Remembering More of Paris

<img alt="Pont notre Dame Paris"/>

I started this piece a couple of weeks ago, and so I’ve recovered a bit more from vacation lag, but only slightly.  The way things are going, the entire summer will be one huge vacation lag.  When I’ve seen an email pop up about “cheap end of summer flights,” I’ve checked a few bound for Paris, mulling over the idea of going again without my husband to wander the streets and brood.  Shoot more photos.  Sit in cafes.  Write.

And then I snap out of it because I’m not exactly 20 something and trying to find myself.  I could be persuaded to do a bit of a makeover, however.  Alas, recovery from the cost of our recent trip must also be considered, but I can dream, can’t I?  I can think about all we’ve seen and done and wonder what we might do next should we venture to Paris again — we, because I’d never go without my husband.  He has the Metro all figured out, after all.  And who would carry my camera bag if he stayed home?

<alt img="Galerie Vero-Dodat Paris"/>

We know Paris fairly well now — or wink and pretend we do, having covered seemingly endless nooks and crannies, walking, riding more Metro lines than we ever thought we’d need to, and indulging in a funky C2V tour we thought we’d miss after being delayed at Heathrow.

Metropolitain

<img alt="CV2 Tour in Paris"/>

Citroen Pilote

Yes, we’ve done Paris nicely, crossing the Seine to zigzag from right bank to left and back, admiring the views as we made our way, me never quite satisfied that I was able to gaze long enough wondering what is it about those buildings?

The Left Bank

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<alt img="The Eiffel Tower"/>

We made sure we strolled down as many streets as we could to admire the shops and cafes, people watch, and wonder what it would be like to live in such a city.  Well, I thought about it.  I love big cities and the neighborhoods that make them so unique.  Everything I’d need outside of a patch to have a garden and a tree would be so close.  And with a short walk or ride on the Metro, I could be in a completely different neighborhood.

  I like that.

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We’ve seen the sights you might expect and enjoyed them all.

Sometimes more than once just to be sure we got our dose.

Eiffel Tower Corner View

My husband said that once he’d seen the Eiffel Tower, his visit to Paris was official.  It does have that effect on you after so many years of seeing it everywhere, then finally getting to stand next to it to realize it’s even more incredible.

Notre Dame

Shakespeare and Company

I was so happy to have made it to Shakespeare’s, and while I was sifting through the fiction section to find a new read, my husband made his way around upstairs to confirm that yes, people were really sleeping there.  I marveled over such a thing, gave him my book and he paid for it, watching the man at the counter stamp the title page, which makes my visit official.  I could have spent hours in there.  A whole day, perhaps.

No photos inside, please.

We spent a morning at the Louvre seeing statues I’ve wanted to see since I was a child admiring them in books — the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Venus de Milo, and many more.  And then there was the excellent people watching as well.  I never tire of watching people.  They’re interesting — especially when I can’t quite make it to the front of the throng positioned in front of the Mona Lisa.

Sizing it Up at the Louvre

Winged Victory of Samothrace

Venus de Milo

Composing the Perfect Shot

Mona's Admirers

Above the Crowd

One very rainy morning, we took the RER to see Versailles.  We were wet and cold by the time we were ready to return to Paris, but we had so much fun tooling around in a golf cart rental while listening to classical music and trying to make it from one fountain to another, splashing through the puddles when we had to get out to find an opening in the maze of hedgerows.

Line...

<alt img="Versailles Photobombers"/>

I did experience my first photo bomb at Versailles, but didn’t realize it until I got home.  It makes me smile every time I see it.

Cute girls.

Versailles Umbrellas

Keep off the Grass

<alt img="Black Umbrella"/>
Twirling Water

<alt img="Versailles on a Rainy May Day"/>

Strolling through the Tuilleries and Jardin du Luxembourg coaxed us to stop long enough in each to lounge a bit among the Parisians who seem to have sun worship down to an art form.  We have plenty of sun where we live, but haven’t quite got the hang of lounging in it.  We need more practice and have been doing just that, walking along the beach on Sundays with our bare feet in the surf.  It’s not quite like being on vacation, but I’m not complaining, and I don’t think those sitting around this pond would, either.

Pond at the Tuilleries
From the Tuilleries
Strolling in le Jardin du Luxembourg
Basking in the Paris Sun

Speaking of Parisians, after reading so many recommendations about what to wear while in Paris (no prints, dark colors, tasteful shoes) I took special note of those who stood out for one reason or another and decided the advice was all wrong.  That Parisians do enjoy colorful garb.  But how does one really tell who is Parisian in Paris, and who isn’t?

Summer Dresses
Carrefour de L'Odeon
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I like her style!

Red Head

I love the color and tousled ease of her hair.

Bicyclist at the Place de la Concorde

And her spirit.

You couldn’t get me on a bike in the traffic on the Place de la Concorde.

<alt img="G. Detou Paris"/>

We shopped a bit — mostly for food related items to bring home as gifts.

That was enough.

<img alt="Inside G. Detou Paris"/>

Chocolate fan?  Oh, the varieties of Valrhona in this shop!

<img alt="E.Dehillerin Paris"/>

I brought home a little Charlotte mold, I’ll confess, but no one had to twist my arm.  In fact, we were left to our own as we shopped until we needed a question answered.

Surely, a Charlotte mold purchased in Paris will turn out a perfectly constructed dessert the very first time it is used, don’t you think?

InteriorDehillerin

And we definitely spent time eating at a variety of cafes or restaurants each day, but never made a single reservation deciding to not treat ourselves to anything with Michelin stars attached to it.

I never quite got my fill of sitting at those little sidewalk tables to watch the passersby.

Setting for Two

And as much as we’ve read so much about the waiters in Paris, I’m happy to say we only had one issue, and it wasn’t with a waiter.  They do their job and do it well, leaving you to your meal and thoughts, as long as you’d like to sit there, until you signal for your check.

<alt img="Paris Waiters"/>

Pere Lachaise Cemetery also got some of our time on our first day in Paris — an odd place to begin, but so peaceful.  So beautiful.  We’d lost a day and Sundays can be a challenge to find things to do from what I’ve heard. Now that we’ve been, I’d question who said that.  It was perfect to walk through the tree lined lanes and enjoy the quiet, a fresh baguette ready to snack on as we walked.

Asleep
Peony
Wildflowers

A walk through bustling Le Marais and our first lunch was a wonderful way to spend Sunday afternoon.

Sunday on the Rue des Francs Bourgeois

<alt img="Rue Saint-Antoine Paris"/>

<alt img="Paris Street"/>

What didn’t we do when we were in Paris? 

Or better said — what did we save for next time?

I never did see a Monet, but I have seen them in other cities so will settle for that.

We didn’t make it to Le Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, but we happened onto a flea market on our way back from Pere Lachaise and that was a good consolation.

We didn’t climb the Eiffel Tower, but seeing Paris from the dome of Sacre Coeur was more than fabulous and without a line!

Although we planned for a picnic like so many others clearly had, the weather wasn’t always cooperative, so enjoying our picnic in the apartment on a rainy day was wonderful.  After all, you will soon see we had plenty of left over cheese!
Picnic in the park
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I never had a madeleine or lemon tart, but we sampled macarons and chocolate croissants, and not nearly enough, so I ordered Pierre Herme’s pastry book as soon as we got home.  I’ve made macarons once, and I’ve made a laminated dough, but never a croissant.  It’s probably time.

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We didn’t make it to Laudreé for macarons, but Pierre Hermé more than satisfied. Besides, our C2V driver said they were the best in Paris.  They will tell you no photos please, even though you’re spending nearly $40 for a cute little box of macarons.

So you have to be quick and get the job done before they notice.

Macarons
Rue Cler on a Monday Afternoon

We also never did walk along the Champs-Elysees much to some people’s chagrin, but enjoyed many other walks instead.

Like Rue Cler with a lovely lunch at Cafe Central.

<img alt="Cafe Central on Rue Cler Paris"/>

<img alt="Cheese Course"/>

The cheese course was large enough (OH!) that the waiter asked if we’d like to take what we couldn’t eat.

Of course!

<img alt="Chaud Choclat"/>

We walked along the Rue de Rivoli and window shopped near the Place des Victoires, the lovely Rue Montorgueil…

<img alt="On Rue de A'bahkir"/>

Rue Montorgueil

On Rue Montorgueil

Rue Saint-Antoine and Place des Vosges.

<img alt="Rue Saint-Antoine Le Marais"/>

Place des Vosges

Our last day in Paris — the most beautiful of our vacation — we strolled along the Cours du Commerce Saint-Andre tucked away just off the Boulevard Saint-Germain and had a late lunch at Le Relais Odeon.

I’d say we did our share of finding some lovely streets to wander along and enjoy the lively spirit of Paris.

Le Relais Odeon Paris Cafe

One of us ordered a salad, and the other, frites.

No, I did not order the frites.

Thank goodness, he did not use the ketchup.

<alt img="Late Lunch in Paris"/>

At Le Relais Odeon Paris

One of the things I’d planned to do in Paris is surprise my husband with an engraved lock in celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary.

I’m a romantic so why not?

Locks on the Pont des Arts

I imagined the scene where I’d tell him I’d marry him all over again before we added our padlock to the thousands there before throwing our keys into the Seine.

And then I read Rick Steves’ always practical advice on that, saying the locks were removed eventually so what was the point of adding one?

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It snapped me out of my reverie until my husband surprised me on the Pont des Artes one afternoon.

I saw him writing on a lock.

My heart melted, I cried, (took photos, of course, which is a challenge when your eyes are soggy), and decided right then and there I would never listen to a travel expert’s practical advice on romance again.

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I’ve read there is always something to see in Paris no matter how many times you go, and I certainly know that now.

But I also know I’ve seen enough of it to last a lifetime.

Maybe.

 

 

31 thoughts on “Remembering More of Paris

  1. Oh, Kelly. Wow. You are making up for my lack of travel plans this summer, and you are inspiring me to make plans for next summer. I’ve been perusing travel sites, exploring cities online and checking schedules.
    You have done your new camera well!! I love your DOF in the shots, like the girl with the wavy hair. Stunning!! (her and the photo!!).
    Thanks for taking the time to post and write. I’m loving your trip!!!

    1. Haha! Thanks, Kim! That camera does require a few more muscles since it’s a lot heavier than the other. I was a bit nervous taking it because it was so new and I just wasn’t sure if I would be too unfamiliar with it, but all went well. I’ll look forward to whatever you’ve got planned. I loved your trip to Venice! Talk about amazing photos… 😀

  2. This was the perfect post to have with my morning muffin and coffee. Thank you. You made me dream about going to Paris…

    1. Thanks, Karen! I’m glad I could share with you. I have quite a few Paris blogs I follow now and find myself there reading and heaving a few sighs with my coffee. I like them before we went, but now, it helps to have been a few places they talk about.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed what I’ve shared. It is a wonderful place — so many aspects are hidden from what is often showcased for tourists. It pays to read as much as you can and to find those who live there and know it so well. I think that’s where Paris truly shines.

  3. Vos photos sont absolument magnifiques.Les unes comme les autres.
    You are such a charming girl..and make a cute cute couple.
    I confess to being a romantic and having tears in my eyes at the lock.
    Funny.. everything is how you look at it..I had read belittling comments of this..you’ve just wiped that slate clean and added poetry…
    I am glad I saw it now with your eyes~

    1. Thank you so much, Monique. Each experience is truly as we make it in life and I should certainly know that by now. Sometimes, the most simple things are the best, and those of us who enjoy them should speak up more to quiet those who are so busy nay saying. Do you know, I have an extra key in my wallet…

  4. Amazed that my daughter, Kelly, continues to amaze me. Beautiful photos and writing.

  5. fabulous pics. love the macarons. I’ve seen the locks on the fence before. They are so endearing. someday I’ll get to Paris (((sigh)))

    1. The macarons were a decadent treat we nibbled on for a few days trying to guess the flavors as we tried them. I loved the locks on the Pont des Arts. So lovely. I guess I am an optimist. There has to be hope. There’s too much pessimism in the world. I hope you find time to get there and that when you do, your experience is lovely!

  6. Again, I thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures and insights. I am now thinking of going to Paris. So many places in the world to see and so little time.

    1. Adele, my husband and I have talked about that very idea of there being so many places to see in the time we have. And I think we’ve arrived at the point where we’re returning to places we’ve enjoyed instead of checking places off of some kind of “bucket list.” Ultimately, to me, travel needs to be relaxing and there is some remorse for me when I’ve enjoyed a place we’ve been and think I may never return. I hope you find a way to go.

  7. i just read an article about why everyone should visit paris once before they die, but all i really needed to do to be convinced of that is see these pictures. 🙂

    1. Ah, well. I waited so long, and when I saw people there with young children, I was thankful that I waited. It’s only my opinion, but I don’t think I would have appreciated it with them along — nor would they have enjoyed or even remembered. Yes, it’s a special place, and I hope you find a way to go. Just promise yourself that you’ll make it what you’d like it to be, and not what “they” tell you it should be.

    1. We did have a wonderful time! And no judging you on the Kardashians because I am the last person to know anything about them. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  8. What a lovely vacation and great photos. If it helps I feel I’m recovering from vacation lag this summer and I don’t even have a spectacular vacation to show for it!

    1. Thanks much! And I do think I know what you’re talking about. I’m lucky at this point in life to be on a somewhat permanent vacation, but there are levels, and toilets do have to be scrubbed! I hope I provided some bit of escape.

  9. I enjoyed reading your post so much Kelly and like your writing style. I was actually reading David Lebovitz’s post on Chablis then noticed on the comments that someone had mentioned San Diego where I live! I clicked on your name and I found this post. My husband and I were just in Paris in May. I reminisce about our trip almost every day and I keep reminding my husband Paul that I need to go again, preferably in Nov for my birthday. Ha! It was his birthday earlier this month so I ordered Poilane bread online. A miche with a big P on it. Why not? I’m excited to read your other posts. Thank you!

    1. I also have to note that my heart leaped when I saw your picture of Rue Montorgueil. Our hotel was right off this wonderful street.

      1. Rue Montorgueil was a wonderful street! I think our timing was off when we were there, though. We usually hit places in the afternoons, and well, the hustle bustle of the place wasn’t there. Glad I was able to see it, though! It would be fun to have a hotel right there — or an apartment.

    2. How great that you found your way here from a comment elsewhere! I love doing that 🙂 And what a coincidence that we live in the same place! Yes, Paris was pretty wonderful. It took me some time to get to that point which I think others would find shocking, but it’s a bit complicated to explain. Regardless, I’m with you at this point and loved it. And yes, I’m laughing over your wanting to go again so soon. I’d be happy to stay in a small studio for a month just to soak it all up! The cost of the flight is what gets me. SO expensive from where we live. Oh well, I guess. More incentive to save those points! Thanks so much for stopping by, Kristy!

  10. Hi Kelly, Appreciate your comments on our trip to France. Our last 4 days were in Paris (second time for us). Our apartment was lovely and very close to Rue Montorgueil. We had dinner one night at L’Escargot. David had the snails, I had beef. I draw the line at eating slugs. I love all of your pictures and they brought back so many great memories of the same places that we had visited. We will go back. Paris does that to you.

  11. Ah! Paris!!! No other city invoke such passions as she does! I can never get a fill of the place and sometime hope to spend more than a fleeting few days 🙂

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