We are currently in Paris and it is my intent to write a ongoing trip report. I've been wanting to visit Paris for several years, and for reasons I can't explain in detail, it seemed out of reach for us. Being here is very special. I read the trip reports thread faithfully while preparing for this trip and they helped immensely, so I felt like I needed to add ours as well and perhaps it can be of a little help to those planning their trips.
Our party consists of my husband, me, our 15 and 9 year old children, and my husband's 83 year old mother.
Day 1 - We arrived Paris by train in the early afternoon, and decided the easiest way to get to our apartment was via metro. Our AirBnb was only one short stop away. At this point our SIM card from Italy appeared to be working still, so we wrongly opted not to purchase a new one at Gare de Lyon. We purchased a carnet of 10 tickets from the automatic machines at the station and proceeded to find our way to the metro. In retrospect, with our luggage and 83 year old mother, we should have just taken a taxi or Uber. In rush hour traffic on a Friday afternoon, the metro was extremely busy. I got on the train with the kids, mother, and luggage, but my husband got stuck outside the fast-closing train doors, so we had to wait for him at the next stop. It was a little much for my tired and cranky kids and MIL.
Then we proceeded to get lost at Chatelet-Les Halles. We could not find the exact exit but eventually got out near Sainte Eustache. It was heavily raining and hail was pouring outside. We walked for 10 minutes in the inclement weather. Internet on my phone was not working any more at this point but luckily I could see where we were on Google maps and got to our apartment without any detours. Upon arrival, we could not get a hold of our host with our old SIM card. My husband, kids, and mother waited by the apartment while I went out to find a place to buy a new one. Finally about 30 minutes later, we got a hold of our landlord and were able to get into the apartment.
We quickly dumped our luggage in the apt and upon inspection, were very pleased. We were starving at this point, not having had anything to eat since 6:00 am. Around 3:30 pm, we made our way to Ar Poul Gwen, a local creperie and sat down in our damp clothes for our first Parisian crepe. Everyone was tired and cranky. We ordered some galettes (salty crepes) and some sweet crepes, the best ones were the andouille sausage with cheese and mushrooms galette, as well as the caramel crepe.
After crepes we walked back to the apartment to change into drier clothes, with the intention of taking the bus to Trocadero, but after changing we were so exhausted, we decided to stay closer to home and we booked a cruise with Les Vedettes de Pont Neuf. We walked towards the Seine as the sun was setting and got a beautiful view of the concergerie with the Eiffel tower lit in the distance, in that deep blue sky that happens right after sunset.
The cruise was very entertaining. Both my daughters were in awe of the Eiffel Tower. I wish I would have seen it first from Trocadero but since it never really stopped drizzling, I'm glad we were able to take the cruise and stay dry inside the enclosure of the boat.
After the cruise we walked back to the apartment, dropped off the girls and my MIL, and my husband and I walked to Centre Pompidou with the intention to buy Museum passes. We had inquired on where to buy them at Gare de Lyon but the two people whom we asked did not know. I had read there was a tourist office to the left and under the Train Bleu but it seems not to be there anymore.
I digress, It was 8:15 and the Centre Pompidou was no longer selling tickets so we were not able to get the passes. We walked to a Monop' and picked up provisions for dinner, a cold carrot soup, salad, smoked salmon, bread, Normandy butter with the salt crystals, fruit, yogurt, and some cookies. I feel awful that I bought store-made bread in Paris, with so many wonderful boulangeries nearby, but my MIL wanted bread that was soft and can be put in the toaster. Everything from Monop' was wonderful. We have been blown away by the quality of the food here. We went back to our apt, had a tasty picnic, and went to bed early.Edited: 20 January 2018, 20:25