Just a weekend in Paris before heading south – with our grandaughter! How would you spend that time in the City of Lights? What would be your must-sees? Or must-tastes?
Our early morning flight from Dulles arrived even earlier than scheduled, so we were ready for breakfast as soon as we dropped off our luggage at the hotel – pain au chocolate was Cassidy’s choice, and then we hit the ground running, stopping first by Notre Dame, then walking through the Louvre courtyard, staying outside to keep awake!Then back to the hotel, where our room was already prepared, nice and early, so we could change into lighter clothes as the temps rose in Paris. After more French tastes – moules-frites for this adventuresome eater- followed by an Amorino gelato (yes, Italian tastes too!), we crashed on our beds for a short nap.
Next Paris icon? Montmartre! Those steps will wake us up again!Hotel Welcome, our simple and comfortable lodging for the weekend, is in a terrific location – on Rue du Seine just off Rue de Buci, surrounded by some really good restaurants, cafes and bakeries. Cassidy wants to try a Savoy fondue place, so that’s our dinner, then we’re off to sleep early, almost before the sun sets (yes, that’s the Eiffel Tower, from our 5th floor window).Sunday morning calls for some good strong coffee to get us started, and Malongo is just down the street. One of Paris’ best markets, Bastille, is on Sunday and we find some treasures to take home – marinieres (striped sailors tees) for us, a handcrafted tote for Cassidy. We’re offered lots of nibbles along the way too – sausage from one stall, nougat from another, a piece of ripe peach here, a crouton with tapenade there.
One of Paris’ most beautiful and historic squares is not too far away, the Place de Vosges, and under the surrounding arches a very talented harpist stops us in our stroll. And soon we’re in the thick of the hopping Marais district, where Uniqlo has opened one of their newest locations in an historic Ash Factory (where cinders from jewelers waste were sifted through in search of gold generations ago). I love how the Parisian team has designed the simple Uniqlo basics – such style!A peek into the courtyard of the Carnavalet museum, some bulot (seasnails) for lunch, and more music on the streets – Dixieland – hasn’t she got the moves?! On the way to our next Paris icon we pass a magnificent man in his flying machine – the Marais is full of interesting characters!
Have you guessed where we’re heading next? The Pompidou! A stop at the quirky Stravinsky fountain,then a vintage shop,the Hôtel de Ville (town hall), where a serious game of beach volleyball is going on, and we metro to dessert by the Tuileries. Any guesses?
The most luscious hot chocolate in the world, in my opinion – in the Belle Epoque beauty of Angelina!A stop next door, to goggle at the magnificent lobby of Hotel Meurice, and Cassidy leaves her mark on the framed ice. A late afternoon break, then escargot and a croque monsieur for dinner in the sunset, and then – can’t miss it! – the twinkling Eiffel Tower (it glitters like diamonds for 5 minutes on the hour after dark) before bed.We fit in one more Paris favorite Monday morning before hopping on the train to Aix en Provence, the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens, summer plantings obviously well-watered even in the unprecedented heatwave of July and August. We take in today’s regatta, going strong on the pond,read and relax together, then head for the Gare de Lyon, home of the gorgeous Train Bleu restaurant,