France
Paris

Here you’ll find travel reports about Paris. Discover travel destinations in France of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day4

    Last Day in Paris!

    April 2 in France ⋅ ⛅ 61 °F

    Yesterday (especially yesterday night!) was the perfect end to our amazing trip to Paris. We finally adjusted to the time difference and to the travel night with no sleep. We woke up at a reasonable hour (9:00) and made our way to the Catacombs, which was only a short 10-15 minute walk from our Airbnb. We stopped for a sugar croissant on the way. We waited in line for a bit and then entered the Catacombs, the largest ossuary in the world. The underground tunnels hold the remains of over 2 million people. It is absolutely insane. The bones are never ending. It was very morbid but one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen.

    After the Catacombs, we walked back to our awesome little neighborhood and had a delicious fondue lunch - three cheese fondue with garlic, onions, and white wine. For dipping, we had bread, apples, and potatoes. And a side of prosciutto. It was so yummy but I was about ready for a nap! We went back to the Airbnb and relaxed for a bit and got ready for the night.

    Next, we took an Uber over to the Arc de Triomphe, a giant monument overlooking the city. On our way, it started to drizzle, so we didn’t go up to the top of the tower. We walked down Champs-Elysées, one of the most famous streets in Paris, and stopped in for a glass of wine to escape the rain.

    The rain stopped and then we walked the mile and a half towards the theater district. We had a delicious dinner at a little Tavern - delicious perfectly cooked duck for Tim and a Caesar salad and French onion soup for me! Next up was one of the highlights of the trip - L’Olympia Theater to see Tedeschi Trucks Band. This beautiful old theater opened in 1888. The Grateful Dead recorded parts of their Europe 72 live album there. TTB is in my top 3 favorite bands so this was definitely an incredible experience (and a crazy coincidence that their European tour began here on our last night in Paris)!

    The concert was absolutely incredible. We had seats in the 5th row of the orchestra so we were a few yards away from Susan, Derek, and the band. This was a seated show and during the first set, we were a little worried about the crowd, who didn’t seem to be dancing too much. But after the set break, the crowd loosened up, and we saw some of the best live music we’ve ever seen. Although everyone remained seated, people were loving it. Everyone was dancing, cheering, “woo”-ing, and giving standing ovations. They ended with a couple of my absolute favorite songs. I have never seen a crowd clap and scream so loud for an encore. The encore was incredible and everyone finally stood and danced. That band is so good! We are strongly considering seeing them again Thursday in the Netherlands.

    After the show, we had another round of beers at the tavern where we had dinner and then Ubered home. Last night was the perfect ending to the perfect trip. Now off to Amsterdam!!!
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  • Day1

    Paris Arrival!

    March 30 in France ⋅ ☀️ 66 °F

    After we FINALLY made it to Paris, we had the best day ever. But the trip here was exhausting! We sat in traffic all the way from Richmond to Dulles. Then had a yummy airport dinner before our redeye flight to Iceland. We each got a couple of hours of sleep on that flight and then a couple more on the flight from Iceland to Paris. We arrived in Paris at noon yesterday and we were both very tired. Our Airbnb host had told us to take the train to his stop in Paris. But the train was closed for maintenance, which we found out after we had already bought a ticket! So we waited in the longest line ever for the replacement bus then transferred to the train and then got off at our stop. Then we were planning to turn on cell data briefly to get walking directions to the Airbnb but the cell data wouldn’t work! Fortunately, all of the Parisians we met were the nicest and most helpful people ever. Three different people tried to give us directions and a random hotel let us use their WiFi. We arrived, about 2 hours late, and our awesome Airbnb host was still sitting there waiting for us!

    We were tempted to take a nap but decided to push through “until 8:00 or so”. That’s when the awesome part of the day started. Our Airbnb is in the perfect part of town. It is just south of the Latin quarter, right off of Rue Mouffetard, the oldest street in Paris, and probably the coolest street ever. For a couple of miles, the street is lined on both sides with everything you can imagine - bakeries, fruit stands, fresh seafood shops, butchers, cheese markets, cafes, bars, restaurants, creperies, shops, ice cream parlors, markets, and anything else you can imagine. Live music is played on every block. And it’s pretty much all Parisians, very few tourists. We started at a cafe with a cheese plate and wine. Four amazing types of cheeses and a basket of French bread. We sat outside and people watched and listened to a band and ate and drank for awhile.

    After we left the cafe, we walked north up Rue Mouffetard to Notre Dame and the Seine River, passing a beautiful old Church and the Pantheon on the way. We walked into Notre Dame during their Saturday night mass, which was pretty cool. The architecture, both inside and out, and the stained glass, was incredible. Next, we tried to go into Sainte-Chappell’s on the next block, but it had closed. We’ll try to go there today before the Louvre! We stood on a bridge over the Seine River and people watched and waved to the boats passing by.

    Then we wandered around the city for awhile. We ended up in an Irish pub (on accident) for a beer. While in the pub, Tim noticed that his phone was missing. We thought for sure he had been pick pocketed but decided to walk back to a restaurant that we had previously sat down at outside but had left before we had ordered anything. We poked our head around outside and a nice group of people asked us (in French) if we had lost a phone. Sure enough, it was sitting at the host stand!

    At this point, we were ready for dinner! We ended up at a restaurant back on Rue Mouffetard where Ernest Hemingway used to live! The place was packed with Parisians and had a TripAdvisor sticker and had a prix fixe menu so we figured it would be amazing. The wine was amazing, the food was just mediocre, but we had a blast. We each ordered off of the prix fixe menu. We both started with the duck salad, which was fantastic. Then I had the seafood plate (shrimp, scallops, and salmon) and Tim had the flank steak. Both of those plates were okay. And I had a delicious creme brûlée and Tim has a delicious chocolate mousse. The whole meal took about 3 hours (and 2 carafes of wine)! We had a great time sitting outside and eating and drinking and people watching. We finished the meal off with a couple of coffee drinks and headed home. After dinner, we got completely lost, but eventually found our way.

    To be honest, Paris was never really on my bucket list. I was thinking of this had more of a stopover on the way to Amsterdam. I was completely wrong. Tim and I both agreed yesterday that this may be our favorite city we’ve ever been to. Definitely in the top 3.
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  • Day3

    Paris - Best Day Ever!

    April 1 in France ⋅ ☀️ 68 °F

    Yesterday was the best! We basically just wandered around hopping from cafe to cafe all day. After we woke up, Tim went to the super market for coffee while I got ready. Then I went to get croissants while he got ready. We sat on our balcony and split 3 different kinds of pastries - a chocolate croissant, some type of sugary bread, and a butter croissant. We sat on the balcony for a bit longer and made a 1:30 reservation for a delicious French lunch. On our way to the restaurant, to kill some time, we sat at a sidewalk cafe and had a beer.

    Next up was our first proper French meal (besides the daily croissants!). We chose Chez Lionel because it had such good reviews and was not super expensive. When we arrived, we saw the Michelin Star sticker next to the front door and got very excited. We sat on a sidewalk table and both ordered the prix fixe menu and split everything. We used our dictionary to translate but still didn’t know exactly what we were ordering. For our first course, we had a yummy green bean and radish dish (we had thought this was going to be a green salad) and an amazing eggplant, olive, tomato, hummus dish. For our entree, we split scallops and chorizo (we had thought this was going to be fish and were very pleasantly surprised) and the “beef of the day”, which was the best beef either of us had ever had. The prix fixe menu also came with a glass of wine and a cafe (decaf for me)! The waitress and chef were so nice too. This was one of the best meals we’ve ever had.

    After lunch, we wandered around, passing by the Luxembourg gardens again, and made our way up to the river, stopping in another couple of sidewalk cafes on the way. We then went to check out the stained glass at Sainte-Chapelle. This was probably the coolest thing we’ve seen so far. The glass was absolutely beautiful. We wandered around the city for a little bit longer and then started to head back towards home. Once we got back to our cool little neighborhood, we stopped at a walk-up crepe bar and ordered dinner. We ate our crepes in the middle of a little roundabout intersection surrounded by cafes and people watched for awhile. Then we were both exhausted. We came home and got to bed early. It was a perfect day full of yummy food!!
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  • Day2

    Touristy Day!

    March 31 in France ⋅ ☀️ 68 °F

    Yesterday was our day to check off some of the “must-see” touristy Paris stuff. We woke up late, and still pretty tired. We both could’ve slept for another several hours, but forced ourselves to get ready and to get out the door around noon. We made it to a cafe just before they stopped serving breakfast. We stood at the bar and ate chocolate croissants and Tim had an espresso. Then we wandered along Rue Mouffetard, bought some fruit from an outdoor market, had a beer from a pub, and made our way over to the Gardens of Luxembourg. This is huge public park/garden filled with people picnicking, relaxing, playing sports, and more. We walked around the gardens until we worked up an appetite for lunch. We headed towards the Seine River and looked for somewhere to eat lunch outside. Since it was almost 3:00, restaurants were starting to close for the afternoon. We had to make a quick decision and jumped into a Napoleon pizza place. Not exactly French food but it was delicious!

    Next stop - the Louvre. Woah. I had heard that the museum was huge but I had no idea it would be this big. Fortunately, there was no line and we walked right in. We had a guide on the “must see” rooms/paintings and stuck to that but were still pretty overwhelmed. We started off in Napoleon’s apartments, which were stunning. Then made our way to the Italian Renaissance paintings and saw a bunch of Botticelli and da Vinci pieces, including the Mona Lisa. Next was French History paintings, Greek statues, and the Egyptian galleries. We finished off the trip with a visit to the basement to check out the original walls of the fortress. People spend days in the Louvre. We were in and out in under 2 hours, which was enough for me.

    After the Louvre, we walked down the street to Musee d’Orsay, but it was about to close so we didn’t go in. We stopped in at a little wine bar and had a couple of glasses of Rose and tried to decide what to do with the end of our day. We decided to just knock out the last major tourist attraction so that we could spend the rest of our time in Paris wandering around doing whatever we want (besides the Catacombs that we’ll do tomorrow!). Off to the Eiffel Tower!

    At this point, we had probably walked 5-10 miles already and we were too exhausted to figure out the metro so we hopped in a little bike taxi and made our way to the tower. Once we got dropped off, we popped into a little market and bought a couple of beers and sat on the lawn, looking at the tower. It’s pretty amazing. I was definitely nervous to go to the top but I think the beer helped a little with that! It was about 7:45 at this point so we headed over to the tower, thinking we could get to the top for sunset. Unfortunately, the line for the elevator was pretty long and the stairs were closed for some reason. We waited for about an hour, bought 2 tickets, and got to the elevator around 9:00 just as it was starting to get dark. The first elevator takes you to the second floor. As soon as the doors opened and I realized that it wasn’t enclosed, I pretty much panicked. I was about to get back in the elevator and go down, but changed my mind and we walked over to the elevator to the top. When the guy went to scan our tickets, he said that we only had tickets to the second floor! The ticket lady had sold us the wrong tickets!! I was so upset and he was so nice and let us go anyways. We got in the elevator and rode for what felt like hours to the top. Fortunately, up there it was completely enclosed and I wasn’t scared at all. We used the 20 Euros we saved by accidentally buying the wrong tickets and bought two glasses of champagne! We hung out up there for awhile. The views were incredible. But it was very windy and we were very cold so after the champagne, we headed back down the elevator to the second floor. There was a long line for the elevator, so we took the stairs all the way down. The whole experience was pretty amazing. But now it’s checked off the bucket list and I could definitely go the rest of my life without going up there again.

    By the time we left the Eiffel Tower, it was 10:30 and we were starving. We tried to walk to a restaurant that we had read was very good but it was closed, and so was everything around it. The only thing open was a Vietnamese pho restaurant that was actually pretty crowded so we went in. Unfortunately, this was our second non-French meal in a row. Fortunately, we are obsessed with Vietnamese food and it was some of the best we’ve had. We split shrimp spring rolls, Tim had pho, and I had a beef and egg dish. After dinner, we took a taxi back home. Yesterday was a very long day, with so much walking, but we had a great time and were able to do so much. Excited for today, with no plans at all!
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  • Day3

    A day in Paris

    June 30, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    We spent the day walking around Paris today. After a reasonable night’s sleep we ventured out for breakfast. Coffee, baguettes and pastries. Sam was surprised at the unusual style of breakfast. He had a chocolate pastry which is common. We sat outside and enjoyed the ambience of a French square right opposite a five hundred year-old church. After we had devoured the food went for a walk through the church marvelling at the age and grandeur of the building and the three pipe organs on three of the four sides.
    We then caught a train to the Isle of France which is an island in the Seine and the oldest part of the city. Notre Dame is located on the island and we walked around the outside. The cathedral was restricted access due to a large ceremony which was being televised to thousands of people seated in the square in front of the Cathedral. Apparently it was an inauguration of priests taking place.
    We then ventured over the Seine to the Shakespeare and Company English bookshop which is famous for being a regular haunt of Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein and others between the wars. The shop was opened in 1919 so it has a long tradition for which it is famous.
    We then had some lunch near St Michel. More baguettes.
    Then we walked through the Louvre Palace, the Tuileries Gardens, place de la Concord and along the Champs d’Elysees all the way to the Arch de Triumph.
    We then caught the train back to our Airbnb and bought some more pastries and baguettes for dinner. A French carbohydrate feast.
    We watched the World Cup game between France and Argentina. The whole street erupted every time France scored. They won 4-3 and the celebrations continued for hours in the streets afterwards.
    It has been a big first day. Tomorrow we rise at 4.30 am to catch an Uber to Orly Airport. Our plane to Barcelona takes off at 7.00am. Another big day planned tomorrow. So, an early night tonight I hope. Depends a bit on how long the French continue to sing their National Anthem into the night.
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  • Day13

    Paris

    September 10, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Today we climbed the Eiffel Tower. Only me and Dad went to the very top, and everyone else just went to the second floor. Paris is really busy, but it is also very beautiful. I think this is the loudest city I’ve ever been to. The second picture is the view from right outside our apartment. And the last one is Gus enjoying the Eiffel Tower.
    I’ve decided to try to collect a pair of socks from most of the countries we visit. (See below, and ‘Beautiful Iceland’)
    Chloë
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  • Day25

    Paris ... by Metro And Big Bus

    September 13, 2018 in France ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    Gosh ... we had a good sleep ... except for the frequent rumbling because we are right over the Metro!! We tend to look for locations near the Metro but we've never stayed over one before! 🙃

    So ... we had a fairly lazy morning. I googled places nearby for breakfast and off we went. We strode past some beautiful patisseries on our way ... but resisted the temptation and stayed on course. I was hoping for something more brunch like and substantial so my blood sugar didn't get triggered by sweets first thing.

    GROANS: And then, much to our surprise ... we ended up at a very tiny, unassuming spot that claimed to have good coffee and offered bread with jam for breakfast.. Yep. That was it. John gave me that look like ... "we walked past so many nice places for this?" And all I could do was apologize. ☹

    GAHS: And as I was piling on the butter ... John was teasing me about being like "oma" ... who loved her butter thick. And I was poking fun at him for being like my "dad" because he was complaining about our 'breakfast' costing $15 Euros! That is well over $20 CAD ... argh! Tomorrow we are going to the patisserie! 😋

    GASPS OF GRANDEUR: We took the Metro to the Opera House ... Palais Garnier. As Doug mentioned, it was the setting for The Phantom of the Opera! It's hard to describe it's magnificence and ornate grandeur. 

    GASPS OF SURPRISE: They were also showing a special exhibition of art .... by none other than .... Picasso!! I am embarrassed to admit we had no idea whose work we were looking at until later when I saw a sign! DUH.

    GRINS: And then we boarded the "The Big Bus" and took a tour of the city! It is hard to imagine ... but there is so much to see and John was taking so many pictures ... he got tired of clicking the camera!! 

    We'll be touring a few of the main monuments over the next couple of days, but we learned that Des Champs-Elysées has been described as the most beautiful avenue in the world. It is loaded with shops highlighting high end designers and posh restaurants. Apparently they didn't want H&M to get a storefront there but after a couple years in battle .. H&M won a spot ... much to the chagrin of the locals.

    We also learned that at the Arc de Triomphe, there is an elevator in the columns and then you can walk 42 more steps to the top. I guess the Tour de France ends here on des Champs-Elysées.

    We drove past the Eiffel Tower. Apparently it has 7 million visitors per year. It is the 'most visited paid monument' in the world and has been nicknamed "la dame de fer"by the locals. That is: the iron lady.

    GRATEFULS: At the suggestion of Marian ... we found our way to "Galeries Lafayette" and ended up on the Gourmet food floor ... a huge floor dedicated to exceptional food preparation and consumption ... either to take away or to order and eat right there! It was a smorgasboard of gastric delights. We opted to gobble up a 'Parma Pizza' but were really tempted by so many more!! John bought himself some aged goat leg ... and we shared a coffee flavoured macaron. And ... we brought home a raspberry creation of some kind. The cakes and desserts are works of art in and of themselves!!

    We also wandered up to the 7th floor and had s look over the city! And then ... we found our way to Printemps ... thank you Doug! Wow. What an experience. They also have a rooftop bar and restaurant that offers magnificent views of the city! Both department stores had spectacular ceilings with stained glass designs that were beyond belief!

    GRATITUDES: And ... with our hearts filled with awe we stepped under ground and came back to our room to rest a bit before supper. 

    It's been a full day! A good day! John got lots of pictures and a few videos! We are limited to 10 in total. Perhaps I will post more in an 'aside'. But for now ... some supper. I wonder where we will end up! 😀
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  • Day27

    More sights to see in Gay Pair-ee!!

    September 15, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    After our late night visiting the 'Iron Lady' we enjoyed a very leisurely start to our day. We took breakfast in our room and finally took the metro towards Notre Dame Cathedral around noon. We mosied down a little cobblestone lane and had some crepes! And one of the stores had little buns soaking in rum in jars! Has anyone ever tasted these things called 'babas'? Iwas entirely entrigued! And after our window shopping ... we stopped for a glass of wine. 

    GAHS: The server brought me a carafe instead!! An intentional mistake I am sure ... because he turned his back and walked away before I could say a word. He also plopped the bill on the table so I couldn't even correct the mistake because it was already charged. I wonder just how many tourists he has snagged with that mistaken 'misunderstanding'? Mis-taken ...or ... just taken ... or both? It's all part of the experience. 😏 

    GRINS: In Holland we had to watch out for the bicycles! In Paris ... it's the servers!! Clearly we must become more savvy in our touristing!! It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because we dumped the remnants of the carafe into our go-cup and sipped on the wine inconspicuously at our pleasure throughout the day! 🥂

    GRATITIDES: Our tour through the Notre Dame Cathedral was also exceptional. I wish I could have jotted down all we were learning. The facade of the cathedral tells many stories of deep meaning in terms of religious significance and historical relevance. "Notre Dame" = Our Lady. The cathedral is dedicated to the Virgin Mary
    It took 200 years to construct and it is not symmetrical. It was started in the 12th century ... and then ... had to be restored in the 19th century after it was severely damaged during the French Revolution. 

    FUN FACT: On the Big Bus they spoke about the difference in philosophy between those who live on the left bank of the river and the more conservative who inhabit the right side. I wondered how they decided which was left and right. Seemed to make more sense to describe it as north and south .. but ... apparently the direction was determined by those exiting the Notre Dame Cathedral. They turned left or right! Voila! I guess I would have been joining those who turned to the left!! 😊

    After hiking all the way up the 400 stairs to enjoy some incredible panoramic views of the city in the sunshine ... it goes without saying ... we stopped for a refreshment! John also enjoyed more oysters! He said they were the best tasting oysters he has had. I think he's said that before ... right?? 🤔 I enjoyed the bread that came with it! I made it look so delicious he wanted the rest! 😁

    GIFTS: And then we mosied along the banks of the river to find our departure point for our dinner cruise. And ... the food was lovely! It was a great way to end our day ...almost!

    We still had to find the subway ... and ... navigate the changes in the lines to get home!! And ...with the kind help if some passers-by ... they headed us in the right direction. And, we arrived here promptly and in good order!

    So ... we are tucking in shortly ... see you all tomorrow! 😊
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  • Day28

    Sunday Meanderings ... Our Last Full Day

    September 16, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    We started off the day on foot ... walking from our hotel to the area of Montmartre. We stopped for a nice breakfast at Republique du Coffee and enjoyed eggs with pancakes. They butter and syrup the pancakes for you and put two eggs ... sunnyside up ... on top. It seemed very French. I prefer my egg whites cooked through however ... so ... I was a bit more careful with my bites! 😊

    GRACE: Most of the shops were still closed and traffic was light ... so we enjoyed the stillness on the streets. We stopped for coffee at a place called Bouquet du Nord. We noticed that it costs more to sip coffee in the afternoon after 3:00pm than in the morning ... and so ... we felt like timed it right.

    GRIMACES: But then, we decided to venture on when the server ignored us. I'm wondering if we should be taking these service trends personally??😉

    GIFTS: Once again though ... it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because we found a glorious little place called "33cl de Montmarte" which gave us another opportunity to sit straight in a row on the street side comfortably in the cool shade with our warm cappuccinos tickling our spirits as we enjoyed the view! We gazed right up the hill to the Sacre-Coeur. Simply sublime! 💥

    GRATITUDES: We wandered up the hillside and explored the grounds ... and then, we did as our good neighbor Doug recommended! We ambled down the narrow, winding streets to the left of the basilica and ended up at the Moulin Rouge. 

    GRINS: It was such an enchanting walk ... all the little pâtisseries and boulangeries and brasseries and cafes and fruit stands and fish markets and florists and créperies and ice cream shops and fine clothing retailers and shoe stores and sex shops too. A feast for the eyes for sure!

    GRATEFULS: We walked past one restaurant where a patron had a large serving of what looked like scalloped potatoes! We weren't hungry yet so we kept on going .... but ... the thought of those potatoes just wouldn't let me be. So, we circled back to have some!! John tried the frog's legs. It was all so decidedly and delectably delicious!! Sadly, however, we never did find any more of those babas though! They shall remain on the "I wish I had ..." list! 

    One of the things that struck us is that the Fench take great pride in beauty and artistry and quality and elegance and style.You see it in their architecture... their food ... their apparel ... their footwear ... and ... their decor.

    GASPS &GRATITUDES: And so ... for our last day in Paris ... we logged 15.91 kms (22,083 steps). It was a lovely finish to a warm and wonderful time here in France. We are ever grateful for the mobility to be able to log all those steps and
    we could not have enjoyed better weather here!

    Tomorrow morning we must find our way to the train ... after one more croissant ... and then ... see what Barcelona holds for us! They are forcasting 10 - 20mm of rain (100% chance) on our first day ... so ... we shall see how it all turns out!

    Sending warmest smiles from our hearts to yours ... k&j
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  • Day27

    More from the City of Light and Love!

    September 15, 2018 in France ⋅ 🌙 11 °C

    Oh my gosh ... we had such a full day yesterday ... and got home just before midnight ... so I didn't have the energy to post before bed! I have so much to tell ... but before I can do that... I need to catch you up on a couple of other things I forgot to share!

    GRIMACES: I was quite astounded and dare I say a bit disappointed to discover that the coffee here in our room in Paris (the highest-end room we have taken yet in our travels!) serves instant coffee. I was even getting a little judgy ... but ... wait! Given my adoration and addiction for coffee first thing in the morning... it became necessary for me to try it! And it is DELICIOUS! So much so that I wanted to buy some at the grocery store to pack along to Spain and Portugal!! When, on earth, did instant coffee get so GOOD?? 😍

    GAFFAHS: Ha ha ... so the day before yesterday we had traipsed quite a distance in search of a breakfast that might offer us an egg ... but as you might recall ... we just ended up with bread and jam. Well ... guess where we had breakfast yesterday morning??  Our hotel. Yep.

    GRINS: The place with the instant coffee also serves a lovely continental breakfast with croissants and fruits and juices and cereal and yogurt and cheeses and ham ... and ... hard boiled eggs! All for $10€! They will even bring it to your room for no extra charge! 🤗

    Aside from the exceptional location, we had begun to second-guess why we had chosen to splurge on this particular room. Somehow, with all our comings and goings and reservations, we forgot about the extras this place offers! We will be sure to take full advantage of these ammenities ... now that we remember!

    GIFTS: I wore my rain coat all day on our fisrst day here for nothing! It was cloudy and cool, but there was never a need for an umbrella. And yesterday it was 21°and sunny! I was hoping to finally get out of pants and into a skirt or capris ... and ... my wish was granted! And today and tomorrow ... our last two days here ... it is supposed to be even warmer!

    GAHS: The metro system is enourmous! And I have this wee little map that fits nicely in my purse ... but ... trying to read it with my old eyes is a feat of it's own! We were planning to see the Louvre at 2pm and the Eiffel Tower last night at 9:15pm and I was hoping I could find our way to the 'meeting spots' effortlessly and easily! 

    GRATITUDES: And ... we made our way quite nicely! Once we figured out where we had to be for our tours later in the day, we took the Blue Line of the Bug Bus to acquaint ourselves with the area of Montmartre, Sacre-Coeur and Moulin Rouge. We are planning to spend the day Sunday exploring these beautiful parts of the city on foot!

    GASPS: On route, as we were passing through the red light district of Paris, we noticed you could get a burger and a movie! You might have to squint to see what show is playing ... XXX rated!

    GRATITUDES:Afterwards, we stopped at "Le Carrousel: Bar & Brasserie" for a crepe ... to nourish our hard 'walking' bodies before our tour of the Louvre. We've been averaging about 10 km per day ... and yesterday it turned out to be almost 13km! And, as much as we wanted to try the French crepes ... we ended up with wine and escargots and the special of the day: "paupiette de veau et son jus petits légumes"! Veal meatballs and sauteed veggies! Fabulous French Cuisine!

    GIFT: We enjoyed our time ar the Louvre. It was not terribly busy ... and so we got to meet Mona ... right up, front and center! It is of interest to note that the Mona Lisa gained its popularity when it was stolen in 1911. Prior to that, it was relatively unknown. Now that I have seen it, I can't say I am surprised. To me ... the painting seems fairly unassuming. I know art is a very personal thing, but she didn't evoke a whole lot from me emotioinally. It seemed to us that many of the other paintings were far more remarkable than she ... but ... it truly is a gift to have been able to meet her with our own eyes and hearts.

    FUN FACT: When I think of "The Latin Quarter" in cities, my mind goes to spanish speaking areas where lively music can be heard and light-hearted Latinos abide. This is not the case in France. The Latin Quarter is named so because it is near the Sorbonne University ... and ... it was likely that Latin language is what was spoken back in the day when the University came into being!

    GRIMACES: Once again ...after hours wandering the Louvre ... we required nourishment before our trip up the Eiffel Tower! So, as is common in Paris, you sit at tables squeezed closely together on the streetside. And, you sit side by side facing the street. And so, we settled in at one near The Iron Lady. But we were chastised very abruptly by the server! John had moved his chair and now we were sitting 'out of line'. The server became so annoyed with us that John suggested we leave. I recommended we just "get ourselves in line" and enjoy the moment. And so we DID! And the server thanked us ... and ... we made up nicely!

    GRINS: John enjoyed the 'large' French beer that came in a GIGANTIC tankard! He said you had to be able to press 100lbs in order to get it safely to your lips. We shared the beef bourguignonne with spaghetti... followed up with a meringue with English sauce!! Not French sauce. No. It was an English sauce. And ... oh my gosh ... it was beyond stellar!!

    We still had some time before our tour ... so we wandered the area for a bit and then stopped again for some refreshments! This particular server was not at all impressed that all we wanted was two of the smallest glasses of wine. And .. he made it clear we were not worth his time. He simply ignored our requests ... and instead ... worked the tourists walking by in hopes they would come and eat and leave him a big tip. Which we didn't. Our tip for him ... value all your customers.

    GRIPES: I ordered a bottle of water at the same restaurant. I could have died of dehydration by the time he brought it! And ...... when the bill arrived ... I was shocked to see it cost $6 Euros!!! That is @ $10CAD! When we got to the tour meetiing place 15 minutes later ... we could get a bigger bottle of water for $2 Euros out of the dispensing machine. Okay. Enough of my griping about money. I am starting to sound like my father.

    GASPS OF WONDER: The Eiffel Tower by night ...was ... unbelievable and entirely exceptional! Our guide stated that it had some special Japanese lighting. John took a little video ... but ... it really doesn't do it justice (and it starts our a bit blurry). He also took one at the top ... also ... doesn't reflect the spectacular sights. It was an unrivaled and breathtakiing experience!

    I will post more pics in an aside to this blog so you can hopefully get a better sense of our day of sightseeing yesterday and the magnificence of the experience!

    GRATITUDES: It was a great day! And, today we are going to see Notre Dame Cathedral ... and then ... have a lovely dinner cruise on the River Seine. Hope you are all doing well!! Talk to you later ... bye for now ... k&j
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Paris, París, Parigi

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