5 Weeks to France: A surprise in the mail

There is nothing like a surprise package arriving in the mail to cause excitement at our house. This particular package was full of fun Frenchy things.

French Package

So many great gifts to get the family prepped for France!

When Spencer’s brother and his family learned of our upcoming Paris adventure, they sent us a darling package full of French-themed items, complete with hand-decorated wrapping paper that exclaimed, “Bon Voyage!” and “Bonne Chance!” It was such fun!

The Paris adventure is fast approaching. We, along with our four boys (ages 7, 5, 3, and 1), are going to spend five weeks in Paris this summer. When we were first contemplating an extended international journey with the boys this summer, I tried to engage my husband in some discussion about where to go. But Spencer, a confirmed Francophile, had his heart set on a summer in Paris. Spencer loves France, especially loves Paris, and speaks French beautifully. So Paris it will be. (I, on the other hand, love Texas, and immediately gave Spencer a “Texas is bigger than France” bumper sticker when we started dating.)

As a family, this is the first time we’ll be staying in one city for a long time. I did a couple of study abroad programs in London as a student and loved getting to know that remarkable city. Both Spencer and I have visited Paris, but only briefly and never together. So, instead of touring around Europe for several weeks, we rented an apartment in Paris, and plan to stay put.

The boys hard at work on their Lego Eiffel Tower.  The instruction booklet had excellent details on the history and construction of the tower.

The boys hard at work on their Lego Eiffel Tower. The instruction booklet had excellent details on the history and construction of the tower.

We’re eager to settle into the City of Light. We love the idea of staying and experiencing one city, getting a real taste of the culture and daily life, and taking in all of the lesser-known wonders that you never have time to squeeze in during a whirlwind tour. Plus, our children are quite young. It will be good for them to feel at home while we’re away from home.


The Frenchy package from our cousins included French magnetic poetry, a French Spot-it game for kids, the classic children’s story, Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince), a Lego Eiffel Tower, and my favorite item – French-fry-flavored chapstick (totally gross but awesome). The boys loved the French-fry chapstick and kept it in the van to apply daily, but the smell got to be too much for me. It’s now been tucked safely away to pull out to amuse our guests. The Lego Eiffel Tower was huge hit, and surprisingly educational! We highly recommend it. We picked basic words and phrases out of the magnetic poetry set to use during our nightly dinner-time French lessons.

All in all, our surprise package was a wonderful way to kick off our preparation for the great Paris adventure.

4 replies
  1. Pheobe
    Pheobe says:

    I think staying in one spot for a longer length of time is a GREAT call.
    I think french fry chapstick sounds grosser than gross. HA!

  2. Beth Parks
    Beth Parks says:

    Lacking a generous family member, you could also put together your own package and mail it to the kids, just to create some excitement and anticipation. What is it about mail that adds so much intrigue? 🙂


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  1. […] years ago.  Their anticipation grew further when my brother sent us a Lego Eiffel Tower set in a pre-France care package.  As hard as we tried to introduce them to other French things before our trip, they just kept […]

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