What we learned in France
School is back! Anyone see that funny video that American family made about back to school? Sums it up pretty well Baby got class – give it a watch.
Our summer went by soooo quickly, not too hard to imagine especially since the kids are only off school for six weeks. We were away for just over two weeks in total with a short break at home in between a family wedding and a week in Wales and then a few days in the North of France. It had been quite a few years since our trip to Nice when my second child was still a baby and nearly 18 years since I had been to Paris and I guess the first time we’ve been to France that the kids will remember it. It was fantastic and I recommend Airbnb, Honfleur and especially walking from the Eiffel Tower to Musee d’Orsay along the Seine. That was a highlight of our day out in Paris.
As a family, we all learned a lot in France – it was a very new experience! Here are the highlights of our French education:
- Yes, you simply drive your car onto the train – how cool is that! It is a mega efficient and very quick way to get to France (technically we learned this while still in England!).
- French houses are very old and very beautiful
- The stereotype is 100% true. French people in Paris look at you with annoyance and disdain when you try and speak French to them and you feel entirely stupid for even trying.
- The Eiffel Tower is truly terrifying
- The age limit for child train tickets is 12, not 15.
- The weather in the North of France is VERY similar to the weather in the South of England
- The chocolate and macaroons are as good as in Belgium but slightly less expensive
- French children actually DO throw food (French Children Don’t Throw Food by Pamela Druckerman)
- Paris is more child-friendly than we thought and rivals London’s South Bank.
- Work out your budget for a day out in Paris with three children and then quadruple it.
- French food is wonderful for meat and fish eaters, not so great for vegetarians. Although baguette, cheese and tomato is never tiring in France
- We now know how to play “What’s the time Mr. Wolf” in French
- Some shops close for the ‘holiday’ during August. They are just shut for the whole month of August.
- The French holiday in the South of France – we plan on doing this too one year.
- The French are incredibly cultured and you feel like a fool walking around marveling at what they see every day.
- American tourists are louder in France than in England (this was an observation from my children).
- Honfluer deserves way more time than just one afternoon. It really is perfection.
Happy September all, hope you had an amazing summer too.
Meghan Peterson Fenn is the author of Bringing Up Brits and co-author of Inspiring Global Entrepreneurs with Heidi Mulligan Walker. Meghan is also Co-founder and Director of Design and Web at Shake It Up Creative. And, she is an award winning expat blogger.