Holiday Inn Notre Dame - Three Stars

Brand new. Just opened. Absolutely awesome!

There is no better location in Paris. Is a nice stroll away from Notre Dame, Saint Chapelle, Hotel De Ville, Musée du Moyen Age, La Sorbonne, Le Pantheon, Jardin de Luxembourg, Théâtre d'Odéon, the Louvre and Châtelet. When it says 50 meters from Saint Michel métro stop it's not lying. This hotel sits right on top of the métro station offering the best access of any location in Paris. Direct lines to both airports and all train stations. The neighborhood is very charming.

Holiday Inn is a guaranteed great stay! It will feel like a big luxurious Holiday Inn. It offers a panoramic view of Paris from it's rooftop terrasse! If you know anything about Parisian real-estate you know that's pretty spectacular. You won't be disappointed. I believe this hotel opened it's doors in November 2009.

The neighborhood can't be beat! Adorable! Boulevard Saint Michel is a true outdoor mall offering familiar shops like Gap, and classic french shops like Etam. There are four Starbucks in a two block radius to this hotel. This neighborhood is where people enjoy hanging out.

This hotel has Air-Conditioning, Elevators and Cable TV.

They have a page on the Holiday Inn Website, they're ready to take your reservation today.


Sleep is vital in the adaptation process, but you may be thinking, "On the plane? Are you kidding?" Yes it is possible! If you struggle to get some shut eye each time you take to the air, you're not alone -- but choosing the right seat, bringing the right gear and making a few small changes in your flying habits could help you sleep better on your next flight.

Mentally prepare for it.
  • Try to get a window seat if possible; it will give you something to lean against and get you out of the way of other folks in your row, who won't have to scramble over you each time they need to use the bathroom. You'll also have some control over the window shade. 
  • Avoid the back row where the seats may not recline.
  • Pack fluffy socks to keep circulation going, as well as an eye mask and earplugs to create your sleep environment.
  • Pray for sleep. Trust God for a miracle.
48 hours before departure
  • Change your watch to your destination time. Tell yourself “This is the time of day I will go to sleep.” “This is the time of day I will eat lunch.” If possible begin eating your meals at appropriate times for your destination. (Or simply fast for 24 hours, that works too.)
At the airport 
  • Immediately before you get on the plane, and before you prepare to sleep - do slow stretching exercises like toe touches, neck rolls, and twists. Remember the goal is not to get your heart rate going, but to relax your muscles by moving intentionally, slowly and smoothly.
  • Drink lots of water, avoid caffeine - that goes for your entire jet-lag experience. 
When on the plane
  • First take off your shoes.
  • Stop your watch
  • Do not stow bags at your feet.
  • Do stretching exercises ; stretch your back by lifting your arms as high as possible, point and flex your ankles, do neck rolls, relax your muscles. 
After the meal
  • Plan to sleep the remainder of the flight. 
  • Recognize that you must approach it differently than sleeping at home.
  • Pillows and blankets will be provided, if you need more don't hesitate to ask the stewards.
  • Lower your shade and turn out your light.
  • Wear eye masks and ear-plugs and don’t listen to music or movies that force your brain to work when it should be resting (as a matter of fact your sleep is worth the price of a movie... plan to buy the film you “can’t miss” when you hit the ground as your reward for sleeping.) 
  • Do pray, and pray for sleep. We need you to arrive relaxed and ready to hit the ground running.


Air Plane Exercising

  1. Everyone one is worried about their health while flying. Drinking lots of water and doing simple exercises can help ward off aches and pains and possible blood clots.

  1. Step
    Squeeze a tennis ball or a pair of socks with your hands until they're tired.

  2. Step2
    Keep the balls of your feet planted and raise your legs using your calf muscles. If this is too easy, place your carry-on bag on your knees. Continue until tired.

  3. Step3
    Plant your heels firmly and raise your toes as high as possible. Hold for five seconds, and relax. Repeat until tired.

  4. Step4
    Place your hands on your armrests and raise your knees slowly (together is harder than one at a time) toward your chin. Lower them slowly. Repeat until tired.

  5. Step5
    Cross your legs. Rotate the dangling foot in as wide a circle as possible. Continue until tired.

  6. Step6
    Stretch your neck by keeping your chin close to your throat and tilting your head forward. Roll your head from one shoulder to the other, but avoid rotating it backward.

  7. Step7
    Flex your trapezius muscles by doing shoulder hunches. Lower your shoulders, and then raise them up toward your ears into a shrug. Hold for five seconds. Continue until tired.

  8. Step8
    Arch your torso gently backward and forward like a cat.

  9. Step9
    Flex your gluteus muscles and hold for as long as possible. Squeezing your rear like this may occasion strange glances, but these muscles are the biggest in the human body and need to be exercised, too.


Table Etiquette


“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages.” Luke 10:5-7

You are about to embrace another culture. You will never truly experience French culture if you do not eat with the locals, so consider every meal a learning experience. Tell yourself you like vegetables, even ones whose names you can’t pronounce! Decide to be daring and try everything in this gastronomical capital of the world.

*When we bring our friends over to visit, the menu has been chosen to introduce you to dishes from every region of France, representing what is commonly eatten around the family dinner table, promoting those dishes that allow us to be frugal, and contributing to a well-balanced diet.


  • Les quinze minutes de politesse - Arrive fashionably late for dinner invitations.
  • Take off your shoes when entering a home. If your host has their shoes on, still offer to take off your shoes and insist that you enjoy stocking feet.
  • The seat closest to the kitchen is the hosts’. Sit up straight at the table.
  • Once someone begins serving the meal you should open your napkin on your lap. 
  • Don’t turn your plate once it’s set in front of you.
  • Do not start eating until everyone has received their course. Take your cues from the host each course.
  • Use your fork and knife. Keep your hands in sight. Cut one small bite at a time. Never fill your fork while you still have food in your mouth. Pose your fork on the table between bites. 
  • Never serve yourself a beverage, always serve your neighbor.
  • Always accept wine offered, you don’t have to drink it. Do Not finish your glass - Be careful, if you empty your glass it will be refilled for you, by your host.
  • Finish everything on your plate. Speak up if you don’t want seconds or you will find a generous heap before you.
  • It is considered embarrassing to use the bathroom in someone’s home; avoid asking if you can hold it.


The Other Bike Tour

This is the lesser known bike tour, as opposed to the large groups of 30+ that you see in the crowded streets.
Bike About Tours specializes in small groups and seeing the hidden treasures Paris.


Packing for Paris

“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few... Go! ... Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.” Luke 10:2-4


  • One pair of shoes to walk walk walk.
  • A credit card or ATM card for making all souvenir purchases, or just getting coffee. 
  • Bible, Journal, Note pad, pen, and a shoulder bag that zippers securely to deter thieves.
  • Travel pack of Kleenexes (handy while using public toilets that you won’t be sitting on, and cleaning doggy-do off your shoes.) I like moist charmin myself.
  • Presentable socks. Don’t embarrass your host when you are asked to take your shoes off upon entering a home.
  • Layerable water resistant clothing (multiple thin layers are preferable to thick items) Wear culturally sensitive attire, you should not wear short skirts, ties, ball caps, or shorts for men or women. For those who like to blend in - wear black.


  • camera
  • hand sanitizer
  • travel umbrella
  • transformers/converters for razors/hair dryers

Basic rule of thumb : Staying less than 10 days : pack ONLY a carry-on. Staying more than 10 days : pack everything into your carry-on that you cannot afford to lose or be without for a few days (in case luggage is lost or late). Expect to carry your luggage up and down many stairs. Your bag should not weigh more than 8 kilos (17lbs). Wheel-y bags are cute, but they aren't going to help you navigate our cobblestone alleys. We recommend a good backpacks because they distribute weight evenly on your body.

Parisian Woman

  • dark trendy jeans
  • black capris
  • stylish Ts
  • classic French striped T
  • jersey dress
  • a light sweater suitable for over Ts or the dress
  • light belted trenchcoat
  • all-day walking shoes
  • comfy black shoe that's not a tennis variety
  • cute socks
  • shoulder sac

Parisian Man

  • dark trendy jeans
  • black T
  • casual button down
  • formal, solid-colored button down
  • khaki jacket
  • belt
  • versatile casual shoe like Sketchers
  • black socks
  • messenger bag


Four Meals A Day


Families wake up and eat breakfast together at the kitchen counter. Someone runs to the street corner and buys a nice hot baguette from the bakery and brings it back home. Parents fix coffee-milk (1/2 coffee / 1/2 milk) and children fix hot cocoa and they all prepare their hot drinks in a bowl! In France you don’t cut a baguette, you tear it.

And so, everyone tears off a big chunk of bread spreads it with real butter and dunks it into their hot drink (that’s why it has to be in a bowl). Most kids like to spread Nutella, a chocolate-hazelnut spread, on their bread.

Off To School - Home For Lunch

Children walk to school. It’s fun for neighbors to run to each other’s house’s and ring the doorbell summoning their friends. Then they walk together laughing and talking. Children have an hour and a half for lunch break. 

They don’t really want to get stuck at school that whole time so if their parents don’t work too far away they come home and fix a nice hot meal for the family. (Parents get a two hour lunch break). Otherwise the kids eat at the school cafeteria.


Goûter means snack. This is the third meal of the day, and it is just as important as the other three. On their way home from school children stop at the bakery and get a Pain Au Chocolat, a bit of croissant dough rolled around a chocolate bar and baked crispy and golden. This tradition helps the kids transition between work and play and end the school day well.


Dinner at home with the family. French kids drink water and only water with their well-balanced meals. They can choose to drink sparkling water if they like. French are famous for beef stews, green beans, and yes, they LOVE French fries!