My first choice in Paris will be walking. Raised in NYC, I am used to walking from the Village to Midtown, across the bridge into Queens, an not even break a sweat. Why? When there is visual stimulation, the walk seems to go by in a flash.
In Denver....I drive my car to the mailbox! Why? There is nothing to look at on suburban streets. I envision Paris to be a lot like NYC.
My second choice, well, this Quad Bicycle would be a great start for a big family. According to my travel books (Great Sleeps Paris, Rick Steve's France, and Fodor's France) Fat Tire Bike Tours is highly recommended for a tour around Paris....and it comes with an English speaking guide to boot. They even offer day trips to Normandy and Monet's Giverny, which are both on my itinerary.
My third plan, Taxi Cabs. I never quite acquired my NY whistle, but I can hustle for one. I have no fear of running down a cab driving 80 mph on busy streets. Apparently, in Paris, cabs have to stop for you if their "taxi Parisien" light is on....similar to the Big Apple. A glowing orange light means go catch the bus.
However, being a family of five, we will be in need of the grand taxi. Our hotel will make those arrangements.
We will of course ride the Metro, on a daily basis, I am certain. "With 370 stations, the Paris metro system is one of the most efficient in the world." (Great Sleeps Paris)
(Forgive the flash in this photo.)
Once we part with Paris and head for the countryside, we are boarding the train. One can purchase a France Rail Pass which allows three days of unlimited train travel in one month.
Upon arrival in Alsace or Bordeaux, we need a savvy little French car to explore the hidden villages and countryside. Hmmmm, this one might be a tad small, but it's electric!
Car rentals can get quite spendy and the gas even spendier. However, it is unavoidable, since we desire the full experience of France. I want to drive on the wrong side of the car going at high speeds. I need to practice my French road rage. I haven't learned any "potty words" yet...I wonder if they offer a one day class just for that?
If the weather permits, and we want to show off our lovely locks flowing in the wind along the Nice boardwalk, I think this Harley Davidson would do....don't you?
Having a plan will give us a sense of stability and a good grasp on our budget, prior to arrival. I don't know what I would do without invaluable travel guides and my generous Parisian blogger friends who are so willing to help.
Other pertinent info:
Airport Taxis www.airportaxis.com
Les Taxis Bleus 08-91-70-10-10
SNCF (French national train system)
The Paris Gare de l’Est station now provides transportation to major cities in Central Europe such as Zurich, Switzerland; Munich, Germany and Vienna, Austria.
Address: Place du 11 novembre 1918 75010 Paris
Gare de Lyon: Trains to/from the southeast of France, The Alps, Provence, and Italy
Address: 20 boulevard Diderot, 75012 Paris
RATP for bus routes and info. click on the link or you can call 08-92-69-32-46 for information in English