A Whirlwind Paris Weekend

A Whirlwind Paris Weekend

August 8-10,2015
Paris, France

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
How about celebrating Mozart in the matchless city of Bath, England in November?

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 – 08071602 breakfastpain au chocolate was Cassidy’s choice, and then we hit the ground running, stopping first by Notre Dame,08071602 notredame then walking through the Louvre courtyard, staying outside to keep awake!08071602 the louvreThen 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 –  08071602 welcome changemoules-frites for this adventuresome eater- 08071602 x moules fritesfollowed by an Amorino gelato (yes, Italian tastes too!), 08071603 amorinowe crashed on our beds for a short nap.
Next Paris icon? Montmartre! 08071603 montmartreThose steps will wake us up again!08071603 montmartre after napHotel 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).08071603 to bed after early dinner tartifletteSunday morning calls for some good strong coffee to get us started, and Malongo is just down the street.08071701 breakfast malongo One of Paris’ best markets, Bastille, is on Sunday 08071701 market bastilleand we find some treasures to take home – marinieres (striped sailors tees) for us,08071701 market bastille marinieres 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, 08071701 vosgesand 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). 08071702 uniqloI love how the Parisian team has designed the simple Uniqlo basics – such style!08071703 accessories from tees sweaters etcA peek into the courtyard of the Carnavalet museum, 08071702 carnavaletsome bulot (seasnails) for lunch, 08071703 seasnailsand more music on the streets – Dixieland08071702 dixieland video too hasn’t she got the moves?! On the way to our next Paris icon we pass a magnificent man in his flying machine – 08071703 the magnificent man in histhe Marais is full of interesting characters!
Have you guessed where we’re heading next? The Pompidou! 08071704 cassidys good at selfiesA stop at the quirky Stravinsky fountain,08071704 fountainthen a vintage shop,08071704 vintagethe Hôtel de Ville (town hall), where a serious game of beach volleyball is going on, 08071704 volley beachand we metro to dessert by the Tuileries. Any guesses?
The most luscious hot chocolate in the world, in my opinion –08071705 angelina dessert in the Belle Epoque beauty of Angelina!08071705 belle epoqueA stop next door, to goggle at the magnificent lobby of Hotel Meurice, 08071705 meuriceand Cassidy leaves her mark on the framed ice. 08071705 meurice c was hereA late afternoon break, then escargot and a croque monsieur for dinner08071705 snails and croque in the sunset,08071705 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.08071705 twinkleWe fit in one more Paris favorite Monday morning before hopping on the train to Aix en Provence, the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens,08101501 garden summer plantings obviously well-watered even in the unprecedented heatwave of July and August. 08101501 plantingsWe take in today’s  regatta, going strong on the pond,08101501 regattaread and relax together, 08101501 wait and readthen head for the Gare de Lyon, home of the gorgeous Train Bleu restaurant,08101502 gare de lyon

where we board the TGV (FAST train) to Aix. She’s snoozing at 300 km/hr! Have we exhausted you too?!08101502 hurtlingWelcome to Aix – 08101502 to aixcan’t wait to share our home with the first family member to visit!




Celebrating Paris with Friends

Celebrating Paris with Friends

Paris, France
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!  Why not join us in Italy for New Year’s Jazz? 

I’m sure you must have some Paris favorites, as we do… I always love to include a stop at Angelina, for their decadent hot chocolate, to get at least a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, to stroll down favorite lanes. So our Parisian Christmas Gift to each other really gets going when we meet Jack and Anne at Angelina on Rue du Rivoli.

A pot of rich chocolate, almost thick enough to use a spoon, and a bowl of whipped cream – yes, decadence in a cup!

We have a couple of hours to flaner (just stroll and enjoy – I think a Parisian invented the word!) before we join Ed and Sandy for dinner, and as we turn right out of Angelina, we’re asked to wait before crossing in front of the uber-classy Meurice Hotel as an Asian dignitary arrives. Flashes pop, security men scan, and they walk in the door.

Looking right as we stroll, the column centering Place Vendome gleams,

and to our left the glittering Grand Roue de Paris on Place de Concorde, swingshigh for the holidaysshall we? The views will be great – why not?!

We’ll continue our stroll around big Place de Concorde and get on the roue just before 6 so we can watch the Eiffel Tower twinkle on the hour.

It’s just glowing stately and golden over the Seine now, lovely as ever.

Up we go, and the tower begins its hourly twinkle.

We ooh and aah from our perch,

then gaze down on the traffic -filled Champs Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe just visible in the distance.

We’ve talked together for years about all six of us (who met via a travelers get together in the DC area) gathering in Paris at the same time, and it’s finally happened – Sandy and Ed are here for one of their twice- annual lengthy stays in the city, and Anne and Jack have been in France for a few weeks.  Sandy suggested Chez Dumonet, “a delicious sepia- toned experience of pre-war Paris” according to Alec Lobrano.

We all appreciate the vintage Paris feel, and our jovial waiter makes us feel like regulars, joking, even singing a tune.

Each dish is a faithful and delicious rendition of classic French  – Jack says his Coquilles Saint Jacques are the best he’s tasted,

and Anne oohs at the house specialty, classic beef bourguignon – a half- portion is more than enough!

As we pose for a photo of the “three girls”‘  our waiter jumps into the picture,

and when we order dessert, suggests the three “best ones” to share – an apple tart, a mille feuille (napolean), and a soufflé to share. Great idea – aren’t they gorgeous? And they taste as good as they look!

What a fabulous Grand Marnier soufflé! It arrives with a glass of the liqueur, poke a hole in the top of the soufflé and pour it in!

But wait – there’s more! A platter of tempting mignardises – little bites of deliciousness to go with coffee.
We can barely waddle out the door, and walk around the neighborhood a bit before metro- ing back to the Madeleine neighborhood.

It’s our only chance to see the decorations on the Grands Magasins at night, so we walk a few blocks for a peek at Printemps, cheerily lit in red and white. Ho Ho!