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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

From Versailles to the Marais

just some of the people at Versailles yesterday
Yesterday we spent the day at Versailles. The line to get through security was crazy, so we headed to the gardens and took a train to the Grand Trianon.
The last time I was here (2002), I don't think the Grand and Petit Trianon were open for visits. And there was nowhere near the level of security there was this time.
After visiting both Trianons, we caught the little train back to the Chateau and waited in line for security. It was great to see things again, but the crowds were really bad. In many cases you had to shove people to get through rooms or be able to see anything.
The entrance to Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette's private house

and her bed

I've seen a few of the single-person
electric vehicles in Paris.

The King's (or maybe it was Napoleon's?) bedroom at Grand Trianon

Marie-Antoinette's bedroom in the Chateau
In the RER station: The French spirit lives on...

Today we visited the Marais. We started at the Carnavalet, Museum of the history of Paris, then to Entrée des Fournisseurs, a great mercerie (notions shop). 

Proust's bedroom

From there we headed to Villa Paris, the tile shop owned by the our hosts, Olivier and Alexandre. We had lunch not far from there, at Au Bourguignon du Marais.
You know it is a nice restaurant when they use Laguiole Cutlery
After visiting Alexandre and Oliver and having a coffee, we head to Mariage Freres for some tea, then on to BHV to do some more general shopping. I bought a red leather skin and a coffee mug, Mom found a set of matching accessories: case for her phone, a small shopping bag and a couple of other things. From there we headed home, stopping to get the obligatory baguette before heading up the hill.
Dessert: 2 flavor of Berthillon ice cream

Tomorrow, the D'Orsay!

The shop, Villa Paris

Leo, the new miniature Schnauzer

Some of the beautiful tile work--
1mm square mosaic pieces

Just a few nice things

well outside the Cluny Museum
 We started Monday on the left bank at Musee du Moyen Age. (Medieval museum also know as the the Cluny) One of my favorites, especially now that the tapestries called The Lady and the Unicorn are here.

"My only desire"

From there we headed across the river to Notre Dame, stopping in at St. Severin on the way. The line to walk in to Notre Dame wasn't too bad, though the two Americans behind us really wanted us to know that they had been there before--kept talking about how beautiful it was at Christmas. yeah for you, peeps.

After Notre Dame we grabbed some lunch at a cafe. Croque Monsieur for me and "Le Club" for Mom. She finally got to try some frites.

Next we visited Concierge. Once a royal residence, later a prison. Marie Antoinette was probably the most famous prisoner.

Yeah, that's real and really fresh.

What better souvenir than a little sister for Gabby?

Our last quest for the day was some yarn for more. First we headed to La Droguerie, but she wanted a more traditional shop with pre-measured yarn, so we headed a little further to Cat'Laine.
On the way we came across filming--my guess is a commercial for BMW, "rue de Croissant" and one of the covered shopping passages.

Tuesday we headed to Versailles--I'll post on that later today since we need to get going to explore the Marais today.

Bon journée!

Monday, April 27, 2015

This was not the plan

Well, the day after Mom arrived I lost my voice. So I've been whispering/croaking out French as we make our way around. If wishes of a good recovery are worth anything, I should be better soon--half of Paris seems to have given me well wishes.

Sunday we headed to the Eiffel Tower for lunch. I didn't read the fine print on the website, so our 3-course lunch was actually a 5-course lunch (the 3-course is only available on weekdays)
We rode up an elevator that is only used by the restaurant and since were some of the first to arrive, we got a window seat with a view of the Seine, and lots of tourists.
Turbot with Morel mushrooms
At first I didn't want to take photos in the restaurant, but when I saw the man sitting next to us do it, I thought, "why not?" We're at the Eiffel Tower--everyone's a tourist here. So I apologize that I don't have photos of the first 2 courses: The perfect egg and asparagus.
Lamb with artichoke hearts
Even the menu didn't really doe the dishes justice as to the flavors and textures. At one point I asked Mom if she could tell what the flavors in one dish were. She said, "Yes, wonderful." What is not pictured for dessert is two baskets, one with little chocolate marshmallows, the other with large plain ones. And these were handmade ones, not the ones you get at Safeway in a big bag.

Dessert 1: rhubarb and strawberry

Dessert 2: Chocolate perfection served with hazelnut ice cream

We were supposed to visit the Jeanne Lanvin visit next, but I got mixed up and took us to the Louvre instead. Since we had already missed our entry time, we went into the Louvre. I apologize if anyone is offended by some of the captions, it's just what popped into my head when looking at the paintings.

Dessert 2: macarons, chocolate & thyme sandwiches
almond muffins

ack! tourists!

Women: Take the photo already.
Baby: Yo, dude! BRT--family photo, ugh.

Damn renters--I just bought this pillowcase at Walmart,
and someone slept on it without taking off their makeup
Should I keep their deposit?

Haha! Look at me! I'm at coronation! I totally fit in!
Oh look! The Mona Lisa!

No jokes here--really love this one.