Thursday, July 19, 2012

Postcard from Paris: Part Two

Here is part two of our adventures in Paris. I didn't realize just how much we did and saw until I sat to write it all up!

Paris - Day 4

Day 4 in Paris was also the day of the Fete de la Musique, which is a day-long musical festival across Paris. We visited the Louvre today, lunched at McD's, and then headed to one of my favorite memories of my last Paris trip: Leon de Bruxelles! It is a chain restaurant that is Belgium-themed, but they have some great mussels and fries. I think Dustin agreed!

Afterward, we caught a little bit of a French band on the side of a street, and headed to the Musee d'Orsay. In a weird turn of events, the museum was closed early, but you could see an opera performance for free inside instead. We didn't get to see the impressionist paintings, which was a bummer, but we did see the sculptures and have a unique experience for sure! We ended the night with a boat cruise down the Seine River.

Paris - Day 5

Day 5 in Paris was when we headed out to Versailles. The Hall of Mirrors was everything I imagined it would be!

I also got my first taste of Laduree macarons while here as well. There is no word to describe these pastries other than divine!

For lunch, we ate at the Cafe of the Grand Mosque of Paris. We were seated at a quaint courtyard table and ordered some mint tea. It was very sweet! Dustin has been working with some men from Jordan while he has been deployed, so he has tried the mint tea before with them and loved it! I ordered a lamb, prune, almond tangine which was delicious! Dustin ordered a meatball couscous which was served more like a stew with cabbage and other veggies. It was a very unique meal, and quite delicious!

That night we went on a Discover Walks tour (free) through the Montmatre district. Our tour guide, Bruno, was wonderfully Parisian and had been living in the neighborhood his entire life, even spending evenings with his grandmother as a child, working on costumes at the Moulin Rouge! He told us some quirky stories about mosaic artwork in the Parisian streets, how the director of Amelie is shooed away from the cafe made famous in his film, and the reasons why our tour guide dislikes the Sacre Couer basilica at the top of Montmatre. The views from the top of the hill were beautiful!

We ate dinner this night at the local cafe near our hotel, where we realized that the French cook their meat much less than we Americans do. Let's say their version of medium is more like our rare, which made my very pink burger a little, interesting to say the least.

Paris - Day 6

Day 6 in Paris was our very last day! On this day we added our lock to the Pont d' Archeviche, tossing the key into the river.  We picked up some mustard, chocolate, and foie gras as souvenirs for our family.

We also ate lunch at a small, nondescript cafe. I had my first-ever Croque Madame, which was amazing! It is basically a ham, cheese, egg sandwich with a lovely side salad. Dustin and I also learned during our time in Paris that the French are very picky about table settings. To keep them from fussing at us once the food came, we learned you had to put your napkin in your lap right away, and when our food was on the way, we picked up our utensils in our hands. It seemed like we were really eager to eat doing this way, but it was the only way that kept our server from putting our silverware in our hands for us. Such peculiarities in different countries!

We headed back to our hotel to pack up all our stuff and then sampled some creme brulee at a nearby corner cafe, along with some frothy cappuccinos. It was the first meal where I actually used only French to order and converse with the waiter, so I was pretty proud!

Then we were off to the train station and on to Spain! We entertained ourselves by playing Monopoly on the iPad (so fun!), then found our little two-bedroom coach. It was pretty neat! We picked up some delicious snacks - yummy crunchy, breaded, and spiced peanuts. They may have completely disappeared within the first hour or so! We also headed down to the bar car and had some wine and beer while waiting for night to fall. Later that evening someone came to take down our beds (from the wall!) and then we were soon off to sleep. It was a little bit stop and go trying to sleep while the train was moving, but we woke up in time for some free and delicious breakfast in the dining car.

More about our adventures in Barcelona coming soon!


  1. Another great post! I'm so jealous of your trip! Looks like I need to start saving my pennies!

    1. Let's just say, we won't be traveling anywhere for a while - our travel budget is in the red!

  2. Looks like you had an amazing time! I had never heard of the locks until now, and now I'm very interested! I hope the remaining time in your husbands deployment passes quickly!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! And this second half of his deployment is moving pretty quickly - can't believe it's been a month since R&R already!


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