Wednesday, May 30, 2012

We love Paris!

Rodin's "Thinker"

Invalides, Eiffel Tower and Rodin Museum

Tan Dinh Chef Robert Vifian still at work

Gail blogs

Tesla-Electric Car

Le Saint Germain Cafe near our hotel

Être. To Be.

What do you want to do in Paris? She asked.
I only want to be in Paris. He said.
We don't need to "do" anything.
But why? She smiled and shook her head in that way he loved.
Because Paris is where we have been so happy, so many times before.
Do you recall, before the children were born, our first trip here, the
small hotel, the St. Germaine des Pres on the Rue Bonapart, where we
walked so far my feet hurt and I got a blister and would not leave the
room and you said,
"I am not going to come to Paris and just sit in my room" and you went
out and bought me a pair of slippers so I would have no excuse and you
made me go back out and explore the city. I still have those slippers
at home thirty five years later. I could not forget your face that day.
And you were so into cooking, you took that course with Julia Child in Cambridge and remember the Gourmet Magazine article about the four famous young chefs of Paris so you found the Tan Dinh resturant and we ate there and met the chef Robert Vifian and that was in the 1980's, I wonder what he is doing now?
And the time we brought Mari when she was a little girl and we walked
up the Champs Elysee and found a little bookstore and bought her a
Madeline book?
And later, when we came with all three kids and walked up to the top
of the Eiffel tower but all they wanted was a Smurf ice cream and it
cost $10.00 for the Smurf plastic cup? We stayed at the Burgundy
Hotel, the carpets were threadbare then.
And the times I came to work as a volunteer at the American Church and I lived in the apartment upstairs at the church for a week and then you came and we stayed at the Lutitia Concord on the Boulevard Raspail.  Those were good days.
And then we came back when the children were gone, off to college, and
James went off to war and we prayed he would come home safely, and
later the girls were married and having children, it is good Annie got
to travel on her own and go to exotic places like Greece and Turkey
and China with Kyle, and then Mari and Alan went to Australia and had
their own trips to Europe, and then Allison joined our family and now
with almost ten grandchildren we have so many more people to introduce
to Paris. Each little child needs to be able to find his or her own
Paris. It is the City of Light, of inspiration, of beauty. The door
is open, what do you want to do with the rest of your life? The
Moveable Feast has been fantastic for we knew and loved Paris when we
were young.   We have carried the memories and rekindled them for forty
years. A rich heritage that will be passed to the next generation. Psalm 16.

Être. To Be. Je suis un eleve. Tu es un enfant. Il est fatigue.
Elle est belle. Nous sommes content. Oui, nous sommes tres content.
Je suis en Paris. Tu es ma femme.

We will come again. Simply To Be in Paris.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Window Shopping

Pretty Shoes

Don't Touch the Fruit!

Outside Notre Dame Cathedral

Children Feeding Birds

Garden Wedding Photography

Artist on Bridge

Street Artist

Musician in Montmartre

Street Musicians

Typical Parisian Cafe

Sacre Coeur Basilica

Je ne sais Quoi

Last night we dined at La Petite Chaise restaurant near our hotel (7th
arr) Wow! Reservations were recommended and the food presentations memorable. Part of the fun of being in this city is falling in love with the "je
ne sais quoi" of Paris (I don't know exactly why Paris is cool). Charming cafes are a place for locals and tourists to congregate, talk and pass the time. Paris comes alive with music in the streets, artists painting pictures and shops displaying fashions. It is a city of culture, romance, good food, design and fashion. Just for the record the set menu at La Petite Chaise Restaurant was 33 Euros (entree + plat + dessert). Starters: Gail had a salad with shredded green mango, carrot, greenbeans and shrimp. Dale enjoyed Duck foie gras with an apple chutney. Entree: Gail had grilled sea bass. Dale enjoyed salmon and cod smothered with "trois juliennes de legumes" and it had a fabulous sauce. Dessert: Dale had chocolate ice cream. Gail's dessert was sorbet with a rose/honey syrup on meringue topped with Chantilly cream. I write about this so we can remember the name of this restaurant to recommend to friends. I know we plan to revisit. Here are a few pictures of people, cafes, musicians and other fun street scenes that we have seen this week. This morning we did climb all the way to the top of Montmartre (18th arr) to visit the Basilica of Sacre Coeur. The charming quaint village of Montmartre is oozing with "cuteness". It is below the church and is full of tourists and artists. Enjoy the views. Gail

Monday, May 28, 2012

Saint Sulpice Cathedral Organ

booth at flea market

Flea Market

Children Playing at Luxembourg Garden

Medici Fountain

Luxembourg Garden

La Conciergerie

Guard Room of Conciergerie

Marie Antoinette awaits execution

Center of Paris - L'ile de la Cite

Museum Pass expires today!

We just finished another interesting day of viewing the famous sights
of Paris. This morning after our cafe au lait, we took a taxi to La
Conciergerie. It was originally the palace of the French
Kings from the 10th century until they moved to the Louvre. During the
French Revolution, over 2800 people were detained and sentenced to
death here. Sadly, the Queen of France Marie Antoinette was among
them. We saw the cell when she spent six weeks before she was led to
the guillotine in the Place de la Concord.We then strolled through the
beautiful Jardin du
Luxemburg. Have I mentioned that we have had a weather perfect week in
Paris? In the early 17th century Marie de Medici decided to build a
palace in imitation of the Pitti Palace in Florence. She was homesick
I guess! The Medici Fountain is gorgeous and the grounds magnificent.
Children rent sail boats and then chase the boat with a stick in the
central pond. Today is Pentecote (Pentecost) which is a holiday in
France. Families were out in the park in droves. We lunched in the
small terrace cafe which provided a relaxing place to rest and people
watch. Our meal was overpriced and the service slow but
never-mind.....we had a lovely table under the trees. We decided to
use our museum pass one last time to view the Pantheon in the Latin
quarter. This massive building was originally an abbey dedicated to
the Patron Saint of Paris but after the French Revolution was changed
to a burial place for famous French men. We walked down into the crypt
and saw dozens of famous patriots, writers, artists and war heroes.
Our last stop of the day was to visit the St. Sulpice Cathedral on our
walk back to the hotel. In front of the church there was a classy flea
market set up which held all kinds of old art, books, china and other
treasures. After browsing awhile, we entered St. Sulpice. The organ
was built by Clicquot and later remodeled by Cavaille-Coll and is one
of the finest and most beautiful organs in the world. The St. Sulpice
Cathedral was used as a setting for Dan Brown's novel Da Vinci Code.
The church has a poster on the wall with a disclaimer that reads
"contrary to fanciful allegations in a recent best selling novel, St.
Sulpice is NOT the vestige of a pagan temple etc. etc." I guess many
tourists flocked to the church after the novel was written for the
wrong reasons. Why didn't they come to see and hear the organ, attend
Mass or view the biggest cathedral in Paris? Whew......our museum pass
has expired and so have I! Tomorrow we plan to just "be" in Paris. Not
sure what the day will hold but I am certain more walking will be part
of the fun. Gail

American Church in Paris Spire

American Church Music Director & Chancel Choir

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Birthday to Remember!

Today I celebrated my 60th birthday in Paris. My day began by
attending the Pentecost Service at the American Church in Paris. The
worship service was compelling. There was a "language choir" that
assisted in the reading of Acts 2. Readers surrounded the sanctuary
and read scripture simultaneously in many languages. Pentecost
commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and
other followers of Jesus as described in Acts. the language choir
brought this message to life! The chancel choir then sang "Let All the
World in Every Corner Sing" by Ian Higginson. It was wonderful to
reconnect with the Music Director Fred Gramann who hails from
Washington State. Fred visited us in Wenatchee years ago but has lived
in Paris since 1976. He is a fantastic organist and musician. What an
inspiring way to begin my day! Dale and I then walked the
Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe and climbed to the top for the
view. We lunched at the famous "Brasserie Lipp" in Saint Germain des
Pres and then visited both the Saint Chapelle Chapel and Notre Dame
Cathedral. As we entered the church, Mass was in progress. I got to
hear the Cavaille-Coll organ which has 5 keyboards and 8,000 pipes
....heavenly! Dale and I plan to have a late birthday dinner
celebration tomorrow night at "Tan Dinh" a well known
French/Vietnamese restaurant. I feel so blessed to have received so
many birthday well wishes from family and friends today via email and
Facebook. This has been the best birthday celebration ever. A huge
thank you to my husband for "planning" such a special day (inside
joke!) Gail

Saint Chapelle

Notre Dame Cathedral

Brasserie Lipp

View from the top

Arc de Triomphe

Room 604 night view

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Room 604 at K & K Cayre Paris

Sometime serendipity is better than planning.  Gail is a great
planner.  Dale loves to go on vacation with a minimum of reservations
and a maximum of possibilities, flexibility and spontaneity.
Sometimes, looking back, a little more planning could have avoided a
trouble or two.  But it was pure serendipity that when we booked this
hotel, the place where we are celebrating Gail's Big birthday (I am
not saying in a blog just how Big) that the lottery of life gave us
room 604.The view from the room is of the Tour Eiffel and the dome of Les
Invalides (where France honors her war heroes and where Napoleon is
buried.). And even when relaxing in the bathtub you have  a view of
the tower.  At night, when the tour is illuminated and the moon is
flying by, it recreates the scene from the Moulin Rouge movie when the
pistol is flying out the window and hits the tower.  It is pure magic.
It is a perfect view.  Our photos will not do it justice, but believe
us, it is the most romantic view in the world.  If you are coming to
Paris, and if you are a planner, ask for Room 604.  If you are not a
planner, it is better to be lucky than good.  I feel lucky to have
been married to Gail for forty years and to have been given this room
to celebrate her birthday. Dale

Winged Victory at Louvre

La Jocanda at Louvre

artist painting copy of painting

Inside Louvre Museum

Outside Louvre Museum

afternoon delight

Rabbit lunch today

Bateaux Mouches

Monet Waterlilies at l'Orangerie Museum

Jardin des Tuileries

A favorite seat in St Germain des Pres

Seafood Cassoulet