We needed a few groceries for our Christmas dinner tomorrow, so we walked down Rue des Martyrs to our nearest super-marche, Carrefours. We bought a few necessities, brought them back home and headed right back out.
Our plan for today: Visiting the Grand Magasins--the grand department stores of Paris. We especially wanted to see the beautiful stained glass dome and Christmas tree at Galleries Lafayette. This year the tree is hung upside down--weird. The tree is sponsored and decorate by Swarovski--it's VERY sparkly, which unfortunately doesn't show up in the picture. The stained glass dome is just a beautiful as ever:
The Galleries LaFayette windows this year are a "Noel Monster" theme--very cute and whimsical. It's almost impossible to get a good photo because of the glare from the windows, but here's just a small sample. It's more fun to watch the kids anyway, and listen to their delighted giggles and squeals of joy. The department stores have installed wooden steps and viewing platforms just for little kids--sweet!
NOTE: To our wonderful neighbor Brenda--we sure thought of Nathan and Hailey today. They would LOVE the Christmas windows! And I thought of you when we were shopping at the gourmet food market--I think a special box of chocolates might find it's way into my suitcase…..
Next we walked up Blvd Haussman to Printemps, where the windows this year are sponsored by Burberry. Burberry plaid everywhere…..
Sweet, snowy village scene, compete with a model railway. Note the Burberry pocketbook mountains:
This cute little guy flies over the scene--in his Burberry trench coat and scarf, of course:
Street view of Printemps--it's a beautiful building. I think we'll have to go back at night--I'm sure it's even more wonderful all lit up.
After gazing at the fun window displays for several minutes, we crossed the street to Galleries Lafayette Maison. This home store is in a separate building from the main store, and has 5 (?) floors of home furnishings, decor, etc. The main floor has a few small "quick" food restaurants, the basement has a grocery store--and what a grocery store. It was mobbed, of course. We just joined the crowds and had fun looking at all the VERY expen$ive gourmet food.
These colorful piles are all gourmet salts. I confess, I really don't "get" gourmet salt--they all taste the same to me. Maybe my palate is not quite refined enough. Kind of like my taste in modern art…...
They had a great selection of greens and herbs, all housed in a special cooler with a constant circulation of fine mist. They were perfection-not a brown spot or blemish to be found:
We passed on these bad boys, however. Look at that price--Yikes!
We had wanted to check out the windows at BHV and Le Bon Marche also, but we couldn't find BHV on our map, so we used our iPhone Metro app to plan a route to Le Bon Marche, which is on the other side of the Seine. This route involved a couple of line changes, but we had it all figured out.
Or so we thought. We knew we needed to change to Line10, and we were merrily riding along, when I looked up at the route map in the Metro car, and noticed a little red X over Line 10. Hmmmmm-so much for changing to line 10--guess it's under construction at that stop!
Well, we are nothing if not flexible! We were on Line 8, which is a line we are very familiar with. So we decided to get off at the La Motte Picquet stop, look for a nice spot for lunch, and stroll around that area.
We found a lovely restaurant at the corner of LeMotte Picquet and Rue de Grenelle. We enjoyed a nice lunch at La Bouquet de Grenelle--nothing spectacular, but the service was great and the waiters were very friendly and fun.
We had a warm goat cheese salad (guess who's choice that was!) and a quiche Lorraine, and of course a carafe of good red wine. A delicious noisette was a nice finish to our long leisurely lunch.
We'd noticed the Rue de Grenelle market was in full swing, and planned on a walk-through after lunch. Our lunch was soooo leisurely, however, that the vendors were all packing up. Oh, well--they'll be another market, another day. Yup, we're in that kind of mood today!
No surprise, we walked a couple of blocks and there she was--still pretty in the mist:
And look just to the right--and here's the Dome at Invalides. It's always glowing and beautiful:
We enjoyed a misty stroll through the Trocadero towards the tower. Well, maybe just a little more than misty by now! But it was still lovely…..
There's an ice skating rink at the Tower, with lots of kids whizzing around in the rain--it looked pretty slushy. They had music to skate by, and believe it or not, they were playing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game". Maybe an old Christmas standard in Paris???? Who knows, but I don't think the kids cared!
There was a large inflatable dome set up under the tower, inside were several Christmas trees. It was a lovely sight, but I'm not sure why the dome?
We strolled around, enjoying the crowds and fun, festive atmosphere. We cruised through a couple of markets set up around the tower, not buying a thing. It's always fun to look, though.
By now it was raining pretty hard, so I busted out my trusty travel umbrella. I don't think I'm going to get my wish for a White Christmas in Paris!
We decided it was time to make our way back home--so we walked back through the Trocadero, and I enjoyed every minute of that walk in the rain!
And, just for good measure--5 more picture of the lovely Tour Eiffel--just because I never get tired of seeing it!