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The Canucks Take Paris ~ Days 1 & 2

We are back in Paris, baby! We landed on Friday morning at around 10am, the Stangs were waiting for us as we came out in Terminal 3, as was our driver from Shuttle Inter. We had a beautiful Mercedes van and after an uneventful but traffic packed drive into Paris, were at our apartment on rue de Turenne in the Marais a little past noon. The apartment is a large 2 bedroom place, about 75 square meters and has a well equipped kitchen, free wifi, free calling back to Canada, flat screen Sony TV and a nice sized bathroom. It's a little dated and could stand some freshening up, but the size and location (half a block from Place des Voges) more than make up for that. There is currently some construction going on and the windows in both bedrooms have been covered with opaque tarp so we can't open them. There are 2 large windows in the living/dining room and one in the kitchen, so there's still lots of natural sunlight and fresh air coming in. Our landlord has offered us a 30% discount for the inconvenience.

We unpacked and set out to show the Stangs a bit of the Marais. We wandered down to rue des Rosiers and Vielle du Temples, stopping at many of the small boutiques along the way. We made our way to Rivoli and back towards St Antoine, stopped for some baguette sandwiches for lunch and got some provision (mostly wine!) from the Monoprix. Jetlag was hitting us all pretty badly, so we took a little nap. Once we showered and freshened up, we were out the door around 7:30 to find a taxi to take us to the Olympia for the Jimmy Buffett concert.

As we walked down rue de Turenne trying to hail a cab, we had one of those moments that puts the lie to the "rude Parisian" myth. We were in front of Cafe des Musees and the waiter came out and told us it would be hard to hail a cab off the street. He called one for us on his cell phone and told us it would be there in 2 minutes, which it was. What a wonderful thing for a perfect stranger to do for us. We have had so many similar encounters in Paris over the years. People are truly nice here in this big, bustling city.

We made the concert with minutes to spare. The hall was packed with Parrotheads and Jimmy and his band played for almost 3 hours, singing all their hits and enjoying themselves as much as the audience. What an experience it was for us Buffett concert virgins! He did three encores and ended with an acoustic version of He Went To Paris. This was one of the most fun concerts I've ever been to, the audience really gets into it, dressing up in island gear, singing along with the songs, tossing beach balls and inflatable sharks around the room.

We walked back along Boulevard des Capucines and stopped at Le Grand Cafe Capucines for a late night dinner. Den and I each had very rare bavettes de boeuf with parsely potatoes and Jo and Luc each has French Onion soup. I has my first creme brulee of the trip for dessert and Den has fromage blanc with mango. The Stangs shared a moelleux au chocolat and we all had the house rose which was fine. Well sated, we took a cab back to the apartment and were all in bed by 1am. A long day, but a great entry back into the city we love.

We all slept in until about 10am on Saturday morning. Den went out to the great little bakery right across the street from our apartment and got us pain au chocolat and croissants while I made some coffee. Ah, the pain au chocolat! Impossibly flaky and buttery, still warm enough that the chocolate was soft in the middle. I want to live in Paris just for the pain au chocolat.

After a leisurely breakfast, we made our way out of the apartment around noon and walked around the Marais a little more, making our way to Rivoli. We stopped at some little shops along the way, as well as the BHV. We walked by Au Vieux Comptoir to try to make reservations for dinner that night, but they were full. As we were starting to get hungry for lunch by then, I remembered a bistro that I had been wanting to try for the last few years, La Rose de France on Place Dauphine on Ile la Cite. We walked over and were lucky to snag a table for four on the terrace. It was nice and sunny when we sat down but clouded over after about 20 minutes and even rained on us a bit. No matter, we are in Paris with our friends, having some wine and a great lunch. I had a huge salad with sun dried tomatoes, hearts of palm, serrano ham, huge shavings of parmesan and a very light vinigrette. Den has fois gras with a mango chutney and the Stangs shares a charcuterie plate.

Once sated, we thought about walking to Luxembourg Gardens to see if we could get some of the honey they only sell once a year, but Boul St Michel was closed for a huge Techno Parade and it started to rain again, so we decided to pass. Den and Luc wanted to go to the new Apple store at Carousel du Louvre to get some toys for their new iPads, so we headed over there and did a bit of shopping. We had never been here and it's kind of neat, there's a huge food court and lots of very expensive stores. We found the Apple store, De got a case for his iPad and I got a cover for my iPhone that has the Eiffel Tower and I Love Paris on it!

I then took us to the little square in front of the Comedie Francaise to see the beautiful metro station there. We had some roasted chestnuts from a street vendor and strolled through the gardens of the Palais Royale, the Gallerie Vivienne and rue Etienne Marcel. It was about 7pm by now and we had been walking for about 7 hours, so we decided it was time for a break. I know we were only minutes from rue Montorgeuil, so I made us soldier on and we scored 4 places on the outside terrace of Drole d'Endroit pour une Recontre (Strange place for a date), a little bar on the corner of Montorgeuil and Tiquetonne. We had drinks and tapas under a heat lamp and just people watched for a few hours. We were feeling pretty lucky to be sitting right there in the heart of Paris, relaxing after a wonderful first day.

We strolled back through the 2nd and onto rue Rambuteau, which turns into Francs Bourgeois. We were back into the apartment at around 9pm and called Caffe Angela to see if they had place for us for dinner. Luc wanted some Italian and we had had a great meal at this tiny cafe just down from l'As du Fallafel last year.

We had a wonderful meal in Angella's cozy little place with only 5 tables. We all had fresh pasta dishes, shared a bottle of Orivietto Classico and I had one of the best tiramisus I've ever had (and I have 2 Italian sister-in-laws, so I've had good tiramisu in my day!) Angella's waiter was sick, so she was serving tables as well as cooking everything. She was out of a few things, including the mushroom risotto that Jo and I initially had our eyes on. We may just have to come back and try it later on. The bill for the four of us was 118 euros, very good value for home cooked, honest fare like momma used to make.

We slowly walked back to our place and were in bed again a little past 1am. Den and I are up early this morning, he's playing on his iPad and I'm making this overdue entry on my blog. I think we will head to the Bastille market later this morning and play the rest of the day by ear.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Comments (2)


Mmmmm, you're making me hungry!

Hi Jo,
Loving your blog!! And what a treat for you to go to Jimmy Buffett concert - Pat from OPF and I were actually offered tickets to this concert on the same night in Harry's Bar but as I had no idea who he was, I wasn't interested much to my friend's horror! LOL don't worry, I have now rectified that and can now hum along to Cheeseburgers in Paradise even!! LOL
Enjoy your time in Paris and I will see you on the 8th for the OPF GTG!

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