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.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Third Day in Paris

Sacre Coeur...note the "string man" in the lower right hand corner waiting to dupe unsuspecting tourists!

looking out over the city from the steps of Sacre Coeur

getting rid of some change and posing with the mime

view of Sacre Coeur from Montmartre

stopping for a crepe

the artist of my latest watercolor

the hills of Montmartre

eyeballs are watching...there is art everywhere
street art

Moulin Rouge

very cool chocolate shop with chocolate available from other parts of France

This chocolate is only sold in this shop and it's delicious

Saint Sulpice

the thickest yummiest hot chocolate ever!

street shot

the menu at La Grille Saint Germain

this building is under reconstruction, but there is a tromp l'oil covering over the construction

Notre Dame

Notre Dame celebrating 850 years

beautiful doors

new bells for the Cathedral

Point Zero...the official city center of Paris...where all mileage to and from Paris is measured from

family portrait in back of the Cathedral...we were FREEZING!

love locks on the bridge

our lock and the Brister's lock. ours is to the left with the blue ribbon

Ben painted this lock for Ashley

Ben and Ashley

locking their locks

Ben and Ashley locked their lock to ours

walking down Île Saint-Louis

how many kinds of goat cheese do you need?

Berthillon...my favorite french ice cream

Ashley...chocolate and salted caramel

amy...chocolate all the way

La Bastide d'Opio...very cool little restaurant

when they said "hanging", they meant hanging!

We found Jura whiskey from the Isle of Jura where Meme's family line comes from

Amorino scoops their ice cream into flower petals on the cone

Ashley had planned to start the day with a swim at a local pool but something happened with the alarm clock and she didn't wake up early enough. It was a very disappointing start to the day. We decided to go ahead and begin our day with a trip to Sacre Couer and Montmartre with the intention of getting her back to the Saint Germain area in time to swim before they closed at 1:30. We had a great morning marching the millions of steps up to Sacre Couer, the Basilica located at the highest point of the city. I know I say this every time I blog a visit that it is so disappointing that people are no longer able to take photos inside this church. The church wants people to purchase photos in the gift shops located inside the church instead. I refuse to do that, so if you want to see pictures of the interior you will have to check the internet (or the contraband photo I took last year in April 2012). We walked out of the church and around to Place du Tertre, where the artists come to sell their wares to tourists. I am one of those gullible tourists who delight in taking home a piece of original art and taking a picture with the artist. I forgot to communicate with Danny that we might need a little cash with us so he didn't have much. He had just enough to bargain someone down quite a bit to get what I wanted because he literally didn't have what they were asking. It was either make the sale or we would walk away and apparently the guy wanted the sale. I am coming home with another piece of art that reminds me of walking the streets of Bayeux with TaTa Renee years ago. It melted my heart! We really wanted to find a chocolate shop that I had read about that was in Montmartre and down the streets we went. It was much easier to walk downhill than down all those millions of steps and we found it! This shop (A L’Etoile D’Or) is a very small store that is PACKED with chocolate from all over France. They carry a line of chocolate bars from Bernachon that is only available outside of Lyon at this shop. We missed meeting the owner, Denise Acabo, by seconds as she arrived just as we were leaving. This was disappointing as she has become rather "famous" because of her knowledge of chocolate and willingness to visit with her customers. Oh well, maybe I can meet her on another trip. I'm sure I will be back there! We left the store and hurried to the metro to get Ashley to the pool so she could swim before we ate lunch. Danny and I left Ben with Ashley at the Piscine and toured the Saint Sulpice church. It is huge and just beautiful inside. There was also a large fountain outside with water that was actually flowing. All of the other fountains we have seen have been drained for the winter. We went back to the hotel to pick up Ben and Ashley for lunch. We ate at La Grille Saint Germain and had a great lunch. Ashley had sausage and lentils, Ben and I had a faux filet (sirloin) steak, and Danny had escargot and a salad. We had a terrible wait staff who we think was upset because we didn't order a bottle of water and instead we asked for a carafe of tap water, which is our custom. If you ask for water in a restaurant, they will generally ask you if you want it "with gas" (bubbles) or without. If you say without, they will bring you a very expensive bottle of bottled water and of course you will have to order another, because one is never enough. We have learned to just ask for a carafe of tap water which is free and the water in Paris is great. Apparently some waitstaff do not like this. Anyway, his attitude did not affect our meal and we enjoyed our food. The people sitting next to us were french and asked where we were from. The young man had spent time in Idaho building a ski resort, Tamarac, that has now closed down. His sister lives in the area and goes to this restaurant all the time. She said the food is very consistent and also close to two of her favorite bakeries, Gerard Mulot and Pierre Herme. We took Ben and Ashley to see Saint Sulpice after lunch and then we went to see the Notre Dame Cathedral. There is a huge set of stands outside of Notre Dame in the courtyard in preparation for the 850th anniversary celebration. There was the longest line I have ever stood in to go into the Cathedral. Once inside, we understood why. The new bells that are being added are on display right down the center of the church. The church was full of people walking by the bells, photographing them (guilty) and even touching them (also guilty). The lighting has been improved in the Cathedral and you are still able to take photos, only not with a flash. We exited the Cathedral into the bracing winter cold (29 degrees that felt like 19) and walked down the street toward the back of the Cathedral. It appears that most of the Cathedral has finally been cleaned and the scaffolding that we have seen over the past several years removed. Ashley stopped to try some mulled wine that she had been thinking about since seeing some yesterday. We went to the back of the Cathedral and a young couple asked me in french to take their picture with their camera. I counted to three in french, took their picture and they thanked me in french. When the young man looked at the picture, he said "that's awesome!". I told them that I thought they were french and he told me he thought I was french. What a compliment that at least the way I am dressing in France does not mark me as a tourist and ripe for pickpocketing!! We walked onto the Pont de l'Archevêché, a bridge that is behind Notre Dame to look for the "love locks" that the Bristers and Danny and I locked onto the bridge last year. They were still there, affected a good bit by the weather. Ben and Ashley brought a lock to put on the bridge and locked their lock to ours. We are on the 11th post on the bottom to the right if you count the beginning post. We were absolutely freezing, but we wanted to have some Berthillon ice cream and walked across to the Île Saint-Louis and sat inside the location our cousin, Cathy Saulnier, had taken me too on an earlier trip. I ate chocolate and chocolate (of course, Ben had nougat and chocolate, Ashley had salted caramel and chocolate and Danny had chocolate and coconut. We all thought we were absolutely nuts for eating ice cream with snow flurries outside, but oh well because we are in Paris!!! Did I mention that there have been snow flurries ALL day, it's just so cool. Anyway, we went back to the hotel after ice cream to warm up a bit and ate supper in Saint Germain at La Bastide d'Opio, another winner. I think my favorite part of the meal were the ravioli in basil cream sauce and the zucchini, orange, and carrot salad that we had to start with. I am a new fan of zucchini salad thanks to Sophie's introduction. I have a suspicion though that if I give it a try, it won't be near as good as what we have eaten here. The vegetables here are just so fresh and delicious! Ashley ate duck breast, I had chicken with a morel mushroom cream sauce, and Danny and Ben had steak on a skewer "on the gallows" which meant they were literally hanging from a pole above the plate. It was delicious although Ben and Danny's steak was a little overcooked. Danny and I ate the Valhrona hot chocolate cake for dessert and Ben and Ashley saved room for Amorino gelato which is located right across the street. It was a perfect ending to a day that started off a little disappointing. Tomorrow we will check out a flea market. Until then....

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