Bonjour, tout le monde!
I’ve long-since made le retour from my vacation and thus owe all of you (by the way – my how we’ve grown – all 901 of you!!! wow! and thanks a bunch for coming along!) a glowing, adventure-filled continuation of accounts here on Where the BlueBoots Go. Last installment was here, if you missed it, where we climbed the Tour Eiffel all the way to the top.
For all other travel adventures, I’ve made a new Travel tab on the main page menu, so you can feel free to explore there too.
On y va! Let’s go!
Jet lag was a beast, and kept us inside and oblivious to the sun which had risen up hours before. Still… everything moves a little slower at times in such a charming city, I tell you. The striking and beneficial thing about Paris was that the weather in early June is absolutely perfect – perhaps arguably the most perfect of the whole year – and the longest days of the year then ensure hours of sunshine until 10 pm, when the weary, yellow, shining lion at last lays down its mane of rays to rest. Today’s adventures circled around errands to pick up dainties to nibble on and gifts for friends, was rounded out by a healthy dose of people-watching and classic French cuisine as well as a romantic end of the evening when we happened upon the Louvre and Arc de Triomphe at night, all lit up and lovely.
Now, for this post’s crown jewel – les photos.
It was quite satisfying to turn on the iPhone keyboard for français and have it correct the accents and have no red squiggles underlining my notes from the adventures we had… Paris is évidemment the perfect place for jotting notes in French!
The day began with a Croque Madame at Cafê d’Officiers in the 7ième arrondissement (like a district or neighborhood). This cafe was always bustling with a mix of regulars, locals, and tourists – into the wee hours of the morning, even. This was probably my first time having a Croque Madame, and it was quite nice. Most of these people-watching terrasse cafes have a very similar menu. You know what you are going to get when you look at it, for the most part. This classic consists of a thick toast tartine, layered with a delicious piece of ham, gruyère and emmenthal cheese melted and bruléed on top, with a fried egg. Fresh greens tossed with a light vinaigrette and a side of frites complete the brunch.
Although I won’t get into this, it started out our day a little poorly. That bottle of water was mistakenly brought to our table and cost us 9E… After that, I remembered the proper way to ask for water as one does in the states so customarily : un carafe d’eau s’il vous plaît.
Some candied fruits looked very impressive in the bottom left corner.
So, it was Strawberry Month, as you can see here, and the lucky duck Strawberry was taking a bath in some delicious whipped cream. 🙂
From there, we browsed a few other boutiques and headed to the Musée d’Orsay for the reduced pricing after 4 pm. Just outside, was a musician strumming away. Later on when we exited the museum, he was still playing but a strange self-proclaimed bard was dancing around wildly and soliciting the attention of quite a crowd.
A noble elephant outside the museum, and aptly framed with the tricolore waving proudly in the cloudy sky.
We went quickly through, and made sure to at least see the impressionists. I was in a mood to appreciate the hazy skies in works and artists I hadn’t known before. A couple exemplaires follow.
This was a neat exhibit I hadn’t seen the last time I was here, 8 years ago. It is a 3D stage model in the wall, depicting the stage of Hamlet, I believe.
There was also an underground miniature model of Paris proper, which I could peer over and walk around on. How neat!!!
And, here, the famed Opéra Garner of Paris, sliced through so that you can see the intricacies.
As a brief aside: Following our adventure there, we were aaaaaalmost going to call it quits and head back to our hotel but a windy series of underground passages connecting metro lines took us to the Opéra stop – we thought, perhaps the sun hadn’t set yet and we should go check it off of our list! Here I am in a rare solo picture in front of the beautiful edifice which was being remodeled in other parts. I thought I’d insert that here so you could see the inside and outside. The sun took its sweet time to set, and as a result, a beautiful backdrop for the impressive golden herald atop the Opera house could be appreciated in full.
The Musée d’Orsay was once the oldest steam-train station in France. Now it holds a plethora of special pieces, sculptures in this hall, and many other paintings. I love this shot- Paris through the clock. It will surely get it’s own blog post later.
A delicate ceiling peeked through many angles.
You can see quite the view from the museum! That’s Sacre Coeur over there.
After the Opera (the Magic Flute was playing that week – wish we could have caught that, but so much to see), we headed back to Madeleine and fulfilled a tout petit happy dream of mine to visit the famed massive department stores on Boulevard Haussman: Printemps and Galéries Lafayette. Similar to Bloomies in New York, Bergdorf Goodman, or Saks, which have many buildings for different merchandise departments, these had the same type of set up.
It was the 150 anniversary of Printemps and they had these magical lit flowers overhead, special food trucks outside, and windows with musical perfume displays, some of which were specially made to honor the anniversary.
Their mascot reminded me of the 2012 London Olympics. Just cuter, peppier, and pinker.
Next, we headed to the Galeries Lafayette food hall because we were hungry. The variety of teas…. …..and colorful spices …and salts that you could make special culinary blends of were so neat. I would have a blast with an unlimited budget and a nearby kitchen, to be sure.
A delightful tea maker, Mariage Frères had a small shop there as well with curated favorites. Their black teas are almost all the same, but each has a unique scented and infused blend to make each tea unique and special.
They supposedly pioneered the tea-infused chocolates – which I actually enjoy quite a bit. Jellies, sugars, and cakes were also available for purchase. We never made it to the tea room to sample teas this trip (one location, located near the Louvre) but perhaps we will next time.
After a quick soup and pizza stop at Pret a Manger in the food hall, we headed on foot to the Louvre, which we thought we could justtttttt about see from where we were.
On the way, we saw the Apple Store… have you seen a more unassuming Apple store, totally integrated in the original architectural surroundings?? With a yuzu citron eclair in hand, we sought the perfect place to enjoy our pastry. It was so special to be there just as the sun was setting. A very friendly fellow at the Louvre restaurant, overlooking the grand courtyard kindly let us sit and enjoy our eclair and the sunset, with a view of the Tour Eiffel and Arc de Triomphe, and the Louvre Pyramid with EXCELLENT hot chocolate. Oh, French hot chocolate – how I miss thee!
Typical cafe, near the Louvre.
Bonsoir, tour eiffel! WOW. L’eclair de genie indeed…
There’s the nice waiter in the background, actually!
Once we were happily sweetened with bright citrus in the BEST eclair, we walked to the Arc de Triompe (there are two – facing one another and connected by a long jardin de tuileries). <3 The same type of pattern tile seen in the Musée d’Orsay.
With that, we finished our night and headed back to prepare for Paris, le troisième jour. I hope you’re learning some French, loving the photos, and enjoying the accounts!
À la prochaine,