Transcript for Episode 499: Navigating Paris: Multi-Generational Adventures and Challenges

Category: Family Travel

Discussed in this Episode

  • Paris
  • Tuileries
  • Disneyland
  • Montmartre
  • Marais
  • Paris Opera House
  • Sainte-Chapelle
  • Catacombs
  • Museum of the Resistance
  • Versailles
  • Invalides
  • Latin Quarter
  • Bois-Colombes
  • Éternelle Notre-Dame
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • Gare de Saint-Lazare
  • Batobus
  • Grand Palace
  • Petit Palace

[00:00:00] Annie Sargent: This is Join Us in France, episode 499, quatre cent quatre-vingt-dix-neuf. We’re getting awfully close to 500. Who knew!?

Bonjour, I’m Annie Sargent and Join Us in France is the podcast where we take a conversational journey through the beauty, culture, and flavors of France.

Today on the podcast

[00:00:35] Annie Sargent: Today, I bring you a trip report with Paula Barnes about planning the perfect multi-generational Paris trip.

There are a lot of tips and lessons learned in this episode and you will see that Paula tells it like it is, and that’s my favorite kind of content to share because that’s what I find most helpful for listeners.

Podcast supporters

[00:00:55] Annie Sargent: This podcast is supported by donors and listeners who buy my tours and services, including my Itinerary Consult Service, my GPS self-guided tours of Paris on the VoiceMap app, or take a day trip with me around the Southwest of France in my electric car.

You can browse all of that at my boutique:

Patreon supporters get new episodes as soon as they are ready and ad-free. If that sounds good to you, be like them, follow the link in the show notes.

The Magazine segment

[00:01:26] Annie Sargent: For the magazine part of the podcast, after my chat with Paula today, I’ll discuss the political situation, again, briefly this time, plus explain exciting changes I am making to Patreon rewards to better serve you.

Introduction and Trip Overview

[00:01:50] Annie Sargent: Bonjour Paula Barnes and welcome to Join Us in France.

[00:01:54] Paula Barnes: Bonjour, Annie. Thank you.

[00:01:56] Annie Sargent: Lovely to have you. We are going to talk about your six days in Paris. It wasn’t your first time, but you went with family. So it was a multi-generational adventure in learning, you said. I want to hear all about the learning.

Planning the Trip: Challenges and Strategies

[00:02:10] Paula Barnes: There was a lot of learning going on for every one of us, particularly myself.I was the planner. It was for me a kind of last minute trip. I tend to plan trips well in advance. And this one was a little more spontaneous in that Iceland Air put on a good deal,$500 round trip. And so I said: Let’s go!

It started with myself and my youngest child, who was 15, was turning 15 right before we went, and he picked Paris. He said that Parisian food was much better than British food. And so, Paris won over London, and then my mother in law, we invited her because she had never been to Europe, and so that changed the dynamic a little bit by adding her. And then, one of my 21 year olds decided to join in, and so he’s a history buff, and he decided to join in one month before we left, and so that added a new dimension to the trip.

So, bought the tickets the end of November and we left in January. So, quick trip for us.

[00:03:16] Annie Sargent: Right. So January 27th until February 3rd.

[00:03:21] Paula Barnes: Yes.

[00:03:22] Annie Sargent: Also it’s not the best time of year for weather. Did you luck out?

[00:03:27] Paula Barnes: We had great weather. It rained one morning and that was it. It was highs in the 50s, lows in the upper 30s, low 40s, so we had fantastic weather. We could not have gotten any luckier.

[00:03:38] Annie Sargent: That’s great. That’s wonderful. Okay. So weather was good, but it was still a learning experience.

[00:03:44] Paula Barnes: Very much. Very much.

What You Wish Had Gone Better?

[00:03:47] Annie Sargent: So, let’s start with the stuff that you learned about. Let’s put it that way. You know, the stuff you wish had gone better, perhaps.

[00:03:53] Paula Barnes: So I did what I normally do for a trip, and plan a pretty detailed itinerary with flexibility, as far as I knew the things that we needed to have pre-bought tickets for. So I pre-arranged those, I didn’t pack the itinerary as heavy as I would have if it had been just me and the kids, or my husband and myself, because I had my mother in law, who was 76 at the time. So it was at the most, one thing in the morning, one thing in the afternoon, with some free time in the middle. I asked all three of my travel companions, give me five things that you want to see or do or experience in Paris.

And they all gave me five things, none of which overlapped each other.

[00:04:37] Annie Sargent: Yes, that’s often a problem when you ask people what they want to do, they’re going to all tell you different things, yeah.

[00:04:43] Paula Barnes: Exactly. So my oldest son was 21. He could go and do his own things. That’s not a problem. So there were days that he took off and did his own itinerary. Because he did not care to do the things we were planning. And we had already pre-planned some of the trip when he joined in. So the day that we spent at Disneyland, he had no desire to go to Disneyland.

So he spent a day on his own doing his own thing. Which was great. So I took the things that my mother in law wanted to do, and my youngest son wanted to do, and my oldest son wanted to do, and I only really had two things that were important to me, and tried to schedule them in a geographically-intelligent way, so we weren’t ping-ponging all over the city throughout the days.

I came about it thinking I had planned really well, and I learned that I didn’t plan nearly as well as I thought I did. And then I offered my mother in law some strategies that work really well for us, that I thought should work really well for her and they almost all backfired on me.

[00:05:50] Annie Sargent: Oh dear.

[00:05:51] Paula Barnes: And yes.

So things like a day pack versus her purse, which seemed common sense to me, and she agreed with, no argument whatsoever upfront.

[00:06:01] Annie Sargent: What do you mean by a day pack?

[00:06:03] Paula Barnes: A lightweight backpack, versus a purse that she normally carries, so she wouldn’t have something that could be pulled off her body. She wouldn’t go without something to carry.

She wanted to have something, instead of letting me carry things. So I gave her my little travel backpack. But she didn’t tell me until we got to Paris that she had never worn a backpack.

Well, she’s 76 years old, you know… Correct. Yeah, fair enough. But she didn’t know how to put it on, or take it off, or adjust the straps, or things like that. So, you know, things like that I wish I had known beforehand and not given her different tools that weren’t her normal because it didn’t work out so well.

[00:06:50] Annie Sargent: Right, so if I could interject, it’s just fine taking a regular woman’s purse into Paris, so long as you wear it cross body, instead of just on the one shoulder. Because, yes, it could be, you know, removed from you. I think people worry about that more than they should, but if you have it crossbody, and it has zippers, normally, you’re okay. You know, especially if you remember to close the zippers.

[00:07:19] Paula Barnes: And I think I should have just let her minimize what was in the purse and keep the purse and me carry the important things instead of trying to change the tools.

[00:07:29] Annie Sargent: So what were the important things in your mind?

[00:07:32] Paula Barnes: Like her cards, her money, things like that, that could get taken. We ordered really, I have hiking pants that have zippers and she wanted a pair, so we got her a pair of those. But she didn’t like keeping things in the zippers.

So, you know, we just kind of changed tactics, which to what we would normally do, but it didn’t work so well for her, but then there was no way to know that ahead of time, but find it out on the ground.

Navigating Paris: Metro and Mobility Issues

[00:07:58] Paula Barnes: You know, I did not know until we got there that she’s very uncomfortable walking on cobblestone.

We don’t have cobblestone here.

[00:08:05] Annie Sargent: True.

[00:08:06] Paula Barnes: So anywhere we went with cobblestone, she was super uncomfortable.

[00:08:10] Annie Sargent: You’re right. Don’t tell me you were staying in Montmartre.

[00:08:14] Paula Barnes: No, we weren’t. We actually stayed in Bois-Colombes. I’m going to pronounce that wrong, but outside the City. B-O-I-S.


[00:08:22] Annie Sargent: Oh, you were outside of the City.

[00:08:24] Paula Barnes: We were outside of the City.

[00:08:25] Annie Sargent: Oh, that complicates things a lot.

[00:08:28] Paula Barnes: It wasn’t that bad. It was a quick metro. It was 25-30 minutes in every morning. Two stops. So it wasn’t a problem in general, but the Saint Lazare, Gare de Saint-Lazare, is huge. And that, I didn’t realize until we got there, she had never ridden a metro.

[00:08:48] Annie Sargent: Aha.

[00:08:49] Paula Barnes: She’s well traveled in the United States, I just assumed, never asked, my fault, that she had ridden metros.

She’s never ridden a metro. So when we got there, it was very overwhelming for her.

[00:09:00] Annie Sargent: It is. Yeah.

[00:09:02] Paula Barnes: And those were all questions I should have asked ahead of time, not made the assumption that she had been in a metro, having been to 40 of the 50 states.

[00:09:10] Annie Sargent: Well, yeah, but if you think about it, there’s not very many of the 50 states that have a big metro system.

[00:09:16] Paula Barnes: There’s not.

[00:09:17] Annie Sargent: Like, I mean, maybe Washington D. C. has a big metro system?

[00:09:22] Paula Barnes: Yeah, I mean, they definitely exist. New York. But, you know, hindsight is a beautiful thing. So, having come back now and thinking about her travel, she always traveled with her husband, for the most part, and then they do travel club here, and they travel in groups of older, retired citizens, and they would travel in groups on big buses.

So they don’t have to do the Metro. So it’s just things that never occurred to me. I planned in my normal way that I planned and did a very poor job thinking about those things ahead of time, which caused some stumbling blocks along the way and some anxiety on her end. And some stress for the rest of us as we’re trying to navigate the metro system with her.

She doesn’t love escalators, which are prominent in the metro system in Paris.So she had to master that, and kind of conquer that fear. And I had been in Paris in ’95, but it happened to be during the time of the metro bombings. So I never rode the metro.

[00:10:23] Annie Sargent: Ah.

[00:10:23] Paula Barnes: And so I was not familiar with the metro system in Paris, which is very different than a lot of other metro systems in Europe.

And so I was unfamiliar with how far down underground the metro system went in Paris. And so that was a learning curve for us all. And we certainly conquered it. We certainly survived it. It made some funny stories later. But we learned a lot.

[00:10:44] Annie Sargent: Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

With mobility issues, consider taking the bus rather than the metro

[00:10:46] Annie Sargent: Yeah, so for people like that, I think for, I mean, you don’t get a redo on this one, but for other people listening, if you’re uncomfortable about the metro, and a lot of people would be if they’re not used to big cities, then I recommend the bus. The Paris bus system, I mean, it can be crowded, depending on the hour of the day, but it’s very safe.

It’s very convenient. It will take you just about everywhere you need to go. And if you have any mobility issues at all, the bus is a hundred times better than the metro because you only have to take those two steps to get into the bus, and then it will drop you off on the surface. And yes, the bus is slower than the metro, but it’s also more genteel, it’s usually older people that take the bus, and you know, it’s not as startling to people who are not used to big cities.

[00:11:41] Paula Barnes: Yeah, I think it was about day three, my 15 year old looked at me and he goes: Hey, mom! And I said: Yes! He said, do you realize that, he calls his grandmother GB, GB is the only one on the metro with gray hair? I said, well, yeah, it is a very astute noticing that, there son!

[00:11:57] Annie Sargent: There are older people on the Paris metro, but it’s unusual. Most people, when they slow down a little bit,they prefer the bus. And so do I for the most part. I mean, when I was just in Paris a couple of weeks ago and I took the metro every time, but it’s because I’m in a hurry.

I need to get places. I’m there to work. But when you’re on vacation, why not? The bus is fine. If it takes you 15 minutes instead of 7 minutes, so what? You know, but it can double your time.

[00:12:26] Paula Barnes: Right, and the flip side of it is it was the first time my youngest had had a chance to use the metro system like Paris. So for him, it was honestly one of his favorite parts of Paris, was navigating and figuring out that metro system and he had the best time puzzling it out on the first day, day two, and then he had figured it out.

So then, on the days that my mother in law was just done by five o’clock, he could put her on the metro, take her back, and they were fine.

[00:12:55] Annie Sargent: Yeah, that’s great.

[00:12:56] Paula Barnes: He loved it, which was wonderful for me as a parent, because now I know that I can take him to any metropolitan area, and he can navigate the metro system.

Why Stay Outside of Paris?

[00:13:04] Annie Sargent: Yeah. So did you stay out of Paris because of budget considerations?

[00:13:10] Paula Barnes: Yes, and because we needed four beds. And so finding four separate beds within the budget was difficult. This was part of my mother in law’s Christmas gift, so it was on my dime. Obviously, my 15 year old was not going to pay for his way. My 21 year old paid for his ticket and his entrance fees, but I covered his Airbnb.

And so, it was much, much, much more affordable to stay outside. I think it came to, for the six nights, something like $500.

[00:13:41] Annie Sargent: Which is super cheap.

[00:13:43] Paula Barnes: Right, and it was in a very, very nice area. We got the Navigo cards, so it covered all five zones, which included where we stayed. They had, I think it was six bakeries on, around the block.

We had a grocery store just right down the street. It was a very, very nice area. It was very quiet, which was lovely. My mother in law very much appreciated that. And for us, it wasn’t a big deal to take that 30 minute metro ride in. A little bit harder for her. But at the time, you know, I didn’t know that.

[00:14:13] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Okay. Anything else didn’t go so good?

[00:14:16] Paula Barnes: Oh goodness. So, Disney was a learning experience.It kind of went back to the backpack situation in that my mother in law, then because she was unfamiliar, she wouldn’t take the backpack off. And so she insisted on wearing it all day long, which then led to backaches and all that good stuff. We all had collapsible water bottles to try to cut down on buying water.

But bless her, she forgot to put the lid on correctly, and so she sat down and squished the water bottle and soaked everything. So we ended up leaving Disney a little early because she was soaking wet. But Disney was fun. It was very different. I’m good not to necessarily go back. We didn’t do everything we wanted to do, but that’s okay.

Anything else not go well? We did quite a few of your walking tours, but we had trouble finishing them because I had people that wouldn’t wear earbuds, and so they were bored. While Jackson and I, my oldest son and I, loved them, the other two did not love them.

[00:15:18] Annie Sargent: Right.

Dining and Food Experiences

[00:15:19] Paula Barnes: My 15 year old really just wanted to eat French food.

That was his entire goal, was French food. He loves to cook. He’s a budding chef, but he ended up being the one that doesn’t love museums and doesn’t love history, so he would get bored. And he’d volunteer to take my mother in law back early. And then she would want to eat dinner at five o’clock. And what’s open at five o’clock is pizza and fried chicken. And so that’s what they got stuck eating a lot of nights. So he was really disappointed in that part, whereas my older son and I would end up eating at a French restaurant. And so, he was a little disappointed in that part. I’m not sure how to fix that if I got to redo because I can’t change her schedule of eating.

[00:16:01] Annie Sargent: She sounds like she’s a tiny bit inflexible, let’s put it that way.

[00:16:05] Paula Barnes: She’s older. She has a schedule of when she wants to eat and I did not anticipate that being a problem.

[00:16:12] Annie Sargent: You cannot get a normal meal at five. In Paris, if you go to a brasserie perhaps, there are some places, but you’d have to look into it and plan around that.And as far as the my VoiceMap tours are not written for teenagers. They are written for adults who are interested in history and architecture and things like that.

Savoring Paris: A Food Lover’s Walk around Les Halles

[00:16:34] Annie Sargent: Although the last one Ireleased is a food tour, so I bet he would have been more interested in that, because in that one I talk about, you know, French buying habits, the whole business of food in France, and also I recommend lots of different foods, and how to order cheese, oysters, wine. He’s 15, he can’t have the wine, but you know what I mean?

It’s more into like the breads, the types of breads, things like that. So he would have been more interested in that, I suppose.

[00:17:06] Paula Barnes: Very much. And we did a food tour. And he very, very much enjoyed that.

[00:17:10] Annie Sargent: So you did an in person food tour.

[00:17:12] Paula Barnes: We did an in person food tour. That was kind of, I had two surprises planned for my mother in law. We did a food tour on our very last day, and I had a dinner cruise booked, and they canceled the dinner cruise on us the morning of the dinner cruise.

[00:17:24] Annie Sargent: Because of high water?

[00:17:26] Paula Barnes: They didn’t tell me why. They just called, we were at Saint Chapelle doing the tour there, and they called and said, did you get the email? And I said, no. And they said, well, your dinner cruise is canceled. I had specifically chosen it because it was earlier in the evening. It was a six o’clock.

And they said, you know, we’re glad to move you to the 9:30. And I knew there was no way my mother in law was going to do that.

[00:17:49] Annie Sargent: So, probably it was not high water, it was just that they hadn’t filled up enough.

[00:17:53] Paula Barnes: That’s kind of what I was figuring. So, we ended up getting a refund because there was no way she was going to make it on a 9:30, you know, departing cruise.

[00:18:02] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:18:03] Paula Barnes: That got cancelled, which was a disappointment, because that was one thing she really, really wanted to do and I kind of kept that as a surprise until we got there. But you know, that is what it is.

[00:18:14] Annie Sargent: So I, I’m trying to think of, are there any lunch cruises around Paris? I’m not sure.

[00:18:21] Paula Barnes: Not that I could find. And this was the only one that was early. It also worked well for us because she does, we don’t do seafood very well, and this was an Italian one. And so it was lasagna and tiramisu and everybody in our crowd liked that. And it seemed perfect except that apparently no one else wanted to book it either.

[00:18:40] Annie Sargent: Yeah. 6pm is really early for dinner. I mean, French people, and most visitors adjust that, you know, staying up a little later to eat. But you know, I have a brother in lawwho eats at 5pm every day and he’s not that old.

[00:18:54] Paula Barnes: Right. And in here, she eats usually 4:30 or 5:00 is dinnertime. And so I kind of assumed we would all adjust and…

[00:19:03] Annie Sargent: Yeah, but does that mean that she goes to bed at nine? Okay, okay, okay. Well, then that makes sense. That makes sense.

[00:19:10] Paula Barnes: Yes. So that’s kind of, she wanted to keep that same schedule, which was not how I anticipated things going.

[00:19:17] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:19:17] Paula Barnes: Several nights it ended up that my youngest took her back to the Airbnb and they just kind of hung out. And my oldest and I would, we’d go to Montmartre and do your audio tour there or go to, you know, the Marais and do your audio tour there.

And we enjoyed those, but she was tired and exhausted by that point, but she didn’t want to be left alone.

[00:19:37] Annie Sargent: Either.

[00:19:38] Paula Barnes: Yes. It just worked out like that.

[00:19:41] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Sounds like you had to, your husband should have come, he could have kept her company.

[00:19:46] Paula Barnes: I’ve had a couple friends say that, but he and I are planning a two and a half week vacation in the UK this May, and so he couldn’t take any more time off.

[00:19:55] Annie Sargent: Ah, yeah, yeah. Well, but they also eat later than in the US in the UK, I think.

[00:20:02] Paula Barnes: They do. And he will adjust just fine to that.

That’s not a problem, that will be just he and I on this trip.

[00:20:09] Annie Sargent: That’s good. That’s good.

Favorite Activities and Tours

[00:20:10] Annie Sargent: Okay, so what are the things that you actually liked? We’ve talked plenty about the things that didn’t work out.

Tell me about the things you liked.

Paris Opera House Tour

[00:20:17] Paula Barnes: We loved the Paris Opera House tour. We did that as a ticketed tour time. And even my youngest did that. My oldest opted not to do that. And we all loved, loved that. Found it very interesting, our guide was fabulous. It was hilarious to see the number of people who stood around trying to do their own photo sessions in the Opera House. As a professional photographer, it was hilarious. But we enjoyed that immensely. It was very interesting. We couldn’t get in the actual Opera House to start with, and there were several members of the tour who were absolutely, horrifically rude to the tour guide. And I just felt terrible for him, but at the end he ended up getting us into the actual theater, and it was gorgeous.

[00:21:02] Annie Sargent: There are no guarantees that they can open the door because it is an opera house, they are either moving stuff, or practicing, or something is happening that the tour guide is… you know, somebody says: ‘tour guide, you stay out for now’.

[00:21:16] Paula Barnes: Sure, and that’s what he explained, but some of the members of the group did not appreciate that explanation, but he ended up somehow getting us in at the very end, but I highly recommend that. We did the hop on, hop off bus tour. I can’t say I’ll do that again, but we did enjoy the river cruise that came with it. Which was great, because our dinner cruise got canceled, so it’s nice to have that, because I wasn’t sure if we could actually do that part of it, since we had the dinner cruise. But since the dinner cruise got canceled, we definitely did a daytime one, and very much enjoyed that. It was a different view, because I did not do that when I was there in ’95, and it was a very different view of the city than just walking it.

[00:21:56] Annie Sargent: Oh, yes, and Paris, it’s fantastic. You get a lot of beautiful sights right along the river.There’s also a hop on, hop off boat. It’s called Batobus. And that one is pretty good, but the Batobus cannot drive you in front of the Opera House, okay? It’s too far. So, you don’t get the same everything, but it’s also a good way to do this.


[00:22:19] Paula Barnes: Yeah, we very much enjoyed that. Gosh, the other thing, Sainte-Chapelle was lovely. We did not luck up and get a sunny day, but that’s, you know, it wasn’t raining. It just wasn’t super sunny. My children enjoyed the catacombs. That was one of their things. I did it with them, my mother in law opted not to do that.

[00:22:37] Annie Sargent: That’s a good plan.

Museum of the Resistance

[00:22:38] Paula Barnes: Yes. So she went to the Museum of the Resistance across the street.

[00:22:42] Annie Sargent: Did she like that?

[00:22:43] Paula Barnes: She did. She didn’t do the whole thing. My children loved it.

We went afterwards and they spent, there’s a VR portion of it,and they spent a good hour in the VR portion. My older son is a major history buff. He loves all things Napoleonic, but he also loves all World War II and World War I.

So he absolutely loved that museum. He could have spent all day there. My youngest loved the VR portion.

[00:23:11] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:23:11] Paula Barnes: It was the most love he showed a museum in all of Paris. That was great. My mother in law loved that it was very clean and you know, she felt very safe in there by herself. And then she went over to the cafe and had a coffee and waited for us to finish the catacombs.


[00:23:27] Paula Barnes: Versailles, we, most of us love Versailles. My youngest, not so much. He was very cute. He never complained. I have to give him credit. He’s 15 and he never once complained the entire trip, even with the things he did not like, even with a burst blister on his foot, he never complained the entire trip, but we got to I think room 3 or 4 in Versailles and I paid for audio guides for everybody.

And he just very nicely handed this, the audio guide to me and said, you can just hold on to that. And from now on, you needn’t waste your money on these anymore. Okay. And he said, I just don’t find it interesting.

[00:24:07] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:24:07] Paula Barnes: I said, okay, that’s fine.

[00:24:09] Annie Sargent: You know, it’s a different job. If I was to sit down and write an audio guide for 15 year olds, you know, between 12 and 18 say, you would include very different things.

Adapting Travel Plans for Family Dynamics

[00:24:20] Annie Sargent: You would have to write it for them. I’m not saying you would have to dumb it down necessarily, but you would have to kind of give it an edge to keep their interest because they’re not used to the same stuff we were raised with.

[00:24:36] Paula Barnes: And if it had stayed just he and I, it would have been a completely different trip, we would have spent very little time inside anything that had museum at the end. It would have been an entirely different trip, but adding my mother in law in, which he was very much game for, he loves his grandmother, that added an entirely different dimension.

And then adding, my older son added a whole nother dimension, which nobody regrets any of it, but it just changed everything .

Exploring Paris with Teenagers: VR Experiences

[00:25:08] Annie Sargent: But you know, for people who are going to Paris with teenagers, there are several very good VR experiences in Paris that you can get. The one that I’ve done is the Éternelle Notre-Dame. So Eternal Notre Dame. And that is stunning, that is just really great.

[00:25:26] Paula Barnes: And we talked about doing that, but the boys even said, you know, GB will be bored out of her mind. So let’s not do that because he can actually do it on his Oculus here as well.

[00:25:37] Annie Sargent: That’s true, you can buy it on the Oculus, that’s true.

[00:25:39] Paula Barnes: And he said, I can just buy it on my Oculus and do it here and not have to bore, you know, my grandmother for that hour and a half.

And I was like, okay, that’s your call.

[00:25:49] Annie Sargent: Yep, good point, good point. See kids, they’re ahead of me, they think!

[00:25:54] Paula Barnes: He’s very smart.

But, you know, he was very good at Versailles. He very quietly walked through all the buildings and all the rooms, and very patiently waited while the rest of us enjoyed it. And then we left the main building and went outside and he said: ‘so we’re done!?’

And I said, Oh, sweet child, there’s so much more to Versailles than this one palace, like, there’s the whole hamlets and the, you know, the other things out there. And he said, we’re going to those, too? I said, well, I was really hoping to, yes. And he said, well, you see this bench over here? And I said, yes. And he said, that’s where I’ll be.

If I change locations, I’ll send you a map and I’ll circle my new location. I said, okay, fair enough. And so he waited very patiently with a leftover piece of baguette and the birds, for about two hours while we traveled around the gardens and tried to get in the hamlets, which we never succeeded in, and went to the Grand Palace and the Petit Palace and explored all of that. Until we finally felt kind of bad and came back to collect him because he had been waiting out in the windy brisk weather.

[00:27:04] Annie Sargent: Well, and the thing is, if you had asked me, I would have told you not to go to Versailles at all, especially in January, February, because it’s not that interesting. I mean, it’s grass, you’re outside a lot.

[00:27:17] Paula Barnes: And that was the number one thing I wanted to do in Paris.

[00:27:21] Annie Sargent: But not the right month.

[00:27:23] Paula Barnes: But it was, and I see your point, but that was the only time I could go. So, for me, it was the thing I did not get to do when I was there before, and so it was the thing I really wanted to do.

[00:27:34] Annie Sargent: So Versailles is extraordinary in June, July, August, September. July and August is going to be very busy, but if you can go, even May, June, perfect. But after that, it’s boring. Like there’s nothing, they can’t plant anything, it’ll just die. Because, you know, it’s Paris.

[00:27:55] Paula Barnes: Yeah, I still would have loved to have gotten into the hamlets, but we still, the main entrance was closed. We walked all the way back around to the back to the main entrance, and then they put up the sign that said it was closed.

[00:28:06] Annie Sargent: Right. So the hamlet, the Queen’s hamlet, you normally only visit it with a tour.

[00:28:11] Paula Barnes: Gotcha.

[00:28:12] Annie Sargent: I don’t know that you can ever walk through it by yourself.

[00:28:16] Paula Barnes: Okay, that’s good to know. That explains why we couldn’t get in. It said that you could enter it through the Petit Palace when we were there, but there was no signage to get, I couldn’t figure it. So we just kind of gave up and left and, but we spent the majority of the day at Versailles. We had tickets for the guided tour at 9:30. We did not make that at 9:30. I couldn’t get my people moving fast enough to get there.

[00:28:41] Annie Sargent: So what happened?

Navigating Paris: Metro Mishaps and Walking Tours

[00:28:42] Paula Barnes: So we let Owen, my youngest, lead the path on the Metro that morning and he took us the wrong direction. And so we went the wrong direction for one stop, which was a couple minutes, you know, not terrible.

But then it just took a little longer than we thought, and then we followed the walking directions from the RATP app, which had to have been at least four times longer than it should have been.

You should get out of the train station and just walk straight down. But it took us back these little pedestrian pathways through neighborhoods.

Whoever’s listening, do not ever follow the walking directions from the RATP app to get to Versailles.

It took almost 45 minutes to walk there.

[00:29:24] Annie Sargent: And the crazy thing is there are signs, like, you can just follow the signs, or the crowds for that matter. I mean, in January, maybe no crowds.

[00:29:31] Paula Barnes: We just were following the walking directions from RATP app. I was like, this is stupid. Why are we walking this far? It has to be a more direct route, but we were already halfway in it. So we got there and it was maybe 9:50. And so I asked the very nice lady, I said, you know, here’s the situation, we had 9:30 tickets, is there a way to join a later group? And she said, no. Okay. So, you know, I asked another person and they said, well, I’m not sure you have to ask somebody else. And so I asked that person and she literally shut a door in my face, and I was like, okay, well, I guess not.

So, I was hoping given that it was January and there weren’t many people, we could join an afternoon guided tour, but…

[00:30:13] Annie Sargent: Was there one? I’m not sure there’s even one. Yeah. Maybe there isn’t one.

[00:30:17] Paula Barnes: I never could get an answer more than the word no. So I just assumed it was no and moved on. So I was a little disappointed in that because Versailles was my big thing.

[00:30:27] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:30:28] Paula Barnes: It is the way it is, so…

[00:30:30] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:30:31] Paula Barnes: But I still enjoyed, enjoyed the day. By the time we were done, we grabbed lunch at a little store outside the train station, just got some baguette sandwiches, ate before we got on the train. My mother in law and my youngest were done, so they went back to the Airbnb. Jackson and I headed into the city and did more walking tours and enjoyed that.

[00:30:51] Annie Sargent: Yeah. So that’s pretty strong of you because, you know, when you’ve done Versailles, because if you made it all the way to the hamlets, I mean, you were at the end of the road, yeah.

[00:31:00] Paula Barnes: We did 26000 steps at Versailles.

[00:31:03] Annie Sargent: Yeah. So just doing that plus walking tour afterwards, that’s a lot. You guys are, go, go, go.

[00:31:09] Paula Barnes: Yeah, Jackson and I, my oldest one, we did, usually it was at least 32000 a day, the two of us.

[00:31:16] Annie Sargent: And clearly, your mother in law, I mean, I’m sure there are older people who can do this, but many cannot, most cannot.

[00:31:23] Paula Barnes: Right. And she was good, you know, till about five o’clock and then kind of done. (Mid-roll Ad Spot)

Disneyland Paris: Comparing to Disney World

[00:31:30] Paula Barnes: On our last day, Disney was, she was good through Disney, you know, she did not want to, and my youngest and I have been to Disney World multiple times. So I had no problem saying, here’s the app, you know, I’m going to wait in line to do this, you take your grandmother and go do this, and divide and conquer. But she wasn’t comfortable with that because she had never been to Disney.

You know, we missed some things because of that, but that’s fine.

[00:31:55] Annie Sargent: Did you find it very different from Disney World?

[00:31:58] Paula Barnes: Yes.

[00:31:59] Annie Sargent: Can you expound on that?

[00:32:01] Paula Barnes: Sure, in some ways we’re very good because you can walk from park to park, which was very convenient, versus having to take transportation from park to park. It was much easier just to walk through the parking lot and go to the other park.

The rides, some of them were very similar. Some of them were so similar that we should have skipped them because it was just like the ones in Florida, that it wasn’t worth riding. But the food was quite different, which is what my youngest wanted to do. He wanted to eat all the different foods.

And he had screenshots of all the different foods that he could get at Disneyland Paris versus Disney World Florida. And so that was kind of what we did. We rode a handful of rides. I wanted my mother in law to be able to see the shows. Because the Lion King show is supposed to be much better in Paris.

There’s a Pixar show that’s supposed to be amazing. We never got to sit down and see one single show.

[00:32:51] Annie Sargent: Oh.

[00:32:52] Paula Barnes: It just didn’t work out.

[00:32:53] Annie Sargent: it didn’t work out with the timing.

[00:32:55] Paula Barnes: It didn’t work out with the timing. The one thing I wanted to do was meet Minnie Mouse. She has an Eiffel Tower on her hat. And you can’t do that anywhere else. So I waited in line to do that.

And I said to my son, take your grandmother, go do, you know, whatever, but she just, I think she felt she was going to lose me if they left me in line. So they just wouldn’t go anywhere. He finally convinced her to ride one ride without me, but that was it. So we did get her on Pirates of the Caribbean, but that was where she spilled the water all over her backpack and her pants.

And that was where she got wet. So we didn’t make it long after that. She got to meet Jack Sparrow, and that was kind of cool.

[00:33:31] Annie Sargent: Nice!

[00:33:33] Paula Barnes: She got to see the parade, because she had never seen a Disney parade. And so that was neat. I have her finally convinced that Disney’s not scary roller coasters, that it really is just like very different, it’s a magical place and she won’t die on the rides. I still will never get her to Florida, but that’s okay.So, I mean, it was neat, it was neat to go to. It was different. But some things were the same, and definitely I wouldn’t waste the time to redo those.

[00:33:58] Annie Sargent: Yeah, because I haven’t been to Disney World in decades. I mean, my daughter was, what, 6 or 7 when we went, and she’s 25, so, it’s been a long time. And Disneyland Paris, I’ve been to two or three times, but I never, I mean, I’m not into Disney very much. So when I go to Disneyland Paris, I follow whoever’s the excited one.

I’ll go follow you, you know?

[00:34:23] Paula Barnes: Yeah, with my youngest, we did his ninth birthday was a four day Disney vacation.

His 13th birthday was a four day Disney vacation.

Now he says, I don’t need to go back to Disney unless we’re just going to eat our way around Epcot.

[00:34:35] Annie Sargent: He’s 15. He’s hungry all the time.

[00:34:38] Paula Barnes: You can’t afford to take him and eat your way around Epcot. The child will eat you out of house and home. And the last time we did it, he ate at every single country and it was his favorite day ever. So, you know…

[00:34:50] Annie Sargent: That’s good.

[00:34:51] Paula Barnes: He got to try his different foods and he had his little screenshots of different foods he wanted to try, and…

Culinary Adventures and Dining Challenges

[00:34:56] Annie Sargent: So you mentioned earlier and you mentioned it also in your document that you didn’t get to make very many sit down restaurants, which is too bad because I’m sure even where you were staying, which is called Bois Colombe, there were some restaurants there, right?

[00:35:12] Paula Barnes: There were, we didn’t, we got up and left in the morning, and then by the time we got back, at least for my oldest and I, it was, we’d get back at 9:30 at night.

[00:35:23] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Yeah. So in a place like that, they probably were done serving anyway.

[00:35:27] Paula Barnes: They were closed.

So for my mother in law and my son, when they would come back, she hit the easy button, they did pizza one night, and they said it was really good, and then they did a place called Chicken Spot, or Chicken Home? My youngest sent me a picture and he was like, I’m very depressed, and it was fried chicken. I was like, I’m so sorry, son.

[00:35:48] Annie Sargent: Come to Paris to have fried chicken. It’s the wrong place.

[00:35:51] Paula Barnes: Absolutely should not eat fried chicken. And we were in the Latin Quarter, I guess it was the second night, and my boys were very excited to have kebabs. It’s not something we have here in North Carolina, like an actual, you slice the meat off the, you know, mutton kebab.

And so they wanted to have kebabs, and I said, fine, get kebabs, you know, no problem. So, you know, and my mother in law was hungry, and I said, well, what do you want to eat? And she said, well, I have no idea. I said, well, here’s a street, there’s 20 options. Look down the street, what would you like? And that was another learning thing was I learned that she can’t walk and eat at the same time.

She’s not comfortable doing that. Never occurred to me. And so she wanted to sit down, but my children are now holding big, giant kebabs in their hands, so we can’t walk into a restaurant, because that doesn’t work. So, it was a little Italian place, it was lovely, but it had little candles on the table, and it was a sit down restaurant. And she was like, well, can you see if they’ll make me a slice of pizza? No, no, they’re not going to make you a slice of pizza. She’s like, well, I just need one slice. Well, that’s not on the menu. That’s not the way that’s going to work. It’s not Sbarro.

[00:37:01] Annie Sargent: Yes, that’s a Sbarro, yes.

[00:37:03] Paula Barnes: Yeah, I mean, it’s not going to work. So, but she didn’t pack a sandwich, so we ended up at Chicken Home.

And she had a fried fish sandwich and French fries at Chicken Home. And bless her, she said, why aren’t you going to eat? And I said, no, I don’t eat this at home, so I’m definitely not coming to Paris and eating this. And she said, but it’s five o’clock. Aren’t you hungry? I said, no, because we’ve snacked on Parisian food all afternoon.

[00:37:31] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:37:31] Paula Barnes: I’m not hungry. We’ve tried different Parisian foods all afternoon. She said, but it’s suppertime. But I’m not hungry. I’m not going to eat because the clock says it’s five o’clock.

But she needed to eat, and she needed to sit down and eat.

[00:37:48] Annie Sargent: I can’t, I mean, in a way I can’t blame her, like, I would rather sit down and eat as well.

[00:37:55] Paula Barnes: Sure.

[00:37:56] Annie Sargent: It’s just that she had expectations of things being more similar to her life at home than what she found. And especially with younger members of the family, obviously there were going to be some, you know, some difficulties.

[00:38:16] Paula Barnes: And had the boys not had giant kebabs in their hands, we could have sat down somewhere.

But at that point, you know, they had these massive kebabs and we couldn’t sit down at that point. So, you know, we were past that, that moment, but she enjoyed her fried fish sandwich.

[00:38:32] Annie Sargent: That’s good.

[00:38:33] Paula Barnes: Yeah, yeah

[00:38:34] Annie Sargent: That’s good.

Reflecting on the Paris Trip: Lessons Learned

[00:38:34] Annie Sargent: So we talked about all of your mistakes, but I want to talk about the paragraphs you wrote about what did you learn about France on this trip? And you said something like, it’s welcoming, it’s pleasant, it’s open and wonderful. Tell me about the good things about Paris that you enjoyed.

[00:38:48] Paula Barnes: Oh, I love Paris. And I went into this trip thinking I’m going to check Paris off my list and be done. And I can say that I would like to go back. I don’t know that I’ll convince my husband to go. He’s not an urban person at all. But my older son that went with me would love to go back. He and I travel very, very well together because we’re both history people.

That’s what my degree is in and he’s all about Napoleon. Now I don’t want to be dragged through all the Napoleonic stuff. We can go separate ways. But there are lots of things that…

[00:39:17] Annie Sargent: Did you go to Les Invalides? Did you see Napoleon’s tomb?

[00:39:19] Paula Barnes: So the day that we did the hop on hop off bus tour, he did not want any part of that, so he did that. He actually got stuck in ataxi protest that was dealing with the farmers.

Somehow the taxi drivers were supporting the farmers.

[00:39:34] Annie Sargent: Some sort of protest. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:39:35] Paula Barnes: Yeah, he was stuck and the police were out and there were bottle rockets or I don’t know. So riot gear came out and he was running. He made some very interesting texts, when he was texting me, I’m trying, but the police have riot gear and. It’s like, just don’t die.

We’ll wait for you on the bridge, you know.

[00:39:56] Annie Sargent: I shouldn’t laugh, but it’s funny.

[00:39:57] Paula Barnes: Oh, I mean, you know, it’s like, you’re fine, it’s good, just duck and run. But he survived.

[00:40:02] Annie Sargent: Yeah, when you see police in riot gear, it’s best to walk away.

[00:40:06] Paula Barnes: Yeah, just go the opposite direction. We’ll be OK. It’s fine. You’ll be all right.So, you know, it didn’t really faze me, but it was, it made good stories later. So there are lots of things that I would love to have done that I did not get a chance to do, that I would love to go back and do at my own pace.

With, you know, travel partners that have similar interests, or that even if we’re not, don’t have similar interests, we’re comfortable going separate directions, and meeting up later.

[00:40:37] Annie Sargent: I think that’s a great way to do family trips, is if you can split up, you go do your thing, and at night we, we meet up at 7:30 for dinner here. And chat about our day and have a wonderful time. That works better than trying to accommodate so many different needs, you know?

[00:40:59] Paula Barnes: I will not ever, ever repeat this travel group again. I love them all dearly.

It was not a winning combination for anyone.You know, we all came out of it having learned a lot and enjoyed many, many things, but we all took a two week break from each other, too.

[00:41:15] Annie Sargent: You know what I love about this conversation is the fact that you’re so honest, and open, and willing to discuss the things that did not work out. Because most of the time on the podcast, people want to, you know, put on the best, it’s almost like the Facebook presentation.

[00:41:32] Paula Barnes: Yes, no, I mean, there were lots of things that did not go well. And I guess on that night, too, we were doing laundry and the washing machine would not work, and then it got stuck on the spin cycle and it spun for about an hour and a half, two hours. Yes. And so none of us slept. And then at three, my mother in law was so tired, bless her sweetheart, she snored like a freight train.

So that night I did not sleep because she and I were sharing a room.And so I guess on day four, I texted my husband and I said, I love you and I love your mother, but this is not the trip I wanted, and I’m tired, and I’m ready to come home.

[00:42:14] Annie Sargent: Oh wow.

[00:42:15] Paula Barnes: You know, at the end of the day, it was wonderful, and she has nothing but fabulous things to say of appreciation.

[00:42:21] Annie Sargent: I’m sure she’s a lovely person, but…

[00:42:23] Paula Barnes: Oh, she’s fabulous, and she’s never complained once to me. I’m sure she says something else to her best friend occasionally, and that’s fine. There were definitely times I lost my patience and my children were fabulous at kind of buffering. They were great at taking turns and helping me. We had a great system in the metro where I would lead because you got to keep in mind I’m five foot eleven and my older son is six foot two.

My youngest son is six foot one at 15. My mother in law is five foot four.

[00:42:54] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:42:55] Paula Barnes: And so in the metro, we can see the signage, no problem, we’re all in black coat. She wanted to put like neon signs on us so she could find us. She said, well, you just look like everybody else. Can you wear bright clothing? I’m like, no, I’m not wearing neon clothing.

And so it was myself leading, a son, my mother in law, and a son, and they would sandwich her. Because she was always looking down because she was afraid she was going to misstep.

And so she wasn’t ever looking up.

[00:43:24] Annie Sargent: Well, good for her though, because you don’t want to break your neck, yeah.

[00:43:27] Paula Barnes: Absolutely, no hospital trips, please. And so we’d sandwich her so we wouldn’t lose her.Because it was just, that was her greatest fear and we would never find her. She’s so tiny, we’d lose her all, you know, everywhere. But, so we worked out a system very quickly to not lose her in the crowds. But we definitely learned her way to travel is with a group of same age people on a charter bus. And she does fabulous with that.

[00:43:53] Annie Sargent: Of course, of course.

[00:43:55] Paula Barnes: And my husband and I have taken her to Alaska and that went beautifully, but I don’t know that I’d take her internationally again.

It’s just a horse of a different color.

We’ve done it, and we checked the box, and she had the experience, and we will all remember it, but I don’t think we’ll do it again.

My oldest and I are planning a London trip next year, my youngest said he was going to go until he got home and had to start making up his college work, and he decided there’s nothing in London worth it. Even the cooking school, because he would be 16 at the time and could do cooking school on his own. He decided it wasn’t worth making up all the schoolwork.

Which is fine. No problem.

[00:44:33] Annie Sargent: Well, Paula, we’ve been talking a long time. I think we need to put an end to our conversation, but I’m delighted with your personality, and your honesty, and the straightforward way that you accept the fact that, you know, it was a challenging time, but you still enjoyed many things, and you’ve learned that you don’t want to do this sort of trip again.

Merci. Merci, beaucoup Paula, and I hope you come back to France, and perhaps do Paris on your own, actually, I think you would love Paris on your own.

[00:45:04] Paula Barnes: I’m contemplating. I actually am hoping to do Bootcamp in ’27.

[00:45:08] Annie Sargent: Oh, fantastic.

[00:45:09] Paula Barnes: Yes, yeah. And my husband has agreed to, when we retire, to do a year in Europe, if we can get the long term visitor visa. But we’ll not do a lot of big cities, he’s not a fan, so…

[00:45:21] Annie Sargent: That’s fair. Merci beaucoup, Paula.

[00:45:23] Paula Barnes: All right. Have a good day.

[00:45:24] Annie Sargent: Au revoir.

[00:45:25] Paula Barnes: Au revoir.


Thank You Patrons

[00:45:32] Annie Sargent: Again, I want to thank my patrons for giving back and supporting this show. Patreon supporters get new episodes as soon as they are ready and ad-free. And patrons get even more exclusive rewards for doing that, and we’re going to talk about those in details today, but you can see them at

And a shout out this week to new patrons: Christine Moore, Karen Keller, and Marilyn Jane. And to all my current patrons, it’s wonderful to have you on board in the community of travel enthusiasts and francophiles who keep this podcast going.

And to support Elyse, go to

If you’ve been a Patreon for a year or more, and you’re going to Paris, message me within Patreon and I’ll give you a free code to one of my VoiceMap tours.

This is also good for people who just joined, but select yearly support.

Booking an itinerary consultation on Zoom with me will enhance your travel experience in France. Here’s why. First of all, you get a personalized itinerary. If you get the VIP service, you’ll get a travel plan tailored to your interests, preferences, and travel style.

Then you’ll get efficient planning because you can save a lot of time and effort with a well organized itinerary ensuring that you make the most of your trip.

You get my local expertise, of course, you can benefit from my in depth knowledge of France’s nuances, current events and seasonal activities.

It will lead you to stress free travel, you can receive help with the logistics of your trip, like transportation, ticket bookings, and language barriers. Cultural insights, of course, although you get a lot of that on the podcast, but talking to me directly will enrich your trip with an in depth knowledge of French history, food, and culture. Dining tips, of course, I will give you recommendations for the best local eateries and tips on navigating French cuisine and real time support.

People who book an itinerary consult with me can get real time support and advice during their trip, if needed. To book an itinerary consult with me, go to

Updated Patreon Levels

[00:47:53] Annie Sargent: All right, I’m very excited to announce new Patreon levels to offer you more choices and give me the freedom to switch things up as inspiration strikes.

The previous levels were a bit too rigid, and I want to ensure that I can continue to provide you with engaging and diverse content. With these new tiers, you’ll receive a specific number of rewards based on your level of support, rather than being locked into specific themes or mediums. If you are a current patron, this does not change much for you.

It’s just new members that will have to choose between those different tiers. Let’s delve into the details.

Bleu du Podcast Tier, $2

[00:48:34] Annie Sargent: So for $2 a month, you are le bleu du podcast. Un bleu is a newbie. This is where you get ad-free podcast feed, and you can enjoy new episodes without interruptions.

Accro du Podcast Tier, $5

[00:48:48] Annie Sargent: $5 level, you are accro du podcast. That’s a faithful listener. Again, they get the ad-free podcast feed. They can join group Zoom meetings. We engage in conversations and connect with fellow patrons. You can also watch the reruns if you’re not able to attend. The accro du podcast at $5 a month also get casual convos between me and Elyse, where we chit chat. This is where you get to listen to us just being laid back and being spontaneous. This is a Zoom video and gets published once a month, and you also can watch the reruns if you’d like. And then some group chats. I’ll start a group chat occasionally where you can all chime in.

And group chats are a new addition on Patreon.

Groupies du Podcast Tier, $10

[00:49:37] Annie Sargent: And then you have a new tier at $10 a month. These are for the groupie du podcast, les groupies, ah, ça c’est, that’s the biggest fan of the podcast. Again, they get the ad-free podcast feed. They get the group Zoom meeting. They get the casual convos. They get the group chats, but they also get six extra pieces of content per year. These six extra pieces of content are going to be articles, videos, special historical podcast episode. Maybe it’ll be a recipe.

Maybe it’ll be a drive I took. I want to be able to be free in what I produce each month, because I can’t always come up with a brilliant idea for a special historical piece.

Fou de France Tier, $20

[00:50:20] Annie Sargent: At the $20 level, you get to the Fous de France level. So that’s the crazy francophile. And we have a couple, I know, I talk to them sometimes. So they get all the previous things, ad-free podcast feed, group Zoom meeting, casual convo, group chats, but they get 8 extra pieces of content per year. You get even more exclusive content tailored just for you.

Ambassadeur du Podcast Tier, $50

[00:50:46] Annie Sargent: And then the highest level of support is at $50 a month. That’s for Ambassadeur du Podcast. Podcast Ambassador. They get the ad-free podcast feed, the Zoom group meetings, the casual convos, the group chats, all extra pieces of content, and I may even be moved to make some just for them. And a private Zoom meeting twice a year, where we schedule a 1:1 chat to discuss anything you want, from upcoming trips to France, to moving logistics, to any other topic that you’re passionate about. I’m putting a limit of twice a year for this because otherwise I’ll never have time to do anything else. But I’m going to take extremely good care of my Ambassadeurs du Podcast, of course.

I hope these new tiers excite you as much as they do me. Your support allows me to keep creating and sharing the wonders of France with you. And as you can see, I interact with my patrons a lot because they keep the light on. And you can change tiers at any time, or cancel your patronage for that matter.

And if you select yearly support for any of those tiers, then you get two months off, which is an extremely good deal.

Merci beaucoup for being part of this journey with me.

The French Politics

[00:52:09] Annie Sargent: For the magazine part of the podcast today, I just want to talk briefly about French politics.

So there are a lot of things happening, a lot of shenanigans, a lot of back and forth dealings, agreements, things like that. One thing that I didn’t know last week, so I didn’t explain it to you, is that as per the French Constitution, I thought that on the second round, you would only get to choose between the two candidates that got the most votes on the first round, right? Well, that’s not how it works, because if you get 12.7% of the vote, then you get to the second round. And so they are, the statisticians are figuring that there’s going to be about a hundred districts in France where they will have three people on the second round. I still think it looks really, really bad for Emmanuel Macron’s party.

So much so that his prime minister, Gabriel Attal, is appearing on all the ads. They’ve decided that Macron just needs to stop talking because he does come across as very arrogant. And I don’t think it’s a good idea to ever tell people it’s either me or chaos. You know, that doesn’t work with people.

So what I wish they would do is just say, look, we offer a more centrist, reasonable path, and here is why we are worried about the people to our left and the people to our right. This whole demonization of the extreme right, I don’t think it’s going to work, honestly, I don’t think it’s going to work, but time will tell.

I am going to stay in France until the vote is all done. I am eager to go back to my beach walks, but I’m staying in France until we are done voting and I think on the 7th of July, I will go vote first thing in the morning and then head out to Villanova in Spain for a few more days in the sun.

Many thanks to podcast editors Anne and Christian Cotovan who produced the transcripts.

Next week on the podcast

[00:54:13] Annie Sargent: Next week on the podcast, it’ll be episode 500. Can you believe it? I mean, honestly, I never thought I’d get it to 500. The reality is if I hadn’t gotten so much support from people who become patrons, who buy my services, my tours, it would have had to stop because, you know, I have bills to pay just like you do.

So I’m delighted that I’m getting to 500 episodes and it’s going to be about movies to watch before a trip to France with Elyse, of course, we are keeping it light and conversational as much as possible because she does like her movies. She really, really likes her movies.

And remember, patrons get an ad-free version of this episode and every episode going forward, click on the link in the show notes of this episode to be like them.

Thank you so much for listening and I hope you join me next time so we can look around France together. Au revoir.


[00:55:11] Annie Sargent: The Join Us in France travel podcast is written, hosted, and produced by Annie Sargent and Copyright 2024 by AddictedToFrance. It is released under a Creative Commons, attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives license.

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Category: Family Travel