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Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
We’re looking ahead to Spring – Aix en Provence for the Easter Festival.

One of our favorite French words (and activities!) is flaneur. It describes a person on a leisurely stroll or wander,usually in a city, just enjoying and taking in the sights, sounds, smells on the way. No particular destination, no tasks to accomplish, just reveling in the beauty and life of one’s surroundings.11231401 am walkSo today, Sunday, we’re flaneurs in Paris, stopping to admire whatever we want such as this pretty building on rue Madame, taking our time, counting our blessings as we stroll.11231401 house on madameStop a while and listen to a bit of Dixieland jazz here, pause for a lunch of French classics (Onion Soup for Monsieur, goat cheese salad for Madame),11231402 more classic frenchenjoying the views as we sit in prime flaneur seats, both facing out at our tiny café table.11231402 with great views and wafts of jazzAnd what flaneur doesn’t engage in a little leche vitrine (window licking – French for window shopping)? Russian Christmas decorations here,11231403 leche vitrinea tropical macaron fantasy at Laduree…11231403 macaron tropicsIt’s a quiet Sunday on the Seine – Notre Dame and Saint Chapelle that way,11231403 quiet sunday on seinethe Eiffel Tower a hike away in the other direction.11231403 tower that wayWe were reminded, by an article received from France Today this morning, of the Palais Royale, which we haven’t visited in decades, so we seek out the striped columns in one courtyard, 11231404 france today article palais royaleand the gardens11231404 gardens arcades shops in another courtyard 1surrounded with boutique-lined arcades in another.11231404 gardens arcades shops in another courtyardA few steps further, and there’s pretty Galerie Vivienne, Paris’ predecessor to shopping malls, but how very much more charming!11231404 vivienneThe bookseller and most of the shops are closed, the tearooms are open  – an inviting pause.11231405 books antiqueI have to admit, we do have one item on our agenda – the windows of the Grands Magasins (department stores), the holiday extravaganzas of Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. 11231405 printempsThe Noel Monstre (monster Christmas) of Galeries Lafayette is of no interest to me – though the children packed before the window obviously love it! The Burberry Magical Voyage of Noel windows of Printemps, though, are adorable, 11231406 burberry windowswith charming and playful scenes of snowscapes, Paris and London and beyond.

11231406 soldiersReturning across the Seine with a smile, we watch the Eiffel Tower twinkle, 11231406 twinkles video tooand enjoy a few decorated streets of the big city11231407 lightsbefore returning to cozily small Aix tomorrow.