Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Monday, April 9th--Hello From Beautiful Paris!

Hello from cold, windy, rainy (and still beautiful) Paris!

After a L-O-N-G flight from Seattle, we landed in Paris half an hour ahead of schedule.  My Mom's chariot (a.k.a. a wheelchair!) was waiting, and we were whisked right through customs in no time.  We exited into the arrivals hall to find our driver waiting for us.  A quick 30 minute drive into Paris, and we're at the front door to our apartment.  Here's Mom and Dad at 70 Rue St. Dominique, Paris:

We quickly unpacked our suitcases, changed our shoes, and "hit the street".  First stop:  the ATM to get some Euros, then off to our "home" Metro station, La Tour Maubourg to re-fill my Metro Pass and buy one for Mom and Dad.  The streets were nearly deserted, as it was the official Easter holiday in France.  Most of the stores and restaurants were closed, but we did manage to find a bakery that was open--must have our yummy baguette!  We also found a fairly large grocery store, and bought a few necessities, which of course included a pound of that heavenly French butter with sea salt.  A quick stroll back to our apartment to drop off our groceries, and it's still only 11:00 am!  Although we are tired, we decide that it was best to keep going, and try to get our bodies set on "Paris time".  No naps for us, we are going to Notre Dame!

A quick Metro ride later we pop up like moles, just a couple of blocks away from that beautiful church.  
The line looks like it's a mile long, but it's moving very quickly, so we decide to wait.  

As we are waiting, it gets windy and starts to drizzle.  Luckily, we were dressed in a few layers, and Mom and I had our "very Parisian" scarves on to help keep us warm and stylish.  Here are Mom and Dad, waiting patiently in line, poor Mom is just freezing:

               (Notice the back of Dad's hat says VIP.  He sure is a Very Important Person,  but I think it  stands for "Very Inspiring Papa"!  Gee, I wonder if they'll embroider that on a beret for him.....)

Mom and Dad by the front doors:

Thankfully, we are soon inside.   As many times as I've been, I still feel such a sense of serenity, peace and calm as soon as I walk in.  And then there's the history, the beautiful artwork and the amazing architecture.  Oh, I love Notre Dame!

It's pretty crowded today, likely due to the Easter holiday.  There is a service going on, and it is a beautiful backdrop to our time there.  Here are some pics of Mom and Dad in the church:

In front of the South Rose Window:

We did a pretty quick walk around of Notre Dame, I think we were all starting to feel the effects of 36 hours and no sleep!  We walked back outside, and it's really windy, raining harder--just generally miserable weather.  We walked around the church, admiring the beautiful design, and enjoying looking at the different gargoyles.  The small garden in the back was filled with blooming tulips and pansies.  I think I was too cold at that point to take my camera out, but I did get a pretty shot of the beautiful South side:

After our visit to Notre Dame, we decided that it's time for lunch, and we are definitely NOT going to be looking for a table at a sidewalk cafe!  Brrrrr!  We all agree that a nice steaming pot of moules y frites sounds just perfect, so we hop back on the Metro and go to my favorite "mussels and fries" restaurant, Leon de Bruxelles.  We all order the same delicious style of mussels--cooked in a broth of white wine and cream with bacon, green onions and celery.   Served with a side of fries and crusty baguette, it's the perfect lunch for a cold spring day in Paris!

After our yummy lunch, we realize that we have "hit the wall", and are just dead tired!  We head straight back to our apartment, and bravely decide to stay awake until at least 8pm.  Didn't quite make it--Mom and Dad were in bed at 4pm, and slept for several hours.  

I was getting a "second wind", and didn't want to waste a minute of my time in Paris--rain or shine!  So my umbrella and I took a nice evening stroll, walking down Rue St. Dominique to the Rue Cler area, enjoying the pretty window displays.   Even in the rain, Paris is beautiful!

I was in bed and out like a light by 9pm.  I certainly didn't sleep through the night, but we were all up by 5:30 am, ready for our first full day in Paris.

Tuesday in Paris:  A visit to the Opera Garnier,  Musee de l'Armee and Napoleon's Tomb.


  1. Oh boy I'm first!
    Enjoy even in the rain......
    It's a rule that can not be broken!!!!!

  2. WOW .... Tuttle time in full effect even in Paris! I'm so happy that you can be their tour guide-can you imagine if I was reading the map?