Friday, December 26, 2014


Even though Christmas night was very stressful and scary, all is well in our little corner of Paris today!

Neither of us slept well last night--we were still too wound up.   I would almost be asleep, then I'd wake with a start, thinking I smelled smoke.  After a few seconds I'd realize I was smelling it on my hair--ick!

About 3 am we both gave up, got up and made some coffee.  We made plans for our day, knowing that we may have to change them at the last minute to move again.  I emailed our agency owner and called our manager to let them know our plans for the day,  asking them to call me when they had this all finalized.

We decided today was a good day to visit The Musee d'lOrangerie to see Monet's Water Lilies.  During my first trip to Paris in 2001, my Mom and I went to Giverny to see Monet's home and gardens.  We had such a lovely time there, and it's one of my sweetest memories of my first trip to Paris.

It was an easy Metro trip from our apartment, and we popped up at the Concorde station, right in front of Tuileries Gardens.

We'd not purchased advanced tickets, so had to wait in 3 different lines, but it wasn't too bad.  We waited to get into the building, then there's an airport like security screening and bag check, and finally a line to buy tickets.  All in all, I think we stood in line for about half an hour.

I was prepared to be amazed and delighted--but I wasn't quite prepared for my emotional "lump in my throat, teary eyed" response when I walked in to the first gallery.  I knew it was a very large piece, but really wasn't expecting something on this scale and beauty.

 It is simply stunning, and literally took my breath away!

There are two galleries, the first being the largest.  I had picked up a small guide pamphlet at the entrance, it gave a nice explanation of the four panels in each gallery.  The two galleries are representative of sunset and dusk, and are equally fascinating to view.  His interpretation of light,  reflection and water is amazing.

I sat for while in each gallery, changing sides so I could get a good view each of the 8 30' long panels.

The museum has a no photo policy, but even with signs posted in several places, guards in every room, many visitors were just snapping away-and the guards simply ignored them.  The iPad photographers are especially annoying!  I was tempted, but I resisted.  Just to give an idea of the scale, here's a photo from a NY Times article on the museum.  Here's a link to an article in the  NY Times on l'Orangerie; it's really very interesting and definitely worth a read:

 A photo from the NY TImes article--to give a perspective on the scale:

After about half an hour I thought I'd better move on, but only to be considerate of David, even though he was being quite patient with me.   I could have stayed for hours!

There are also several other exhibits at l'Orangerie, some permanent and some temporary.  We especially enjoyed the very extensive Walter-Guillaume collection.  There were lovely works by Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne,  Matisse, Modigliani, just to name a few.  Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!  But  all too soon we'd reached that dreaded "sensory overload" stage and it was time to leave.

After leaving the museum we strolled through the Tuileries Gardens towards the Louvre.  I thought to check my phone, and sure enough, there was a call from Georgina.  They had a new apartment for us, and we arranged to meet at 5 pm to do the big "move".

But we still had plenty of time, so we enjoyed a relaxing stroll through the gardens, what a wonderful space.  Even in the middle of winter, it's starkly beautiful.

The beautiful Tuileries Gardens, opened to the public in 1617 under Louis XIV:

I could live in this neighborhood!

Looking towards the Louvre:

There are many pretty statues in the gardens:

Most of them have a pigeon sitting on their head.  I made David promise to NOT erect a statue of me after I die, I don't want pigeon poop on my head for all of eternity:

The Grand Bassin in the Tuileries:

After our stroll throughout the gardens we were ready for some lunch.  As we still had to visit our original apartment ("Old Smokey") and pick up a couple of items, go to our current apartment (Door #2), and pack up our belongings to move to our newest digs ("Chic-Chic"), we decided to Metro back to our neighborhood for lunch.

We agreed that another delicious lunch at Le Basilic was a great idea.  It was just as crowded as our first visit, even though it was almost 2pm.  We had exactly the same meals as before, it's hard to improve on delicious!

We made one last visit to "Old Smokey", picked a few remaining items, and made our way to Door #2, where we packed and organized for our last (whew!) move this week.  Georgina was right on time, and graciously called (and paid for!) a cab for our trip to our new apartment in the 9th.

Wow--we are loving our new "home", too bad it's only for 6 nights…..I could LIVE like this!

It's very roomy-80 sq. meters.  There's a spacious foyer, which opens onto the dining room, complete with a (non-working) fireplace:

Lovely Living room--very comfortable sofa and chairs:

The bedroom is very spacious, and beautiful:

Small sitting area in the bedroom:

The kitchen is huge, by European standards:

We FINALLY got to cook our little Christmas dinner, although it wasn't quite what I'd originally planned.  I'd had visions of cheese platters and tiny bouche de noels dancing in my head--but we made do with roast chicken and potatoes, fresh green beans with scallions and corn bread stuffing.  Yes--stuffing!  I'd packed a package of StoveTop stuffing in my luggage ;).  Pitiful, but true…...

A bottle of French wine?  Of course!

Our lovely little Christmas Dinner--better late than never:

Ahhhh-it feels good to be here!  Although the past couple of days have been stressful, scary and frustrating, I could not have asked for anything more from our rental agency.   Accidents happen and stressful situations arise, but the mark of a good company is not that they never have bad things happen, but how they handle it.   Our rental agency went above and beyond at every turn, and for that we are very thankful!

And, as a post script, Georgina did some nice "detective" work and has hopefully solved the mystery of the smoke in our apartment.  By knocking on doors in the building, she found that a gentleman 3 floors beneath us had built a fire in his fireplace, to coincide exactly with our two very scary smoke incidents.  There must be a breach or break in the chimney flue right at our apartment.  No one else in the building reported smelling smoke.  Good work, Georgina!

So once again, Good Night from Paris!

AND PPS:  I'm never going home!  I love this place ;}


  1. Wow! They really made amends for your inconvinence. What a lovely place to stay. Now you will be really spoiled... :) I may never see you again...... By the way, you never sent your itinerary. When will you be returning and do you want me to pick you up? I gladly will.

  2. beautiful apartment and your christmas meal looked delicious. sorry Diana, you can't stay there, you have to come home. LOL

  3. Hello! I've just spent a couple of hours looking through this great blog. Stunning photos (including the food ones)! We're going to Paris and through a few other places in Italy in June, so I've got some great ideas of places to visit. Thanks so much... looks like you two have a lovely life together. Caro (NZ).