Idea for Spring Break - Charleston

With a snowstorm bearing down this weekend, I've been dreaming of April and spring break.  One great trips we took as a family was a week in Charleston, South Carolina.  It was everything we work looking for:  warm, not too far from home (we drove), great food, and lots to do and see.  We broke the trip up and spent two nights in Williamsburg on the way down, but we loved Charleston so much we opted to change our return plans and spend an extra night there.

We had some Marriott points to use so we chose to stay at the Residence Inn, which is about a 5 minute drive from downtown Charleston.  The hotel was great and it had everything we needed for a long stay:  our room was a suite so the kids were in a separate room for sleeping, a hot breakfast was served every morning, there were laundry facilities on-site and best of all, a heated saltwater pool. 

Over the next few posts, I'll be highlighting what we did, where we ate, and a few great day trips we took. 

Lunch with a View

I've had a couple of family members visit Paris recently and have eagerly given suggestions, wanted or not.  I don't know if it is because it was the first place in Europe I visited, but Paris is one of my favorite cities.  We travelled there with the kids a few years ago and I was delighted to discover that it is just as enchanting for kids.  Ava says that she wants to live in Paris when she grows up and whenever we ask the kids about locations for upcoming vacations her answer is always "Paris."

In looking up recommendations, I went through all of the photos from our trip and thought I would devote the rest of this week's posts to some of the more successful outings we had during our time there.  

There are lots of places to eat around the Eiffel Tower but they tend to be a.) expensive or b.) touristy or c.) expensive and touristy.  Looking around for something which was d.) none of the above, I found a recommendation for Cafe Carlu, the cafe in the Cite de Architecture museum.  It is about a 5-minute walk from the Tower and you can eat in the cafe without paying admission to the museum.  The food is very good, as all Paris museum cafe food tends to be, but the real reason to come is for the view.  The cafe has a patio with several tables so you can enjoy your meal overlooking this fantastic sight.

The picture below illustrates another benefit of eating here. It is relatively crowd-free so there is always a table on the patio available.  

Even if you don't make it here for a meal it is still a great place to grab a snack and rest up a bit before continuing on your day.  Also nearby is a carousel, fountains to dip your feet into, and Cineaqua, the aquarium of Paris.