just threw a hissy fit, and she refused to go anywhere. And eventually, my husband said, Why don’t you take our son and the two of you can go and so we tried that, but then our Uber canceled on us and we just thought, you know what, it’s not worth it. Now we’re late because we’ve passed the time of our tickets. Oh, we still could have gone?
Annie Sargent 24:46
Probably probably I doubt they, they would have refused you. Even if you’re too late. Like if you I mean, if not two days too late, you know? If you just an hour later, whatever. I’m sure they would have let you in.
Enjoying the Place des Vosges
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 24:58
Okay, well, anyway, we didn’t go And you ended up walking around the Place des Vosges, which was great. There
Annie Sargent 25:05
There’s a playground.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 25:08
Yes, you talked about the playground, but we didn’t find that right away. I think that might be more on the southern end of the playground or at southern end of the park. And we came in from the northern side. So kind of on the, on the northwestern side, there were some sandboxes. And so the kids were playing in those and they just had a blast. And so we did that for about an hour.
Annie Sargent 25:29
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 25:30
And that was basically our night we grabbed some food and went back to the apartment. And again, I would what I would recommend is not planning out your first day at all because I thought I was so smart to get the tickets and we didn’t end up going and it was a waste of money. So when small kids just play it by ear that first day.
Annie Sargent 25:49
Yes. I think it’s the small kids. That’s the that’s the difference here. I think grown ups can, you know, tough it out. I could do something if they really want to go. But with little kids, it’s hard.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 26:01
Yeah, it was hard. And we learned our lesson. And on the trip, and we planned it accordingly based on that first day,
Listening to Annie’s VoiceMap Tour in advance
Annie Sargent 26:08
Oh, this is interesting. I’m just reading that too. So you got my you got my audio guide. But you listened to it in advance. Tell us how that worked out.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 26:17
You know, listening to it in advance was a little tricky, because it didn’t automatically trigger.
Annie Sargent 26:23
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 26:24
The location, so you had to kind of keep clicking through it, but it was really good. And it gave us an excellent history of the area. And we fully intended to listen to it while we were in Place des Vosges but because of the kids, it just didn’t work. Yeah, it was a great resource.
Annie Sargent 26:39
Right, right. I think it’s ideal for people who are traveling, especially for solo people. It’s perfect. If there’s two people is very good. The bigger the crowd, the more hectic it might get. But yeah, you could listen to it before and if you have a good memory, you’ll you’ll go I think I heard about this on the on the audio tour.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 26:58
Yeah, like I think we were able to Pick out Victor Hugo’s house based on the tour but but we could have been wrong for where it was
Getting food at Maison Plisson
Annie Sargent 27:07
All right. So then oh, then you went to Maison Plisson.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 27:12
That’s Yeah, that is a grocery store. I don’t know food purveyor that we found on Google, it was two blocks from where we stayed. And we ended up getting our dinners from that place most nights just because it had salami, cheese, wine fruit. And we learned pretty early on on the trip that with small children, you definitely should do your dinners back at the apartment as much as possible. So right definitely recommend them.
Plan on dinners at the airbnb
Annie Sargent 27:41
Right. So so what what you do is you leave in the morning, you stay out as long as you can. And then by the time the kids are really tired, you know? 5pm 6pm 7pm whatever the case might be. You just go home and be inside for the rest of the night, right?
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 27:58
Yeah, and it was more like three 4pm before they got tired, but yeah, that’s exactly what we did.
Annie Sargent 28:04
They’re very young. I mean, you know? Yeah. So don’t don’t plan too much.
The Louvre isn’t good for preschool children
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 28:09
Exactly. Don’t plan too much. Some other things that we did on their next day we went to the Louvre and we saw the Mona Lisa, we waited in line for about 25 minutes. And I definitely agree with everybody who says it’s not worth it. You kind of have to do it just to say you’ve done it. But otherwise, yeah, yeah. I don’t ever need to see it again.
Annie Sargent 28:29
I read today that 33,000 people go see the Mona Lisa every day.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 28:35
Annie Sargent 28:36
So I didn’t do the math, but 33,000 people, the Louvre is open for how many hours in the day? I’d have to do the math, but you have to go quick. And it’s just a madhouse, and that’s just average. So that means that in the dead of the winter, maybe there’s only 10,000 people that go see Mona Lisa and in the height of the summer it’s more like 100,000 this crazy.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 28:58
Yeah, well wait. We felt lucky that the line was only 25 minutes. But you know, the Louvre and this is probably our fault. We probably didn’t spend enough time researching it. But it just did not seem child friendly at all.
Annie Sargent 29:12
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 29:13
We got lost a lot. And a lot of the things that we had wanted to see were closed that day. And I would actually not recommend it for people with small children. Yeah.
Annie Sargent 29:25
Yeah, well, preschool children is isn’t probably not ideal. Now, if you have a little bit older children, there’s the scavenger hunt that we’ve talked about. That’s very good. True. Come on what’s called it’s by Daisy de Plume. She’s been on the podcast, I’ll put a link in the show notes. But if if also for French speaking kids, they have fabulous workshops for kids in the Louvre, but you have to speak French, you know, so
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 29:57
If you’re an American kid under the age of five, I would say probably not worth it.
Annie Sargent 30:01
Great visit to the Luxembourg Gardens
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 30:03
What was worth it that we did later that day? We went to Luxembourg Gardens. And I know you have said before, you can’t take a trip to Paris without going to Luxembourg Gardens. And I agree. 100% It was fantastic. We really enjoyed Luxembourg Gardens.
Annie Sargent 30:18
And within the kids is great.
Save your legs for the venues by using Citymapper
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 30:20
Oh, it’s great. Now, one thing we didn’t know, is parts of the park are off limits. And what I mean by that is we actually walked from the Louvre with the kids to Luxembourg Gardens, and that’s a bit of a hike.
Annie Sargent 30:34
Yes, there are buses darlin.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 30:39
We couldn’t figure out the bus system.
Annie Sargent 30:41
Well, Citymapper! You install Citymapper and from wherever you are, you go to a bus stop and you say, Take me to this one. I can’t remember the number of the bus but there is a bus between the Louvre and the Luxembourg Garden. I’ve taken it.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 30:57
We saw that we couldn’t figure out. And Again, we just forgot because you’ve mentioned it many times on your podcast was how to pay if you don’t have change and so that’s what we were worried about. Yeah. So anyway,
Annie Sargent 31:11
It’s always worth if you if you’re going to Paris, it’s always worth buying some Metro tickets now. Oh, now they’re going to change it all. So it’s not going to be Metro tickets anymore. It’s going to be something called Navigo Easy. And I think the card itself is like a euro or two per person. And then I I’m not sure if you can use the same card for several people. In Toulouse, you can and Toulouse you can get one of these cards, and you get like 15 credits. And you can do first person, second person, third person, fourth person, you know, I’m not sure where this one so I have to research it and talk about it in another episode.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 31:56
Well, next time we go will be better about preparing for public Transportation. We walked in, and it was great. And so when we got into the park, we there was this nice grassy area with all those beautiful green chairs around them that you’ve mentioned on previous episodes. And yes, they are as relaxing and amazing as you say they are.
Annie Sargent 32:14
Yes, they are good.
No walking on the grass at the Luxembourg Gardens
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 32:16
Oh, they’re great. And so anyway, the kids were playing on the grass for about 20 minutes. And then eventually, a man who appeared to be a guard came up and said something to us and French and we didn’t understand what he said. But we basically understood that the kids weren’t supposed to be on the grass.
Annie Sargent 32:31
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 32:32
And so we got them up. So lesson learned, they can’t just play anywhere they want you in the park. There are certain designated areas.
Annie Sargent 32:39
Yeah, yeah, but there is a nice playground for kids in the Luxembourg Gardens, but I think it’s like a couple euros to go in. But But then the problem is if you let them go in there, they’ll never want to come out.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 32:52
We didn’t end up there because I think they were so tired out from walking all that way. We just went to the pond and we went to the little boat pond where they can rent boats and push them around with sticks. And yeah, that was awesome. The kids love to that. So we did that for a while and then they were done for that day.
Annie Sargent 33:10
Yeah. Cool. Okay, there’s a place. There’s something that your dinner plans for that day Maison Plisson cold chilly. They marketed it as a salad.
French people don’t understand Mexican food at all
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 33:23
So that was kind of weird. My husband was the one who bought dinner that night and he brought it back and said, look at this amazing salad. Isn’t this wonderful? And I read the label and I said, this is chilly. And they are… They’re serving it cold. I mean, it was definitely meant to be eaten cold. So that was kind of weird for us being from the US.
Annie Sargent 33:43
French people don’t understand Mexican at all.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 33:48
Italians don’t either.
Annie Sargent 33:49
Okay, that makes me feel better. Alright, your third day.
Do a photoshoot!
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 33:55
Our third day That was our busiest day and we really ran the kids ragged that day. I’ll move through this one quickly. We started with an Eiffel Tower photoshoot. And we actually chose our photographer because of your Facebook group. And we got a recommendation for this photographer named Ian and his partner was Gloria and Gloria Via was actually featured on The Honeymooners in Paris podcast right did recently right. And I believe that couple had a great experience with her and we did too. She was absolutely phenomenal and really good with the kids and so I would definitely recommend her for families.
Annie Sargent 34:35
Wonderful. Good to know.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 34:37
Annie Sargent 34:38
And I want people to know that this is not an affiliate recommendation. I am not making a penny out of this just people like are so you know, go to her because people don’t people like her.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 34:48
Yeah, and I’m not being paid anything either. So just that great.
Annie Sargent 34:53
Pickpockets at the Eiffel Tower
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 34:54
So what was interesting, so I mentioned the pickpockets earlier, we encountered them during our photoshoot and it was interesting because we were in a park just right outside of the Eiffel Tower. And there were Park authorities coming through and telling her in French there are pickpockets in the area. And sure enough, a few minutes later, some came over. I’m not going to get into that again. But that’s where we encountered them was by the Eiffel Tower.
Annie Sargent 35:20
Preschoolers love the Eiffel Tower
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 35:21
And then we went on the Eiffel Tower and the kids just loved that. So that is a not miss activity with kids also.
Annie Sargent 35:30
Yeah, it’s an unforgettable because it’s so grand. And when you’re a little kid, it’s even grander, you know? Yeah, it’s perfect.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 35:40
And for this year, I believe it’s the 130th anniversary. So they had some cool displays on the first floor, talking about how it was developed and these cool little areas where you could get your photo taken. So it’s especially great to go this year.
Annie Sargent 35:56
That’s good because no, almost nobody stops on the first floor. So that’s great.
A lovely dinner at Qui Plume la Lune
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 36:01
Oh, well, we did it. We loved it.
Annie Sargent 36:04
Yeah. Yeah. So how you do this is you the elevator takes you up to the second floor directly. And then when you come down, you can either walk down to the first with your feet, or use the elevator will stop on the first floor on the way down.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 36:18
Yes. And I believe that we stopped on the elevator on the first floor going down. Yeah. And then from there, at this point, I was craving a really good meal because we’d been eating mostly at the apartment or kind of touristy stuff because it’s where we happen to be. And so I’ve done some research on nice restaurants near our apartment and there was one called Qui Plume la Lune, which had one Michelin star and it was in the 11th arrondissement, just about two blocks from where we were staying.
Annie Sargent 36:52
And that’s a cute name.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 36:54
What does it mean to pluck the moon? Oh, so It was really cute. We felt like we were in a wine cave. It just had a really great ambience and I was definitely nervous going in having two young kids and so I learned to say at the beginning, I said, I think I said, “j’ai deux enfants, d’accord ?” which I think means…
Annie Sargent 37:17
Yes, I have children, okay?
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 37:21
Yeah. And they said, yeah, we we have a children’s menu even. I thought, okay, we’re good because they have a children’s menue. And it was just a really great experience. The waiters were really great with the kids, the kids were well behaved. I tend to be loud I tend to be loud by American standards. And so French people are much more quiet in general than Americans when they’re eating. So we had to be really mindful of that. And we were whispering the whole time, but the kids were great and they were quiet and we weren’t disruptive and it was a wonderful experience.
Annie Sargent 37:55
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 37:56
Yeah. So don’t hold you back from having a nice meal. I think that Our experiences at the restaurants were definitely accommodating.
Annie Sargent 38:03
The Rodin Museum is great with preschool children
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 38:04
Yeah, we also went to the Rodin Museum that day and the kids really liked that. I think that’s a good one for kids because it’s mostly outdoors.
Annie Sargent 38:12
Yeah, well, the mom there’s a lot of indoors as well. But there’s some of both.
Dinner at L’Entrecôte
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 38:16
Yeah, we skip the indoors but we we enjoyed the outdoors and thought that was good for young kids. Yeah. And, and then based on your recommendations, and everybody else’s we went to L’Entrecôte. Did I say that right?
Annie Sargent 38:29
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 38:31
And we enjoyed that. We thought it was really good. I guess the one that we went to is not related to the one in Toulouse, it’s a different family or something.
Annie Sargent 38:41
Yeah, they’re all related. It’s cousins. They had some fights and blah, blah, blah, and yeah, whatever the original one is from Toulouse. And then it spread and then the family fought over the money obviously and yeah. But
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 38:57
But it was still good and because we didn’t take any breaks that day our son slept through the entire dinner but.
Annie Sargent 39:04
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 39:07
Yeah, so that’s pretty much our experience with Paris. We did have some time on the way back after we did the rest of our traveling and I would also say something not to miss is going to see the Eiffel Tower sparkling at night.
Annie Sargent 39:21
Oh, yes. Of course.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 39:24
Yeah, so so we did that on our last night. And that is something that the kids keep talking about when we ask them what they remember about the trip. That’s the one thing that they mentioned. So I think that was a good way to end the trip.
Going to Bordeaux and the Gers
Annie Sargent 39:38
Now I want to mention sorry, but let me mention that you also have notes about your TGV from to Bordeaux and what you did in Bordeaux and what you did in the Gers, we’re not going to take the time to talk about all of that here today. But it will be in your guests notes. So if people go to the show for this episode, there’s going to be a blue button that says Guest Notes. Click on that. And you’ll see everything she had to say about these other places, which is also interesting.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 40:08
Yeah, they were great. And I would recommend both.
When traveling with kids it’s good to get out of big cities
Annie Sargent 40:10
Yeah, within the kids, I think it’s good to go outside of Paris a little bit, or at least spend some time in parks and, you know, in places where they they can run around like the Rodin is perfect, because it’s this enclosed area where there’s no vehicles, I mean, you can let them loose and they can go hide behind bushes or whatever it is that you’re going to do, you know.
The price of Uber rides in Paris
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 40:35
Cool. One other thing about Paris is, and I kind of got to this earlier, we didn’t use public transportation at all. We did Uber is everywhere. And the reason that we did that is because most Uber rides were somewhere between 10 and 16 Euros, which is not that much more expensive than it would have been to take a bus or to take the metro. So we we just thought it was more convenient for our family and that’s what we ended up with. Doing and we knew from your podcast that we would be okay to not have car seats in the taxis and so, right. That worked out really well for us.
Annie Sargent 41:09
Yeah, I think I mean, trying to figure out when you only have three days in a city, trying to figure out the transportation system might not be a very good use of your time. You know, if you’re going to be spending more time there, then sure, you know, and especially with the apps now, and I don’t know if Atlanta has a Metro does it?
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 41:32
Yes, but many people don’t use it. And it’s pretty limited.
Annie Sargent 41:36
So if you if you’re in a city where you already use the metro or the buses or whatever, then it’s not going to be that different. But if you don’t, if you’re not familiar with that kind of system, then it will be you know, a few rides before you’re comfortable. So, and with four people, you know, yeah, it’s cost effective to do Uber or taxi.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 41:57
It worked well for us. Yeah. So some things that are wish I had known or done differently. Well, first of all, we learned very quickly how to say we were sorry in French, which is “je suis désolée”.
Annie Sargent 42:08
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 42:10
So that’s an important phrase to know with kids because case they get out of control, you can at least apologize and let people know that they’re not normally like that. But that’s a good one to know. Yes, he used it a lot. And that’s your point of only being there for three days. You’ve said in the past, you need at least five days for Paris, and I completely agree. Yeah. It wasn’t enough time for us. But I think we still got a lot out of it.
L’Atelier des Lumières is great with kids
Annie Sargent 42:40
Yeah, you certainly did. And it’s true that the fact that you had to miss Atelier des Lumières is unfortunate, because that’s one that I think kids would enjoy because it’s so visual. It’s music and sound and sound and lights and stuff. So it would have been great, but yeah, planning it the first day was nNo… Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend that.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 43:03
Yeah. Lesson learned. Yep.
Potty training in France
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 43:06
In terms of potty training, and I haven’t mentioned this yet, but my son was in the middle of potty training when we went trip, which we hadn’t necessarily anticipated, but we knew that that was a possibility. And we found the bathroom situation be really wonderful in Paris. In fact, he didn’t have any accidents that first week because he just told us I need to go potty and we would find a toilet so that was not the same in our second week, but in Paris, that was okay, so anybody worried about that? Just put them in a pull up and let have them tell you when they need to go and it’ll all work out.
Annie Sargent 43:42
Yeah, Paris has enough bars and cafes and stuff that you can always find something.
Have a separate room for the kids
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 43:48
Yeah, it was it was not a problem that No, I meant I mentioned earlier, just eat your lunches out and eat dinner back at where you’re staying. On top of that, we all want for our entire trip, we made sure that we either had really big rooms, or we had apartments with at least two bedrooms. And I think that’s a must with traveling with small children if you can afford it, just because it doesn’t have to be expensive either. You can find good deals, but I think people need their space and kids need their space. And if you’re on top of each other for the entire trip, you’re not going to enjoy it.
Annie Sargent 44:22
Right also in the kids are needed a lot more sleep than the grown ups. And so if you’re all in one room, it’s going to be hard to have them sleep while you’re still up doing things.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 44:33
Yeah, we I had wanted to shop a lot more. I loved your podcast on the cooking stores because I love buying cooking gadgets. And I was really hoping to make it to some of those stores but with kids you just don’t get enough time to shop.
Annie Sargent 44:48
No, no, no, no.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 44:50
Yeah, I didn’t get my cooking gear. I didn’t get to buy any scarves while I was in Paris. Oh, I need to do. Yeah. Yeah, I didn’t want to buy any of the Eiffel Tower ones at the airport. So
Annie Sargent 45:02
Yeah, you know, I, they have these Eiffel Tower, tower scarves, everyone that I don’t like them either I don’t want one with it. I want some other.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 45:13
I agree. So I wasn’t willing to cave and buy one of those. So I’ll just come back like you said,
It was all worth it!
Annie Sargent 45:20
You’re gonna have to come back and then your kids will be a little older and I’m sure they won’t remember this trip. I mean, you took some wonderful photos and I’ll use them to illustrate this episode. But yeah, they won’t remember it, but it’ll be good when you can tell them you know, look, you were here before and you know, you show them the photo from before and they like that.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 45:40
Yeah, and, and definitely our son won’t remember it. But I think maybe our daughter will end it been ever since we’ve been back. And they’ve been crying like my son was crying this weekend. And I said, Why are you crying? He said I want to go back to France. I want to see the Eiffel Tower again. So we just had an incredible trip. It A lot of people thought we were crazy for taking kids this young, we thought we were crazy too
Annie Sargent 46:05
But it worked out.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 46:07
It worked out it was a wonderful trip. And I would if anybody’s thinking about it, don’t hesitate, just do it, it will be worth it. It will be hard. You’re going to have to do a lot of planning. But France is a wonderful country for traveling with children. People were incredibly friendly, and it was very accommodating. So we we highly recommend it.
Annie Sargent 46:26
Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for coming to talk about it on the podcast because it’s going to be encouraging to people who are considering taking a trip to France with preschoolers because that that’s a special case. I mean, we’ve talked about traveling to France with kids and with teams with preschoolers, you know, that’s, that’s, that’s a challenge. Thank you so much, Michelle. You’ve been wonderful.
Michelle Donell Adzhemyan 46:54
Merci Annie, au revoir!
Annie Sargent 46:55
Au revoir !
Thank you Patrons and Donors!
Annie Sargent 46:56
Thank you J M, Amber Brown and John Harrison for pledging to support the show on Patreon this week! Patrons enjoys several rewards that you’ll find email@example.com/joinus. Join us no spaces or dashes. I share exclusive content with my patrons including help with your French comprehension. Get on with it folks! Stories about France, photos and membership into a secret Facebook group. And of course patrons can message me directly through Patreon. And these messages always have top priority. Visit patreon.com forward slash join us to see the different reward tiers and thank you so much for giving back.
Annie Sargent 47:44
And my thanks also to Anette Gasperi, Meris Ruzow and Ernesto De Jesus for your one-time donation which she did by clicking on the green button that says Tip Your Guide on any page on joinusinfrance.com.
Annie Sargent 48:00
Ernesto also wrote a lovely note that says thank you, Annie for the podcast. I went to Paris for the first time at the end of October for a week with my brother. Maybe your brother didn’t have a cold! ‘m glad that I found podcasts a few months prior. They were a big help. I definitely plan to return in 2020 and using the audio tours that you have. I’d like to talk about suggestions for first time travelers and thingsthat I learned and observed during my first visit if possible.
Annie Sargent 48:34
Merci Ernesto, thank you for giving back all of you. And yes Ernesto I’m always looking for enthusiasts visitors to do trip reports with me whether they make a donation or not. And I’ve emailed you with the details. Your patronage and donations is how I pay my bills.
Annie Sargent 48:51
I also produce GPS aware Paris tours on an app called VoiceMap. Where I take you to where the stories are go to join Join Us in france.com/audiotours for details and there will be a link in the show notes for that.
Annie’s Itinerary Review service
Annie Sargent 49:06
And as a service I provide is itinerary review. People go to the Facebook group the Join Us in France closed book closed group on Facebook. And they ask questions about, you know, I want to know about the best of this or the best that whatever. And they get, of course, 50 different responses, most of them contradicting each other. Hey, that’s real help, isn’t it? But we all love social media regardless, so people are going to keep doing that.
Annie Sargent 49:36
But if you’d like if you’d like me to review your itinerary instead, so you’re sure to do the right thing. Email me Annie at Join Us in france.com and right to itinerary review in the subject line. It will cost you 50 bucks, but it’ll save you a lot of time.
Support the show without spending a penny more
Annie Sargent 49:56
And if you’d like to support the show without spending a penny, you will 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 ads. There’s an Amazon ad and there’s a booking ad. Because you get to those sites through join us, I get a small commission, and it does not cost you a penny more. And this has been enough so far to pay for the cost of producing the show, which, you know, it’s it’s not super expensive, but it’s not zero. So, thank you so much for doing that.
Top 10 Join Us in France episode of 2019
Annie Sargent 50:34
For my personal update this week, well, I’m sick. So I mostly drank warm tea and stuck around the house. Exciting I know. But it’s a new year. So I looked at the Top 10 episodes for 2019. Are you ready for the reveal?
Annie Sargent 50:55
Number 10 was overview of Paris museums Episode 187 And this is an episode with Elise, where we go down the list of most museums in Paris, not all of them, but most of them and tell you what you can expect to see there. And I’m really happy that listeners are taking the time to get educated about that. Because when you choose the right place for you have a good time in Paris, when you go blindly because somebody told you to, you don’t. That’s how it works anywhere in the world.
Annie Sargent 51:26
Number nine, quick and easy guide to public transportation in France. That’s Episode 223. And this is no surprise because visitors need to understand how to get around in a country that they are not familiar with. This is a solo episode, where I give a broad overview of public transportation in France. When you listen to that you’ll prepare to choose the best mode of transportation for the for your situation. Again, it’s about you figuring out what’s best for you, because a lot of times in life. You ask a question. And the answer is, it depends, right. And it’s the same with when it comes to travel to France.
Annie Sargent 52:07
Number eight is Saint Germain des Prés Neighborhood, Episode 196. It’s an episode with Elyse again, where she explains the historical background of the area. And I’ll be releasing a VoiceMap tour of this wonderful neighborhood in 2020, where I take you to all the best places and tell you about them with the App.
Annie Sargent 52:29
Number seven, four days in Paris Episode 219. This one is a trip report that appeals to people who don’t have a lot of time to look for inspiration on how to make the most of that time. And that’s a really important thing for people to think about. I don’t have a lot of time I gotta be selective. And I’ll add to that, that since producing this trip report, I’ve produced Paris tours that are GPS aware tours and that’s what they do. They Help you go to the best quickly.
Annie Sargent 53:02
Number six the Vibe of Paris neighborhoods. That’s Episode 199. This is a real problem for people. They wonder where should they stay, they want safe, they want convenience. They want not too expensive, and they want local vibe. And I explained how to find that in that solo episode and I’m also happy to give a specific hotel recommendations that you will find under the resource tab at Join Us in france.com
Annie Sargent 53:28
Number five Do’s and don’ts at restaurants in France Episode 209. This is a solo show again, where I explain how things run in France. Because if you show up in Paris thinking you’re going to the Cheesecake Factory, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Just warning ya.
Annie Sargent 53:48
Number four and cafe culture in France. That’s Episode 228. That’s another episode with Elyse, where we take a deep dive into well cafe culture in France and also how to order your drinks in France because the they… Yeah, it’s not like Starbucks it’s a bit different.
Annie Sargent 54:09
Number three, what to pack to look stylish in Paris? Episode 195 people worry a lot about what to wear in Paris. What shoes what code what this word that this is amusing to me because that’s really the last thing on my mind. Just ask my sister she has to yell at me before I dress up a bit. But this is a trip report that I did with a man who really cares about how he dresses and he does a fantastic job explaining it. So, Episode 195.
Annie Sargent 54:42
Number 212 tips for visiting Paris you’ll actually use it’s a trip report with my friend from the Eric Chow from the Philippines. I say my friend. I’ve never met him. He’s my friend on the podcast. Wonderful guy. He gives a lot of good tips. And also it’s a good title. So that’s lesson learned for me.
Annie Sargent 55:07
And number one is 12. things to do in Paris for first time visitors Episode 179. That’s an episode with Elyse, where we make it simple for you, we give you 12 things, right? Well, do we give you 12? I don’t remember we have, we give you a specific list of things. And then if you have the time, you can do them all if you don’t have the time to just a few, but we make it really, really simple for you.
2020 plans for the Join Us in France Travel Podcast
Annie Sargent 55:35
So what does this tell me in terms of appeal of various episodes going forward? Well, first of all, this podcast is popular despite my lack of marketing skills. All Time downloads is 1,000,372 995 as I write this, and these are the stats from Libsyn, that’s the company that hosts the podcast. So when you click play, your phone is talking to a server at Libsyn. And they are not known for inflating the numbers quite the opposite as a matter of fact, so yes, yes, people love the show. Thank you so much. Wonderful.
Annie Sargent 56:14
Last May and June, I got carried away recording too many trip reports, sometimes one a day. And I still haven’t released all of them. But I need to be a little more strategic about this. Looking at this list of Top 10. Right.
Annie Sargent 56:28
I should change the lineup of shows a little bit. So I should do more episodes with Elyse. I’ve been doing one a month, generally speaking, but I need to do more than that. So in 2020, there’s going to be five months with five Sundays. And that matters because I recently released the show on a Sunday. That’ll be March, May, August and November. For those who are wondering. I will produce two episodes with Elyse for those months. Well, if she has the time to do this, obviously, I haven’t talked to her about it, but she likes to do the show. So I think she’ll say yes.
Annie Sargent 57:02
There will also be one solo show each month with me where I tackle something that I think you need to understand about how things work in France. And obviously, this is where I get to bring in my French born and raised kind of experience, and also the fact that I lived in the US for 18 years. And so I can easily compare the two countries comes natural to me. People who’ve only lived in the US, wouldn’t see this, and people who’ve only lived in France don’t see it. They don’t know what to warn you about. Because to them, the way it’s done in France is the way it’s done, you know. So in that case, I’ll prepare something where I go into depth of what it’s like and why.
Annie Sargent 57:37
And I also continue to do episode shorts now and then those are not really scheduled. They go in between episodes where I need to respond to a particular timely topic that comes up on the Facebook group a lot and I can do that around five minutes. So that will leave room for two trip reports per months. And I will resume recording those soon. Email me At Join Us in france.com if you have enthusiasm and the willingness to share your experience with the listenership.
Annie Sargent 58:10
I will also produce at least two Patreon rewards each month. The last one I did with my husband David has gotten a lot of very positive response. It was a lunch break French where, where we help you improve your French pronunciation.
Annie Sargent 58:27
And I also have a goal to release two new VoiceMap tours for Paris this year. So it’s going to be a busy year. And I am excited because this is what I love to do.
Annie Sargent 58:39
If you want to recommend the podcast to someone who already listens to podcasts, well tell them that they can find the Join Us in France Travel Podcast, anywhere they get their podcasts, and if they listen to music, but not podcasts on their phones, tell them they can listen to Join Us in France on Spotify or Pandora and if they don’t normally listen to anything on their phones. Send them to Join Us in france.com. And thank you so much for spreading the word.
Annie Sargent 59:08
Send questions or feedback to Annie at Join Us in france.com. Have a great week of trip planning a wonderful time in France if that’s where you are. And I’ll talk to you next week. Au revoir!
Annie Sargent 59:21
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 Noncommercial no derivatives license.