Sunday, September 27, 2009

France--Day 3

On Tuesday, we changed our plans from visiting Versailles to walking around and exploring the Right Bank a bit. The Louvre was closed but we still walked over there and took some photos. I've been to the Louvre before, but this time I wasn't able to make it. I know I'll be back with my kids one day and go there for sure with them.
On the way, I had my sister pretend she was shopping. She's the red head--not the woman with gray hair. :) I thought this store had their produce set up so nicely.
After seeing the pretty fruit and veggies, we walked by a patisserie and then onto the Hotel de Ville. How do they do it? Look at all those beautiful desserts!
city hall

I.M. Pei's pyramid. One of the entrances to the Louvre.
The Tuileries is a garden right by the Louvre. It was so hot that day. We found some shade by the bushes and rested for a while. I started feeding the birds. I don't think I'm the first one to do it. Then we decided to head down the Champs Elysee and walk to the Arc de Triumph. You can see it (way) behind me below. The Champs Elysee is a very busy avenue in Paris with high-end shops. It's lined with trees and outdoor cafes.

I think my favorite place for viewing Paris is the Arc de Triumph. Not only is it a magnificent structure, it offers a view of Paris like no other monument. One can really see the topography of Paris from the top of the Arc de Triumph. We had to walk up to the top and believe me, this is bigger than it looks in pictures! We were a little out of breath at the top.

I love this picture of the Eiffel Tower. And you can see Montemartre in the distance with the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur overlooking the city.
From the Arc de Triumph, we decided to take the metro back to the apartment. We were tired. I think we walked a ton that day and were still jet-lagged. (I had forgotten how long it takes to get over it when you travel to Europe). Once we got off the metro (I feel like we walked a ton underground, too!), we headed east. As we were crossing one of the foot bridges, we caught the Eiffel Tower at sunset. I had to zoom this image after I took it. I still think it's pretty, however.
We took some pictures of Notre Dame at night and got back to the apartment after dark. Another day of walking, walking, walking. We were ready for a good night's sleep!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

France- Day 2

On Monday, we decided we could go up the Eiffel Tower. Alan said we needed to get there early to beat the crowds. I think we got there around 10 am and we didn't have to wait too long to get tickets. It was a beautiful day with a little haze in the air. Below is the Arc de Triumph in the middle of the picture. I love how all the streets radiate from it like the legs of a starfish. From this point, it is hard to appreciate how big the Arc de Triumph is. You'll see that another day. Anyway, the views were amazing from the tower. We took the elevators up (of course). I have to admit, it was a little crowded for my liking. On the way down, we stopped for coffee.
After the Eiffel Tower, it was time for lunch. We found an outside cafe and I had lamb chops with haricot vert. It was delicious. It's amazing how the French cook things perfectly. It seems like it's every time. This cafe was near the Musee de l' Armee. I thought the museum would be interesting and it was. I must take Clayton there one of these days. The Hotel de Invalides encompasses the museum and other things related to France's military history. We saw Napolean's tomb.

I think the rest of the day was spent looking at shops and maybe buying some souvenirs for the family back home.

The next day: Champs Elysee

Au Revoir, for now!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Laundry will have to wait...

I was going to fold some towels this evening while I watched a little TV. I guess I'll fold some towels tomorrow.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

France-Day 1

View from our apartment on the street below

I arrived to Paris on Sunday, Sept. 6. My flight was about two hours earlier than Kim's flight so I
waited at the airport for her and her husband, Alan. I found their gate and waited with all the other people. Once they collected their bags, we found a taxi and headed into Paris.

The weather was perfect. A sunny, crisp-cool day in September. The taxi dropped us off at the apartment. We dropped off our bags and we were off to look for a place for lunch. On our walk we stopped on the bridge for a photo op. Some guy from Manhattan offered to take our picture together. Notre Dame is in the background.

We found a cafe on the corner and sat down outside for lunch. I was famished. I had a Nicoise salad and it hit the spot. The cafe's dog kept coming around. He was a sweet pup.

After lunch, we wandered over to the Jardin du Luxembourg. It's a lovely park on the Left Bank. On Sunday it's crowded with students and families. The kids were sailing the little boats around the pool. Of course, on the way to the park, I saw lovely storefronts. Some shops were closed, but many (to my surprise) were open. I could not believe my eyes when I saw all the different cheeses.

sitting by the water in the Jardin du Luxembourg
Day 1 ended with some cheese and a baguette for dinner. It was wonderful. I had to keep pinching myself to actually believe I was there!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bonjour from France

Hello! I'm having a wonderful time in France. I spent the first 3 1/2 days in Paris and now I'm in Chavelot for two days. My friend, whom I'm visiting here, will go back to Paris with me tomorrow. She needs a break. We will (Diane, my sister, her husband and I) go to Versaille on Saturday. Ooh-la-la! I tried to upload some pictures, but it didn't work on Diane's computer.

Well, better go for now!

Au Revoir!