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Paris in 45 days!

Well, Paris has cast its spell on us well and good. Although we had thoughts of the Greek Islands or back to Italy this year, it seems that we could not resist the lure of the City of Lights once more. We are headed back to Paris in 45 days for 17 nights, from May 15 to May 31. We have rented an apartment on rue Rivoli in the Marais from Paris Best Lodge, the same agency we rented from last year. We were impressed with our dealings with Thierry, the owner of Paris Best Lodge, and we thought he dealt with us honestly and fairly. He has a very easy booking system and does not cash the security deposit we send him, instead returning it to us on our day of departure. I like the idea of not having our vacation money tied up in security deposits. We so enjoyed the Marais last year, but wanted a true one bedroom this year as I found it a little disconcerting to go up and down the loft bedroom steps in the middle of the night. We have rented the Napoleon apartment and are so looking forward to being in such a central location. We are very close to Ile St Louis and Ile La Cite, as well as walking distance to the Latin Quartier, the Louvre and so much more.

We are looking forward to exploring more parts of Paris as well as revisiting old favourites. We want to see Parc Butte Chaumont, Belleville, the less touristic parts of Montmarte, Chinatown in the 13th, and much more. We plan to walk our little tootsies off once again and take many breaks to sit and have a glass of vin rouge or a cafe creme! We have tickets to Onedin at Opera Garnier, Simply Red at the Olympia, the Antiquities Brocante at Bastille and a Meeting the French visit to Gerard Mulot's patteserie. We hope to dine again at Robert et Louise for that great grilled steak, Au Fous de L'Ile for their rustic atmosphere and L'as du Fallafel for,what else, fallafel! We also want to have lunch one day at the Marche de l'Enfant Rouge in the upper Marais, dinner at Le Florimond in the 7th, La Rose de France at Place Dauphine, Itineraires and Le Pre Verres in the 5th, maybe L'Auberge Nicholas Flammel, le Colimacon and Le Pamphet in the Marais. We also have reservations for Gallopin after the Ballet. Unfortunately, it seems that Spring will not be reopened at its new location in time for our visit. We had also hoped to dine at Le Chien Lunatique, where the chef from Chez Panisse in California cooks for guests in his Parisian apartment, but no word yet on whether he will be in Paris while we are there. I had also thought of attending one of Jim Haynes Sunday dinners, but we decided to pass this time around.

The trip will likely be a repeat of last years, concentrating on eating, walking, shopping, eating, drinking wine, eating , more walking and just sitting and enjoying being in the most captivating city in the world. We plan to spend lots of time at Luxembourg and Place des Voges, people watching and just being there. Of course, I am spending an inordinate amount of time on the internet, scoping out places to visit, to eat and to just see. We can't wait to return to marche Richard Lenoir and to stock up on the delicious French yogurts at Monoprix. I've read my Paris Zagat's and Pudlo's front and back and have them well bookmarked. I also can't wait to see Eiffel in all her twinkling glory again, and hope to have a picnic on Pont des Arts one night and toast this beautiful tower.

So, that is what is keeping me going in this horrible economy and early days of spring. We will probably have to watch our euros, what with the crappy Canadian exchange rate and our crumbling stock portfolio, but who cares, WE WILL BE IN PARIS!!

45 more days.........but who's counting!

JO

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