On the bus with my Three
"Art has to move you and design does not,
unless it's a good design for a bus."
- David Hockney
In all of the times I've visited Paris, the first time I rode a bus there was in 2009. We were planning to visit an expat friend in the 6th. When Robert suggested the bus I thought...but of course!
Although this is my third trip to Paris with the kids, it's the first time that I've felt comfortable enough to not take taxis everywhere with them. Believe me, it's quite daunting to head out with mom (who's in her 80s), three children, a stroller, a travel chair and Coco. But not only was it doable, it was much easier and hassle free than I expected - that's going to get it's own post ;-)
Mr. Gorgeous on the bus
Of course, we had a major advantage - Mr. Gorgeous! Not only does he speak, read, and write French fluently, he's a hunk. That means he's not only easy on the eyes, he was effortlessly able to sling the stroller over his shoulder when need be - leaving me to be able to focus on the kids. Oh and don't worry if you can't speak French. The other riders and even the bus driver were very kind and helpful.
Mamma on the bus
Dorothy (mom) was major advantage #2. Don't let her age fool you - she's healthy, spritely and had no trouble keeping up or pushing the stroller; especially after we found her the perfect lightweight travel chair (thus she could and did sit and rest where ever and whenever she needed to). But that also meant that there was an adult for every child - a major advantage when traveling with kids.
Bus #68: Place de Clichy-Chatillon Montrouge
Even so, I always insisted on taking a taxi to where ever our first destination of the day was (though we usually walked back to our apartment at the end of the day). Taking the Metro was always a non-starter - all of those stairs and tunnels...But when Robert suggested the bus I thought hmmmm. And, since our first try was so successful, mom, Peter, and I decided that we'd try to incorporate it much more in our daily adventures. I'm working with the fantabulous Mimi Bleu on my itinerary for this trip - her service is amazing and I highly recommend her. She's not only great to work with, she's always available to answer my myriad of questions. Mimi recommended the Paris Metro/Bus site. I love this site. There's an English language option; but the best part is the 'Routes app.' Just put in your starting location and your destination et voila!
I also found e.Vous - a Paris site. Unfortunately it's only in French but if you click on Linges de Bus a Paris (Paris Buslines) they have every bus listed by number. You click on the number and you'll get a list of every stop that particular bus makes - you don't have to be able to read French to follow along - wonderful! I noodled around and quickly discovered that it's a 20 minute, one bus, ride from a few doors from my apartment to the front gates of the Jardin des Tuileries; at 1/5th what a taxi ride would cost - how fabulous is that?!
I'm really looking forward to this bus adventure. The views are amazing and you really feel like a Parisian, not a tourist. Of course, I reserve the right to take a taxi!
Vivre! Rire! Aimer!