I loved everything about Paris. We enjoyed wonderful food, museums and generally just being there. We met up with our sailing friends, Jack & Sue, who were staying in Paris for the month. My mussels and fries were delicious. Skip’s burger…not so much. It was impressively large but cooked to shoe leather!
Jack & Sue showed us how to ride the Metro (very easy!) We took a ride to Notre Dame and visited Sainte-Chapelle. In the evening, we met their friends Tricia & Roy for dinner at Le Pichet de Paris, a restaurant near the Champs-Elysees.
Our little boutique hotel, Jeanne d’Arc, was in the Marais district close to Place des Vosges. It’s a perfect location for access to the metro, bistros and shopping.
The next day we did some much-needed laundry before heading out to visit the Musee d’Orsay. Lunch was delicious in their elegant dining room.
I saw so many Impressionist paintings that I recognized. Even though I’ve seen photos in books, there’s nothing like seeing a painting in its original size under lighting that makes it so much more luminous. They had a special exhibit of Cezanne portraits. It’s so interesting to see portraits of his wife done over time side by side.
Afterwards, we visited L’Orangerie to see Monet’s water lilies. You are surrounded by the paintings and can feel the different moods he conveyed.
Although we were easily distracted by things to do in Paris we were monitoring the situation at home very closely. Hurricane Irma was heading straight for Florida and the predictions were dire. We had new accordion hurricane shutters installed this summer and closed them before we left. Bailey was safe with the pet sitters. Still…it was hard not to worry.
We had a wonderful dinner with Jack & Sue at a neighborhood bistro called Chez Janou. The best part was the tureen of chocolate mousse for dessert. You could put as much as you wanted on your plate!
On Friday we had breakfast at Cafe Victor Hugo (It’s on the Place des Vosges near Hugo’s home.) Jack & Sue joined us for a visit to Les Invalides to see the armory museum and Napoleon’s tomb.
Sue and I also visited the Rodin museum while Skip looked at more war stuff and Jack sipped coffee. We walked to the Eiffel Tower and took photos. It was too crowded to get in and it was rainy.
We managed to take 3 trains on the Metro back to our hotel and picked up some wine and desserts for an informal dinner at Jack & Sue’s apartment. They have a tiny elevator up to their place. The view of Paris from their window is worth it!
The next day we visited the Picasso Museum. It was very interesting even though 2 floors were closed for setting up a new exhibit. I scored some nice silk scarves really cheap from a shop nearby that was closing because the woman was getting evicted. We had to hear all of her woes but it was worth it.
Wandering around and heading towards Ile St. Louis we found the Shoah memorial but it was closed for the Sabbath. We did get to see a prayer service being held and the wall of names of Parisians who helped save Jews during WWII.
Ile St. Louis is a small island on the Seine and the oldest part of Paris. We had crepes for lunch and wandered the quaint streets full of shops and ice cream stores.
In the evening, we met Jack & Sue and their friends Tricia & Roy for dinner and a Vivaldi concert at St. Paul’s cathedral. The concert was lovely. A singer joined the stringed sextet and did at least 4 or 5 versions of Ave Maria. (That was about 3 too many!)
Afterwards we needed something to take the chill off and settled in a small cafe for not-your-regular hot chocolate. We’re talking Viennese chocolate with a pile of fresh whipped cream!
On Sunday morning we visited the Marche (market) near the Bastille circle. There were blocks and blocks of stalls selling fresh produce, fish, olives, cheeses and wine. I wish we had markets like this where I live.
Sue and I shopped afterwards and had lunch near the Jewish quarter. Skip & Jack opted to rest. We met up in the afternoon again for a scenic boat tour on the Seine. We decided to go during the day because the nights were too chilly.
On our last day in Paris, Skip and I had a nice breakfast at a place with pain chocolate. The first place we tried didn’t have them and the waiter was rude. He insisted that I didn’t need pain chocolate even though it was my last day in Paris. Hrummmpf!
We took the Metro to Montmarte to see Sacre-coeur. It was very crowded and touristy. We walked around and enjoyed the expansive views of Paris.
We took the metro to the Arc d’Triomphe and walked down the Champs Elysees. Okay, I think we checked all of the boxes and were officially toured out! We had a nice lunch at a cafe – cheeses, meats, fries and rose.
For out last dinner, we went back to Chez Janou. Had to have some more of that chocolate mousse!
We had such a good time in Paris, especially being with our friends, Jack & Sue!
I was worried about getting home, thinking that there would be lots of disruption at Orlando airport due to hurricane Irma. Thankfully, the storm didn’t impact Florida as bad as predicted. Our flight to Atlanta was on time and the flight to Orlando was only 1 hour late.
We were glad to be home after an incredible time in France. Thinking about our next river cruise…