Bonjour mes amis! I’m back with more sights, sounds, smells and tastes about my trip to France. And like before, when you’re done reading you’ll want to get on the next plane for your own weekend in Paris.
Strolling in Paris on Saturday. It’s a bright sunny day in the city of lights and my daughter A and son D and I awoke early and headed out to one of the luxury Pierre Herme boutiques. Herme is known for its macarons in a wide variety of flavors. There was a line out the door to purchase the scrumptious pastries made
with strawberries, pistachios and other fruits and chocolate. We bought an assortment of macarons and three croissants – one with candied rose petals sprinkled on top and a rhubarb filling. (Ooh, ooh, ooh – I love rhubarb. Yes I do. Yes I do.)
We stopped for espresso and walked to the Jardin du Luxembourg, the second largest park in Paris. The grounds were magnifique with petits enfants sailing their boats in the pond. After breakfast, we strolled along the path to the Luxembourg Museum where there was a special Chagall exhibit. According to the museum brochure, “Chagall died in 1985 at almost 100 years old. He had crossed the twentieth century, lived through a revolution and two world wars and exile.” The images showcase times of war and times of peace through the years. If you are planning a visit to Paris soon, the exhibit runs through July 21 and I highly recommend it.
Next we walked to Notre Dame. The church is 850 years old in 2013. It is definitely worth the wait for a peek inside. Ah, ooh, ah, ooh – the stained glass windows, the endless pews, the old chandeliers – the church is mammoth.
Pass a gelato shop and not stop? Absolument pas! Framboise for A, carmel and mango for D and moka for me. Our gelato was all gone by the time we arrived back at our apartment for an afternoon nap.
Is it dinnertime already? How could that be? We must have fallen asleep for a few hours. Oui, oui, oui. We needed some protein after a day of carbs and fat. The sun does not fully set until almost 10 p.m., so we had plenty of time to dine outdoors at a neighborhood cafe. Poulet for me, lamb for A and steak for D – all accompanied by pomme frites, a popular side dish in France. Oui, oui, oui – we’ll have wine with our dinner – merci beaucoup.
We ended our sunny Saturday in Paris with another stop at the chocolate shop for some dark chocolate for dessert. What sweet dreams we had that night. Oui, oui, oui.
Sunday is Fun Day in the Jewish Quarter. It was another sunny and warm day to be outdoors. First we went to the Jewish quarter to queue up at L’As du Falafel, known to have the best falafel in Paris. I had a platter with hummus, cucumber salad, red and green cabbage and pita. (Next time I will definitely order to share – 12 falafel is a bit too many for one to stomach.) The kids were smart and ordered falafel pita sandwiches.
After lunch we walked the quarter where A bought a very Parisian-style dress – white lace bodice with black satin and tulle skirt and a wide red leather belt. It will definitely cause eyes to sparkle at her friend’s wedding in the States next weekend. (I will try to get some pics for an upcoming blog post so you can see just how fabulous the dress looks on A.)
While A was buying a dress, I was busy trying on eyeglass frames. I have never seen so many optical stores within a few blocks of each other in Paris and all the French cities we visited. Eyeglass frames galore, each one more interesting and creative than the next. The latest trends include larger, darker frames in black, tortoise shell, and all different colors. I couldn’t resist.
“Which ones look better on my face, the lighter ones or the darker frames?” I asked A and D. “They both look nice,” they said in unison.
So what did moi do? What do you think moi did?
I bought them both – one pair for my regular eyeglasses and one pair for my computer eyeglasses. As a writer during my life after 50, I should definitely have cool eyewear that makes me look smart and studious. (Note Judi’s rule: Tout à fait when you are in Paris and you try on deux paires of trendy eyeglasses you have to buy deux paires or you will regret a missed opportunity when you return home.)
Now that I was totally cashed out from my eyewear binge, it was time to sit, drink some wine at an outdoor bistro and ponder my purchases. After a few glasses, I had forgotten all about the many euros I had doled out that day.
More pomme frites for dinner alongside our mussels and lamb chops. More Speculos-flavored gelato for dessert. (Are my arteries clogged yet? How do the French eat so much meat, potatoes, and fatty pastries and gelato and stay so thin? Plus, there are lots of cigarette fumes all around. Did anyone tell the French people that smoking is bad for you…or is that just for Americans?)
Tomorrow we head to Provence. Can you smell the lavender yet? Can you taste the bountiful berries from the marketplace? Coming soon – I’ll share more news about my fun travels through France’s countryside.
Bonne nuit jusque-là.