Thursday, March 28, 2013

Way Back When

From the top of Notre Dame
I'm trying to do some blog clean up, and checked my "Draft Post" list...and to my great disappointment, realized that I never blogged about our Paris trip in November of 2011 (!) or the subsequent trip to the German Christmas Markets a month later. So for this post, we'll take a little respite in Paris. Or at least what I can remember, which means I'll basically just post a bunch of photos.
The Louvre - I'm in the camp that likes the modern, glass pyramid set in the elegant, Old World, courtyard
This was our first trip to Paris together, and we had one goal: food. Not romance, not the Eiffel Tower, not walking along Champs Elysees (which we never even got to), but food. Nathan envisioned fancy dinners filled with lovely dishes. I envisioned a croissant every morning and a baguette with brie as many times per day as I could fit one into my stomach. Both our goals were met.
Chapel Ceiling in the Cluny - the entire museum was filled with beauty
In our three days, we did fit in some classic sightseeing with the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, climbing to the roof of Notre Dame, walking in Jardin des Tuileries, the Eiffel Tower at night (see Nathan's fabulous photo that was in the linked post),  and a favorite of mine, a trip to Angelina's for the best hot chocolate in the world. Finally, we added in a few extras:
  • The Cluny to gaze upon the Girl and Unicorn tapestries (stunning! I sat in that room for half an hour, at least),
  • The Orangerie for Monet's Water Lily series (this was probably the favorite of us both),
  • A walk through the Rue Cler neighborhood (macaroons!),
  • Visiting the lesser known Pantheon (which apparently had a neat crypt since my very informative note on my blog draft from almost 2 years ago says "Pantheon: Crypt"; that same helpful list of notes also says: "military with guns everywhere"),
  • Another favorite for us both, a trip to Shakespeare & Company bookstore, where we scored a copy of Julia Child's cookbook. For those who have read her memoir, My Life in France, you may remember her friendship with the owner of Shakespeare & Company, so to be able to purchase Julia's cookbook there was a nice little bit of connection.
  • Oh, and I completely forgot that when we did a walk through the Les Halles galleries (beautiful, covered arcades filled with shops), then continued on around the neighborhood, we unintentionally stumbled onto the Valhalla of cookware shops in Paris:  Dehillerin, in business since 1820.
  • Walking along the Seine River on the Left Bank...and my favorite spot in all of Paris, Ile St. Louis, the tiny island in the Seine just south of Notre Dame. So quiet and gorgeous and elegant.
  • Oops, almost forgot Saint Chapelle, with it's walls of blue, stained glass...
  • ...And Galeries Lafayette, all decorated for Christmas (the most gorgeous mall I think I've ever seen).
Passage des Panoramas, one of the arcades in the Les Halles area
The breathtaking Saint Chapelle
I'm beginning to see now why one of my strongest memories of Paris is aching feet. What a fabulous trip we had! This is why I blog. Because otherwise, my memory is horrible. When I started typing up this post, I remembered about four things we did, and as I kept typing, remembered more and more, including witnessing a gypsy scam that ended up with a  young flight attendant having a wallet with all her cash and cards in it taken and us running after the thief along with the victim and another American who had a cell phone and was on the phone with the police directing them to our location. We stopped as the police screeched to a halt in front of us and the thief turned a corner up the nearest alley. They jumped out, raced over and looked at the photos I'd snapped of the thief with our camera, then told the young flight attendant, "Yes, we know this girl. Get in the car," and they barreled off in pursuit. Hearts pumping, we decided we were glad to be getting on a plane home later that evening.
"Let's Go To the Mall...Yeah!"

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