Our Family Trip To France and Switzerland

Bonjour! We finally made it to France!! Vang grew up in France so naturally we had to visit. He still has siblings living there. I was excited to not only visit France but be able to meet the rest of his siblings. We wanted to wait until the boys were big enough to be able to travel to such a big and busy place. As well as being able to handle the long flight.

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Last spring was that time. We booked a non-stop flight to Paris with Delta Airlines for our 14-day vacation.  The eight-hour flight went pretty smoothly. We just made sure that we brought things to keep the boys occupied.

Our sister picked us up at the airport and took us to our brother’s home just outside of Paris.  Our first day there was recovering from the long flight.   There is a 7-hour difference so while it was morning there, our bodies were telling us that it is still night time in Minnesota and we need to get some sleep. 

The next morning, we borrowed our brother’s car for our road trip across France.  We love road trips and going on a road trip in France was a chance in a lifetime. 

Can you see the excitement in them? Another road trip?

Bordeaux

Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in southwestern France. Known as the wine hub of the world, we wanted to visit some of the vineyards but will have to save that for our next trip there. There is so much history and the buildings are gorgeous.

Driving on the cobblestone roads was definitely an experience. We rented an apartment in Bordeaux and had difficulty finding it with all the one-way roads. We were fortunate to have our hostess come out and meet us where we were and escort us to the apartment.

While in Bordeaux, we walked around and explored the city. Loving how the bare trees behind us looked against the backdrop of the rain and fog.

At first sight, we thought the Silver Man was a statue until he stopped us and asked if we wanted to take a picture with him.

We had to stop for some french macarons. Yummilicious!!!

We stopped for a carousel ride in the middle of the city. And continued to stroll in the city into the night.

Something about the rain that makes the city lights up against the wet grounds is so beautiful.

Gouffre De Padirac

Heading to Rocamadour, we stopped to check out Gouffre de Padirac.  Gouffre de Padirac is one that I would not have picked out see but so glad that Vang suggested it. Definitely a winner! To start the tour, they gave us each a headset to listen to the tour guide.

With our headset in place, we start our descent into the wonders. Essentially, we take the stairs down to the underground. What they call, where the outside world meets the underground world.

We were not allowed to have a camera once we entered the cave. So glad for that as it is pretty wet down there.  Such a marvel sight to see and experience.

Rocamadour

After the cave tour, we drove to Rocamadour.  Rocamadour is a small clifftop village in south-central France that towers majestically over the Alzou canyon. It has got to be one of the most picturesque places I have ever seen!

Driving into town is like setting foot into a movie scene. We checked into our hotel and set off to explore the area and its shops.

The next morning we went for breakfast. This is our view before the fog lifted.

Rocamadour is famous for its sanctuary and more importantly for its Black Virgin. Every year, it attracts a large number of visitors and pilgrims making it the second most visited place in France after Mont-Saint-Michel.

Chateau de Chambord

We decided to visit Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley. What a beautiful castle! It is one of the most recognizable chateaux in the world because of its very distinct French Renaissance architecture which blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Renaissance structure. Did you know that Chateau de Chambord is supposedly the most visited tourist spot on the Loire Valley?

Blois

Blois is a hillside city on the Loire River. It is the capital of the Loir-et-Cher department of central France. While there, we visited Chateau Royal de Blois.

Throughout our visit here, we learned of the tragedies, shenanigans and power games. The Royal Château de Blois filled us in on the secrets of the French court. There we discovered not only the royal apartments but also the Fine Arts Museum and many other sites that have left their imprint on the Château’s history.

Beautiful flower garden! And a great space for the boys to run around.

Here is a view of the city from the rooftop! Loving the many different architectural and styles of all the buildings!

Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont-Saint-Michel is the most visited attraction in France and it is easy to see why. It is an island and common mainland in Normandy, France. You have the Mont-Saint-Michel abbey on the top and the village below.

Doesn’t this just scream, “Please come visit me!” One of the marvelous wonders in the world, I might say.

Here we are on top of the abbey during our tour overlooking the bay.

Throughout the village below, there are many shops and restaurants to visit.

This marks the end of our road trip across France. We headed back to Paris to meet up with our siblings for a nice quiet dinner and explored Paris.

Eiffel Tower

What I loved about being in Paris is that everything is accessible by subway, train or walking. We were so fortunate to have our family as our tour guides to assist us in getting us on the right subway or train. If you were to ask me which subway did we take, I would respond back “no idea, I just got here” We probably would’ve been able to figure it out ourselves but would’ve just taken us more time.

Definitely a tourist spot! But while in Paris, gotta see the Eiffel Tower! We decided to get to the Eiffel Tower and go up to the top. Can I say, “what a view!” Paris is such a beautiful city just walking around but to see it from up above, is definitely an experience!

Avenue des Champs-Elysees

Known as the most famous avenue of the world, we had to take a stroll here.

Boat Tour on the Seine River


What another great way to see Paris! By boat of course. The Seine River cuts through the heart of Paris. You can see the many monuments by foot on the riverbanks but seems so much more magical from the river. There are many boat tours that are available with many options such as day time to night time, length, and options such as luxury with meals and champagne.

Notre-Dame de Paris

On this particular day, it rained pretty hard with high winds and thunderstorm. But that did not stop us or the other tourists from visiting Notre-Dame.

Chateau de Versailles

We took the train out to visit Chateau de Versailles. What a splendid sight to see! Not only the palace but the entire estate.

Don’t skip out of the row boat ride! It is a must do here at Chateau de Versailles!

Louvre Museum

The Louvre Museum is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris. It is also one of the world’s most visited museum receiving about 10.2 million visitors in 2018.

We had to see the Mona Lisa painting as well as the million others there. Can you see the boys are ready to go? No more pictures please!

Disneyland Paris

When you love Disney, you have to make a stop at Disneyland Paris.

Can we get a decent picture please? They are Disney’ed out.

This was the only ride the boys wanted to ride over and over again!

Switzerland

We were able to trek out of France for a few days to visit our sister in Switzerland. We took the train from Paris to Vaud, Switzerland. A three-hour train ride, we arrived in the early evening.

The next day, we drove out to Vevey, Switzerland and spent the day at Nestle Headquarter for their Easter special and learned of the history of Nestle.

We then took a walk on the boardwalk at Lake Geneva. Is that the Swiss Alps? Such a beautiful sight!

We ran into a few characters here and asked to take a picture with Spider-Man.

Can you reach to the top of this fork?

Gotta take a picture with Charlie Chaplin statue here in Vevey. Vevey was home to Charlie Chaplin from 1952 until his death in 1977.

Next to Vevey is the town of Montreux. Known for the annual Montreux Jazz Festival in July. We stopped there briefly and snapped this picture of the Freddie Mercury Memorial statue. This is where he recorded his last album Queen – Made in Heaven.

We stopped in Lausanne on our way back to our sister’s home. Here is the Thai Pavilion in Denantou Park. What a lovely gem to see this in a gorgeous setting.

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We had a blast on our trip to France and Switzerland! Springtime in France is rainy.  We have had to dry our shoes on the heater of our apartment or hotel room every night.  It was quite an experience and wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

I knew taking on this trip would be epic but did not realize that I would learn so much here. A huge plus was being able to spend time with family! Can’t wait to make another trip our here to visit family. Hopefully in warmer weather.


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Eiffel Tower

42 thoughts on “Our Family Trip To France and Switzerland”

  1. That is amazing! What a great experience for your boys? Can’t wait till my little ones are a lit bit older to travel with them 🙂

  2. What a fantastic trip!! These pictures are amazing. Versailles is absolutely stunning! We are headed to Switzerland this fall and can’t wait!

  3. Can you adopt me so I can come along on these fun family trips?! Haha – seriously what amazing memories. Mount Saint Michele (spelling??) looks amazing for sure. I have been to several European countries but neither of these. I need to for sure and this helps know how amazing it is with kids!.

  4. Great photos! I travel so much in North America – I feel I’m missing out on so much! Europe is on my Bucket List – hopefully in a few years!!! Would love to go to Paris!!!

  5. I’ve only been able to go to France once for three days, but it was while on deployment where we had to stay near the ship (I think it was in Marseille). Granted, I loved the small area that we were able to explore, but I truly hope I get to return so that I can explore more of the culture there!

  6. What an incredible trip! Love the lack of enthusiasm on your boys’ faces on your “another road trip?” pic 😉 I so want to go see Mont-Saint-Michel!!

  7. Wow what a wonderful trip you had! Your pictures and the smile on everyone’s faces just shows that you had a marvelous time! Thank you so much for sharing and making me ready to take a trip!!

  8. Wow, what a beautiful trip! I’ve never been to France or Switzerland, but I’d really love to go. So glad your family had such a wonderful time!

  9. Wow! I love that you share your travels so naturally on your site! I’ve always wanted to see France! Your photos are great. I like to edit mine sometimes. Let me know if you’d like to work together sometime!

    1. Thank you! That means a lot to me. I would love to work together with you sometimes. We can connect via email.

  10. WOW!! Your pictures are gorgeous and make me jealous! =) I have always wanted to visit France, and you did Disney in Paris! How awesome! I love reading and looking at the pictures from all our your family’s adventures!

  11. Great post and great pictures! Now you’ve given me a bunch of ideas for my next family trip (and, yes, Disneyland Paris will be on that itinerary, too.)

  12. What a wonderful trip! You accomplished a lot. I’d love to visit France someday. Versailles especially is on my “must see” list.

  13. Angela Greven | Mean Green Chef

    Wow, now that is an epic trip!! Love all of your photos and it’s so wonderful that you are able to give your sons such great memories even though they look less than thrilled to be in the car again! LOL Thank you so much for sharing 🤗

  14. I am sincerely jealous!! I have wanted to visit France for ages and your pictures and descriptions just deepened that desire. I have always wanted to visit The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower AND DISNEYLAND PARIS!!!!

    1. France has always been a dream for me too! I was fortunate to be able to finally go and meet the rest of my husband’s siblings there. Definitely a dream vacation. And yes, Disneyland Paris should not be missed 🙂

  15. What a fun trip! My French class in high school took a trip to France almost every year. Unfortunately, I was never able to go financially. I loved seeing the pictures and hearing the stories they brought back with them! It seems like such a special place.

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