Thursday, July 9, 2009

Au Revoir - Mon aimee - Pariee

Today is July 10th and the time is here to come home.

We spent yesterday looking through all the shops, walking through all the hills and winding streets, rediscovering as much as we could.  We ate our dejuener at our favorite spot, Le Cocacquet, trying our best to have an intelligent conversation with our server.  Instead we wound up buying their home made cherry and apricot jams without realizing we even asked about them.

We visited St. Pierre du Montmarde Church, built in 1133 - the oldest Church in Paris, quite possibly France. Very small but awe inspiring when you walk through her.  Once again, we lit a candle for those whom we miss dearly.

We dined at Le Carousel, drank our vin and people watched until it grew dark.  We came home, put our things together and then settled in by looking at the stars and the Sacre Couer, until our eyes could no longer stay open.  

We've had the most wonderful time in Paris and we are sad to say Au Revoir.  But our hearts are also growing homesick. We miss home, Murphee & Jarge, our friends and our family.

Thanks to all of you that have followed this blog, reading the daily romps through this gay old town.  I've had the most wonderful time letting you know what antics we've gotten ourselves into and  I hope this helps to give you a little  taste of what it is like here so you can start planning your next adventures.

Time to get that slideshow together.  I think I should add commentary, hmmmm.

Au Revoir Pariee......  Hello Home!

Sharing our view of Paris

Good morning Peeps!  Today is Thursday July 9th and you are all fast asleep while here in Paris, the sights and sounds are alive and kicking.  

As requested, here are a few shots from our stacks of photo's we are bringing home..

picture # 1 - Petit Guy in the  Hall of Mirrors at Versaille Castle.  (he's got a thing about looking at himself...)

picture #2 - Petit Guy frolicking in the Jardins du Versaille.  Don't ya like his hat? (if he has a thing about looking at himself in mirrors, you can bet your bippee he likes to look good as well).

Andres - you are going to have to wait for the dreaded slideshow to get a real glimpse into Paris. But I hope that this will hold you until i can bring you the pics.  Thanks for the request tho'.  (tee hee).

Have a super day.  It is 10AM and we are off to breakfast and sight seeing.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Le Bon Marche - soldes, soldes, soldes

Bonsoir or shall I say, Bonjour to you.  Today is July 8th - Wednesday.

We awoke to an overcast day.. at 9:30 a.m.  Both of us all snuggled in and comfy cozy. Needless to say it took a while to get our act together.  We perused all our guide books trying to determine what we should do. Based on the now rainy morning, we decided to go to the Bon Marche, Paris' oldest department store.

After a quick grand broiche bun and BOWL of coffee (yes, my friends, a cereal bowl for cafe ou lait), we headed out on the Metro.  Turns out the Bon Marche houses, Dior, Gucci, Louis Vitton, Chloe, Armani and a host of others. My pocket book remained closed tight.  But, look, touch and fall into  a deep depression that I am no longer a size 2 (haven't seen this side of me for many years), we left.

We decided souvenior street and bartering was the means for us.  Standing in the rain, arguing about which shirt he would like that matches the bag that I would like, I think we got er done.

After this, we needed to come home for a rest.  Once ready and raring to go, up to Le Carousel for a bite and drinks. Now we are back to the flat to simply clean up,  take out the garbage and put our feet up outside the window,  while sipping a bit of the good old vino. Bordeaux, don't ya know.

This is a grand life. But,  I must admit that I am missing home, my regular routine, my different clothes (the ones I packed are starting to make me angry), my life, but on the other side, I don't want this vacation to end.  Frank is a changed man, what with his new chapeau, red rimmed glasses and shirt hanging out, he's a Bohemian man, in a Bohemian life.  It is kinda growing on him (freaking me out, but making him happy).

We expected a different kinda of Paris. The one down by the Champ de Elysse that is a busy bustling not gonna own a car or drive one in Paris kinda feel. But Montmarte is so much different, a neighborhood that is bustling, rustic, friendly packed with a variety of different sights and sounds. We feel safe, funky and young again.  Defintely the place in Paris I would recommend and return too next time.

So one more full day left before we pack up, settle up and head on home.  Any ideas from you on what one last thing we should do before we leave?

Miss you all, hugs kisses and love from Frank, Leanne and Petit Guy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ohhh la la = Le Ritz

Morning gang. Today is Tuesday July 7th.  Ohhh la la.

Today is Michael Jackson' private and public funeral.  To age myself, I grew up listening and watching Michael Jackson throughout the years. I remember him on the Ed Sullivan Show with the Jackson 5 and in most recent years, performing at Motown's 25th Anniversary back in the 80' s when he peformed the moon walk.  I thought he was  the cat's a$$ then. I hate seeing anyone's life cut short, and am totally captivated by CNN when it become's someone of noteriety. 

Today, Frank and I decided to go and see the Parc de Vendrome. But what we didn't know is then when we got off the Metro, we were actually at the Jardins de Tullieres which is attached to the Louvre. We spent time taking photo's of the statues, fountains, gardens and running away from the gypsies who once again kept finding a gold wedding band that apparently looked an awful like Frank's (who knew?).  We ventured out of the jardins and toward Plac de Vendome.  Down the streets of St. Honore, passed Chartiers, Daniel Swaroski, Bulova, Armani, Hugo Boss (can't think of a women's store if my life depended on it), until we hit the ultimate.  I had to kneel in front of the store, my desires reached. ..... Jimmy Choo. Found a pair that I wanted. Only $450e (that's cheap).........  Oh la la la la.

So I bought this really cool purse down the  street. Very  hip , young, spring like. I would have to complete a  lot of overtime to afford a pair of Jimmy Choo's.

We took our pictures out front of the Ritz, ventured over to the Palais Royale, walked the front of the Seine and came back to Le Carousel for a coke and beer before our afternoon nap. Ain't life grand.

No sooner then climbing back up the now famous god -darn stairs, the sky's grew dark and the rain came.  And rain, rain some more, then lightning, then thunder, then rain... We opened up our eyes to sunshine, WOW. Kinda like being part of the wave at GM place.

After watching some of MJ's (he is now fondly known as), public memorial on, we walked up for  quick dinner, people watch and then back home for a good nights rest.

We are now trying to make sure that everything we wanted to see, touch, taste or smell, has been accomplished.  We are both pushing to complete our own agenda's without scratching each other's eyes out. Wedded bliss.

We are starting to look at everything differently.. did you catch that, did you see that, did you notice that? Our days here in Paris are counting down, both Frank and I, although always excited about coming home to our own bed, our routines, we are sad because our adventure here in Paris is coming to a close.

We know Lisa made it home safely, she has told us so in an email - thank gawd, we were getting worried!!!!

We are having a wonderful time and it is now time to complete the task of the last breakfast in Paris, for now, site in Paris, for now, dinner in Paris, for now, has been covered off and taken care of.. for now.

F&L & Petit Guy (he is still in mourning that Lisa left him)

Monday, July 6, 2009

One of us must go now - See you again Pariee

Today is July 6th. If you've been reading this blog, you will note no blog yesterday for you!

We spent Sunday toodling around Montmartre.  We awoke late, sauntered out for a petit dejuenuer and cafe au lait at around 10:30 . Then we began to climb, and then climb some more.  (god foresaken stairs, I better have buns of steel when I get home..). We wandered through Plac du Tetre, which is where the artists paint and sell their goods.  We visited the Sacre Couer - which is unbelievabley beautiful. On the outside guarding the Basilica are two Equestrian's statues - one of Joan of Arc (known here as Jeanne) and the other is of Saint Louis (King Louis XIV)  In the centre of the Basicals is the Statue of Christ.  It is just the beginning. We all agreed that this Basilica was more breathtaking than Notre Dame.  It was another warm, warm day - I continue to glisten and am seriously thinking of having my hair "coiffed" while here, just to stop the glisten that is inherently covering my face.  

We wandered throughout the Montmarte area ducking into the 1000 souvenior shops, boulangeries, bistros', pottery shops and funky boutiques along the way.  We started becoming artsy with our photos by trying out some new stuff.  We stopped by the last vineyard inside Paris, but they don't begin to harvest until October - dang!  We continued down Rue Lepic snapping photo's of Vincent Van Gogh's home for approx 2 years.  This took us about 3-4 hours so we decided to stop for a cold beer!  

First beer, was sooo good. Second beer was just as good. Switched to vin rouge. Decided dinner was in order, so another vin.  Have to have a vin to finish off dinner.  Then we met two girls, one from Northhampton, the other from Bath.  We had a wonderful time swapping stories of lives in Britian, Canada and France.   At about 9:30 - it was time to go home. Too many libations for the day.  We stopped for sandwiches to soak up the alcohol, made our routine calls home and then lights out at 10:30.

Today, we got up feeling pretty darn good, considering. Decided to go again for breakfast but learned alot of stores open later on Monday, if they open at all.  So we finally ate and then decided to relook at a few of the sites we missed yesterday during our tour of Montmartre.  We found the bistro where Amelie was filmed, a great vintage jewellery  \ handbag store, decided not to visit the Cemitrie, today (a little cloudy and mystical outside), wandered into a few boutiques, bought a few Parisian blouses, and wait, what do I love almost as much as Frank.... Shoes!  I bought a pair of Parisian, made in Paris, SHOES!  And I must say, they are very much a Leanne shoe.  Comfy for once too!

We are now back home, watching Lisa pack and prepare for her journey home.  She is leaving us today and both Frank and I are a little quiet as we watch her get closer to the taxi coming. We all agreed last night, not only under the influence of alcohol, but before, that we make a great team while travelling.  It has been wonderful to have Lisa here with us and both Frank and I will miss her while we finish out our time here. 

Frank and I have another 5 nights of magical sites, sounds and tastes before we return home.  Paris is definite must do on your bucket list.  I love the idea of sitting outside at a bistro, with a coke, cafe au lait, expresso, beer, wine or simply a water and watching the people go by.  It is a fascinating place to people watch, look at the architecture, learn about the history, think about some of the things you do with your life or simply sit back and enjoy.

Miss all, love all, look out Paris, you still have two people to contend with (oh and we still have Petit Guy to humour us with his antics).  He loved the cafe last night.  Think he might need to go into bird rehab when he gets home. Someone do some research on this for us, we may need an intervention, or at least 12-step bird recovery meeting list.

Love you Lis.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Le Jour de bon marche - dropped coin

Today is Saturday July 4th.  A  great day to be a Canadian.

After snoozing till 8AM since we spent 1/2 the night listening to the party at the park below the Sacre Couer yell through the bull horn - couldn't wait for that thing to die... We wandered up to our favorite breakfast spot, dined and then dashed once again down the 173 winding stairs to the Metro. Now, remember we have to come back up  the 173 winding stairs, that I believe were first reported as 143.  Big difference when you are hauling up these sorry carcasses.

We ventured out to the Layfette Galerize to "shop".  I decided that I didn't pack for the weather we've experiencing so I was on the hunt for cotton.  We also wanted to start looking for those little Parisian Gifts that could stay with us for years to come.  I found a charm of the Eiffel Tower to add to my charm bracelet and a couple of shirts.  Lisa and Frank struck out in the clothes department, wanting to venture into the boutiques of our neighborhood instead. 

The Gourmet Foods took up one whole floor of this mall.  HUGE!  Everything ranging from speciality spices and teas, to fish, to any kind of macaroon you could want (raspberry, lemon, chocolate..), nestled amongst the regular necessities of life.   We decided to zip through there as this seems the spot to buy your weekly groceries, soooo many people,  (grocery stores are something we all wondered about since we don't really see anything other than what we would call a convenience store, close to our flat).  We also discovered the "liqour store" which of course meant some time to "gander".  They have everything you could think of, when it came to wine. You must understand, hard liquor and beer are not big sellers here, it is the wine and at E2.30 per bottle, you can go a long way.    

We didn't last long since the nunber of shoppers with the same idea as ours was a tad 
overwhelming.  I think we may have spent only a couple of hours there. 

Coming back on the Metro means once again being swarmed by the gypsies begging for money Quite elaborate their schemes to get your money. We've had three experiences with the "look, I just found a wedding band, is it yours?" scheme (after they pickpocket you). We're on to them, our merry little band of  three.

So, after climbing the 173 winding stairs back up from the depths of hell, we simply wandered the streets of Montmarde and then came home for a nap. Once rested we climbed down from our perch of 7 flights of stairs with 15 stairs per flight (not kidding about the stairs), to venture out for some night life.  After dinner and a bit of window shopping, we sat at a little outdoor bistro on Rue Trois de Freres, for about 4 hours of snapping pictures, oogling the boys and girls, sipping our beer, wine and appertifs ( a cocktail here, not an afterdinner drink).  Great times, had by all. 

So back to the flat are we now, eating those special little pastries we purchased earlier today, setting up cameras to captured the night lights of the Sacre Couer - amazing how many people go there throughtout the course of the day - and how many people party throughtout the night - we are bracing ourselves already for bull horn man!!!

We didn't take Petit Guy with us since he was a bad bird the day before, embarrassing us at Versaille and the Eiffel Tower.   So when we came home, he had opened the fridge door and spoiled our breakfast.  He is such a bad bird ......

Tomorrow is Lisa's final full day here.  We are going to take the 90-minute walking tour of Montmarde and ensure we are one of the followers to the Sacre Couer - making sure we cover it all.  I suspect we will be back in our little spot tomorrow night, once again enjoying the views that pass us by.

Love you all, hugs and kisses F&LL

Friday, July 3, 2009

The coup de gracci - A flying bird

Today is Friday July 3rd and this day trumps everything we have done so far. However,  Petit Guy was a very bad bird today,  several fly bys during our visits to Versaille and the Eiffel Tower.  So we bring out Petit Guy's picture first in efforts to highlight the rest of our day.(in other words, I am having a heck of a time bringing in pic's to this blog.  Trial and error my friends).

So with that bird out of the bag, we did it, we made the trek to Versaille. A subway and then train ride to the area of Paris that houses the most outstanding area we have seen to date.  The highlight was the Jardins of Versaille. The Stanley Park of Paris, except think formal.  Statues, fountains made of copper, trees lined up side by each, for as far as your eyes can see. However, we all agreed the Petit Trianon - Marie Anteoniettes "maision", oops I mean, Castle, is the one we would love to have as our summer home..... She preferred this estate over the Versaille - it makes my home look like a piece of bird droppings if you consider size alone.  Her castle is about the size of my entire neighborhood, all houses combined.  Absolutley charming,  the entire estate that houses the Versaille Palace, Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon and Jardin of Versaille. We missed a couple of "things" along the way, but that in itself was at least 4 hours of our day. This one trumped everything we had done so far. except for...

The Eiffel Tower  (as far as I am concerned).  Amazing to see when you turn the corner and see everyone stop and look up. There is this... edifice or ornament jutting into the sky in splendor and magnificence. I was sooooo excited that I almost started to cry, until I turned another corner to see this beautiful piece of architecture, surrounding by at least 5 million ants milling around the base.  We figure a 2-3 hour wait to get onto this little tram that runs up the inside of this building which that carries about 250 of these ant's (people).  Little too stifling for us. So, instead we decided to touch the base (that I couldn't even reach).  Sorry Laula, Lisa would not let me spit on it since I couldn't touch the base. 

We stopped on the way home at a French \Italian bistro, dining on the sidewalk to enjoy the sights and sounds of Montmarde . We are so lucky to have found this spot - this is where the funky people live and stay. Great fun and the locals are soo sweet, they laugh at us, laughing at each other trying to speak French.  We finally figured out that we didn't need to tip anyone since they don't expect a tip, but we have been doing anyway.  Pays for the pain they endure for our poor phonetic attempts at French . Next time it is French lessons.
So, we think we covered the touristy high points for you over the last 5 days. Tomorrow, we sleep in and saunter to our favorite dejeuner and boulangerie to start our day off.  We've been looking at some pretty neat boutiques in this area but we've been dripping with sweat and embarrassment so we haven't ventured in. Until tomorrow. I have scoped out a pair of "sandals' that have my name written all over them. Calling to me.....
We have been having a great time, Frank is the perfect navigator, Lisa the adventurer and planner, I the idea women,  a match made in Paris heaven.   
Note to Westie. Not a place to bring a wife who loves to shop, fashion here is fabulous, cool, original, unique, outstanding and much sought after. But expensive is the one thing that stands out in your eye sight.  

Miss you all, having a blast. F&LL