Sunday, December 7, 2014


Ahhhh Paris again!  Even in the wind and rain, she's a beautiful city and we are always happy to be in Paris.

Our flight from Salt Lake City was wonderful, we cashed in a boat load of miles and scored free Business Elite seats on Delta Airlines.  Yes, the service, food and wine were great--but the best part was the lie-flat seats.  We each managed to get a good nights sleep and arrived feeling rested and ready to go.

Immigration and customs were a breeze, and in short order we were in a taxi taking us to our hotel "Le Marcel", which is conveniently located right across from the Gare d'Est train station.  Our room wasn't ready yet, so we left our bags and set off to recharge our Metro passes.  Our first stop of the day was The Cathedral Notre Dame--to see the Christmas Tree and do a quick cruise around the interior.

Cathedral Notre Dame and her big Christmas tree:

When we came out of the church it was raining and windy and we weren't really dressed for it.  We decided we'd grab a quick lunch nearby before going back to our hotel to check in and change clothes. We walked a few short blocks and found a nice little cafe near the Metro stop.  We shared a bowl of onion soup and a panini---and each had a nice mug of vin chaud--hot spiced red wine.  MMMMMM good, and just what we needed to warm us up!

We Metro'd back to our hotel, and thankfully our room was ready for us.  The front desk clerk sweetly mentioned that we had been upgraded.  Yippee!  I was expecting a suite, but this is what we have:

If this is an upgrade, they must have been planning on putting us in a broom closet!  But it's fine, and it does have a nice view of Gare d"Est:

We changed our clothes--layering up and taking our gloves, hats and scarves.  We decided we'd visit the Champs Elysees Christmas market--so off we went!  We wandered up and down the street, enjoying the hustle, bustle and excitement.  There were hordes of people--lots of families with children enjoying the rides, chalets and food booths.  We knew that this market was mostly "made in China" stuff, but we did find this:  Vin Chaud!!

Here's David enjoying his mulled wine, it was delicious!

Soon it was dusk and the lights along the Champs came on.  It was magical--thousands and thousands of twinkling lights!  Hard to capture in a photo, but here are a couple:

Christmas lights along the Champs Elysees:

By now it was raining hard and we could feel ourselves winding down.  Time to head for our favorite restaurant for our usual "first night in Paris" dinner--Leon's for mussels and fries.  They were just as delicious as we'd remembered and we ate every last one!  We each had a Biere Noel--a Belgian Christmas beer that had notes of honey and spice--perfect with our mussels.

David at Leon de Bruxelles, enjoying a big pot of mussels and a beer:

As we finished dinner and crossed the street to the Metro it was still raining hard, so we decided to call it a night.  A couple of quick Metro line changes and we are now all snug in our teeny tiny hotel room.

Tomorrow we take an early morning train to Strasbourg, where we will stay for a week to enjoy the famous Alsatian Christmas markets.  We are really looking forward to exploring a new city, and Strasbourg looks very interesting.

So good night from wet and windy Paris, it's been a lovely first day in France!


  1. Is that the same restaurant where we went when I tried mussels? And damn, if that's the upgraded room I'd hate to see what you were upgrade from.

    1. Yes, Matt it is the same place. BUT--you didn't try mussels, you tried ONE mussel! Re: The room upgrade--yup, I agree. LYTM&TFS

  2. Glad you arrived safely. The Christmas lights are beautiful. I had some of your delicious gumbo for dinner. Yummy! Have fun and stay warm.....

  3. I am finally maling time to check out your blog and catch up on your travels. Lol, Dan has been following and sharing with me but i don't think he comments. Your first day in Paris looks like it ws wonderful. Definitely wont get lost in your "upgraded" room lol

  4. christmas lights are pretty, yep that room is tiny. Hot wine and mussels...I do love baquette bread though...