|The girls with my cousin Renato
What was it like on the plane? How did the kids do? Did they keep up the pace? Was it worth it to bring them along? are some of the questions my friends have asked and I plan to talk about it all during the next week or so.
This time we visited 3 wonderful cities; Paris, Helsinki and Barcelona and each one was a completely different experience.
First I will say that the part that scared me the most, which was the LONG plane ride from Florida to the "old continent" was by far the easiest of all. The kids did amazingly well on the way there (and on the way back); they were easily entertained with the in-flight TV system, multiple coloring books, iPads, books, etc... it was great!
We left Miami on Monday afternoon and arrived in Barcelona on Tuesday. We met my cousin Renato, who lives in Barcelona and he quickly guided us to his apartment. Initially we were only in Barcelona for a few hours since our flight to Paris was scheduled to leave the next morning.
In this post, I will talk about PARIS with kids, since that was tehcnically the first city we visited on this trip.
Here's Gaby inside one of the metro stations; she looks so tiny and vulnerable. These metro rides were definitely a new experience for her!
Anyone visiting Paris wants to see places such as the Eiffel Tower or the Arc of Triumph, and of course we weren't the exception. Even though I have visited Paris before, it was always a dream of mine to bring my kids to all these cool spots. I will say that this was the best part of the trip; seeing their little faces light up when they saw all these monuments in "real life" was so much worth it! Most of these monuments have long lines and the kids can get antsy, so I strongly recommend lots of snacks and tons of patience; my kids in particular are not great at "waiting patiently", so taking tons of pictures and giving them lectures on the history of all these things really helped. I think we did a great job at keeping them entertained and they really LOVED the experience. Olivia, 6, was particularly interested in learning about Paris and all its monuments so that really helped. Gaby, 4, on the other hand didn't seem to care too much, although she really enjoyed the elevator ride to the top of the tower as well as posing for all the pictures mommy wanted to take.
Here are some pictures of us at some of the most iconic spots in Paris.
|Arc of Triumph
|Notre Dame Cathedral
|The Louvre Museum
|About to go on the Eiffel Tower
So to sum up our Paris experience with children, I will say that for anyone considering taking their kids there, get ready to walk a lot and deal with whiny tantrums, although not very often they did happen at times. Also, prepare yourself with multiple snacks and water bottles. If someone asked me about the "right" age to take a child to Paris, I would probably say 5 and up and definitely depending on how independent and well behaved that child is. In our case, we needed to be a little more stern with Gaby at times because she didn't seem to understand that she needed to walk at our pace, or that I couldn't buy her everything she asked for, or that she couldn't have an ice cream every 20 minutes but I honestly think those are Gaby things vs Gaby in Paris things, so they weren't deal breakers!
We had a great experience and I would probably do it again anytime. Even though Paris is a VERY fast paced city, we survived it and we truly enjoyed it!
More to come on our experiences with our kids in Europe... next stop... Helsinki!
Happy blogging! :)