Our 2nd Day In Paris with My Wife and Three Kids

Here’s Day 2 in Paris, the second video chronicling our trip across Europe. This is our second day in Paris (technically third, but we don’t count the first night!) where Erika, myself and the kids take in some culture as we explore the basilicas and museums in Paris. As always, there’s more to come here and in our YouTube Channel as we make our way through all the major European stops!

McDonald’s Breakfast Before Hitting Museums in Paris

Paris McDonalds2
Paris McDonalds1
Paris McDonalds3

We start off the day outside a McDonald’s reminiscing about the little café we went to at the base of the Eiffel Tower yesterday. It was a total tourist trap, strategically placed to drain as much money as possible from unsuspecting visitors (like us!). The food looked average at best so we didn’t order any – all we had were two coffees and four bottles of water, which cost as a whopping 55 Euros! Something to keep in mind for first-time travelers to the busy tourist areas in Paris.

Paris Travel Tip – Avoid Overpriced Tourist Trap Cafes

Overpriced tourist trap cafes in Paris are a dime a dozen. They are often located in popular tourist destinations, such as the Champs-Élysées or the Eiffel Tower, and they charge high prices for mediocre food and service.

Here are some tips for avoiding overpriced tourist trap cafes in Paris:

  • Do some research before you go. Read reviews of cafes online or ask locals for recommendations.
  • Avoid cafes that are located in popular tourist destinations.
  • Look for cafes that have a local clientele. This is a good sign that the food and service are good and the prices are reasonable.
  • Be prepared to walk a little further to find a good cafe. The best cafes are often located in the less touristy areas of the city.

Exploring Museums in Paris – the Louvre

Outside Louvre3
Outside Louvre2
Outside Louvre1
Outside Louvre4

After energizing ourselves with a little breakfast, it was a quick cab ride to the Louvre. As we reached one of the most famous museums in Paris, excitement filled the air and we were ready to immerse ourselves in a world of art and history. On entering the Louvre, we were pleasantly surprise with an unexpected perk – since we had our baby Emma on a stroller, we were allowed to bypass the queues provided our own private elevator ride. Feeling like VIPs, we stepped into the open-circle elevator and ascended towards the world’s most valuable paintings and sculptures. What’s there to say about the Louvre that hasn’t been said before? It was a great experience. There’s so much to see and learn you need a few days to see it all properly – we unfortunately had a few hours. The kids got to see the Mona Lisa, an Egyptian Sphinx and walk on the ancient foundations of the original Louvre Castle. It was crowded and busy with tourists, but that didn’t diminish the sense of awe and wonder.

Paris Travel Tip – Best Way to Experience the Louvre

The best way to experience the Louvre in Paris is to do your research and plan ahead. To make the most of your visit, it is recommended to plan beforehand what you want to see, check the interactive map on the Louvre’s website, and consider taking a guided tour.

Here are some additional tips for experiencing the Louvre:

  • Buy your tickets in advance to avoid the queues.
  • Arrive early in the morning to beat the crowds.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
  • Bring a water bottle and snacks, as there are no food or drink vendors inside the museum.
  • Take breaks throughout the day to rest your legs and mind.

We took full advantage of the sunny weather and bright conditions on our way out by taking a bunch of selfies in front of the Louvre and then met up with Erika’s relatives (who were vacationing in Paris at the same time as us) and took a scenic cab ride to our next destination: the Montmartre district of Paris. On the cab ride there I regaled Erika’s sister with anecdotes of the time Erika and I fell asleep during the intermission of Les Misérables in our last trip to Paris and the time Erika and I fell asleep (for five hours) on a beautiful beach at Messina during our last cruise to Sicily. What can I say, travelling across Europe really takes it out of you, you get your shut-eye where you can.

Exploring Sacré Coeur & the Art District in Montmartre

Sacred Heart Basilica1
Sacred Heart Basilica4
Sacred Heart Basilica3
Sacred Heart Basilica2

From the awe-inspiring Sacred Heart Basilica to the bustling Art District, the historic Montmartre District of Paris is a vibrant neighborhood that has plenty to offer visitors. We started off by exploring Sacred Heart Basilica, which is a majestic cathedral sitting on the top of a hill that offers breathtaking views of Paris. After exploring the church, we stopped off for a pizza lunch (that was excellent) and explored the back alleys of the Art District. We spotted some sports cars in the streets which delighted the kids, and ended our day with some gelato. Unfortunately, near the gelato shop were three sketchy men who were pretending to be tourists but were acting very suspiciously – they quickly ran off when Erika’s sister confronted them. Be careful with your belongings, especially in crowded areas frequented with tourists.

Paris Travel Tip – Get Enough Sleep!

Getting enough sleep is essential for enjoying your European vacation. When you’re well-rested, you’ll have more energy to explore, you’ll be better able to handle jet lag, and you’ll be less likely to get sick. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and try to stick to a regular sleep schedule, even when you’re traveling.

That’s it for our day visiting museums in Paris, we’ll be back with a new blog post and video of the next leg of our European journey!

  • Here are the takeaways from Day 2 of our stay in Paris:
  • Watch out for tourist-trap cafes and restaurants near popular sites that over-charge unsuspecting visitors.
  • You won’t see everything in the museum in just a couple hours, so don’t sweat it! Enjoy the time you spend there.
  • If you have a packed itinerary, you may randomly fall asleep when you have a quiet moment to yourself!
  • Watch out for pickpockets in crowded tourist hotspots! Be aware of your surroundings.

#ParisCruise, #CruiseToParis, #ParisTravel, #ParisianCruise, #ParisByShip, #CruiseFrance, #ParisAdventure, #ParisSightseeing, #ParisRiverCruise, #CruiseVacationParis, #SeeParisBySea, #VisitParisByCruise, #ParisTourism, #CruiseAlongSeine, #ParisPortOfCall, #DiscoverParisByShip, #ExploreParisByCruise, #ParisianExperience, #CruiseParisFrance, #ParisBucketList

Starting Our European Trip – Day 1 In Paris, Italy with My Wife and Three Kids

This “Paris – Day 1” video is the first of many more videos highlighting our European trip. Stay tuned for more to come here and in our YouTube Channel! We took this trip with our two young boys and baby daughter – we have never let our kids stop us from traveling. I will offer as much advice as possible for this series. Don’t hesitate to reach out or ask questions! Leave a comment here or under our YouTube Video.

Our First Night in Paris

Paris Flight2
Paris Flight3
Paris Flight1
Paris Flight4
Paris Bus Tour1
Paris Bus Tour5
Paris Bus Tour4
Paris Bus Tour2

The start of our journey to Paris was eventful, to say the least. We had a flight delay of four or five hours, followed by drama in the plane as an uncooperative passenger was de-boarded (which is a polite way of saying they dragged his ass out of the plane), which added even more hours of delay. Nevertheless, we finally arrived in Paris and immediately started our European vacation with a dinner and tour of the city on a double decker bus. The top of the bus was entirely made of glass, giving us a great view of the mean streets of Paris as the bus cruised through the city. Some people might think it would be difficult to dine on a moving bus (with little kids no less), but it was actually very smooth and enjoyable. Erika, myself and the kids all has a blast and went back to our hotel.

Paris Travel Tip – Flying With Little Kids

Flying with little kids can be a daunting task, but with proper preparation and planning it doesn’t have to be. Here are five tips to help you have a smooth trip:

  • Pack essentials like diapers, wipes, snacks, and drinks.
  • Bring a stroller or carrier for your child.
  • Book a seat for your child next to you.
  • Bring some familiar toys or activities to keep your child entertained.
  • Let your child burn off energy before the flight.
  • Be patient and understanding.

Visiting the Eiffel Tower

Around Paris1
Around Paris2
Around Paris3
Around Paris4

A word on our hotel, the Residhome Appart Hotel Paris Opera. It’s more of a residential vacation rental than a traditional hotel room, and a great option for families with little kids. It also has a great central location in downtown Paris, close to all the sites of interest. By now we all had 10 hours of sleep and were refreshed and ready to take on Paris! Our plan for our second day in Paris was to visit the Eiffel Tower, explore the city and (hopefully) have a picnic in a park. We stopped by an outdoor café for some delicious chocolate croissants and made our way to the iconic Eiffel Tower, conveniently located near our hotel. I took a moment to appreciate the stunning architecture of the old church we pass by. France, particularly Paris, is known for its plethora of historic churches, and it’s a sight to behold. Unfortunately, when you’re vacationing with two hyperactive boys a moment is all you’ll get to appreciate Parisian architecture.

It’s a good thing we booked advanced tickets to visit the Eiffel Tower, otherwise we would have been out of luck if we had attempted to buy tickets on the day itself.

Paris Travel Tip – Buy Sightseeing/Museum Tickets In Advance

Buying sightseeing or museum tickets in advance is essential when vacationing in Europe during the summer. Popular attractions can have long lines, and tickets can sell out quickly. By buying your tickets in advance, you can avoid the hassle of waiting in line and guarantee your entry. You can also save money by buying tickets online, as many attractions offer discounts for advance purchase. Here are our recommendations:

  • Check the website of the attraction to see if they offer online tickets.
  • Book your tickets as early as possible, especially if you are traveling during peak season.
  • Be aware of any blackout dates or other restrictions.
  • Print out your tickets or have them ready on your phone.

We reached the tower at around 2:45pm. It’s a magnificent sight to see up close, even from ground level – it’s much bigger in real life than it appears in photos and videos. One thing that you might not expect is the amount of security at the tower. Plexiglas surrounds the perimeter, and access points require full body and bag scans, similar to airport screening procedures. This isn’t our first time up there—Eric and I have been before – but it’s a whole new experience for the kids.

Sightseeig Paris1
Sightseeig Paris6
Sightseeig Paris2
Sightseeig Paris5
Sightseeig Paris4
Sightseeig Paris3
Sightseeig Paris7
Sightseeig Paris8

Needless to say, we had a great time at the top of the tower. Our Eiffel Tower tour-guide was great, she gave the kids a great history lesson. The views of Paris from the top of the tower, even in the overcast conditions when we were there, were amazing. We took our time snapping photos and videos atop this iconic landmark, and then descended down to Earth to continue our Paris journey. Now would be a good time to point out: when travelling Europe with babies, bring a stroller! If you have multiple kids use multiple strollers. Double wide strollers won’t work – invest in a couple of smaller strollers. You can always sell them on when you get back from your vacation.

Paris Travel Tip – Bring a Stroller for Your Baby

When visiting Paris with a baby, bringing a stroller is essential. The streets of Paris can be narrow and crowded, so a compact stroller is best. A lightweight stroller with good suspension will also help to smooth out the bumps on the cobblestone streets of Paris.

Our original plan was to have a picnic in the park after our visit to the Eiffel Tower. However, plans sometimes take unexpected turns. We adapt and make the most of every situation. With a bottle of wine in hand, we decide to enjoy a picnic right there on the street. The best moments happen when we embrace spontaneity. We did meet Erika’s family (who were vacationing with us) later on at a park and did have our Parisian picnic at the park – next to the Eiffel Tower no less!

Exploring the Latin District in Paris

Paris Picnic2
Paris Picnic1
Paris Picnic3
Paris Picnic4
Paris dinner1
Paris dinner4
Paris dinner3
Paris dinner2

We ended our day by exploring the Paris Latin District with Erika’s family. When we vacation with the kids, we give our boys one thing they can do per day. It could be a destination, a snack or a small souvenir. They learn quickly to choose wisely and not waste their pick for that day! This day our sons picked to go to McDonald’s in Paris, so we stopped there for a little late-night snack, after which we finished the night with a meal and drinks with Erika’s family at an outdoor patio restaurant. Outdoor patios are always a good option when out and about with kids late at night. As long as it’s not a club, most places that serve alcohol will accommodate your group even if you have kids. It gives you a good opportunity to experience the night life.

That wraps up Day 1, stay tuned for Day 2 in Paris!

To summarize, here are some tips when travelling Europe with kids:

  • Combine eating and sightseeing by going to outdoor cafes or outdoor patio restaurants.
  • Buy all your sightseeing/museum tickets in advance, especially if you’re going during peak tourist season.
  • Bring a stroller for babies. If you have more than one baby, bring a second stroller. Parisian streets are not suitable for double-wide strollers. You can always sell them on after your vacation.
  • Give the kids something to look forward to every day – a treat, a souvenir or something they get to choose to do.

Check out all our other travel blog posts and videos.

#ParisCruise, #CruiseToParis, #ParisTravel, #ParisianCruise, #ParisByShip, #CruiseFrance, #ParisAdventure, #ParisSightseeing, #ParisRiverCruise, #CruiseVacationParis, #SeeParisBySea, #VisitParisByCruise, #ParisTourism, #CruiseAlongSeine, #ParisPortOfCall, #DiscoverParisByShip, #ExploreParisByCruise, #ParisianExperience, #CruiseParisFrance, #ParisBucketList

Erika surprised me on my 40th birthday by arranging a Trip to Valle de Guadalupe. This little slice of heaven is an hour and a half south of the border from here in San Diego. In the video I share some of the highlights of this trip and also give shout-outs to Trans Turismo, the transportation company that took us on our tour of Valle de Guadalupe’s beautiful vineyards.

If you’re taking a Trip to Valle de Guadalupe, I highly recommend you check them out:

Trans Turismo Valle de Guadalupe
Abel Monterrosa Montes
Cell 646-113-79-07 or 646-226-38-62
Email monterrosa-11@hotmail.com or monterrosa@transturismo.mx
Facebook facebook.com/TransTurismo.valledeguadalupe

For more Alex & Erika Travel Vlogs check out: alexerika.com/category/travel-vlogs/

Here’s a review of the accommodations and facilities at the Marival Distinct Luxury Residences. Marival Distinct is an all-inclusive resort at Nuevo Vallarta, which is around 20 or 30 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. Puerto Vallarta is a very popular holiday destination in Mexico, and one which we visit regularly, since it’s only about a two-and-a-half-hour flight from San Diego.

We stayed at the Marival Distinct Luxury Residences. As shown in the video the rooms are quite nice – everything you can expect from resort accommodation and then some. Our rooms featured 2 bedrooms, a spacious living room plus kitchen & dining areas. I include some footage of us touring the rooms so you can get a better feel of the layout. Some of the amenities included are TV’s in every room, AC units in each room and a washer-dryer. We also loved the large balcony with ocean views – even though we had to keep the door closed in the evenings to keep the mosquitoes out.

If you are looking for an excellent all-inclusive resort in Nuevo Vallarta you should give Marival Distinct a shot. The resort has great food and great entertainment. They exceeded our expectations, including the staff that really went above and beyond that made our vacation enjoyable.

If you’re vacationing in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico be sure to visit Nuevo Vallarta and check out Marival Distinct Luxury Residences: www.marivaldistinct.com

Here is a brief video highlighting our Pirate Ship Excursion in Puerto Vallarta. We board on a rickety pirate ship in the middle of the sea, which is soon invaded by “pirates” who put on a show for us complete with explosions, sword fights and, for some reason, dance numbers. It was good harmless fun; there’s audience participation and the kids were entertained. The fun didn’t stop at the pirate ship! After the show we headed back to the beach at Puerto Vallarta hopped on a banana boat towed by a motorboat. If you ever find yourself in Puerto Vallarta, check out the Pirate Ship Excursion they have there. A fun day at sea for the whole family.

For more information, visit: www.pirateshipvallarta.com

For more travel vlogs, check out: alexerika.com/category/travel-vlogs/

Day 3 in Playa Del Carmen and we are nearing the end of our vacation. We had only 2 more days before we had to go back home to San Diego so we decided to make the most of our time and take the ferry to Isla Mujeres. I was concerned at first because the weather wasn’t good and I had convinced everyone to make the trip out – but luckily everyone had fun. We explored the beach, wined and dined, celebrated two birthdays in one afternoon and got a little rowdy on the way back. At the end of our Isla Mujeres day trip everyone got back to their hotel rooms, tired, tipsy and very happy.

For our first two days at Playa Del Carmen check out the entries here.

Here’s footage from day 2 of our trip to Playa Del Carmen, where we visit Tulum and go swimming with turtles. We start off by spending some time at the enclosed beach in the Hard Rock Hotel where we were staying. The beach was shielded by nets and offered a safe space for snorkeling. Erika and our other guests then tried their hand at crossing the water via a flimsy rope bridge. I was convinced it would be a disaster but they all somehow made it. The kids were bugging us to go to the nearby waterpark, so we relented and left the beach area for the waterpark. The kids had a blast going on the water slides.

It was nearing lunch time to we decided to check out some of the restaurants at the Hard Rock. We then took a shuttle service to the nearby resort town of Tulum where we explored some ruins and a park – it was much bigger than I anticipated! We then visited a local monkey sanctuary and then went on a brief ocean excursion where we swam with the turtles – we actually saw some turtles in the wild which I was not expecting. We ended the day as we started it, back at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Missed Day 1 of our trip to Playa Del Carmen? Check it out here.

We start our day at the man-made lagoon in Playa Del Carmen which is an artificial reef you can swim and snorkel in. It even has a zip-line for those looking for something more adventurous. After some time lazing around the lagoon, we headed off to see Chichen Itza. It was raining pretty heavily by the time we got there but that didn’t stop us from having a great time exploring those ancient Mayan pyramids. After Chichen Itza we took the tour bus to one of the many cenotes near Playa Del Carmen. A cenote is a sinkhole in the ground that becomes filled with groundwater – basically a massive, naturally occurring swimming pool. I think the kids loved the cenote more than the lagoon. We swam around for a bit and then went back to town and got some photos in front of the picturesque local architecture before it got dark.

We took a Puerto Vallarta vacation for the new year! This place is special for us, and we have been here a few times before with friends and family. We went on a day excursion at Puerto Vallarta where we went kayaking and we also explored a private beach area with the kids.

We also played some beach volleyball, Erika convinced everyone to buy matching jackets (which they’ll never wear again) and the kids pester me to go to the pool, and I get a little wistful thinking about the end of our Puerto Vallarta Vacation. Great times!