Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The sun sets on Day 2 in Paris

First full day in Paris and after a good night’s sleep in our new Parisian apt, a breakfast of Pain au chocolat, baguette and many other tasty treats straight from the Boulangerie & Pâtisserie downstairs, we head out with the goal of seeing my favorite thing in the entire world…The Eiffel Tower!
 We meander through le Marais, a fantastic neighborhood full of unique shops, restaurants and cafes and meet le Seine where we cross Pont Neuf to Île de la Cité to Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris.
The cathedral is situated in the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the 4th Arr and its clear why it’s considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in France and in Europe.

Notre Dame was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress and you can see them and the gargoyles close up if you are willing to do the climb but the line to go up is insane and we ARE with a 6 year old so we skip that and go in just in time for mass?
Not sure if that’s what it is but we sit and listen and admire and that’s when you realize that it really doesn’t matter what god, if any, you believe in, you are in the presence of something amazing historically and architecturally that is.
With the Eiffel tower in our sight, we make our way towards it but not before stopping off for some lunch at Les Deux Magots, a cliché yes but also still the place to see and be seen. The café started life in 1813 as a drapery, selling silk and other luxury items and took its name ‘Les Deux Magots’ from a successful play of that time: ‘The Two Magots of China.’
Inside, two Asian statues still adorn the central pillar of this famous Parisian café, watching over the terraces on the Place Saint Germain des Pres as they have been doing for over a century.
Saint Germain des Pres became the intellectual centre of Paris and Legendary figures of the art, philosophical and political world would frequent the cafe: Apollinaire, Chamson, Eluard, Gide, Guéhenno, Giraudoux, Grasset, Gallimard, Hemingway, Maar Mallarme, Malraux, Morand, Picasso, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Verlaine, Wilde, and now…Alya, Phil and Jacob. We, like them, had animated debates on important issues of the day and our issue on this day was where is the nearest playground and where do we buy a toy?
We walk down Rue Bonaparte past the church of Eglise Saint Sulpice made internationally famous by Dan Brown in the Da Vinci Code and admire the Fontaine Saint-Sulpice as we make our way into Jardin du Luxembourg, a haven for parents and kids alike.
The park is 60 acres of fun and beauty and a must for busy travelers and locals looking for a little escape and although the gardens are not yet in full bloom, the children’s playground is bursting so I leave the boys to play and go do a little shopping (-:
This is after all the exclusive 6th Arr and where I may run into Lauren Bacall whom I do not see but do get a lovely compliment from a distinguished French gentleman who tells me that it’s a pleasure to “look at me.” Friends, I could really live here!

I retrieve the boys only to find out that Jacob took a dive off the spinning saucer of death and has a fresh French booboo on his cheek )-; After some mommy love and kisses, we continue on to our next destination. Jacob makes our first purchase of the day, a golden Eiffel Tower and we set out to see the real thing.
As we emerge from the metro, ahhhhhhhh…there it is.
We get a refreshing ice cream and admire it from all angles from below cause on this day, the elevator to the top is closed )-:

By now it’s close to dawn so we buy tickets for the Vedettes de Paris Seine cruise and take the 7:30 boat with the goal of seeing the city of lights in its full glory.
Too bad we pick the coldest night of the entire trip and so we freeze our derrières off as we cruise le Seine. Jacob falls asleep and I get frostbite but still, I’m as happy as can be cause I’m in Paris baby!
The day wouldn’t be complete without delicious and world famous falafels from L'As du Fallafel located on Rue des Rosiers, in the heart of le Marais and around the corner from our apt. So we do as the locals and get 3 sandwiches to go; 2 falafel and 1 shwarma and with a bottle of wine and some baklava, we go home to close out another magical day in Paris!
Il n’y a que deux endroits au monde où l’on puisse vivre heureux: chez soi et à Paris


  1. Great pics! Through your blog, I feel like I am there as well!

  2. Thanks John, I sooo want to go back and tout de suite!


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