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I've got Den walking again!

Den woke up yesterday feeling much better, which meant I had to walk him off his feet again. Slacker did nothing on Wednesday, we have a lot of catching up to do! We were at the Bastille metro station by 9am and at the Arc de Triomphe before 9:30. Too bad it doesn't open until 10! So much for the best laid plans.................remember children, read your guide books before heading out the door! We decided to wait and just sit and enjoy the hustle and bustle that is the area around the Arc.


10am came around and still no opening, we ask a police officer what is happening and it turns out there is a strike today and things may or may not open. We wait another 15 minutes and see some workers going into the ticket office and five minutes later, we have our tickets and are climbing the 264 steps to the top. Aaarrrgggghhhhhhhhhhhh, that is one long climb when you are a lazy 48 year old who takes the car to work, even though it is only 6 blocks away. We finally make it up there and Den takes a zillion pictures of Paris below us (Ok, maybe I'm exagerating a bit). We enjoy the views and the breeze for about 30 minutes and make our way down. This is almost as bad as the way up, the stairs are very narrow and go around and around and make me even dizzier than I usually am. We walk down the Champs Elysees looking for Laduree. It's only about a 20 minute walk down this famous boulevard of...........car shops and cinemas! Oh well, we are still on the Champs Elysees, enjoying another day in Paris. We walk into Laduree for lunch and are seated upstairs which is divided into a series of little rooms, all beautifully set with china and silver, with chandeliers on the ceilings and oil paintings on the walls. We both order tea and sandwiches. Our tea comes in silver teapots and our sandwiches have the crusts cut off and come with these huge cut french fries and a little side salad. We are both stuffed but can't leave Laduree without having some macarons, so we order a little assortment to finish off our lunch. Our very dignified waiter serves us 4 little macarons, lemon, pistachio, raspberry and chocolate. They are so delicious, melt in your mouth and the fillings are very intense. Our lunch comes to 53 euros and worth every centime for the experience. We may come back and get some more macarons before the vacation is over.


We continue our walk, going down Faubourg St Honore and looking into all the windows of the designer boutiques that we absolutely cannot afford. I understand why the French call window shopping "leche vitrine", literally window licking, because that is what we feel like we doing, salivating over these wonderful offerings. We make our way to Place de la Madeleine, and visit both temples of food offerings, Hediard and Fauchon. We spent over an hour looking at all the different items and Den bought some tea and coffee at Fauchon. We also take a little break and have some madeleines (of course) and coffee sitting in the window at Fauchon, watching the very fashionable Parisians stroll by. The Opera is next on our list and we slowly meander over, getting there just a few minutes after their last entrance at 4:30. The guard lets us in anyways to take a peek at the grand staircase and the candlelabras everywhere, Den snaps his pics and we go back outside and walk around this huge ornate building, marveling at the architecture and the many statues and gilt ornaments that make up the structure. We make a quick trip up the street to Gallerie Lafayette just so we can see that beautiful ceiling and take the metro home, where we are shocked to read a note on our door that tells us that our friend Kevin is in town! (you can read the previous entry for details). We make plans to meet for drinks after our dinners. Den and I make our way towards Robert & Louise on Rue Vieille du Temples. This is a little hole in the wall place that we have read about and that our dining neighbours at Cafe des Musees recommended to us on Saturday. No pretense or fancy food here, just good meat and plenty of it. You sit at communal tables and get to know your dining companions. We had a delightful conversation with a couple from Michigan, he is a retired art historian and they have lived and worked in Paris off and on for the last 40 years.

We both had escargots to start and then split the beef for 2, which is served with salad and pototoes. The beef is grilled on an open fire at the back of the restaurant and served on a wooden platter. It was perfectly rare and tender and went very well with the bottle of Malbec we choose. We both had lemon meringue pie for dessert and stumbled out of the restaurant stuffed to the gills, and a little drunk. The place was still full at around 10pm, with people waiting for tables at the bar and onto the sidewalk. Dinner was 83 euros and it was the type of place you hope to find when you are in Paris, rough and authentic and just no frills, deliciously plain food you would make yourself at home if you could cook like that!

We met Kevin and Debbie at their hotel and walked over to Place des Vosges and had another bottle of wine (and beer for Kevin) at the Cafe Hugo. We talked and laughed for over 2 hours and finally decided to call it a night, they just landed this morning and haven't slept for about 36 hours and we had another marathon walking session today (albeit at a much slower pace and with more breaks than we usually do).

It's now Friday morning, Den and I are off to the Rodin and d'Orsay museums today and Debbie and Kevin are doing the Louvre. We have our reservation at Spring tonight and so we will meet up with them tomorrow for dinner before they leave for their cruise on Sunday. This trip just keeps getting better and better!


Comments (2)


We're glad to hear Den is feeling better!!

You sure do get a lot of walking in, for someone who hates exercise. :)

How exciting to have visitors at your apartment. Enjoy & have a great weekend.

Hugs to you both.

Liz + Chris

John Mugsey:

Jo, I can't tell you how much I am enjoying reading the blog. I get very hungry just reading about the food! LOL
Hope the rest of the trip goes well.
Respect, John

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