France Summer 2012

230_IMG_4982Our trip to France was short but sweet. August is a busy time to travel but you can’t beat the weather. Everyday was warm and sunny, perfect for walking and relaxing in cafes.

We landed in Paris and spent 3 days touring the city. It is possible to spend a week in Paris and still have more to see, however we wanted to also drive around the beautiful countryside and explore the sites in Normandy and the Loire Valley.

Our autistic son enjoyed the trip. Paris is an easy “walking” city, but we also used the Metro, and purchased a 2 day pass on one of the boats that you can jump on and off of along the River Seine. If the weather is nice, the boat is really a fun option and offers flexibility since it runs every day from the morning until about 9:30pm.

Eating in Paris seemed easier than we remembered in past visits. 230_IMG_5079There were a number of both simple options (cafes and brasseries) that offered flexibility for both dining hours and menus. Of course there are still plenty of traditional, formal dining establishments if you choose that route. We ate a large afternoon meal (as they locals do) and had a smaller meal in the evening at a cafe.

Our France itinerary:

Depart Sat, arrive Sunday Paris
Sun.-Tues. in Paris;
Wed., pick up rental car in Paris day drive to Normandy, tour beaches of Normandy and American Cemetery
Thurs.-Fri. Drive to Loire Valley, tour area and see Chambord and Chateau de Chenonceau
230_IMG_4973Fri. night stay at airport hotel, flight home Sat.

This is a fairly aggressive itinerary however it worked out well since we did have “down time” and the weather was wonderful. Below is a summary of the travel information you might need for transportation as well as some of the places we stayed and dined. Bon Voyage!

France Travel Summary

Guide Book: Top 10 Paris, Eyewitness Travel

Paris BatoBus (River Boat Shuttle Service on the Seine)

Hotel Napoleon, Paris 40 Ave. de Friendland

Le Bistro des Martyrs, 93 rue des Martyrs (casual, local dining away from the crowds of Sacre Coeure)

Le Petit Coq Aux Champs (small inn outside of Normandy)

Hotel Restaurant au Grand Saint-Michel, at the base of Chambord (we ate wonderful lunch here)