Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 1.5 hours, approximately 80 miles roundtrip; traffic dependent. Use of Paris Métro; unavoidable stairs; walking through pedestrian tunnels; elevators/escalators not available in most stations; standing on Metro when seats are not available. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; extent and duration of walking and other activities during self-directed field trips according to personal choice. Expect crowded conditions.
At the hotel, we’ll have a breakfast buffet with hot and cold choices and beverages choices of coffee, tea, water, juice.
At the hotel, our Instructor will provide an informative overview of French art. In the 12th century, France was at the helm of intellectual and artistic life in Europe, most recognizable through its architectural contributions. For example, France is the birthplace Romanesque and Gothic architecture and the home of patrons and artists alike, such as Fouquet, Poussin and Monet. We’ll then take the Métro to one of the greatest museums and one of the most important collections of art in the world, the Louvre. On arrival, the Group Leader will divide the grandkids into teams and they will set off on a scavenger hunt. Meanwhile, the grandparents will have independent time to explore the exhibits. The largest museum in the world, the Louvre’s unrivaled collection includes thousands of masterworks including Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and the statue of a goddess known as “Vénus de Milo” for the island where it was discovered in 1820. Note: Crowds may make it difficult to get a good look at some of the most popular works.
We’ll walk to a local restaurant and have a plated meal with beverage choices of wine or soft drink; other beverages available for purchase.
We will board a motorcoach with our Group Leader and Instructor and travel to the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, which is one of the most magnificent private residences in France. Once there, we will explore the castle with audio provided by the museum. After, we will divide into groups and do a special activity with our Group Leaders! The Grandparents will learn about the fine dining etiquette of the Nobles of the 17th century while the Grandkids play an escape game. It was built for Nicolas Fouquet from 1615 and 1680. The ambitious Fouquet ascended politically and became a patron of the arts. Rising from a member of the Parisian Parlement to Louis XIV’s Superintendent of Finances in 1653, he commissioned the grand baroque estate and set a precedent for French architecture and design. The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, known for combining architecture, interior design, and landscape into a unified masterpiece, served as inspiration for the palace of Versailles. Unfortunately for Fouquet, the magnificence of Vaux-le-Vicomte was his undoing. He fell victim to a plot by his rivals and King Louis XIV ordered his arrest — but not before attending an extravagant fête at the château in 1661.
We’ll ride via motorcoach to a local family’s home and have buffet meal featuring traditional French dishes and a beverage choice of wine or soft drink.