Paris Update: Adventures Through the City of Lights – One Month Today!

Just a quick note to say hey to everyone! I hope your Monday is waking with sunshine – inside or out – and you have a beautiful week planned.  I can’t believe it is October 1 and that I have been in Paris for one month.  Honestly it seems like I just got here.  I have experienced so many wonderful adventures and have many more planned that I will be sharing with you.  As you can imagine, it is hard to stay in the house and write blog posts when the Paris streets beckon to me!  So, my apologies for not posting more!  I will have plenty to share with you today going forward.

Eiffel Tower Paris

I am playing with this new iPhone app called Photosynth that let’s you get a 360 degree shot of any view! You can get as wacky as you want with it or take straight pictures. Download it at the iTunes App Store, it’s free. Great if you don’t have a wide angle lens on your camera.  This photo is of the back of Sacre Coeur.

Panoramic of Sacre Coeur in Paris using the FREE app Photosynth

This past week was loaded with more adventures and explorations of the City of Lights,  here are some of the highlights:

La Chapelle Royale at Versailles

I visited Versailles which was just as I was told it would be – huge! magical! amazingly beautiful!  A short ride on the Metro to the train, a nice 30-40 minute ride on the train and you are there!  I am going through those pics tonight and will get those out to you this week along with it’s own detailed post.

are you kidding me? a goat cheese hamburger - Fabulous!The food and wine of France continues to flow (anybody know a good trainer?  I am going to need one when i get home!)  I have eaten things I never thought I would put in my mouth…well, maybe.  The oysters are amazing, not fishy at all if you can imagine.  The cheeses are to die for – delicious!

Wine here seems to taste different to me, less tannins, and even though they are high in alcohol, they do not seems to be so strong, or make you light headed.  Or, maybe I am just becoming a lush!  haha!  Really they are super smooth and tasty, even the Chardonnay is fresh and light and doesn’t seem to have that bite….I personally like that.  And the bourgogne wine here is just amazing, no matter what you buy, it is delicious.  I have not had a bad glass or bottle of wine since I have been here!

Foie Gras - A delicious start to another great dinner at Philippe and Dominique's home in Paris

My first taste of Foie Gras was appropriately in Paris and with my new friends Philippe and Dominique in their home.  The Foie Gras was covered in an onion compote with chunky black pepper generously sprinkled on top.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am falling in love with Goat Cheese!  On hamburgers, over apples, on toast, in salads….pure yummy.  I also discovered an orange colored Gouda that is the best I have ever eaten – you can keep it in your fridge and eat the chunks like little candies they are so good.  The official name is Vieux Gouda.  Then there is this little “pretzel” looking bread with olives that has become one of my staples along with the baguette. Ahhh FRENCH BREAD, there really is a difference.  Fresh always, every variety, shape, and color you can imagine.  Jesus was right about bread, you can’t live on bread alone…you MUST have wine too!

Wonderful food and wine at Brasserie Lipp in Germain St de Pres

Great food and wine is a lifestyle here in France!

The hustle and bustle at the famous Brasserie Lipp in Paris in Germain St de Pres

I went to eat at the famous Brasserie Lipp in St. Germain de Pres.  The restaurant is one of several historical cafe’s in the area that are famous for the intellectual and artistic crowds they attract – Les Deux Magots and Cafe de Flore.  Read more about it here.

And did I mention that there are beautiful men there too?  (Yes, the illusive “secret project” – still in the works).  Don’t you think this waiter looks like Andy Garcia?  By the way, they didn’t take too well to me taking photos, I kinda got in trouble.  But when I offered to show the waiter his photo for his approval, he was ok with that!!

another beautiful Parisian man, at Brasserie Lipp in Paris

Another restaurant I was pleased to dine at was La Closerie des Lilas.  Absolutely charming.  It was definitely a notable place, with beautiful people, cold fresh oysters, delicious wine, excellent food, wonderful service, and an atmosphere that was completely Parisian/French.  I loved the placemats that were filled with signatures/autographs of  famous and infamous people who have dined there. Christian Lacroix, Henry Miller, Henri Cartier Bresson, Vivienne Westwood, Tom Waits, Michel Fugain, Lauren Bacall, Peter O’Toole and Charlotte Rampling, to name a few.  I brought one home with me, of course!

Dining at La Closerie des Lilas on a matt of famous signatures

Now, about shopping in Paris.  I must mention again the amazing Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche.  When Judith and I first went there we thought it was a mall, but it is ONE STORE and it is amazing. I have never been in a store like it.  I had to go back to do some shopping on my own and spent the better part of the day there.  I loved the elegance and the way they merchandise everything.  It is all very streamlined so that the products are featured, not the stock.  The merchandise is beautifully displayed where it is easy to make choices, and, the sales associates have to be available for the customer.  Service. Just another French detail I am discovering!

Bon Marche celebrates 160 years in Paris with muse Catherine Deneuve

It rained some this past week and loved it!  Paris in the rain is just like in the movies.  Magical.

Rain does not stop the Parisians

And one thing to note, just like the New Yorker, it does NOT stop the Parisian.  Just get out your umbrella and go.  If you get caught without an umbrella, just stop at a cafe and take a break, which is just what I did.  I was out shopping along Rue Jacob and had no idea it was going to rain, so when the clouds gathered and the rain started coming down pretty hard, I dashed into a tiny corner cafe.  There I found a covered table out on the sidewalk and grabbed a hot cup of espresso to take it all in and watch the people go by.  I will always remember that day, that moment…..in Paris!

Rain does not stop the Parisians - you just stop for cafe!

I have said before and so has Judith, that there are surprises on every corner in this city.  It is truly amazing.  You could be delighted by a quick, gentle rain shower, or the smell of bread or some other delicious food that is being cooked, or maybe you will chance upon children playing in the courtyard of an ancient cathedral….like I did.

Surprises on every corner in Paris

Paris is much like love, you can always experience more, you just simply need to make it happen, be aware, pay attention and let your love show….à bientôt!

Bisous Bisous!  Love and Peace!
Sandy

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