I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

First Day in Paris

riding the train to Paris from Bayeux

We adored these cookies that we bought in Limoges and couldn't find them in any of the places we looked in Paris

surprised by an impromptu ensemble in the metro

First meal in Paris for Ben..a chicken club sandwich

a croque madame for Ashley

salad with goat cheese on toast

not sure what this was, but i think its ratatouille and some kind of pork with gravy

an omelet and frites for me

Ashley's beautiful flowers that Danny bought for her from a local market. We were so sad to leave them behind when we left.

my bouquet from my wonderful husband and some chocolates to welcome us to the K&K

Ahh Laduree...home of one of my favorite macaron stops. The window displays are always so lovely

this is the box that they had for Valentines Day

and we FILLED it up with macarons. It didn't take long to eat them!

the chocolate sculptures are worth a trip to one of my favorite chocolate shops, Patrick Roger on St. Germain Blvd.

Inside Patrick Roger

Walking the streets of St. Germain

This was the coolest sculpture we spied near Bon Marche. It is called Cesar and was erected in 1985

it is made of many pieces of metal in familiar shapes fused together

this is the tail

La Maison du Chocolat has delicious hot chocolate in the winter and we are huge fans of their truffles!

Le Bon Marche, a department store in St. Germain

love the escalator in the middle of the store

somehow we found ourselves in the lighting department after locating the yarn department for Ashley

cool light fixtures with little birdies

if Hallie would design light fixtures they might look something like this...lightbulbs with wings!

Ashley and Ben thought the little smart cars were super cute in their tiny little parking spaces

"M" marks the Metro

time sculpture outside of the Gare St-Lazare train station. We took a train from here to St. Cloud

Sophie's delicious Veal stew and noodles

one of our dinner wines with Apolline's name

and this one with Vincent's name

yummy Chocolat pots de creme

Vincent finishing the creme brulee

Augustin takes over for his dad and did a great job!

Sophie's delicious nut cake. I could have eaten half of this if I wasn't so full of Pot de Creme

We drove to the train station at 8 in the morning for an 8:30 train to Paris. Marie Noelle and Marie Francoise met us at the station for Marie Francois to take Danny to return the car. They were back by 8:20 and our train was delayed 5 minutes and noone was really in a hurry to go outside because it is in the upper 20's!!! When the train pulled in, we headed out the door only to discover that our car was at the opposite end of the track from where we were standing. We hurried quickly toward the car and when they started blowing the whistle, we started running. I'm not sure how we did it, but we managed to throw our luggage and selves onto the train before it pulled out. I do believe the conductors were laughing as we left. We didn't get all our kisses and goodbyes in, but our cousins know we love them very much! We had a great train ride toward Paris which is about two hours. We arrived into the station, switched to the metro, bought our tickets and took the metro straight to our hotel. Thankfully, we did not have to switch trains because it is difficult dragging a suitcase. Our hotel is located across the street from the Rue du Bac Metro stop which is very convenient. Our rooms were ready when we checked in so we settled into our rooms and waited to meet our cousin Axelle in the lobby. We ate lunch at the cafe on the corner across the street where we have eaten many times. It is always delicious! We spent the day wandering in the Saint Germain area. We went to two of my favorite chocolate shops, sampled some macarons from Laduree, window shopped and checked out the gourmet food shops at Bon Marche, which is a department store. We went back to the hotel to drop off our purchases and relax a bit until it was time to leave for St. Cloud for dinner with our cousins, the Judes. To get to St. Cloud, we had to take the metro and then a train. We were a little early before the train so we went out of the train station (St. Lazarre) and spent some time looking around a local mall there. We took the train to St. Cloud and walked about a 1/4 mile to Axelle's home. We were greeted by her mom and dad, Vincent and Sophie and her other three siblings, Augustin, Apolline, and Albane. We were also joined by Laurene (Cathy Jude's daughter) and her boyfriend Benjamin. Sophie is an excellent cook and had several appetizers for us to eat along with our champagne as we celebrated another visit to Paris! We were able to watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle from the living room window. Laurene and Benjamin are coming to the U.S. in March to visit Benjamin's brother who lives in Atlanta. They are going to try and make a "road trip" to come and see us in Lake Providence (and possibly visit Ben and Ashley in Huntsville) so Laurene can see where her mother lived when her mother stayed the summer and worked at the Bank of Dixie years ago. Sophie made us a wonderful meal that started with a cold zucchini and parmesan salad, then veal and carrots with noodles. Vincent had some wonderful wines that we all enjoyed. I think I have taken pictures of every label we have had and thankfully in the order of our meals so I won't forget which is which. The cheese course included an orange cheese that we had never seen before. It is mimolette that is very aged. It was sharp and delicious! Sophie completely outdid herself with dessert. Instead of one dessert, we had THREE! She made Creme Brulee and Augustin flamed the sugar on top, Chocolat pot de creme (a personal favorite), and nut cake which was delicious. We were so full when we left the table!!! After dinner it was time for Calvados, the apple brandy of Normandy and some decaf espresso. Vincent had a really really old bottle of Calvados and Ben and Ashley were the only ones that tried it with him. It's really strong stuff! We were all surprised to see how late it had gotten and by then, the train was no longer running. Vincent drove us back to the hotel, and we were able to see the city all lit up. We drove right by the lit Eiffel Tower and it was so beautiful. We didn't get into our rooms until after midnight, but we were having such a good time, that we really didn't care how late it was. Thankfully we didn't have any kind of schedule to keep today and could have a later start to our morning.

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