S: PARIS - JANUARY 2011
BC: Looking forward to our next trip to Paris IY"H!
1: "BH we had a good flight. It was very empty, so we were able to take another row of three seats and sleep a little. It took us forever to get out of the Paris airport - just getting our luggage and trekking across the terminals till the trains took over an hour. Then we reached the trains, bought tickets and got on, only to find out 15 minutes later that the train wouldn't be running due to an accident that had happened along the line. It was a lengthy process to get off, figure out what to do etc. but eventually the trains started running again and we finally arrived at our metro stop Denfert-Rochereau at 9:30am (over three hours after our arrival!) We are kind of tired :) The sky is grey, low and very cloudy but the building all around are beautiful, and so far every Parisian we've encountered has been overly courteous (the guy at the train station offered to help me pass the carriage over the turnstile because it didnt fit through!) We walked the eight minute walk to the Marriott Rive Gauche where we are staying now. At the hotel we were helped by a very nice black woman. Dovidke told her that we are here for our anniversary and asked if she could please give us a nice room. She gave us a junior suite on the 18th floor with a great view (of I'm not sure what yet). It was still early morning but they let us go up to our room - BH! I just showered, what a mechayene. Since baby is sleeping peacefully in his stroller (BH for that!) we are going to try to sleep a little. It is really exciting to be here!!" | PARIS
2: Wednesday | We woke up at around 2 (still tired) but got up and dressed (mink coat and pearls mind you! I'm warming up to dressing as an elegant Parisian mademoiselle :) We got onto the 6 at St. Jacques (3 minutes from the hotel) and took it to the Chateau D'Eau stop because we weren't sure where to get off for Rue Richer. There were wandered through some distasteful streets full of blacks until we found Rue Richer. Unfortunately it seemed that many eateries have closed because we couldn't find any restaurants, just a bunch of Judaica store and old fashioned charcuteries. We passed Damyel Chocolatier. I had really wanted to spend a little time in the Rue Richer area because I remember going there as a girl, but there isn't much to do or see there anymore. We stopped in Zazou's bakery, for memories sake. Then we walked down to the Metro station Grands Boulevards (somewhat frustrated after an hour of fruitless searching for a place to eat).
3: Executive Lounge at the Marriott | Starbucks at St. Paul after dinner at Pitzman | We took the Metro to St. Paul and exited to a sparkling evening scene - beautiful French buildings with dainty ironwork on the balconies lining the wide street, and many chic eateries and a carousel. It took us a while to find the Pletzl, and there to find a place to eat (has everything closed?) but we finally went into Pitzman and had pizza/pates gratin. (Two frum guys from our plane came in right after us :) Baby slept all the while. We ordered french fries for him and fed them to him after we left, as we browsed past boutiques and charming stores in Le Marais. We also got a peppermint Americano coffee at Starbucks, minus the soymilk. And then we took the Metro back to our hotel, so baby can spend some time on the floor and we can warm our toes!
4: Our luxurious Parisian digs...
5: subway | The Marriott Rive Gauche Champagne Suite
6: Eating gelato, meeting strangers, living in hostels, walking along coastlines, sleeping on trains, going to festivals, eating authentic foods, learning transportation systems, buying groceries; It was all a great experience, despite the rainy days, getting lost, and taking trains in wrong directions. Immersing in different cultures taught us a lot and opened our eyes to a little bit more of the world around us. | we made it | GERMANY FRANCE SWITZERLAND ITALY | Rive Gauche Jardins du Luxembourg Boulevard St. Germain Musee D'Orsay Pizza & Sushi takeout from Tib's ... | Thursday
7: Musee D'Orsay | overlooking the Seine...
8: Thursday evening
9: Friday | Friday morning we said goodbye to the Marriott & Rive Gauche and set off for Le Meridien Etoile, the hotel off the Champs Elysees where we would be spending Shabbos. We dropped off our things and quickly got onto the 2 headed to St. Paul, hoping to make the stores in time to buy things for Shabbos. We found a narrow store next door Pitzman just about closing (it was a few minutes before 2pm), and bought challah, eggplant dip, a chocolate chip pastry, peach iced tea and Fanta, some sugary soft pink candies and tea lights which were mysteriously disappeared right before licht bentchen. In addition to these foods, we had brought whitefish salad, turkey roll, chummus, crackers & more from home - delicious Shabbos food!
10: Le Marais - L'as Du Falafel
11: Executive Suite at Le Meridien | Getting ready for Shabbos | Shabbos was nice and cozy. Dovid went to Shul at Chabad of Champs Elysees, a 15-20 minute walk away, and we sang "Happy Birthday" to baby Nochum many times! He insisted on spending his birthday awake and so went to sleep at around 2 am on Friday night, after a lot of screaming. We had very nice meals, between the food we bought on Friday and the delicacies brought from New York.
12: Motzei Shabbos | The 20 Euro candles that burned 'till Motzei Shabbos | Happy 1st Birthday, Nochumke!
13: Arc de Triomphe
14: Champs Elysees at Night | Chabad House | Nochum very busy as I write emails back at the hotel | Outside Le Meridien
15: Motzei Shabbos we walked to the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysees and had such a nice time... It was beautiful weather outside, not windy or too cold. We walked into a cool Renault showrooom and I bought a great black skirt in Ikks! | Boutiques Across from Le Meridien
16: Musee d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaisme was first on our list Sunday morning. We exited the Hotel de Ville Metro directly in front of the grand City Hall and a skating rink. The Museum was a pleasant walk away - we spent a thoughtful hour and a half there, looking at the artifacts and artwork that tell the tale of French and Italian Jewish life throughout our painful history... | Sunday
17: Someone please remind me to steer clear of tiny Sushi restaurants with a 12 month old! Thank G-d for the loud background noise (it drowned out Nochumke's spoon banging and throwing!) | The best Tatty in the world | Enjoying himself! | Sushi West 3eme Arondissement
18: Chocolate gifts at Damyel, and taking the Metro to Anvers - Montmartre | Metro station Arts et Metiers
19: View of Paris at dusk | The Funiculaire, going to the top of the hill | Metro Anvers
20: It was dusk when we arrived at the top of the Montmartre hill. The air was crisp and cool and the view of the entire city peaceful and timeless. It was a special moment.
21: I love you | Charming Place du Tertre
22: Hotel Melia Alexander | Sunday Evening | Sunday was a long day. But after we checked into our third hotel, the Melia Alexander, located on the elegant Avenue Victor Hugo, a fifteen minute walk from the Champs Elysees, we decided to pack some more into our day. After eating some of the food we still had, we dressed warmly and set out for Trocadero, one of the best spots in the city for viewing the Eiffel Tower. Going to see the Eiffel Tower felt like one of those touristy things you just have to do (although you've seen it already and certainly know what it looks like!) but when we arrived at the larger-than-life sight of the graceful, illuminated monument, we were very glad we had come. The tower sparkled and cast glimmering reflections on the wet marble floor. We couldn't seem to take enough pictures in this romantic, distinctly Parisian spot.
24: Monday | My Dovid making me laugh | A VERY small elevator!
25: Paninis at Korcarz for brunch | Ahhh.... a cappuccino at last!
26: Father-son bonding time while Mommy shops | Les Halles Shopping Mall
27: Galeries Lafayette | Giorgio Armani lipstick
30: French grocery The all time favorite - Peach Nestle Iced Tea | Goodbye room - 7:00 am Tuesday morning | Coming back from our last evening out | Nice bathroom | I Love Paris