During our trip to France, we spent five nights in Lyon which is just a couple hours of outside of Paris by train. Bob had a conference for work there, so it was mostly Ruby and I hanging together most of the day, and Bob joined us in the afternoons when he was done work (hence why he is wearing such fancy outfits in most of these photos).
We rented an apartment in the 6th district in Lyon through airbnb. It was perfect for what we needed—spacious, cozy, relatively toddler-safe, and close to grocery stores, parks, and restaurants. Since it was on the 6th floor, we made sure that it had an elevator so that we wouldn't be huffing it every day. However, the elevator was comical. It just barely fit the three of us when all squeezed together.
Once we crammed ourselves in and out of the elevator, here's a what we did while in Lyon…
One of my favorite places to visit in any city is an indoor food market with various vendors and purveyors of every kind. Similar to the Reading Terminal Market in Philly or the Ferry Building in San Francisco, Les Halles de Lyon is a food lover's dream with stalls aplenty. We bought some amazing cheese and charcuterie there that topped any cheese and charcuterie we've ever had in the States.
We even found the tiniest macarons in all the land at the Richart shop there. Ruby loved them because they were just her size!
Les Halles de Lyon | 102 cours Lafayette, 69003 Lyon
Some of the most flavorful ice cream we've ever had was at Terre Adélice. Known for their natural and organic flavors, it had the smooth and creamy texture of gelato. My favorite was the lime basil flavor—tangy, fresh, and so, so good. And, I think Ruby liked the chocolate ice cream, too.
Terre Adélice | 1 place de la Baleine, 69005 Lyon
Since Ruby goes to bed around 7:30 or 8pm, we usually have dinner at 6pm. We had a really hard time finding any restaurants in Lyon (and Paris) that were open for dinner that early, or even at all. When we did find restaurants open at 6pm, they often only had a small selection to choose from because dinner menus typically don't start until 7 or 7:30pm. Just when we felt defeated by our lack of options, we ended up having one of our favorite meals from an afternoon snack menu at Café Juliette—including the best croque monsieur I've ever had and an amazing salmon rillettes and cheese dish.
Café Juliette | 41 rue Juliette Récamier, 69006 Lyon
And, there's a cute little playground right by the restaurant that Ruby loved.
This week in Lyon was all about me and Ruby as we got a lot of special mama/daughter time exploring unknown territory. We played a lot and ate a lot of sweet treats. I broke my normal rule about no desserts until after dinner as we shared a chocolate croissant every morning on the way to the park.
Our apartment was just a couple blocks from the best park on the planet—the Parc de la Tête d'Or. Seriously, it's like Central Park but way cleaner and full of so many areas including a botanical garden, a zoo, two merry-go-rounds, a playground, a lake, and so many other things I didn't even get to see. Ruby and I went to the park every morning for the five days we were there, and every day we discovered something new.
The coolest part is that the zoo is interwoven into the park, so you'll randomly see animals in areas mixed with totally serene greenery. It just felt so much more calm than any other zoo I've ever been to.
Parc de la Tête d'Or | Boulevard des Belges and Avenue Verguin, 69006 Lyon
Our time in Lyon was much more relaxed than our time in Paris. We enjoyed it more like locals and less like tourists by visiting some of our favorite spots daily and by going to places mostly in walking distance. It was a fun start to our trip, and we were happy to have Bob done with work and join us daily for our week in Paris. I hope you guys enjoyed seeing bits from our trip! I have some practical guides coming soon about packing for a family trip and traveling with toddlers abroad, so stay tuned…
P.P.S. Ruby's improved French skills…