Yes, yes, I am behind on my blog entries! That is what happens when the days only have 24 hours and we only have 17 days in Paris. (Actually, we are now back home and my long awaited and carefully planned trip that was over a year in the making is now behind us, sob, sob).
We decided to go our separate ways on Monday ~ Jo wasn't feeling well and they both needed a day of rest from my relentless walking tour! Den and I decided to walk to the Galeries Lafayette shopping area and we took our time walking through the 2nd and 9th arrondissements, seeking out new little streets and sights along the way. Lafayette is as impressive as ever with the beautiful stained glass ceiling and the encircling balustrades. We took our time looking around, not really shopping for anything (my wallet runs more towards rue d'Alessia than les grands magasins Hausseman!) but I did see a little diamond bracelet valued at 131,000 euros that caught my eye, but since I didn't let Den buy any Ferraris at the car show, he wouldn't let me splurge on this eye candy! We had lunch at the cafeteria on the 6th floor (ah, Paris, where the wine comes out of a dispenser and costs less than Den's ice tea! You wonder why I love this city!). Calling this a cafeteria is like calling Notre Dame a church ~ it really doesn't do it any justice. There were dozens of fresh food options, even more decadend dessert choices and did I mention the wine was available from a soft drink dispenser! The seating area offers wonderful views of Paris and we enjoyed a great lunch and a nice rest. We then went up to the terrace where Den took his multitude of pictures of Paris laid out before us. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the food emporium across the street, buying overpriced treats and salivating over all the different offerings. We took the metro back where we joined up with Luc and Jo, who was feeling much better. After catching up over drinks in the apartment, we decided to go for a walk to enjoy the bracing evening air. We walked in the Northern Marais, enjoying the little streets, bars and cafes and all the people just walking around. We stopped at a brasserie on the corner of Bretagne and Turenne where Luc had steak frites and Den and I shares a veggie bruschetta. Of course, we had some wine and then we ambled home around midnight.
Tuesday morning saw us go our separate ways again ~ Jo & Luc were leaving on Thursday morning and they had some major shopping to do before they left. Den and I decided to wander over to the left bank and just do some more exploring. We stopped on Ile St Louis for some shopping (didn't buy anything but had fun looking) and I decided we would try to have lunch at Les Papilles if we could. We were very lucky that they had space for us with no reservation (we saw them turn away at least 10 people after we were seated). This is a small wine bar/bistro in the 5th that has a very well deserved reputation for good cuisine du marche. The walls are covered with wine bottles offered for sale at retail prices plus a 7 euro corkage fee. The chef offers a different menu every day depending on what is fresh that day. We both opted for just the marmite of the day instead of a 3 course lunch. The chef had made a superb veal osso bucco with fall vegetables (including roasted garlic gloves, what a treat!) in a rich demi-glace sauce. The portion was more than enough for both of us and the veal was fall off the bone tender. Of course, we both scooped out the rich marrow and spread it over our bread. Although we were both full from this delicious comfort food, we couldn't resist the rice pudding served with stewed apples and salted caramel sauce. Den wouldn't share, so we both ordered one and managed to put away both portions quite nicely. It was soooooo good. We had a half litre of the house red which went very nicely with the veal. We really enjoyed our lunch and I would like to return for dinner one day for the full meal.
We had to walk off our meal so we ambled over to the Luxembourg Gardens for a while and then decided to walk to the Rodin Museum, just to sit in the gardens and enjoy a coffee. This is one of the best deals in Paris, you can enter the gardens for just 1 euro and see some of Rodin's masterpieces in a very regal garden setting. We took the metro back and joined up with our friends for a casual dinner at Pizza Momo on rue St Antoine. We had been there last week and were all in the mood for something easy and fun. We then walked over to Pom Canelle on Ile St Louis for desserts that none of us needed. Full to the gills, we decided we need to walk some more and Jo and Luc really wanted to stroll down the Champs Elysees before they left, so we took the metro to the Arc de Triomphe and joined the thousands of people still out at 11pm on a Tuesday night on this very busy, very touristy boulevard. It was a fun, kitschy end to our day.