Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Part One: Paris

In keeping with tradition, my husband (E) and I took our “big” trip of the year during the two weeks over Thanksgiving this year.  We’re all for family and togetherness, but when your respective families live four hours apart and visiting everyone for each holiday is not an attractive option, we’re happy to take one holiday out of the equation.

We got a great deal on open-jaw tickets on Aer Lingus (bonus, it’s only a 5 hour flight to Dublin from Boston – it flew by…pun intended) into Paris and out of Barcelona two weeks later.  We spent three nights in Paris, two in Bordeaux, two in Sarlat-la-Caneda, two in Limoux, two in Girona and three in Barcelona.  It makes me tired now just typing all of the places that we stayed, but hey – you’re spending big bucks for airfare so you’ve got to make the most of it while you’re there and cram in as much as possible.  That’s our philosophy anyway, and seeing as there were no beaches to lounge on for days on end, I was okay with the ambitious schedule.

Having already been to Paris, we didn’t feel obligated to do the typical must-do things, and instead decided to just enjoy the city and try to experience it as a Parisian.  Since we were there in mid-November, we weren’t expecting perfect weather.  It was pretty cloudy and grey almost the whole time we were there, but temps were in the low 50’s (being from New England, that’s almost tropical) and it didn’t rain.  Good enough for me, especially because the last time that we went to Paris was E’s first time and to say that he was underwhelmed would be a fair statement.  It was cold, it rained, things were closed, we didn’t see out good food and therefore had nothing remarkable, etc. 

This time I was determined to change his mind.  We rented a studio apartment in the St. Germain area, which was a perfect central base.  After dropping our packs off at the apartment we rented, we immediately headed off in search of lunch, which we found nearby at Peres et Filles (Fathers and Daughters).  It was loud and cramped - always a good sign.  We had the best onion soup of the trip, a duck terrine with pistachios that was wonderful and E had the classic beef bourguignon - he was a happy man!

After lunch a long walk was in order, and there was one place in particular that I hadn't managed to visit during previous trips to Paris

It might look like just another building, but that, my friends, is where Mrs. Julia Child resided during the majority of the time that she lived in Paris.  Seeing as I may never have been interested in food (or France for that matter) without Julia, it was only appropriate that I pay tribute to her at her former home.  It may sound silly, but just walking down the street and thinking about how these were the same streets she had walked, no doubt lugging huge bags of groceries, it made me feel...connected. 

We really didn't do much else while we were in Paris, other than eat and walk!  We wanted to visit the Catacombs, but sadly they were closed when we got there.  Oh well, that's what next time is for I guess.

For the rest of our stay in Paris, we pretty much spent the days walking and eating...and drinking!

Quick pit-stop to warm up with an espresso!

It was cloudy and gray, but I think that just added to the romanticism...or maybe I just really love Paris.

Laduree, obligatory macaron pilgrimage

Entrance to the Louvre plaza
In the next post, I'll tell you about the next stop on our trip, Bordeaux.  Let me just tell you this - hiring a guide who knows what the heck he's talking about and is willing to drive you around to gorgeous chateaus while you drink wine is money well spent. 

No comments:

Post a Comment