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Old 05-29-2012, 08:40 PM   #1
sayhello
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France: Esprit de France Meets Thread

Please post here if you would like to talk with anyone else who has signed up to travel to France with ABD.

You can also share information/ask questions about the France Esprit de France ABD.

Please try and keep this thread on topic to discussion and questions about the France ABD. Off topic posts will be deleted or moved.

Thanks!
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Roll Call:
Current:

Previous:
  • Jun 16 23, 2012 - suzrobi & granddaughter (17)
  • Jun 30 - Jul 7, 2012 - CAprincess, DH, DD 9 & DS 11
  • Aug 4 - 11, 2012 - tsgirl, husband & 3 daughters (20, 18, and 14)
  • May 23 - 30, 2013 - asmith1113, husband & son (16)
  • Jul 27 - Aug 3, 2013
    • - MNDISFAN13 & ?
    • - OffandAway, husband & daughter (17)
  • Aug 3 - Aug 10, 2013 - SteveInCA, wife, & 2 sons (13 & 16)

Last edited by sayhello; 06-14-2014 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:02 PM   #2
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Big Thank you to Sayhello to making these threads possible!

Hello!
My family and I are booked on the 7/18-7/25 2013 Espirit de France ABD. My DS will be 17 and my DD will be 13. I'll let you guess as to my and DH's ages! This will be only our second ABD; we did Backstage Magic in 2010. It will be the kids' and my first trip to France and we hope to do an add-on for DLP. Looking forward to hearing everyone else's experiences and tips.
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Last edited by mouselike-harrier; 05-31-2012 at 06:37 AM. Reason: fixed date to july
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:42 PM   #3
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Our family is going 6/30-7/7. DD is 9 and DS is 11. My DH and I have been to France before, but I'm excited to be on the ABD tour with our kids. This is our first full ABD tour. We did the ABD add-on on our Alaska cruise last summer. Can't wait!
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:37 AM   #4
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We are booked for August 4, my husband and I and our three daughter (20, 18, and 14)!
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:36 AM   #5
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oops! Sorry everyone. We are going in July not June. Mea Culpa.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:34 PM   #6
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Espirit de France June 16th

Heading to London and Paris for a week first before hooking up at Versailles to begin our adventure on June 16th with granddaughter 17.
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Old 07-15-2012, 04:18 PM   #7
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May 23, 2013

We just booked the 5/23/2013 trip. Myself, husband and then 16 year old son. This is our first ABD trip. Helpful hints or where to find helpful hints is appreciated.
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asmith1113 View Post
We just booked the 5/23/2013 trip. Myself, husband and then 16 year old son. This is our first ABD trip. Helpful hints or where to find helpful hints is appreciated.
Welcome, asmith1113! What aspect of your ABD are you looking for helpful hints on? I haven't seen any reports from folks who have been on this trip yet (this is the first year for this trip), but hopefully they'll chime in here.

There are plenty of folks who can give you helpful hints on ABD's in general, or European travel, etc.

Sayhello
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Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:59 PM   #9
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Unhappy

Sayhello, could you take us off your list? Our finances, unexpectedly, took a big hit and for us it's worth losing our deposit rather than paying that amount of money for the 4 of us. We are determined to go once things are looking better, maybe 2015 or 2014.
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:50 PM   #10
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Hi asmith1113,

Haven't time right now to furnish details, but rest assured this trip is FABULOUS! It's jammed packed with a variety of sights and experiences and is an ambitious itinerary. Lots of walking and stair climbing in the chateaux - I welcomed the activity. Will post more later next week. Hopefully you plan to arrive a day earlier at Trianon Palace, Versailles to be rested enough to tour Versailles Gardens on Saturday afternoon - head to fountains #10 and #21 (bath of Apollo). Since it stays light til 10:00pm, you'll want to walk around the beautiful hotel grounds after the reception dinner if you're able. You'll love ALL the accomodations - first class all the way - all different. And as always the case, you meet the NICEST people and the guides are great.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mouselike-harrier View Post
Sayhello, could you take us off your list? Our finances, unexpectedly, took a big hit and for us it's worth losing our deposit rather than paying that amount of money for the 4 of us. We are determined to go once things are looking better, maybe 2015 or 2014.
I'm so sorry to hear this, mouselike-harrier. I'll take you off the rollcall. Hopefully things pick up for you soon!

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Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:40 PM   #12
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Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sayhello View Post
Welcome, asmith1113! What aspect of your ABD are you looking for helpful hints on? I haven't seen any reports from folks who have been on this trip yet (this is the first year for this trip), but hopefully they'll chime in here.

There are plenty of folks who can give you helpful hints on ABD's in general, or European travel, etc.

Sayhello
Thanks in advance! Just a few things have come to mind already that are general... I asked ABD via email while I was tied up at work today, but hoping that they can ensure non-smoking hotel rooms. I'm sure they will answer that one, but if any experience with that not being the case, would like to know. My son and I are both very impacted by smoke and I believe it's true that smoking is not as restricted in Europe...I could be wrong though... What time do you normally get going in the morning? I know it probably varies, but is it normal to have to get up at 6:00 a.m. or earlier? I have a teenager, who is happy about the trip, but not fond of waking early so want to set the expectation... Does anyone do laundry while on the trip; it turns out at least one of us needs something washed in a week long trip. Not critical, but used to that being available and thinking it might not be the case. Do people usually go early or stay late; what do folks think about what's better. I'm thinking of coming at least a day early, but thinking I will know the lay of the land a lot better afterward, so that might be better. One more, and that's do men usually bring jackets for dinner?
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:55 PM   #13
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A few general answers in Red.
Quote:
Originally Posted by asmith1113 View Post
Thanks in advance! Just a few things have come to mind already that are general...

I asked ABD via email while I was tied up at work today, but hoping that they can ensure non-smoking hotel rooms. I'm sure they will answer that one, but if any experience with that not being the case, would like to know. My son and I are both very impacted by smoke and I believe it's true that smoking is not as restricted in Europe...I could be wrong though... Boy, that's actually a good question. I've always assumed they were, but that's probably not a good assumption as you are correct, and they seem to be more lax about smoking in Europe. I'm sure ABD will give you the answer!

What time do you normally get going in the morning? I know it probably varies, but is it normal to have to get up at 6:00 a.m. or earlier? I have a teenager, who is happy about the trip, but not fond of waking early so want to set the expectation... I'm thinking most mornings tended to start 8am to 9am-ish (with having to be there earlier for breakfast). So it depends on how long it takes you to get ready in the morning, and how long it takes you to eat breakfast.

Does anyone do laundry while on the trip; it turns out at least one of us needs something washed in a week long trip. Not critical, but used to that being available and thinking it might not be the case. I don't do laundry on vacation , but I know people who have. It depends on the trip whether or not laundry facilities are available at the hotels.

Do people usually go early or stay late; what do folks think about what's better. I'm thinking of coming at least a day early, but thinking I will know the lay of the land a lot better afterward, so that might be better. I recommend AT LEAST one day early to acclimate & get over jet lag. It can really kill you. I usually try to do at least 2 days if I can. Days after are nice, also. Just know that on most trips, if you don't arrange the pre- or post- days through ABD, you won't get airport transfers for whichever (before and/or after) you choose.

One more, and that's do men usually bring jackets for dinner? Some do, some don't. I think most trips it's really up to what you're comfortable with. There's usually at least one "nice" dinner on each trip, but dressing up is never mandatory.
Hope that helps!

Sayhello
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Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:24 PM   #14
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Answers to questions...

Hi asmith1113,

Although it seemed all hotels rooms were smoke free, I would send AbD a special request for a non-smoking room especially at the Royal Barriere in Deauville which is quite large and older.

Breakfasts most days are 7-8:00 with departure 8:00 (8:30 latest day). It stays light very late, so don't be tempted to stay up too late if you can't handle early mornings - I got up at 6:00, particularly on the pack-and-move-on days when suitcases had to be ready for pick up as early as 7:30. As I recall. Have your teenager practice getting up earlier. There's plenty of time to sleep on the 1:30-2:00 hr bus rides between stops on most days (movies are shown). They do stop at rest areas for breaks on the longer journeys. You can leave anything on the bus while touring - so bring pillows to take along for comfort.

Didn't notice any opportunity (fascilities or time!) - I washed underwear by hand (had been in London/Paris for a week before joining the ABD trip). bring appropriate fabrics for quick dry. Or you can always use the hotel services on the 2 night stays $$$.

No jackets required! Disney trips are always casual - shorts and capris. Only exception is the last night dinner at the Louvre when some dressed a bit - maybe one or two men had blue blazers - teens just had neat shirts. Most men wore khakis and collared (polo type) or button up shirts. Women wore everything from dresses (simple summer - not too fancy) to slacks with nice tops or shirts. LOTS of walking on marble floors and stairs in the Louvre - I'd keep the high high heels at home.

Have you ever been to Paris? If not, you most definitely should stay at LEAST an extra day (Disney still takes care of transport to the airport for one extra night) or longer if you can (own transportation to airport, I believe).
Don't miss visiting the Isle de Citi section of Paris behind Notre Dame. Great little shops, restaurants, charming.

And most defintely arrive at the Trianon Palace a day early to adjust to time and be rested for a tour of Versailles Gardens in the morning or afternoon before the reception dinner at 6:00.

You and your teen will have a WONDERFUL trip - I went with my granddaughter who had just graduated from high school.

Let me know if I can answer any more questions for you.
Happy travels!
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:16 PM   #15
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Wow! Thanks for the quick answers!

I appreciate both of you helping me with such great responses so quickly!
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