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Live from CDG

Ah, the beauty of the internet and an laptop. We are at CDG, waiting for our flight to board in about an hour. Since we have the time, I thought I would blog yesterday's events.

We were up early and ready to leave the apartment after our last pain au chocolat and croissant from our corner bakery. We made sure to leave a tidy apartment and sent an e-mail to Thierry that we were leaving a bit early if he wanted to get in early to clean for the next tenants. We have loved our little pied a terre in the Marais and would not hesitate to rent from Paris Best Lodge again. Thierry is constantly in touch via e-mail and only a cell phone call away if you need him quicker than that. We really enjoyed having the computer and the washer/dryer in the apartment and will hopefully travel lighter next time we rent one of his apartments!

We took a cab to Hotel des Grandes Ecoles on rue Cardinal Lemoyne in the Latin Quarter. We found this hotel through Slow Travel and Trip Advisor reviews. It is a cute little place set off the main street in a courtyard and very close to rue Mouteffard and many bar/restaurants. The room wasn't ready yet since it was before 10am when we got there, but they let us store our luggage and locked up our computer and away we went to explore our new neighborhood. We walked down Mouteffard and the Saturday morning market was just beginning to get going. I don't think we will ever get blase over French market food and we walked through the market salivating at the many stalls and storefronts.

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Den spotted a sign for Jardin des Plantes, so we headed in that direction. We walked through the beautiful gardens full of flowers and trees and enjoyed the calm Saturday morning. We came out near the Seine entrance and walked along the main street, spotting some hyenas and ostriches through the gates of the city zoo! A place we will have to remember when we bring Sebastian to Paris in a few years. We continued walking until we came to the Arab Institute, I had read about their unique windows and wanted to take a look. A whole side of the building has these windows that open and close according to the sunlight hitting them at different times of the day. They work similar to a camera's aperture and it was very interesting to see them. We took the elevator up to the 9th floor to check out the view from the restaurant. It would be spectacular to have dinner here and view Paris all lit up.

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We continued walking back towards the Mouteffard market which was in full swing when we got there. We ordered some sandwiches and pizza squares along with drinks and a few little pastries and went to a nearby park to eat our bounty. The park was filled with little kids playing and we just sat there and enjoyed watching them while we ate this deliciously simple French lunch. We walked back to the hotel but our room still wasn't ready, so we headed towards the Luxembourg gardens and just sat there for a while watching Parisian families enjoying their weekend. We walked towards the St Germain des Pres area and window shopped along the way. It started to rain, so we stopped and had a little cafe cremes, one of the last ones of our trip! As we were walking back towards St Michel, there was a big student protest which went by. Denis was so happy to finally see a "manifestation" and we stood in the street with hundreds of other viewers watching the noisy procession. Democracy at work!

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We finally made it back to the hotel a little after 4pm and took a well deserved nap for about an hour. After freshening up, back out we went for our last evening in Paris. We had drinks at a little Irish pub on a corner, sitting outside watching the rain fall and eating some pate and baguette. We walked around looking at our dining choices for tonight (I had thought of going to one of the restaurants on my "list" but there were so many in the area, it was raining and we just wanted to keep it simple on our last night out). We stopped for another drink and watched as young and old Parisians and tourists started their Saturday nights. We finally dragged ourselves out of the little bar at around 8:30 and made our way to a little Greek restaurant on Mouteffard. Yes, we have decidedly gone tourist for our last night and I know not to expect great food, but it was cute, it was close and it was cheap! We both had the 14 euro prix fixe and a bottle of Santorini white wine. We have the pikelia to start, a nice mix of Greek appetizers including tzatziki, tarama, squid salad and those delicious broad beans in a tomato sauce. Den has a very tender lamb brochette and I have the moussaka, which is good but not as good as my hubby's version! We are so happy to see Greek yogurt and honey on the dessert offerings, so I choose that and Den has the baklava and we split both. We have a wonderfully simple meal, joking with our Portugese neighbours on one side and our German companions on the other. Dinner is 45 euros!! and we walk back to our hotel happy, satisfied and tired at about 11pm.

Off to bed we go since it is a travel day tomorrow. I had had grand plans about staying up and going drinking but like so many other times we've had those ideas, the reality is that we are still middle-aged grandparents who like our sleep more than staying up and partying! I know, kinda sad, but such is our life!

We are up early this morning, have breakfast at the hotel (9 euros each for coffee, oj, croissants and baguettes with butter and confiture). Our shuttle is right on time to pick us up at 8am and we are at CDG by 8:30, checked in at the Zoom counter and through security by 9 and just waiting to board and go home and hug our little grandson later today.

We have had a wonderful trip, but it is always nice to go home to those you love.

See you next year, Paris!

Jo & Den

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 25, 2008 4:20 AM.

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