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.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Last Day in Paris

the Vanves flea market and boy was it cold outside!

groovy little smart car

we only saw a fraction of this flea market because we were soooo cold

Hallie's favorite bridge...Point Alexandre III

Les Invalides where Napolean is buried

mulled wine

Croque Monsieur...this one is open faced

club sandwich

Croque Madame...open faced

French onion soup

Poilane...home of Punition cookies

last visit to Pierre Herme

sneaking pics inside of Pierre Herme

Wall grafiti

Ashley wanted to find some purple toilet paper like TaTa Francoise had...found it!
starbucks and shopping

funniest name for a store

ready to go see family...wearing the new pin I got at the flea market

the metro stop across the street from the hotel

riding the metro
walking toward Katy and Jean Pierre's home

a little graffiti on the wall

another amazing cheese platter

yummy nut bread

Katy had beautiful flowers on the table

our salad..we loved these little curved bowls.

fruit for dessert...we loved our meal so much i forgot to take pictures of it!

Katy found a new chocolatier to tease me with. I guess I will be locating the store on my next visit

the cousins!!
I always hate to write "last day in Paris"! Alas, it IS the last day and we have to go home tomorrow. Today we ate breakfast about 9:00 a.m. and then rode the metro to the Vanves Flea Market. There were rows and rows and rows of tables set up with vendors selling everything from china, watch faces, clothing, jewelry, decorative items, furniture, etc. and just plain junk. It was like a giant garage sale that seemed to go on forever! Weather.com said the temperature outside was 30 degrees and that it felt like 20 degrees. There were snow flurries and we were absolutely freezing. We stayed for about 1.5 to 2 hours, weaving between the people from booth to booth until we just couldn't feel our feet or fingers anymore. We left the area and rode the metro (and warmed up) to the area surrounding Invalides for lunch. Danny and Ben separated from us after lunch and toured Musee de l'Armee at Les Invalides which is the museum of the French Army. It includes the burial place of Napolean Bonaparte. Danny said it was quite obvious that most of the armor and weapons they saw were functional as well as beautiful works of art. Ashley and I walked from Invalides to the area surrounding St. Sulpice still in snow flurries. We were pretty cold and got a fabulous hot chocolate at Maison du Chocolat which was thick like drinking a melted candy bar....yum! I think it wasn't quite sweet enough for Ashley, but she said she was glad to be drinking something warm. We stopped into Pierre Herme and picked out a couple of our favorite macarons as this was our last day to enjoy them and we had skipped desert at lunch. Ashley likes the Caramel de Sel and the Creme Brulee and I like the Passion Fruit with Chocolat and the Chocolat. We walked down Rue du Cherche-Midi and found Poilane and bought some of the Punition butter cookies for later. They are simple butter cookies, but they have quite a following among those who buy their bread from Poilane. We caught the metro at that point to go across Saint Germain and shop back behind the Saint Germain church around Rue Jacob and Rue de Buci. This is a favorite area of mine and we enjoyed walking in and out of stores among the snow flurries. We found a really nice Starbucks there with a good bathroom. It doesn't require a token (or a purchase) and it was clean. Public restrooms are hard to come by in Paris. We have a theory that it's because Parisians do not drink the amount of water that we Americans do. At a meal in a Brasserie/Bistro, you are served water in juice size glasses, unlike the large water glasses we have in the United States. I had always heard that stopping at a Starbucks in a city would provide you with a clean bathroom. Not so with all the Starbucks in Paris. The one on Saint Germain we stopped at the other day required a purchase to receive a code and the bathroom was very very nasty. So nasty, it couldn't be used! So, this Starbucks was nice and clean and I marked it to remember it for another trip. Ashley and I enjoyed spending some time without the men even though it was really really cold outside. We took the metro back to the hotel in time to leave at 5 p.m. to go to our cousin's Jean Pierre and Katy's home for dinner. We had to take the metro and then the RER, but it was easy to do and we found their home without any problem. Katy had talked to her fromagier (the person who sells the cheese) to help her select cheeses for us that our palate might enjoy. Oh my we had some wonderful ones to choose from. In addition to the cheeses, there was also a Pate of Quince, which is a fruit pate to eat with the cheese, and a pear and Sauterne jam that Ashley and Ben really enjoyed with the goat cheese. My favorite cheese on this platter was a creamy cheese with herbs and sun dried tomatoes (not goat cheese) and a hard cheese that was from Italy. The hard cheese was especially good with the Quince Pate. She also served a nut bread which was delicious with the cheese. We give the fromagier a "thumbs up" for all of his selections. We also had a Chablis wine from the Bourgogne region that I actually really liked and wouldn't mind finding a bottle of. It was very light and well suited for the cheese and wonderful fish that we had for our meal. The Turbot fish that Katy prepared was wrapped around a shrimp and served with a Passionfruit cream sauce that was absolutely divine. Turbot fish is similar to Sole and is a thin, flat fish. She also made Creamed Potatoes and added some lemon juice to them. It was all delicious. We started our meal with a simple green salad in the cutest oval bowls and ended it with a wonderful fruit salad of strawberries (teeny tiny ones), raspberries, mango, kiwi, pear and banana. I think I remembered all of the fruit! It was wonderful and juicy and a delicious way to end a light but filling meal. Katy enjoys dark chocolate as much as or even more than me and has found a new Chocolatier for me to add to my list....Pierre Marcolini. He is from Brussels in Belgium, but he is unique in the way he makes his chocolate and they taste more like Parisian chocolate than Belgian. He purchases his own cocoa beans from different areas around the world and roasts them himself to make his own chocolate. By doing this, he has complete control over the product. Katy had a box of ganache chocolates that were single source chocolates from all over the world. We tasted the different ones and they were delicious! Danny said to add it to the list to get for him the next time I am in Paris. I promised him I wouldn't forget! We said goodbye to our cousins with encouragement to come and visit us in the U.S. or at least tell us where they are and we will come to them. We are back in the hotel now and pretty much packed up to leave tomorrow. We have some time in the morning to walk around some more, but most of the stores will be closed because it's Sunday. We are hoping to find a Monoprix or Carrefour open for some last minute purchases. Until our next trip....

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