In 2008, hubby and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. Of course we wanted to do something special to celebrate – and so we did.
We took our then 10-month-old, 8-year-old, and our two moms to Paris.
Yup, we went on a multigenerational – 10th wedding anniversary – vacation. When I mentioned our plans to friends, they thought we were nuts. They were thinking, “Why would you take your kids AND both moms/grandmas on a romantic trip to Paris?”
Well, hubby and I were not nuts. We had a clear plan. We wanted our 8-year-old to see Paris because she had started learning French and she was fascinated with French baking. I was still nursing our 10-month-old and I really couldn’t leave him for 10 days to go to Paris.
So hey, we wanted to make it work to give our daughter another stamp on her passport, keep our youngest thriving, and to romance each other. How could we make sure we achieved all of that…take the moms along!
Hubby was fantastic and pretty much planned the entire trip. In December 2007, he purchased packing cubes for all of us and gave them as Christmas gifts. He researched Paris apartment rentals, found the best airfare, assembled a family-friendly Paris guide, and ordered t-shirts for all of us.
My mother-in-law and I took a travel French class together. I studied hard and my mother-in-law scoped out the cute men in class. (Yes, that is true and accurate.)
My mother flew to Colorado a few days before we left for Paris. She has the tendency to over pack, so it was a hilarious spectacle to watch my hubby coach my mom in her repacking efforts. It took them about two hours to complete this task. I really wish I had videotaped it.
When we arrived in Paris, super late and the night before Easter, my mom was the only one whose bags made it from Colorado (well actually O’Hare airport). We laughed about it and I had to use my French and Spanish to describe all our lost stuff. My mom was fairly impressed with my language skills and announced she was pleased with the amount of money she and my stepdad spent on my undergraduate education. (Yes, it was random – but again, we all laughed.)
On Easter Sunday, my monolingual hubby and mom went for a walk with the baby. I don’t know how they managed this but they met a Frenchman (that barely spoke English) who gave them some diapers for our baby – because our bags were still lost. This generous Frenchman took my hubby and my mom to his home and gave them the exact size and brand of diapers we used. It was magically amazing.
We did a lot of sightseeing and loved when the admissions personnel moved us to the front of long lines because we had the baby. We ate great food, watched people, took a gazillion pictures, and had a fabulous time. Most nights we ate dinner at the apartment, and then hubby and I would go out while the grandmothers watched the kiddos.
It was a fantastic multigenerational vacation. We can’t wait to go back to Paris.
Multigenerational travel does not have to be difficult or cumbersome. Be sure to check out our tips and resources that will make planning your next multigenerational vacation easy and fun.
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