France with Toddler- Part 6 Lessons Learned

Every trip has lessons to be learned. Here is what I learned during the first big trip with a child 🙂

Hubby is a butt head! So Hubby admitted to dwaddling on a few things for this trip just to stress me out. Butt head!! oh well, things got booked and planned. I didn’t have much say as the big things were all booked under his company site for reimbursement and discount purposes. But still, Butt Head!

Packing! At least 2 extra outfits per Toddler are needed; especially this trip with the airplane sickness 😦 It’s pretty standard packing advice but saved me a little on this trip. And make sure you pack at least one extra outfit onto the plane 🙂 Turns out I over packed the snacks for in Grenoble and Paris. I think that is in part to the tummy sickness and her be off her normal eating pattern. But once she was back to herself she went back to eating everything in site at times. I would pack the same amount next time just to be safe. Miss GoGo loved eating the foam off of the top of my cappuccinos and sharing a croissant at breakfast. At the hotel she could eat for free and would eat deli meat and yogurt and than go eat with me; it was 10 euros to eat at the hotel and about the same to eat at a local place.

Stroller! To take or not to take, that was a question. In the end we didn’t take one. Considering the luggage, the trek across town, and what not, it was going to be more stressful to take it with us than for the few days that we would need it. Yes, Miss GoGo got carried a round a lot. She didn’t want to miss out on seeing things and watching where she was walking. So yeah, I missed it a couple times but not worth the stress of getting to Grenoble and home with it. If it had just been Paris I would have taken it. However, I didn’t want to deal with getting it across Paris to the train station with all the other baggage in tow. Why can’t this company find cities with major airports?!?

Airplane! Upgrade to Delta Comfort+! The extra inches with a lap toddler are needed and the guaranteed overhead space is nice! Make sure you have plenty of toys and lots of patience for the long haul flights. Miss GoGo loved her new colored pencils (triangle shaped for less slide potential) and having a pad of paper to doodle in. She also was intrigued by the sticky notes and stuck them all over my tray. Mom and Dad need to have patience to live through the flights. Toddlers are a handful when at home with lots of space. They become and lap full and handful on the airplane. Breath, and you will get through it. I can’t wait till the next flights and get her her own seat and space! Yes, more expensive but more sane for all. All in all she did great! I got compliments on her good behavior and I didn’t lose my cool over her Toddler quirks and Hubby’s perceived unhelpful behavior. Was it worth the money saved to fly her on my lap vs her own seat? Yes, for an international flight it was. For the quick flight down to Salt Lake it would be also; or even the flight to San Fran it would have been fine. Don’t get me wrong though, it was stressful at times. Being the mommies girl that she is, she wouldn’t leave my lap to give me a break. Oh well, life goes on 🙂

Paris! Buy the tickets online for The Louvre and Eiffel Tower!!! Give plenty of hours for The Louvre!! It cannot be done in 2 hours, unless maybe you are going just for a few works of specific art and not just the entire thing. Also, use the Metro! It’s worth the day pass and trains are frequent and lots of stops. Give more than a day. My biggest regret is not having more time in Paris. I will go back to see the rest!

Grenoble! Not the tourist trap that Paris is, and less classical than Annecy was. They are a huge tech and college city and it shows in the modern shops and updated exterior to the buildings. They are some great places to visit, the Bastille, the Architecture museum, and just the little streets for a day. With older kids that are are up for some hiking, there are trails at the Bastille that look fun and they do have a great regional transportation system so use to explore the outside parts of the area. They are also very seasonal in some of their exhibits. If I did go again, it would in April or later, and when Miss GoGo is up to walking on her own more.

Off Line Maps! Not being sure if we would get data plans or how big they would be I downloaded 2 off line map apps to my iPhone. Triposo was my favorite! Not only did it break down into categories but they also have practical information including a phrasebook section. They have a map feature that shows you where things are but it takes time for it to load.  Though once you did click on a spot it gives you great information about it including which bus lines and stops. The other app that I had was maps.me. I liked the map feature on this one more than on Triposo. It was easier to get all the locations to show on the map but once you selected the spot, it would give you GPS coordinates, and not the address. You do have to download the areas you want to visit first before you lose wifi with both apps. I will keep these apps as they both cover the world!

The French are Rude! Most of the French people I encountered on the streets and stores didn’t even try to us nice words, like Pardon or Excusez-moi, simple because I look like a tourist. I may not know a lot of French, but I know the nice words and I try to use them!

Don’t Stress the Photos! With Miss GoGo and I being alone most of the day, I didn’t get to take some of the pictures I saw framed. The few that I do have are amazing! The memories of wandering Grenoble with Miss GoGo and watching her play with French toddlers (Toddlers apparently have no language gap) was fun and exciting. My small point and shoot camera got used a couple times while she was playing or willing to stand next me. But I didn’t stress trying to take photos, and I am okay with that!

Take a bath! To the two hotels both had deep, by american standards, bathtubs. Like honest to goodness adult soaking tubs. My biggest regret is not taking a bath in one this trip 😦 Next time I will make sure to not only pack, or buy local, bath bubbles/bombs but to actually take the time to take a soak in the tub! I have no idea why I didn’t do it this trip, but kicking myself for not taking the opportunity when I had it.

All in All! Totally worth it! Glad that I did it and I would do another trip like it including taking Miss GoGo with us. The memories made are once in a lifetime and it was amazing watching Miss GoGo grow in that week. She was entranced by The Louvre, watched everything go by when we were out, tried lots of foods, and was just fun to hang out with.

Enjoy!

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About Tara B.
Hi, I am Tara B. and its great to meet you!! I am an outgoing person with introvert tendencies. I have two amazing dogs that I love and adore! You will hear about them and their adventures a lot :D I also have the most amazing husband! Together he and I have Miss Go Go (you'll also see her referred to as Baby B) that was born in the spring of 2015. She is smart, quick learner, and loves to mimic everything she sees. I love to cook, bake, try to stay healthy, and read. I love to explore my area (and the world when life allows), and seek out fun things to do. You want more information just ask! I am horrible at writing "About You" sections...:) If you have any questions, comments, ect I can be reached at CraftsByTaraB@gmail.com.

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