Coming Soon: An Honest Guide to Paris With Kids~True Stories, Pretty Illustrations and Specific Tips

Eiffel Tower Playground
A few years ago, I posted about a trip to Paris with our daughter. I got enough positive feedback that a friend/colleague/designer and I were inspired to write and design a sweet little book based on the experience. There are countless stories about Paris, and plenty of pretty guides for traveling there, so our goal is to give parents something a little different:  a true, you-can-do-it, slightly-sentimental, beautifully-illustrated story about visiting Paris with kids…that also provides concrete reasons why you should spend your family vacation in a huge city, and tips on where to stay, what to do, and how to do it.

Given we also both work for a living (and have families), this project has been squeezed in whenever we had time. Finally (make that FINALLY!), we are just about ready to publish it. After a few tweaks and one or two more obsessive fact checks, we’ll release it into the wild. Still, I am very open to hearing what kinds of questions you’d like answered in a guidebook. Do you want to know where to eat in a particular neighborhood, tips on the Louvre, how to find a place to stay? If you have thoughts, please let me know!

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Puffers in Paris: The Association Game

Puffers in Love

Every vacation has its own “thing” that unintentionally becomes a memorable part of the whole experience. It can be a song, catchphrase, food, recurring pitfall…anything that just sticks with you.

For example, on my post-college Clark W. Griswold tour through Europe, friends nicknamed me “Jill of Many Things” because of the accumulation of souvenirs, bath towels, books etc. that dangled inefficiently from my backpack. My friend Tom, who couldn’t resist drooling over the cookies, tartlets and pastries found on every European corner, will always be “Dessert Man” to me. And I still get nostalgic for youthful misadventures when I hear Sting’s “Fields of Gold” because its ubiquitous play on Euro radio became the soundtrack to our lives that summer.

It’s no different with family trips, and there are many things we will always associate with our recent trip to Paris. For one, our daughter hummed the Pink Panther theme over and over and over. And over and over and over. Also, I’m pretty sure we’ll always think of Paris if “Puss in Boots” is mentioned because of the repetitive “Le Chat Potté” Metro ads that became the object of an almost daily “I Spy…” game. On that 1993 trip to Europe with friends, the Metro hard sell was focused on Bridget Fonda’s “The Assassin,” a Hollywood remake of a 1990 French movie called “La Femme Nikita.” If I was a Parisian movie buff, I would at least call that redundant, and may even go as far as cheeky.

We will also forever link Paris with the puffer jacket. I like puffer jackets as much as the next person, but when I say puffers were prevalent in Paris, it’s an understatement. As you’ll see in this silly little photo album, puffers abounded in all shapes and sizes, and my husband and I had fun pretending to be Bill Cunningham. Only these photos will never run in the New York Times, or have any kind of impact. Other than that, we felt very much like Bill Cunningham.

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Paris With a Five Year Old

Bad Parents Risk Toddler’s Life for Beach Vacation

Resorting to a Resort

Paris With a Five Year Old

My husband is from The Netherlands, which means we have to budget in travel to Europe if we want to see his family. And because we do want to see his family, we have “vacationed” in Molenhoek, a small village just outside Nijmegen near the Dutch-German border, about once a year since Jasper moved to the U.S. back in the mid-90s. While it’s always fun to go to Holland, in many ways it’s not so different from visiting my own family in East Texas, so whenever possible we schedule side trips to bring an element of adventure to our family visit. This year, we were lucky enough to spend a week over Christmas with the Familie Smits then travel with our five-year-old daughter to Paris for New Year’s Eve. We had a blast and found Paris to be very family friendly. We just got back a week ago today, and it’s already hard to believe we actually had so many incredible experiences.

If you travel to Paris with a five year old…

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Puffers in Paris

Bad Parents Risk Toddler’s Life for Beach Vacation

Resorting to a Resort

© Blue Seed Communications, 2012