Paris, Nice, and In Between

I took my five-year-old to get some groceries today, and on the way back we stopped at the local kopitiam for a teh and a fruit jelly ice. As we were waiting for our order, I lapsed into a misty-eyed fogey-speech on comparative coffee cultures around the globe. Before I knew it, P had started planning his very own fantasy holiday! (Although it’s possible he was mainly fantasising about getting away from my fogey-speech.) Here it is, for your reading pleasure:

Intended for: Mum, one 9yo (P’s eldest cousin is about to turn nine, so it is his current benchmark of sophistication and maturity). Dad and little sister have to stay at home.

Overview: Boulevards of Paris, cycling the French countryside, finishing up in Nice. Coffee, red (or pink) wine and orange ices feature heavily.

What I like: I like the fact that he seems willing to use travel to experiment with new foods and beverages. On previous trips, he has been a bit shy of trying the local food – even stuff he would usually be ok to eat at home. This confirms my suspicions that he is on board with the principle but just needs to take steps to keep within his comfort zone whilst on the road. An extended bike trip would be a new experience for both of us, and is chock full of good stuff like fresh air, exercise, and experiencing your surroundings slowly and in some detail. And then of course there’s the red wine and coffee.

Foreseeable drawbacks and mitigating strategies: There could be an argument over whether nine years old is really and truly old enough to be drinking coffee or red wine – even if it’s very milky or watered down. We have agreed to follow French protocol on this one, on the grounds that when in Rome, etc. I am yet to research the accepted age to start giving kids coffee and red wine in France (please enlighten me, if you know).

Estimated Price Bracket: Expensive. It’s Europe, after all, and P is adamant we should go smack in the middle of summer, so it’s hot enough for swimming and orange ices, and also so we don’t have to take too many heavy clothes which will make it harder to cycle.

 Itinerary:

Day One

  • Fly from Singapore to Paris (Charles De Gaulle)
  • Overnight in Paris

Day Two

  • Climb up the Eiffel Tower
  • Have coffee on the boulevard (P thinks he will be old enough to have a milky coffee by then)
  • Board TGV to (some as yet unspecified location in) the French countryside
  • Overnight in French countryside

Days Three, Four, and say also Five

  • Ride around French countryside on our bikes. By the way, I forgot to say we should bring our own bikes with us and we should get some of those special bags you can put on your bike to carry your clothes and everything in.
  • Stop when we feel like it to eat French food and drink wine (P reckons he will drink “pink” (watered-down) wine)
  • When we get tired, find a hotel and have a rest

Day Six

  • Get on another train and go to Nice
  • Swim at the beach and eat orange ices
  • Overnight in Nice

Day Seven or Eight

  • Fly home again to Singapore
P and T on the boulevard drinking milky decaf and babyccinos.

When we got home, P set up a “boulevard cafe” and ordered milky decaf and a babyccino for his little sister.

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