Friday, March 18, 2011

Paris - Day One

Ah, Paree!!!!!  I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love it.  I will be forever grateful that my friends, Nancy and John, let me tag along with them for the first time in 2005.  I am hooked; this is my fifth trip and it's just as exciting as ever.

It was a smooth first day.  Krista flew from Portland to DFW, and within minutes of arriving at my gate, there she was!  We had a quick lunch, and then waited for the plane, which departed on time at 5 pm.  With the help of two blue dolls (cleverly disguised as Tylenol PM's), I slept almost seven hours of the nine hour flight, waking in time to fly over England.  Once all of our luggage was accounted for, we caught a taxi into the city.  At 9 a.m., the city of alive and bustling.  Merchants swept their sidewalks, the sun light reflected off the knobs of incredibly beautiful old doors, and people walked briskly (perhaps going to work...poor things!).

We arrived at our hotel only to find the stairway and stairs undergoing a new paint job.  What a mess!  It is sad that I can't afford to stay at a hotel where that sort of thing doesn't happen, but true.  Our room wasn't ready so early in the day, so we stashed our bags and went out to survey our neighborhood.  The sixth arrondisement is my favorite.  We're in the very southernmost area, with Montparnasse being the next street over.  Krista and I first stopped for a bit of breakfast...croisssants, juice and coffee, before walking to Luxembourg Gardens.  The park is still is winter-mode, but it looks like it will burst into springtime any minute.  The trees are budding, some are in bloom, and there are daffodils scattered in beds.  It was good to stretch our legs and enjoy the walk!

Next we headed up Rue d'Assos to pick up our self-named toothpick chocolats. They come with a toothpick for easy spearing and eating! TCR ladies, these were for Krista and me.  I will purchase your assortment the day before I leave, so they'll be fresh.  We next turned off on Rue du Cherche Midi to stop at Poilane for Punitions (butter cookes), and then walked back down Boulevard Raspail.  There was a smaller version of the Sunday market going on, and we ambled around, looking at various wares.  It was much later when we finally returned to the hotel.  The good news was that our room was ready.  The bad news was that it was horrible.  The smell of paint was too strong to consider staying in it, and it also faced the street which was very noisy.  They agreed to switch rooms, and gave us a larger one in another part of the small hotel that had already undergone its renovation.  Crisis averted.

So...photographs.  Here's the first one I took.  A man had his two pups in the cafe where we had breakfast.  It looked as though they hadn't missed many meals, and it made me miss Rose!

 Luxembourg gardens:

This is our neighborhood.  We will have a glass or two of wine at Cafe Vavin.  We will not be staying in this beautiful building at the end of the street.

Closer to Poilane, they are getting ready for Easter.  Sister Pam, the chocolat shop nearby even had chocolate lambs...

 This cute cafe had the tables decorated in pink and white (very girly, I know, for my male readers).

Kim Baggett, your Paris treat was the first I found.  It came from this shop, and had your name written all over it.  It also got the Krista Seal of Approval, so I think you're safe.  She mentioned, however, if you didn't like it, that she'd take it...
 I loved this little guy, but he was probably too pricey for me.
Here's the Raspail Friday market.  The purple artichokes were gorgeous, and the leeks were huge!

The flower shops had a wide variety of blooms, and looked very springlike!  Krista spotted the special tulips called "Royal Love."  We are close to England...we just might have to look for William and Kate souveniers, Leigh Ann!

Not sure what this is, but its bright yellow color looks really artsy up against the turquoise metalwork.
Here's why I don't live here:

All this walking around made us tired, so we took a two-hour nap and woke up feeling very refreshed.  We're getting ready for dinner now.  Elaine, Pam, Jeanie, KC, Nancy and John:  Le Timbre at the early (7pm) seating tonight!  The weather is chilly and it has started raining...but sunshine is predicted for the rest of the week.

Until tomorrow.


  1. Very cool! The yellow bushes look like forsythia to me. Mine are blooming now here in Oklahoma.

  2. Wonderful pictures of Paris , the blooms, the leeks look amazing too, all those greens and blues, the photo of Chopin in the Garden!
    These would make amazing post cards.
    Loved the table setting too, so simple and lovely. Yipee, I needed a quick trip to Paris!

  3. Fun, fun, fun...glad you arrived safely. Love the little Johnny-Jump-Ups blooming in the pavement. Have a great day tomorrow, and happy shopping.

  4. You are such a Paris addict!!! I feel very responsible and very jealous. My favorite places too - Poilane, Luxembourg Gardens, Boulevard Raspail and Le Timbre. Boo hoo. I don't think I need to say have a great time!

  5. What a great first day!! Ahhh, Spring in Paris. Trees blooming, bunches of pastel tulips --- it doesn't get much better than that. Can't wait to follow along. XOXO, Brenda

  6. I can feel your excitement! I enjoy your posts and pictures so much. Have a wonderful, wonderful time - I'll be following along and wondering if there are William and Kate stamps :). You are so funny. I may just have to go to AJs for some fresh French bread and cheese to go with our red wine tonight and toast your trip (and pretend I'm there seek those amazing sights). Cheers! Leigh Ann

  7. Hey Vickie! I'm just getting caught up on your blog! Wonderful! I agree with Dee, the yellow sure looks like forsythia! I'm so glad I get to continue reading!

  8. Thanks, y'all! It's been a wonderful trip!