The holiday season is always a busy time for everyone, between shopping, decorating, work parties, weather changes, and TRAVEL of course! It’s great that my wife is a teacher because we know she’s off at the same time as the kids; however, I have shift work and the holidays generally offer overtime. I have no doubt I will swing a few overtimes in as the holiday approaches, but
this year we are going to have a Parisian Christmas vacation. I cannot wait to go back to Paris, (check out our day in Paris here) but this time we get to take the kids and give them a very different Christmas experience.
Normally we go to Manhattan, or as native New Yorkers call it, “The City”, for the typical Christmas events, and since we live just outside Philadelphia now, we have our own annual Philly Christmas downtown day where we go to Dickins Village at the Wannamaker Building, carousel rides at city hall, Macy’s light show, and dinner/drinks at our favorite bar, McGillin’s Olde Ale House….If you find yourself in Philly sometime, make it point to grab a pint at 1010 Drury St, take a picture and tag us…or invite us for a drink!
I’m not saying we won’t do some of our usual traditions this year, but on Christmas Day, when the kids are exhausted from presents and playing with new toys, we will take a nice ride up the NJ Turnpike to Newark airport and its wheels up to Paris on our maiden voyage flying French Bee. Don’t worry, we will keep our readers updated with the experience. We will fly overnight and arrive in Paris on December 26. Here is an insight into our itinerary and how much each thing is costing so far…
The flight and hotel:
Flights and hotel were booked on American Express Travel via our Amex platinum card. It’s not always the best way to book, but we had the whole trip priced and it ended up being just as good to book it as a package at Amex. The trip came out to $870 per person, which is mostly the cost of the flights, details are below…
French Bee Airlines
Depart 12/25/22 from Newark-Liberty (EWR) to Paris-Orly (ORY) – Nonstop
Return 12/30/22 ORY to EWR – Nonstop
Novotel 17 at 34 Av. De la Prte d’Asnieres
We decided we would book something for each day and fill in our days with how we felt. I know my daughter can’t wait to see the Eiffel Tower, so we will check into the hotel, or at least drop off the bags, and go for a walk to introduce them to Paris. The night of the 26th, we scheduled a Seine River sightseeing cruise with a 3-course dinner by Le Bistro Parisien. Reviews looked good, but one important thing I have come to understand about when Americans go abroad is that we cannot expect things to be like America, or we will be disappointed; we must embrace other ways of life. That being said, portion sizes will be different! Four tickets for the dinner cruise came to $152.
On Tuesday the 27th, we will head to The Palace of Versailles or Chateau de Versailles if you prefer. Public transportation is available, but it takes about 1 hour and 45 min; Uber is about $35 and takes around 25-30 min. Since we are going early, we will uber. Four tickets for the skip-the-line 90-minute English-guided tour came to $143. A typical travel hack for Versailles is to book breakfast there, and you can skip the lines that way. It’s not cheap, and we prefer to grab un café et un croissant on the go. However, when we return from Versailles, we’ll be heading over to EL&N for lunch; our daughter is sure to love the all-pink of this restaurant.
On Wednesday the 28th, we have four tickets to the Louvre. Two scavenger hunts are available for digital download to keep the kids entertained at the Lourve. Still, I haven’t decided on one to use yet. Perhaps I should get both and review them? Depending on the morning, we will go to Du Pain et des Idees to eat; this may be before or after the Lourve.
On Thursday the 29th, we will take the kids to the Chocolate Museum. I’m sure the kids will love the all-you-can-eat chocolate, so four tickets to sugar heaven for $45 s’il vous plait! Since Thursday will be our last night, something I want to experience is the ballet at Palais Garnier. If you haven’t been to the ballet, I find it a unique experience, but I will admit it’s not for everyone. I doubt my son will sit quietly through it, so we debate if we should get four tickets or just two for my daughter and myself; this seems more likely. We will see Swan Lake for about $15-$30 each, depending on where we sit. Tickets are not being sold yet, but I did set up an alert for them.
So, you can say we have a few things set up for our visit, but we like to keep the schedule open to see where the streets take us. I’m sure they will take us to many sites for pictures, the catacombs, Pont des Arts for the kids to find our lock, and possibly the Musee d’Orsay (another scavenger hunt). We debate Disneyland Paris; my wife says yes, and I lean towards no. FYI, four tickets to Disneyland Paris, about $475…for ONE DAY! What do you think? Have you been? Let us know in the comments what we are missing and what you love or would love to do in Paris. All of our purchased tickets are from Viator; use the link and search for where ever you are or where ever you are going.
I’ll leave you with this, L’Atelier des Soeurs is a café we went to when we were first in Paris, actually immediately after arrival by rail, and now we think it’s where we have to go at least once every time we are there. There is no website, but check it out. Here are our pics…
Au revoir for now.