Sunday, March 28, 2010

Eiffel Tower Turns 111, a good family vacation spot?

A couple of years ago, my brother visited Paris, France. As soon as I found out he was going there, I asked if he would bring me back a miniature Eiffel Tower. I didn't care what it was made of or how big it was, I just wanted it to come from a real Eiffel Tower vendor. Somehow, a piece that had actually set beneath the real deal authenticated itself before reaching my shelf far far away.

Wednesday, actually, is the Eiffel Tower's "birthday".  Final construction was completed March 31, 1889. Although I have had three years of French instruction, and can read it un peu (a little), I've never traveled to France. I do plan to someday, ideally with my family. That got me to thinking. We hear of Paris as the "City of Lights", the destination of young lovers and pinnacle of fashion. Is Paris really a destination for family vacation? You bet it is!

I started checking around the internet and found there have been a lot of families from all over the world who have made Paris their family destination. There are a ton of sights to see, street festivals, even the Plage de Paris, or Paris Beach. It is a man made beach set right up on the Seine River, complete with sand castles and beach balls.

The Eiffel Tower itself is somewhat whimsical. As you rise to the observation deck, there are "dummy" construction workers set up like they are working and fun facts about the tower's history posted along the way. Check out this article for tips on how to make the Eiffel Tower tour an optimal experience.

There are definite travel dates for Paris. Each month is ideal for travel for different reasons, with the exception of August. Most residents in Paris vacation in August, so you may find more than a few shops and businesses closed for the month. If you like to ski, February is peak. May brings warmer temperatures and fewer crowds, as the tourists haven't invaded yet. September is still warm and comfortable, but with less traffic. And Christmas in Paris promises absolute delight on many levels, with shopping, street festivities, magical decorations and ice skating.

The Eiffel Tower turns 111 today. I'm thinking I just might set a goal to have our family there to celebrate its 115th!   Et vous?

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