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.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Paris: Arrival Day and Family

We awoke early this morning to be ready for a cab at 6:30 a.m. to take us to the train station for the Eurostar.

Maddie had purchased a pair of jeans yesterday at TopShop and wanted to wear them today.  She put them on only to find out that the HUGE security sensor had not been removed! We don't know how the young man missed it when she was checking out. We had a train to catch so we couldn't return to the store to have it removed. I checked google and found out that TopShop is not located in Paris, however they do have a small section in Galleries Lafayette. We met our taxi on time and grabbed a muffin at the Costa coffee shop when we arrived at the train station. We went through security and waited a short time for the train. Our train travel was uneventful and we all took a nap on the train which made the two hours seem very short. We traveled by metro to the Hotel Millesime as there is a direct line to the stop near the hotel on the 4 line. Unfortunately we had to haul our bags up several steps at the Saint-Germain-des-Pres stop. The first few weren't so bad but we were laughing so hard at ourselves that the remaining steps were rough. Not to mention we all had 25" suitcases!! We pulled our suitcases to the hotel and only one room was available early which was fine. All of the bags went into that room and we immediately left for lunch. Debbie has been talking about French Onion Soup since we started planning this trip so that was what was on the menu today. We ate at a cafe on the corner, Le Pre Aux Clercs.

Debbie and I had onion soup and Maddie chose a delicious salad that had greens, pasta, chicken, olives, walnuts, cucumbers and cheese. There was very little left in the plate when she was done. We stopped into Laduree across the street from the restaurant to pick up some Macarons for me.

After shopping for and snacking on Macarons, we wandered in the St. Germain streets, one of my favorite things to do!

We stopped at Amorino to have some Gelato for dessert. You choose the size cone or cup you want and they make a flower out of the gelato using as many flavors as you would like. Debbie had sorbet and Maddie and I had Gelato. It was delicious and somehow I think we may end up there again before this trip is over!

Maddie was carrying her blue jeans and receipt with her because we had planned to go to the TopShop department and see if they could take off the security sensor. I forgot that the TopShop was at Galleries Lafayette and instead took us to Bon Marche where we discovered that indeed there was no TopShop there! Going to Bon Marche was not a total loss as my two favorite chocolate shops are either on the way or nearby...Patrick Roger and Maison du Chocolat.

the chocolate displays at Patrick Roger never disappoint!

We decided to take the Metro over to Galleries Lafayette and try to find the TopShop department. We had success in finding it, but the sensors they had were not the same.

The gorgeous stained glass dome of Galleries Lafayette

Views from the rooftop of Galleries Lafayette

located in Galleries Lafayette is another of my favorite Macaron shops...Pierre Herme

I like to go to this location because it is rarely crowded, unlike the St. Germain location where lines will form outside of the door!
There was a very nice young lady that told us that H&M had very similar sensors and maybe they could take it off. So, we went next door to H&M and after waiting in line for some time and getting permission from a supervisor, we almost jumped for joy when the young lady behind the register put some force into her attempts and popped the sensor off. We scooted back to the hotel in plenty of time to wait for Vincent to pick us up for dinner. We went to Vincent and Sophie's home and ate dinner with ALL of the family, including Axelle!! They have been on a 3 day holiday and Axelle was home during a break between exams at school. Vincent served us Champagne and some Hors d'oeuvres that included Augustin's special stuffed mushrooms.

Sophie prepared a delicious meal of veal cooked in a light sauce, a roasted vegetable medley of eggplant, zucchini, and tomato and also a pan of  tiny little cubes of roasted potatoes.

Vincent always serves us delicious wine!
Oh my, it was so yummy and I even had seconds on vegetables! Everyone enjoyed their meal! Debbie especially liked the grainy mustard (similar to our Creole mustard) with her Veal. We had cheese after dinner of 3 different types of goat cheese, a comte, a gouda with cumin, and one other that I can't remember.

Sophie also had a chocolate cake in the shape of a flower, an apple and apricot tart, and some pots de creme. We were so spoiled!

We thought it was so interesting that Sophie was cutting the Torte with scissors. I would have never thought to do that but what a smart idea!
Our meal was delicious but the company was what was so special. Debbie and Maddie enjoyed getting to know our French family and they were so gracious to invite us to dinner in their home. I told them that I would be back in two years with my sister, sister in law and their three girls for another graduation trip. Sophie looked at Vincent and said "we will need a larger table"!! In all seriousness, we enjoyed our evening with them so much and it was a highlight of the entire day!

our beautiful French family (L to R) Amy, Sophie, Vincent, Apolline, Axelle, Albane and Augustin
After dinner Vincent took Axelle back to school and took us back to our hotel. He made a special effort to drive slowly until the Eiffel Tower put on it's sparkling show and did a u-turn to drive in front of it. It was magical! We are back in our hotel tonight and really hoping the transit strike tomorrow does not affect us too much. So until tomorrow.....

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