Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday May 24th: Walk a mile or two in my French shoes

We had decided we would take the subway to the Champs Elysees on Monday to check out an artistic demonstration and cultural fair staged by young farmers to bring awareness to local and regional farms.  But, when our card wouldn't allow us to purchase tickets, we decided to walk.

From my journal: On our way, we discovered the most amazing street corners.  On one was a set of bistros surrounded by gardens.  On the other was a mix of Mexican, Greek, Mediterranean, and Indian restaurants.  The countries's flags flew in bright colored introduction to what we would see inside the windows of each restaurant and shop.  I thank my lucky starts that silly metro station forced into walking the streets of Paris.
Here I am on a busy street corner

Mark grabbed a cafe and fried pastry of some kind from a Lebonese market.  It was delish!

There are some things more beautiful than you imagine them to be.  That is how I felt about Notre Dame.  To see it in person - it was breathtaking.  

The flying buttresses and the detail of the steeple were just amazing.

We had crossed the Seine on our way to the Champs Elysees and you can see Notre Dame in the background.  As we crossed, a band was perched on the bridge and they began playing "You Send Me" in French.  So romantic! 

From my journal:  Just across the bridge and out of earshot from the band, I heard the very anticipated first notes of an accordian playing.  There on the street corner sat a man who was playing the most beautiful music I've ever heard.  This is why I wanted to come to Paris.  I wanted to walk hand in hand through the streets of this beautiful city with the sounds of an accordian floating through the air.  Magical!  In that moment, the world stopped and it was just Mark and me and the man with the accordian.

We walked from the Lourve to the Champs.  It was incredible to see how the city had been laid out so that you could see the Arc de Triomphe from the Lourve.  In one straight line you could see some of the most historic momuments in the world.  

After walking for about two hours, we were hungry and very hot.  We had planned to stop in Laduree for some macarons...

 but instead, we decided to do the only thing better than that, have lunch at the Laduree Bar.

I had the Ladurée Salade: Riquette salad, small artichokes, green beans, green asparagus, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, squash seeds, basil, grapefruit and lemon olive oil.  I also had the most refreshing framboise mojito!

For dessert I had the Coupe Malesherbes: chocolate sorbet, caramel ice cream, caramelized hazelnuts, and Chantilly cream.  This is where I discovered that my favorite thing in the world is salted caramel!

A picture of Mark and me enjoying our delicious lunch

After lunch, we had to make a pit stop at the Nike store to buy me a pair of flip flops since it was so hot my feet had swollen right out of my brand new flats.  After several more hours of wandering through Paris, Mark and I decided to hop on the Bateaux Mouches.

Seeing the city from the water was amazing.  I love this picture of Mark and me!

A beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower from the boat

After a cat nap, some showers, and a change of wardrobe, Mark and I headed to a sweet little French brasserie I had read about called Brasserie Balzar.  It was everything I had imagined a French brasserie would be.  It was bustling, and crowded, and smelled of warm bread and sizzling steaks.

Mark enjoying tartines (bread and butter) and a glass of wine


Me about to taste my first real French Onion Soup.  It was yummy!  

We loved our dining experience here.  It felt so authentic!  Our waiter was hysterical and very patient with our terrible French.  He even offered to let me live with him for six months to improve my French.  

After dinner, we took the subway to the the Eiffel Tower.  It was almost ten, and the sun was still in the sky.  Our day had been a long one, but there were two more things we had been waiting for - macarons from Carette and the Eiffel Tower light show.

Here I am with my bag of macarons.  We had chocolate hazelnut, rose, citron, salted caramel, cafe, rasberry, and vanilla.  The area around the Trocadero (the perfect spot to see the light show for the first time) was filled with people and excitement!

Here she is just before the twinkling lights started!!!  Mark didn't know what was about to happen, and I loved hearing him gasp when the lights twinkled as the clock struck 11:00 pm. 

We were too excited after the light show to go home, so we had one final drink outside at the Cafe du Trocadero.  What a wonderful night!

For more on our trip, click here...

19 comments:

  1. Girl you are making me soooo jealous! Hubby has promised a wee trip to Paris for my 30th birthday... I never thought I'd be so excited to turn 30!!! Glad you had a great time! xo

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  2. Although the subway in Paris is great - walking around you can discover some hidden treasures in the city! (my shoes & feet disagree of course)
    Sounds like a beautiful day!

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  3. Oh my gosh, I am so jealous! All of these pictures are stunning! Glad y'all had such a wonderful time, and glad the weather was beautiful too! Lucky lucky girl!

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  4. This looks absolutely wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing your adventures. It brought back some great memories of my own. Glad you had a great trip!!

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  5. I love the Trocadero area. That is where I blogged from every night in Paris (they have free wifi around many of the popular/touristy areas, which was awesome).

    I hate how our credit cards don't work in their metro machines or those bike rental places. I wish we'd sync up our systems so that wouldn't happen! So annoying!

    Sounds like yet another wonderful day. These pictures make my heart ache for Paris!

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  6. I'm soooo jealous!!!!!
    PS..I LOVE your necklace..

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  7. looks like your having a great time x

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  8. I love it!!! I remember being giddy with excitement after seeing the Eiffel Tower twinkling, too. You'll remember it forever!!! I can't wait to hear more about your trip!!! :)

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  9. Oh My Goodness... Love your pictures and your Paris adventure! :) So happy you had a great time!

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  10. What great pictures! My mom and I are going over to France and Paris in like a month so I need to study these posts more when I'm not exhausted! You guys look you're having a blast!

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  11. These pictures are amazing girl! Y'all are so lucky! Hope your having a wonderful week! xoxo

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  12. I'm running out, and will return to your blog... but your pics are GORGEOUS. You and your husband are so, so, cute! I will savor each moment you shared when I get home today, but I must run.

    Love it!

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  13. So much fun! What a trip of a lifetime! I'm just sooo jealous!! And your cute little glasses and turquoise necklace?... FABULOUS Girl! Keep the pics and stories coming!

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  14. The food looks absolutely incredible. No shock there!

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  15. PS - J'adore that turquoise necklace!

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  16. Oh my goodness... I'm in love! Isn't Notre Dame just breathtaking? And "You Send Me" playing in French on the street? A total movie scene! Your pictures are gorgeous, dear. Fiancé and I have almost the exact same picture of us on the Seine River cruise as we passed the Eiffel Tower, but the nighttime version. ;) Thanks for letting me relive Paris vicariously through you!

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  17. jen - glad you took so many food pics! love them.. plus i also have a thing for salted caramel! yummmm
    so it looks like all your planning paid off! cant wait to read more..

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  18. I really enjoy to see this! At this year it will attend at the Maison & Objet the brand Boca do Lobo. They are incredible in fusing old styles with contemporary aspects. Visit www.bocadolobo.com and get in love!

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