There are lots of trip reports being posted now, but we arrived home last night after a week in France and thought I'd post a few notes that might be helpful to some.
First - thanks to this forum and all the regulars as it was very helpful in all my obsessive planning.
Location - We stayed in the 6th (Hotel A'Aubusson) and loved it. Since we have a wheelchair and did not feel we could use the metro, we knew we would be walking a lot. Paris is huge (larger than I expected - compared to other cities we have visited in Europe - Rome, Florence, London, Munich, Zurich)
We found the 6th a great location as it is central to walk to all sites and when we arrived back at the hotel in the evening for a quick break before dinner - there were tons of choices for evening entertainment and eating. Also, lots of Patisseries in the area for a nice sweet in the morning. Very safe and clean area to stay.
Food - I had a list of several places from guides and this site as possible restaurants to try. We ended up not using it at all, as for lunch we ended up eating in whatever area we ended up in when we were hungry. We found many nice choices with good food. After all,Paris is a big city with many great food choices. And for dinner- we stayed near our hotel as we were tired and did not want to venture too far. So many good choices near by - just asked at the hotel or wandered and looked at menus. Were not disappointed at all - Maybe we did not have the gourmet meals of a well planned foodie trip - but the food was good to great at all of our picks. Many times, we struck up a conversation with a near by table and came upon regulars that recommended certain meals - always were happy with the recomendaitons. For breakfast we stuck to goodies from the several near by Patisseries....how can you go wrong with that.
Wheelcahir access- what can I say - it was actually very good for a large historical city. Every street corner had curb cuts and well labled crossing areas. The major museums all offered free admission for the wheelchair user and one other to push them. We found the sites we visited for the most part accessable - a few were not and we took turns wandering the area with our daugther while the others toured the site. My husband is afraid of heights - so he waited with her while we did hte Eiffel Tower - but I do think chairs can get up the first level for a nice view - butnot the top. She couldnot get in to the Pantheon or Sacre Coeur - but both has nice areas to wander near by. At all the sites she could visit - representatives pulled the entire family out of the line and showed us to special entrances - so we had no waits - which was very nice. In fact - At CDG - they could not have been better - we were pulled to the front of every line both at arrival and departure. That is all I can think ofon the wheel chair access - I'd say Rome did a better job at all the sites (even the colluseum was accessable there) but Paris surprised me with the access they had. If anyone has more specific quesitons, feel free to ask. Also, note that we push her - she is not a self pusher or an electric chair - and there aremanycoblestone areas - so if the bumps bother you - that could be an issue - she kind of likes the bumbyride sometimes.
Bread - the best bread in the world!
Taxi - we waited about 5 min for a large taxi at the taxi line and our cost for 5 people , 4 suitcases, a foldable wheelchair from CDG to the 6th was 50 euro- we arrived sun at 7am and made excellent time to the hotel and I know the driver did not charge the extra fees he could of for the additional people and bags....
People - could not have been nicer. At the hotel,airport and sites, everyone was fluent in english and made discussions easy. In some smaller shops and not touristy areas they did not always speak english - but were friendly and we were able to communicate enough to do what we needed to do - ususally buy food.....
Also, I had a bad experience with a rental car breaking down on a narrow street, thus blocking traffic, the car started smoking and stopped moving 5 min after I picked it up on the way to the hotel. I was blocking traffic. Four men thsat were working on the street stopped and spoke no english - they were so kind andpushed me to the side so traffic could get by. Then they stayed with me to find someone that spoke English - this man stayed with me and called the rental co (Europcar) to get assistance there and helped me with that....I could not believe how friendly and helpful everyone was - In my experience the 'French hat Americans' reputation is completely wrong.....The entire trip the people we met were friendly and helpful and really kind. I cannot tell you how many people approached us to tell us how pretty our daughter in the wheelchair is ...
enough rambling....allin allan excellent trip.