I am taking my family to Paris in April. Will be staying at the Renaissance for 5 nights and perhaps the Marriott Riva Gauch for a couple nights after that. The Renaissance has double beds but the Marriott limits the total to 2 or 3 per room! (I have two boys)
1. Anyone found a nice solution to avoid two rooms in Paris if one has 2 adults and 2 kids? (this question aimed at the Marriott Riva)
2. Do you know about the likelihood of room upgrades at either of the two hotels?
3. I'd also like to take the family on a bullet train to either the Normandy area, Bordeaux area, or Champaign region--am very flexible on this--has anyone found a great place to stay with kids in any of these areas? (Any Marriott products or even a Castle...)
Thanks for your input!
These are some good questions. Which Renaissance will you be staying at? The Ren La Defense, the Ren Arc de Triomphe, the Ren Trocadero or the Ren. Vendome? The Renaissance properties (as well as the Marriott Rive Gauche) in Paris typically have small rooms. I don't know if you can score a free upgrade to one of the larger suites at any of these properties.
I did some checking. It appears that it is possible to book a room at any of the above hotels for 4 people, but 1) they are suites with a king bed and a sofabed (how small are your boys?) except for the Ren. Arc de Triomphe which has the two double beds, and 2) these types of suites are very limited, so availability can be quite difficult. (I did not include the Marriott Champs Elysees because you didn't mention it).
Also, will you be staying on cash or points? If staying on points, in my experience (I've only stayed at the Ren. La Defense, Rive Gauche, and Marriott C-E) you will not receive a free upgrade to one of the larger rooms that accomodate 4 guests (you will have to pay additional cash for the upgrade).
I know you wrote that Marriott limits the number of guests per room to 3 for these Paris hotels, and generally that's true, but I just tried to book a reservation at the Ren. AdT (as an experiment) for 4 people for Apr. 24, 2013, one night in the middle of the week, and it (the online reservation engine) let me. Again, availability for rooms for 4 people is extremely limited.
Thanks for a great deal of helpful info. I will be staying at the Renaissance Arc de Triomphe, using points, 4 nights, get the 5th night free. The info about NOT getting upgrades when on points is very useful to know. I am paying an extra $159/night even using 160,000 points, just to guarantee the two double beds. Boys are 11, not huge.
From your post, for the two nights later when I move to the Marriott Riva Gauch, I think I'll try to simply book WITHOUT points, just pay the rate, and see if I can get a room with upgrade upon arrival.
Really appreciate the info!
Sounds good, Jakekath.
If you call Marriott customer service, or even the gold reservation desk, you can ask for the email addresses to both properties (Rive Gauche and Ren Adt). Then email the properties, introduce yourself and convey how much you are looking forward to your stay, and perhaps ask about the possibility of being upgraded to a larger room because of your 11 year olds (it's not like you can put them in a room on their own, so it's a reasonable request that would solve a logistical issue). I would also accept Jerrycoin's generous offer of dropping his name in your email to the Ren. AdT. You never know what good things might happen for you. Also, if you mention him to the folks he's referenced, you'll probably get some personalized service even above and beyond the great service that they provide already.
The cool thing about the Ren. AdT is that at the closest metro stop (Charles de Gaulle Etoile), you can head out on Metro line 1 toward the center of the city (Louvre, Place de la Concorde, Chatelet, etc.) with no transfers or head to the Eiffel Tower and/or Trocadero on Metro line 6, also with no transfers. The cool thing about the Rive Gauche is that it's great for exploring the Latin Quarter and the 5th and 6th Arr. You can walk to the Denfert Rochereau station and catch the RER B to Luxembourg, Sorbonne, Place Saint Michel and Notre Dame, or the Metro line 4 to Saint Sulpice, Saint Germain des Pres, and Cite.
Here's a website (and you can download the map) that can be your best friend in Paris. Plan Interactif des transports en Ile-de-France
If you are already familiar with Paris, I apologize for my redundant reply. If this is a first visit, feel free to ask any questions about places to visit. J'aime Paris!
Just a follow up regarding the email for the Renaissance ADT: I have been in contact with them several times, and found them to be very timely in responding back to any questions that I have had.
The direct email is: LES CONCIERGES l DESTINATION EXPERT email@example.com
For other property email info, you can email: France.Reservations@marriotthotels.com This is the address that I started with, and they forwarded my question/request over to the Renaissance ADT who responded to me directly.
Pluto, this is all incredibly helpful info as I've never been to France at all! Been all over the world except France and a few other places it seems. So any info is really appreciated. I WILL certainly write the concierge and drop some names! Connections can never hurt. I'll save the link you sent and do some research. Lots to plan, this is great info! Thanks again.
I have stayed at the Riva Gauch Marriott, while they were renovating, back in 2007. Beautiful hotel. Very helpful and friendly staff. (helps if you speak some French). Hotel is walking distance from the subway line that will take you directly to the Eiffel Tower. As for upgrades, I doubt you will have any luck, unless you call them in advance to see if they will accommodate you. They are very professional, and they will only give what they are required to give, in my opinion. More importantly: Small rooms; even smaller bathrooms, especially the toilet. I will say that they have one of the best buffet style breakfasts and a nice restaurant, if you want to dine in.
I hope this helps. Enjoy Paris.
Rav--Yes, that is very helpful info. Interesting you mentioned they do not typically give out upgrades, as I've encountered this at some other locations as well. It is as if the front desk clerks are the "gatekeepers", paying for the rooms themselves, or, the fact that I may be using points, upsets them!
Think we WILL try that buffet breakfast you mentioned....
Thanks for the info!
Just be sure you're not staying at the Rive Gauche on Marriott points without paying their surcharge. After wonderful stays year after year, the time I used points and did not accept the surcharge (about 3 years ago) the woman at the desk (with whom I spoke in fluent French) spoke as insultingly and as fast as she could telling me since I wouldn't pay the extra I couldn't expect more than a basic room. Unlike the rooms I'd gotten in the past, I was stuck in a cubbyhole (I was Platinum Premier at the time) at the back of the hotel facing the southern industrial part of Paris.
I will never ever stay there again, despite my good stays of earlier years. If you're paying rather than using points or if using points want to pay extra, go for it. But they lost all my rave reviews after that one horrific (thankfully only one day) stay, and after writing it up on tripadvisor I was contacted by the GM for French Marriott properties. I wrote a letter to the head manager of the Rive Gauche as he suggested, and my best interpretation is that it got lost in the French mail.
Trust me, I love the 13th arrondissement -- I lived there for two years in the mid-80s and it is a great location for transportation hubs at Denfert-Rochereau and Place d'Italie, a super shopping mall of French shops, and some great Vietnamese food and the Gobelins tapestry factory. But I simply will not be treated like I was. All it takes is one bad apple. Last time I needed to be near the Bibliothèque Nationale I stayed at the Best Western in the Place d'Italie area. Not nearly as fancy, much cheaper, but they treated me well.
Isn't it shocking how a low level employee of a hotel can behave as The Gatekeeper? One must wonder if management doesn't "encourage" this sort of behavior at the Rive Gauche.....
Advice so welcome, and yes, I'll certainly pay the surcharge.
Am intrigued by another item you happened to mention, the Gobelins tapestry factory. I love tapestries, particularly French. Have a couple in my home, both are huge. And one thing I really want to do is visit a Tapestry factory. Is this one you'd recommend? Any advice on buying/shipping? Can one negotiate or is it prix fix?
Yes, that one woman who was so rude to me at the Rive Gauche and gave me a terrible room (albeit being Platinum Premier at the time) ruined the RG forever for me. I have four upcoming European trips in the next four months booked, including one in two weeks. Only that one, where I will be staying at a Marriott (Athens Ledra -- an amazing hotel with the best of staffs). My three other stays (London, Venice and Rome) will be at the Indigo Tower Hill, Pesaro Palace and Artémide Rome. In all cases I am getting much for a lower price tag.
Here's some info about the Gobelins factory:
I think you'll also find other possibilities for buying tapestries at the Cluny Museum in Paris, the different wine houses/stores in Beaune and possibility at the castle of Angers, which has the amazing Tapestry of the Apocalypse on display.
Not sure what Ren. you are staying, but I don't think you will have a problem with La Defense!
Either Ren. will make an easy "Day trip" to Euro Disney! ( See previous Parisian Posts, that are archived)
One "Day trip" that sounds like a "Stretch", but is really a memorable experience,(Especially, if you have never been there!). You can consider taking The Eurostar to London, for the day! Could provide details if you have an interest. You would just take The "Big Red Bus" around London and then come back in the evening. You Concierges at either location have pricing and information for you!
Let us know how we can answer additional questions!
Your hotel is in a great location! It will keep your "Transportation costs" down.
You have the AdT Metro/RER station close.
There are many good places to eat nearby at very good values, including a McDonald's (For the children, within a block, toward the AdT).
Since you travel for work, I won't bore you with particulars, but if you have specific questions, or needs, you can ask all of us, or send me a "Direct Message"!
Try to go to previous posts, and it will really help you out!
Remember, planning will really save you a lot of money and time!
You may want to consider emailing the Concierge and asking for:
A direct drive from CDG, for the family, at a fair price, and bill it to the room.
A request for your "Double room"! With a certain response!
This hotel provides a com't breakfast that includes Room Service. I always get the room service, and avoid the stress of a busy dining rest. in the morning.
The GM is a most pleasant lady, who is from Germany, and was especially nice to me.
Please send an email and picture to this Concierge, and you can use my name, he knows me. Ask Remy to help you with your families needs!
Cedric, was invaluable on dining and The Louvre.
Remy, and Elizabeth are wonderful, you can email them at www.renaissancearcdetriomphe.com
The other person who can help you is Cedric L., Concierge-Navigator.
Good luck, and let us know if you need more information!
Tell them your situation and ask for your help!
Hello Jerry and Jake,
Sorry to hijack the thread a bit, but Jerry, you mentioned that the concierge at the RAdT helped you out with the Louvre. In what ways did they help? Just suggestions, or did they assist with a reservation? We had planned on probably getting a Paris Pass for tickets to the museums (Louvre included) that also allow "line skipping" so we wouldn't need reservations.
Jake, my wife and I will be staying at the Renaissance ADT for 5 days in May, so we would be very interested to hear the goods (and bads-hopefully not many). Regarding upgrades, I have already felt out the hotel about an upgrade availability. They happily offered purchasing an upgrade, lol. As far as a complimentary upgrade, its a pretty standard "if we have availabilty, an upgrade might be possible". They did already confirm free breakfast for being a platinum member. Glad we picked our dates when we did, since we are staying on points and shortly after we leave Paris, pretty much all of the Category 8s are going up to 9s.
This sounds like a title out of "Les Miserables"! Hey, I love it!
Now the Concierge arrange for a "Private tour" of the Louvre. No lines, English speaking, and they got us at the Ren. AdT and returned us. (I paid for the cab).
It was a few hundred dollars, about two hours but not much more.( I had been many times on my own) We covered everything, and for the first time, I really enjoyed the Louvre. You may be able to review my post in "Paris archives"! It was timely, stress free, and not too physical. When you are really only going to do something like this once for a loved one, do it right!
Charles, was a wonderful guide! We saw so many wonderful things, such as:
First known painting discovered in France, I think a King!
One memorable painting after another!
A private tour allows you to avoid lines and crowds!
So much beauty!
(Sorry, I got edited from showing you a photo of The Mona Lisa, but it is only one of the wonderful items at The Louvre). Again, I am not a museum type of guy, but having some "Help" with a tour, really makes a difference!
That sounds like a great way of seeing the Louvre for sure Jerry. I will definitely have to check with the concierge on other things they can assist with.
Thanks again for the photo tour. I love taking photos on trips/concerts as well. I"m sure I'll have hundreds, if not thousands by the end of the 2 weeks in Europe.
Thanks for the comment!
The Louvre is THREE MILES around it! You want to know what you are doing or you will be in lines for no reason. You can walk from there to Notre Dame Cathedral, Pigalle, The Left Bank, or so many interesting spots!
The Metro takes you right there, and it is such a beautiful station!
Here are a few other photo's that I hope you enjoy!
A wonderful area!
Da Vinci and others offer "Breathtaking artwork"!
Buy your tickets downstairs first! No lines, and no one really know about this place. It's just a small shop, and once you have your tickets, just walk into the Louvre!
Hope you enjoy, and keep the questions coming for MRI!
Jerry--your post WITH pics is awesome! Thanks! Just wondering....was the several hundred just for you??? I've got 4, including me. I will say this....there is nothing like a great guide. I was in Cairo, was in the Cairo Museum, perhaps one of the finest in the entire world. Was looking around, not really knowing anything about what I was looking at, gave up, walked out front, found a large Arab guide, named Faraque. Faraque, says I, can you give me The History of the World in 3 hours? He scratched his beard, said, yes, for you, I can do that.
It was simply the most phenomenal tour I've EVER seen. He began at the dawn of time and moved forward. If I could do something similar for my boys at the Louvre....now,...that would be worth a few hundred.
Can you elaborate on the cost of private guided tour?
thanks much! Jake
I know exactly what you are talking about. Three weeks before the Revolution I took my only trip to Egypt, though I hope to go back. I had guides planned wherever I went and they were fantastic. First locally in Cairo and to Giza, Memphis and Saqqara. But the most amazing was an 'over-day trip' (more than 14 hours including flights to and from) to the Luxor Valley. For $400 (I can only imagine how cheap it would be these days), I could round trip A/F from Cairo, all transfers to and from airports, an Egyptologist and driver in Upper Egypt for the day, a buffet lunch at the Sonesta hotel, and guided tours of Deir al-Bahri (Hatshepsut's tomb), the Colossi of Memnon, the Valley of the Kings and Queens with visits to three tombs that were the most awesome historical sites I've seen anywhere, and the Temples of Luxor and Karnak. At the very end I was dropped off at the Sonesta to wait for my airport driver (I was done in by then but so excited) that I had a chance to have a glass of wine at the bar looking over the Nile at the faluccas. When I went out to wait for the driver, all of these well dressed women walked in and cameras flashed. It was Suzanne Mubarak holding a conference on human trafficking.
What a trip you describe! Cairo was and will likely remain one of my favorite places to visit, although, obviously it cannot be visited presently. It is my hope Egypt will become settled and peaceful again as I'd love to take my family to see Luxor as well as the Cairo Museum. I never did get the chance to go to Luxor, so would love to have that opportunity should the politics settle.
Hi Richard, I will certainly post the good as well as the "challenging" after the trip. Wish I was Platinum! But I think I'll email them about breakfast anyway, see if Gold carries any weight there. For a family of 4, that would be huge. Plus, I can't begin to function without two cups of coffee.....
Will be more than happy to give a full rundown on the experience.
My unhappiness with the Rive Gauche is that I did feel 'local' for years when I stayed there since I'd lived on the rue Corvisart in the 13th for two years in the 80s, so it was like home. Till they treated me like s*** when I redeemed points a couple of years ago without accepting their daily surcharge. I purposely stayed at the Hotel de Weha BW (not great, but super location in the 13th, and BW treated me wonderfully thanks to comped status). Still it is not the same as a Marriott, and there are no other hotels in the 13th that are. But you treat me like the RG did and I don't come back, especially as an almost by second nature Parisian.
Over the years, my sister and I have noticed almost a split personality when traveling in French speaking countries (France and Quebec Montreal).
In the 70s, both in France and in Quebec everyone complained about our accents - it was too southern in France, or it was British or Canadian or American. We drove around in big cars and ate ice cream every day, and they though Andy Warhol's movie, "Trash" about drug addicts in East Village was thought to be mainstream america when I knew no one like that. In France, our generation had nothing good to say about the US though their parents generation remembered our fathers liberating them and couldn't do enough for us.
In the 90s, suddenly Quebec became hospitable. We use to drive up to Montreal on the weekends to enjoy the food, and visit a cousin living there. We thought it might have to do with the political cycle, of when they were campaigning for partition they were anti-anglo, anti-US, and when that went away, and they also noticed they were losing money from tourism.
by 2000x I couldn't believe I was in France. No one was fussy about the language. We also notice that the way of dress had changed and everyone was frumpier.
I can really comment on this one, GemPrincess, since I live in Maine and have been to Québec many times, including when I still lived in the Philadelphia area. If they know you're American, you're fine (speaking English). Pas de problème. It's English-Canadians who are the subject of their usual wrath for not learning French, since Canada is legally a bilingual country, but most everywhere but Québec no one bothers to learn French (hence the Francophone insistence there). But when I was a 10th grader in the late 60s I wrote to the first séparatiste, René Levesque, and was stunned, even though it was a time when there was real violence from true liberation fronts, that he responded, with all kinds of documents and a personal letter that impressed me no end. I had no French then, only German, so it was even more impressive.
When I visit Québec (only 3 hours from where I live, as close as Boston), I usually get told in French (with some marvel) that I speak French wonderfully. I got all puffed up about this the first few times till I realized they were telling me I spoke French French. Canadian French is essentially 17th C. French, so in some ways a purer but less evolved form of the language. In Maine, our largest 'minority' population is Franco-American, and while I can understand them fine, they can't understand me well because I speak French French. So Maine is 3rd generation French, though I am happy to say there is a Francophone Pride organization that is ever gaining ground here. When I first moved here from Mass. in 1994, there was serious discrimination against francophones. I'd see people in front of me talking in Franco-American French with the locals, and then they saw me (Blonde, hazel eyes) and would switch. Happily that's changed and Maine is quite different in now respecting its French heritage, the place where people like Cartier and Champlain stopped en route.
And I have to add that while many Americans say Québec is hostile to Americans, I would reiterate what I said first. If they think you are from Ontario (just as an example) and feel superior so you don't have to learn French they might hassle you. But even in the 1970s in my travels to Québec, my horrific examples of trying to speak French were met with joy. I remember one time with my first ex-husband. For some reason, though certainly no crime was committed, we were talking to Provincial Police. They ended up saying to him in partial English, partial French, that even though he didn't know French, his wife (that would have been me) did. It was only then because I knew a few words. But those few words -- wherever you travel in the whole wide world -- will make all the difference in your acceptance.
Finally, Montréal and Québec are quite different. I am not as sure as when I went there often, but while Montréal was 60% French-speaking and 40% English, the English speakers held all the wealth and property, so there was real conflict. In Québec, the only vestige of Europe in North America in my opinion, it is a French-speaking city. So there's almost no conflict at all unless you come across as an ugly Canadian (first time I've ever used that phrase). But Americans will have no problem in Québec City because everyone speaks English. Just try bonjour, merci, au revoir, and you will be fawned over.
While I have not been to Montréal in ages (you have to cross the mountains from Maine, whereas Québec City is a straight shot on Rte. 201), I love it. French Canada is a true gem that has been seen by far too few Americans, including even my students.
Visitez, c'est très agréable!
I had a worse problem in that my sister is very fluent in French and does not like the French Canadian accent. She is always saying did you hear that, they speak French like they are German.
One day we were waiting for our table for a very long time and our names were never called so finally she asked. They then said we called you a long time ago, didn't you hear and complained about her French accent being uppity from France to which she responded that they spoke French like Germans.
I had to drag her out of there as I wasn't certain what the 'discussion' would lead to.
Another of my Hungarian mother's school friends (they went to school at Sacré-Cœur, a sister school to the one in Paris, to learn French at a young age, and have the right accent, and lives in Montreal. She has the same reaction as my sister, and insists on speaking english in French Canada so as not to ruin in French.
Course all my travel has been to Montreal as I have a cousin that lived there, and my Hungarian mother's friend. I have always wanted to try Quebec City. But having traveled there over the years, its always amazed me about the Canadian Francophones v. Anglophone arguments. They have oftened dragged me into the argument to say who is right and who is wrong (in a VIA bar car where everyone was drinking heavily which scared me). This has always amazed me, how much emotion all these folks put on language and 'accent'.
Me, I am happy if I can make myself understood, and understand what someone is saying to me. I have never been particularly concerned about accent.
While I have heard this more in regards to French, I have heard this in other languages as well. My Hungarian mother is proud of her 'high' German, and said to my step sister who is fluent in German but learned in Austria, I know where you learned German. Or my Ukrainian friend who speaks Russian with a Moscow accent, and how much easier it is for us when he does the talking for us. When we were in the Grand Caymen Islands we went to Chef Tells restaurant, and there was a long wait for a table. My Swiss friend went and talke to the maitre'd in Swiss German and voila suddenly we have a table cause they were thrilled to hear the right accent???
I have found on many trips that the French speakers in Québec love Americans who either speak French or even just try. Their issue is with English Canadians, and it goes way back. I have always been treated very specially there. They can probably tell I am American even though my French is fluent, so that goes a long way.
I will never forget on my first trip to Montréal in 1972 with my ex that I wanted desperately to go to Québec and we were talking about it in English in the hotel hall. For some reasons members of the Sûreté (police) happened by and heard (and spoke English though they were French). They immediately dismissed my ex's unwillingness and said that they were sure Madame would love Québec and get along fine with her French. (My French then was limited to bonjour, merci and au revoir.)
One of my funniest experiences was about 4 years ago in Québec at a conference. I was staying at the CY (not sure if it still is one) which is a bit out of the way. When I walked into the main old city, I needed an ATM machine and couldn't find one. I saw an equally lost woman and asked her first in French and then in English if I could help. She made a kind of sign language to me and I started speaking French very slowly. And she started responding in really bad French. As it turns out she was an English Canadian who was in Québec for an intensive immersion course in French and was not allowed to speak English by her company. So since she wouldn't let me speak English and couldn't understand French yet, I simply had to point in various directions to indicate the basic location of the ATM I'd found.
Among the photos here are the Château Frontenac, the old city looking up, the cathedral interior, the Mounties at the changing of the Guard, a Joan of Arc statue created and donated by an American sculptress, and a superb museum of early French-Canadian and native history. Enjoy! ProfChiara
Thanks, Jerry! To me Québec (City) -- much more than Montréal -- is the only real bit of Europe in America and I am lucky to live only 3 hours away (driving 80-85, but then no one lives in northern Maine or southernmost Québec). The food is the best I have had anywhere in North America, bar none. And it's a fairly small city too, where you can imagine the Battle for the Plains of Abraham in the French & Indian Wars. Looking up, it's hard to imagine Wolfe scaled those walls, but Montcalm's army was in disarray. They're statues are together near the Château Frontenac (the only place to stay in Québec for those who can afford it). I did so once on my literal second honeymoon, and the vista is spectacular over the Plains and the Saint Lawrence.
It's wonderful, Jerry -- if you ever get there during Winter Carnival, you'll experience something amazing. And like I said, there isn't any of the tension (if that still exists) that there is in Montréal because the people in Québec are pretty much all Francophones but speak English too. (Just listen to a hockey game some time if you want to know what I'm talking about.) It is a beautiful, friendly place with great food, historic and cultural sites, and yet much closer to home than where many of us go. It is as close for me (except during a winter drive) as Boston. And, when returning across the border on the last trip, I got annoyed that the car in front of me suddenly slowed. I assumed the driver was either texting or talking on a cell phone, because like I said no one lives in that part of the border region. But lo and behold, I saw beyond and there was a moose standing right in the middle of the highway.
It's like they imitate the signs on which are posted "Moose Crossing - next 11 miles". They just stand there and look at you. Finally, although I seem to have lost the photo, he ran into the woods. I do worry about the 11 (or however many) miles thing. Do they just go away or stick to the forest at 11.5 miles? Inquiring minds want to know, especially for those of us who live with moose and deer crossing signs.
My experience is that just attempting to speak french is welcomed in Canada and Belgium.
My problem in Canada was my sister who was finding fault with them and they with her.
Lesson I learned in Belgium is I would start in french and continue on unless someone invited me to speak english which meant they were getting impatient with my french.
Same thing happened to me in Barcelona recently in the airport. I used a wrong word, and realised it immediately, but they switched over to English.
Yes, this is really an issue, GemPrincess, because Québecois are not treated nicely in France. In Printemps one time in Paris I was speaking French while paying for a sale, and the woman asked if I was from Belgium or Switzerland. When I said "je suis américaine" she was both astonished then said thank God I was not French Canadian.
That kind of made me mad. I love French Canada and most of our American history outside of Mass. and Virginia would not have happened without Cartier, Champlain, and the voyageurs and even the (at the time maligned) coureurs de bois who followed the rivers to the west. For all of you in Wisconsin, do you know that the only real settlement, despite extensive exploration and travel in the state (hence Fond du Lac, Marquette, Racine, Eau Claire, etc) happened in the NE in what the French voyageurs described as la Baie des Puants (Stinking Bay). It is now called Green Bay. And I have made many a pilgrimage there even as a Patriots fan.
Most Americans do not realize the degree to which America as we know it was a coastline along the east coast. It was the French who first explored Québec (Cartier in 1534-5) and Samuel de Champlain, who first began exploring 'Canada' in 1603 and founded Québec (city) in 1608. He had earlier explored Cape Cod and Chatham, Mass. Along the northern Maine coast near New Brunswick, you can still find the statues of the Pierre de Gua, Sieur des Monts, governor of New France and other French founders.
Having studied French Canadian history in grad school because I then never had been nor could afford to go to France, I spent January of 1984 in Québec (city). Studying at the seminary, the archives, and the diocese, I learned (and so much more since) that it was not England who created the original 'America,' but the French. I have since taught a course at Colby on early French Canada.
My students are always astonished at the strong French imprint on the North American continent.
It was a very limited involvement. The Sun King, Louis XIV, didn't want to have much to do with it all, though his main minister Colbert did. (One wonders whether Stephen Colbert is a distant relative). But it was an amazing place to be. For the Jesuits, they evangelized in a way that did not destroy natives in ways other colonists had done. The Ursuline nuns and other women educators made a big splash, especially Marie de l'Incarnation, Marguerite Bourgeoys and Jeanne Mance did amazing things (streets are named after these women in Montréal).
Even though their convent was burnt in Québec early in her ministry, Marie de l'Incarnation translated Iroquois, Huron and other languages into French and created dictionaries. The Jesuits sent their stories back to France, creating ever more people wanting to come to a 'free land'. Bourgeoys and Mance helped substantially in the creation of early Montréal as teachers.
Louis XIV and his ministers got increasingly disturbed that Frenchmen liked the native way of life better than the French (hence the coureurs de bois who traveled with the natives to the interior of North America). They tried to stop it but couldn't. There is still a coureur de bois society!
But the legacy the French left in North America is too often ignored. When I taught my course, despite our closeness to Québec, my students knew nothing about how the French and French Canadians had opened up the American continent. Just look at any map around the Mississipi River and you'll see only French place names, however wrongly pronounced.
ProfC (working in persona this time)
Most of the names in MI where I am from, are either French or Indian. People do not ralize it as we have anglocized the pronounciation, e.g. Detroit wihch we pronounce Dee troit v. De toi (french) which was originally le détroit du Lac Érié or the strait Lake Erie.
Living in New England I was even more aware of the French influence. There were 2 catholic churches in Nashua, one had a French mass, and another had a Spanish Mass. There is a French bookstore in Manchester. I took some french classes at both Riviera College in Nashua and U of Mass Lowell, both taught by French Canadians with Riviera being by far the most interesting as our professor was an older nun that has us singing Canadian French hymns.
Are there any good novels about French Canadian history. I like my soft history in story form with a decent historical framework.
I also have another interest as General Wolf is an ancestor on my mother's side of the family, so I am also interested in any information I can find on him and his battles in the French and Indian wars.
Prof. Chiara, as a pilot for a world airline, I see this ALL the time. Can't tell you the number of times I've been EMBARRASSED by the treatment of our customers. Corporate simply doesn't care. $$$ are the bottom line yet they can't seem to link great customer service with increased revenue. Short sighted management and dimwitted employees can certainly ruin a good company. Hope a few trip advisor reports as well as some ratings on various sites take care of the problems you experienced.
I don't know what airline, but all I can say is for many years as a Platinum Elite Plus I have been treated royally by Delta and would never consider any other airline. I'll already have renewed Platinum by early June, so I'm hoping for Diamond. I wish I could say the same for gate agents (except in Detroit, where they're wonderful).
More Paris Threads:
http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/photoAlbums/1101 La Défense, Paris, France
SusanL (Renaissance Vendome)
Thanks & CDG to Renaissance Le Parc Trocadero (Renaissance Le Parc Trocadero)
Paris! "Never better!" (Arc d'Triomphe trip report)
Surprise (discussion on Paris sights & hotels)
Hotel and Metro in Paris (hotel airport transporation options)
Truly, I did not mean to end this post as "answered"! All of you have been so incredibly helpful with contacts, email addresses, links to websites, and even random mentions of such things as a tapestry factory and personal tour of the Louvre, so many nuggets of info from all of you. Thank you all! any further info greatly appreciated! Am going to see if I can "unanswered" the string so a few other random things come up.
In particular, I'd like to visit 1) Normandy for the WW11 tours 2) Either the Champaign region or Bordeaux region.....Have any of you stayed at any really cool castles in either region? My boys would simply die for that!
Pluto--I had remarked your answer as well as Richard as Correct...but then it seems this would end. Just joined the forum so am not familiar with the intricacies. So it has been "unmarked as correct" as a few have thrown gold coins my way and coins not even asked! Am still very much in the planning stages, would love to have a private guided tour of Louvre for boys, any advice on touring WW11 Beaches, any castles to stay, Champaign vs Bordeaux....too many questions...
Let me express extreme gratitude for the time of those responding.
It's a great forum, Jake and we're all happy to share so others can benefit from our experiences. That's why we're all here.
Hope you and your fam have a great trip, and that you'll be happily prepared for it. I hope you will tell us all about it upon your return, and look forward to it!
You can consider a drive from Paris to Champaign district and it's about a two hour drive. You would enjoy visiting Epernay. Dom Perignon, the blind monk, has a famous church, you can visit and enjoy. Likewise, that is a very historic area of France. You will see in the center of Epernay a monument to General Patton on his departure to Germany.
I don't know of any "Castles" you could visit, by if you want to drive and see memorable places, go to the Loire Valley, and visit Chateau's. You really would enjoy that area, and it is an easy drive. Sancerre, Cher, and many more places are stunning.
Consider staying at Euro-Disney and departing from there. You will not need, nor want a rental car till you get there.
Sancerre, is a wonderful "Walled city", famous for its white wines, and on the way to other great places.
South of the Loire area, is the "Highest Bridge in the World", you may enjoy the drive and the experience!
Have a great trip