The Lyon Statue in Place De La Concorde Paris, France

Paris.

Paris is a city filled with history and amazing architecture.

Today is a traveling day for me, but I wanted to share a Thursday Door.

Place de la Concorde.

This door is from Place de la Concorde.

Place de la Concorde is the one of the major public squares in Paris. It is located in the city’s , 8th arrondissement, at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées.

It was the site of many notable public executions during the French Revolution.

Our hotel was within a short walking distance of Place de la Concorde, which I shared in my A Corner of Parispost.

I also shared some evening views in the square in this post.

Statue.

At each of the eight angles of the octagonal Place de la Concorde is a statue representing a French city.

I chose to capture the sculpture by Pierre Petitot, representing the city of Lyon.

My choice was not because of the city, but because Lyon is my maiden name.

City of Lyon.

However, Lyon is a two thousand year old city situated at the junction of the Rhône and Saône rivers.

It is the third largest city in France, after Paris and Marseilles.

Travel.

Have you ever traveled to Lyon, France?

Travel not to find yourself, but to remember who you've been all along. -unknown photo quote over the Louvre in Paris France

Let your light shine!

Amy

Hotel de Ville

Paris.

Paris is a city of beauty and wonder. As I strolled about the city, I constantly found new things which caught my gaze because of their splendor.

Hôtel de Ville.

I love the architecture found in Paris and the Hôtel de Ville was quite spectacular. It is located in the 4th arrondissement on place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville. It is the City Hall and houses the city’s local administration.

History.

It has been the headquarters for the municipality since 1357.

The original building was a mansion called maison aux piliers “House of Pillars”. In 1533, King Francis I decided the city should have a city hall worthy of Paris. After that, the House of Pillars was torn down and the new building, which was completed in 1628, was erected.

During the Franco-Prussian War, the building played a key role in events. One of which was that the Paris Commune chose the Hôtel de Ville as its headquarters. As the anti-Commune approached the building, the Communards set fire to the Hôtel de Ville destroying almost all extant public records from the French Revolutionary period and leaving just the shell of the building.

Reconstruction.

The Reconstruction lasted from 1873 to 1892. The interior was rebuilt inside the shell. The architectural style is neo-renaissance.

According the the Paris Visitors Bureau, it is possible to set a reservation for a guided tour.

 

Ceremonial Doors.

Not only did the building catch my eye, but the ceremonial doors are quite spectacular. When I saw them, I knew that I needed to capture them for all the Thursday Doors fans.

I don’t read French, but I can tell that the inscription on the doors is referencing September 4, 1870, the day when the Third Republic was proclaimed.

Versailles.

This history from Versailles sheds some light on the turmoil surrounding those times. The Third Republic would be definitively established in January 1875. The establishment would come down to a single deciding vote, and three amendments later, the 1875 constitution would remain in force until 1940.

We took a day trip out to Versailles. You can find my posts from the visit to the Palace here and here. We also made sure to visit the Queen’s Hamlet.

Statues.

The statues along the building are magnificent. There were around 230 sculptors who were commissioned to produce 338 individual figures of famous Parisians, along with other sculptures.

From left to right, the best that I can read are: H. Estienne, P de Viole, F. Miron, and M. Lallier.

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Clock Tower.

While I didn’t have the best lens for the job, I did want to give you a closer view of the clock tower. You can also see some more of the many statues.

Facade.

The Hôtel de Ville is a very grand and extensive building. However, I didn’t want to leave you without a view of the facade.  In the distance, you can see the bronze sculptures which were flanking the gates where I stood to take the photos. The sculptures are titled Art by Laurent Marqueste and Science by Jules Blanchard.

Paris Square.

The square is the the oldest in Paris. This area was the principal port of Paris for centuries. From 1310 to 1832, it was Paris’s principal place of execution.

Sometimes it’s hard to fathom all of the history that took place in one location.

Today, the area is teeming with vibrant locals and tourists, all strolling along admiring the beauty of Paris.

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Let your light shine!

Amy

 

A Stroll Along the Seine

A Stroll Along The Seine

Paris.

Isn’t it strange how once you’ve visited a place, there is a different type of familiarity when you hear about the location on the news? That has recently been the case as I hear about the flooding along the Seine in Paris.

There RER C line is temporarily closed. That was the line we took to visit the Palace of Versailles. I have walked inside the Louvre. We have strolled along the banks of the Seine.

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Along the Seine.

I visited Paris last April.

Springtime in Paris.

I could just swoon saying those words.

It was during my first overseas trip and Paris was more lovely in the spring than anything I had imagined.

No trip to Paris is complete without stroll along the Seine.

Pont de la Concorde.

Our first view of the Seine was from Pont de la Concorde. This is the bridge that connects Quai des Tuileries at the Place de la Concorde (on the Right Bank) and the Quai d’Orsay (on the Left Bank).

I’ll let you in on a little behind the scenes secret. The hubby and I watch Vikings on the History Channel. He had been to Paris many years prior to our trip and here he is  pointing out the background on the attack of Paris. If you don’t watch the show (while it’s not historically accurate), the episode was based on the Siege of Paris in 845.

The historical accounts are that the Danish Viking Reginheri (thought to be the same person as the legend of Ragnar Lothbrok) sailed a fleet of about 120 ships along the Seine, raiding the city of Rouen as he progressed. They went on to pillage Paris, which at the time was an island city, located on Île de la Cité, where you now find Notre Dame.

 

Right Bank of the Seine.

While we walked along the Seine numerous times during our visit to Paris, my photos are predominately from the Right Bank of the Seine. We walked from the Jardin des Tuileries to Notre Dame.

Looking across the Seine at Musee d'Orsay in Paris, France

Museé d’Orsay.

While I did not have a chance to visit the Museé d’Orsay, I did admire its architecture.

The museum building was originally a railway station, Gare d’Orsay. It was finished in time for the 1900 Exposition Universelle. It was the terminus for the railways of southwestern France until 1939.

After 1939, it was used for suburban services and part of it became a mailing center during World War II.

In the 70’s, the idea came about to turn the building into a museum. The plan was for the museum to bridge the gap between the Louvre and the National Museum of Modern Art.

The museum officially opened in December of 1986.

The museum is open daily (closed on Mondays) from 9:30 am to 6 pm, with extended hours until 9:45 pm on Thursdays.

With works by Renoir, Degas, Manet, and Van Gogh (just to name a few), it will definitely be on my “must see” list when I return to Paris.

Have you visited the Museé d’Orsay?

If so, what your favorite piece of art?

Views.

All along the Seine, the views are breathtaking. Miss Sunshine was ill for most of our time in Paris. However, she was a trooper and soldiered on during our walk to Notre Dame. This was the view from a water break we took before perusing the stalls of the bouquinistes.

Love Locks.

There are numerous love locks along the Seine. While one of the most famous locations for their placements is along the Ponts de Arts bridge, we found them while walking along the Quai des Tuileries.

While I admire a good love story, I did not leave a lock.

The weight of so many locks can eventually create damage. I have my memories and I’ve snapped some photos of the locks both here and in Amsterdam.

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Travel.

I feel very lucky to be able to travel. To have visited Paris and to have walked along the banks of the Seine.

 

Have you ever been to Paris?

Which area was your favorite in which to spend your time?

We had a very short visit there and I hope to return again someday.

I hope to return again to Shakespeare and Company, to look amongst its book-filled shelves. To admire the doors of Paris as I stroll along the rues and boulevards.  There are daydreams of sitting upon my current favorite Corner of Paris and watching the vibrancy of Paris.

And, of course, to see all that I missed.

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Let your light shine!

Amy

The Queen's Hamlet at the Palace of Versailles

The Queen’s Hamlet

The Queen’s Hamlet.

Place d’Armes, 78000, Versailles, France.

Also known as Hameau de la Reine, the Queen’s Hamlet was the place I most wanted to see when we toured the Palace of Versailles.

Passport Ticket.

We purchased the Passport ticket which included admission to the entire estate at the Palace of Versailles. While the gardens are free to visit (except on days with there are musical fountain shows or musical gardens), the Passport ticket allows you to visit the Palace, the gardens on musical days, and the estate of Trianon (which includes the Queen’s Hamlet).

Free Entry for those under 18.

One thing that I appreciated while traveling in Europe is that many museums and places of interest (such as the Palace of Versailles) have free entry for visitors under 18 (under 26 if you reside in the EU). This saved us quite a bit as we were traveling with three teenagers. However, I would recommend that if your teenage looks questionable as to whether they are under 18, you make sure they have I.D. This did happen to us, but it only happened at the Louvre in Paris. My seventeen year old is 6’6″ and at one checkpoint they asked his age and at another they asked for proof. I did assume that we’d come upon this at some point. I used to carry his birth certificate in case we were ever questioned when we’d travel to Disney World (we never were).

Palace of Versailles.

I’ve shared some of my photos of the exterior of Versailles and from the inside of the Palace. In yesterday’s post, I shared a serene view across the lake found in the hamlet

The Hamlet.

Today, I thought we’d walk around some of the cottages found at the Queen’s Hamlet.

The estates of Trianon and hamlet are a somewhat lengthy walk from the gardens at Versailles. There are trains available for a fee that leave near the Palace and bikes available to rent farther into the gardens.

Things tend to add up quickly for a family of 5, so we decided to walk.

Queen’s Home.

When we visited Versailles in April, the Queen’s home was under restoration. They cover the buildings while work is in progress (something I witnessed throughout my European travels). The restoration is being sponsored by the fashion house Dior, hence the covering. According to the website, restoration will be complete in 2018.

History.

The Queen’s Hamlet was built for Marie-Antionette between 1783 and 1787. It was a model village built around an artificial lake.

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The cottages are set in a crescent formation along the eastern side of the lake.

Contrary to popular belief, Marie-Antoinette did not “play at being farmer”. The model village was a working farm at her insistence and served as an educational place for the royal children.

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She hosted small gatherings of her friends at the village.

She took relaxing walks through the gardens.

Escape.

Marie-Antoinette used the village to escape from the rigors of court life.

Architecture.

The Hamlet was designed by the French architect, Richard Mique. The cottages combine Norman, Flemish, and French styles.

Marlborough Tower.

Marlborough Tower stands overlooking the lake and adding to the fairytale ambience of the Hamlet.

The Moulin.

The Moulin was a watermill. The wheel was driven by a stream from the Grand Lake, but was used for decorative purposes only.

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Not only was the architecture intriguing, but cottages meant a plethora of doors.

To see more doors around the world be sure to check out Norm’s blog where he hosts Thursday Doors.

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Tranquility. Simplicity. Quiet.

It was easy to feel at peace while strolling along.

The area is spread out and there were not throngs of crowds (unlike the Palace and Gardens) as we walked at a leisurely pace.

While I don’t live in the stressful world of being scrutinized for being royalty, I do live in a world that rushes along at a frantic pace.

It’s always nice to slow down sometimes.

I can see why the Queen loved it so much.

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. - Henry David Thoreau

Let your light shine!

Amy

 

Shakespeare and Company

Shakespeare and Company

Shakespeare and Company.

37 rue de la Bûcherie. Paris, France.

Shakespeare and Company is an Independent Bookstore in Paris. From the moment that Helen commented that I should visit there while in Paris, I knew that this was one of the destinations on my “must see” list.

As I mentioned, after our visit to Sacré Cœur, we decided to head to Shakespeare and Company. Somehow I managed to navigate us getting off at the wrong Metro Station. I’m still not sure how that happened as Google and Apple maps were very reliable during our travels. Since I would need a few minutes to gather our bearings and somebody needed to use the bathroom (this is an inevitable, frequent occurrence when traveling in a party of 5), we decided to head into a nearby restaurant for lunch.

Lunch.

We were somewhat surprised by the service, or lack thereof. This is also the restaurant where I obviously did not understand what they meant on the sauce description. When it said egg, it wasn’t part of the sauce. It was actual raw egg, placed on top of the pasta. I ate around it the best I could and ate whatever leftovers the teens still had on their plates.

As we began our journey toward Shakespeare and Company, we discovered that while we had felt confused by where we exited the Metro, we were in fact very close to the Louvre.

It occurred to us at that point that we were probably eating at a touristy restaurant, which would explain the high prices combined with lack of service.  Next time I visit Paris I will actually look at Yelp reviews and try to find restaurants loved by Parisians. I’ve specifically not shared certain names of the places in which we ate because I don’t like to add to negativity, but they were ranked in the lower third of reviews.

Panorama of the Louvre.

Since we were passing by the Louvre, I decided to experiment with capturing a panorama. Of course that would be the moment that vehicles would pass through!

A second try was much more successful and we then continued on our way toward Shakespeare and Company.

If I had been a person with a pre-planned itinerary, we would have visited the bookstore on the day that we visited Notre-Dame. It is located on the Left Bank opposite Notre-Dame.

History.

Shakespeare and Company was founded in 1951 by the American, George Whitman.

The building it’s housed in was constructed in the 17th Century and was originally a monastery.

When the bookstore first opened it was called Le Mistral. Whitman changed it to its present name in April of 1964, on the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth.

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He did this in honor of a bookseller he admired, Sylvia Beach, who’d founded the original Shakespeare and Company in 1919. Her bookstore had been a gathering place for expat writers at that time…such as Hemingway and Eliot.

He endeavored to carry on that spirit. Allen Ginsberg and Anaïs Nin are just a few of the literary expats who gathered here.

Aspiring Writers.

Shakespeare and Company is considered one of the most famous independent bookstores in the world.

An estimated 30,000 aspiring writers have bunked at Shakespeare and Company.

I knew that I had to walk along the floors, smell the scent of old paper, and touch the worn bindings of the old books.

So after capturing some of the doors for my Thursday Door friends, I entered.

The hubby and teens decided to rest their weary feet and sit outside while I perused the bookstore.

Inside, there are new books as well as old.

They request that no photos be taken inside to respect the privacy of the patrons. As much as there were places inside that I would have loved to photograph, I chose to respect their request.

A google image search of the staircase will show you one such photo that I was tempted to take.

Up the Staircase.

It spoke to me because upon it was written so much of what I believe to be true.

I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being. -Hafiz

The red stairs are well worn. I wonder how many feet have walked up that stairwell. I pause and look at things pinned here and there… and words…everywhere are words.I ponder the magnitude of how many written words are contained in this space.

As I meander about the rooms at the tops of the stairs, my mind travels to the writers who sat here pouring out their thoughts. I run my hand along the spaces. If there is any magic here, I want it travel through my fingertips. I want it to take residence in my brain and then find its way back out and through my fingertips into written words.

However, I am conscientious of the fact that I have left my family waiting for me. I know they are tired and we still want to see the Eiffel Tower from its base.

I want to stay here and soak up this magic.

To breathe in the creativity.

But I must go.

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I leave, but I know that I will return again someday.

Once again, I slowly ascend those stairs, and this time I will sit upon the chairs.

I will breathe deeply in that creative space.

And I will think on those whose written words have made it from their fingertips and on those whose words are still waiting to be written.

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple. - Jack Kerouac

Let your light shine!

Amy

 

 

 

 

 

In the Shadow of Sacre Coeur

In The Shadow Of Sacre Coeur

Sacré Cœur.

35 rue du Chevalier de la Barre.

After a morning spent making our way to some shops on rue d’Hauteville in Paris, we realized that if we had traveled all this way that we should continue on to see Sacré Cœur.

We had already covered 2.2 km (1.37 miles) making our way from the hotel to the area where we shopped, so while the hubby knew how far we needed to walk, I left it nebulous to the teenagers. They are more action-oriented than sight-seeing oriented and I knew the basilica wouldn’t be high on the list if they knew that there was still 2.0 km (1.24 miles) or around 30 minutes more walking on top of the 30+ minutes they’d already done.

The first peek of Sacré Cœur.

After some “how much farther” and “are we there yet” questions (yes, even teenagers still ask that question. To be fair…so do some adults), we finally arrived at Boulevard de Rouchechouart and got a peek of Sacré Cœur rising up on the Butte Montmartre located in the 18th arrondissement.

History.

Sacré Cœur is a Roman Catholic Church and minor basilica.

The basilica was designed by architect Paul Abadie and six other architects succeeded him to complete the building. The architectural style is Romano-Byzantine.

The first stone was laid in 1875 and although the basilica was ready to be consecrated in 1914, World War I put that on hold and it was consecrated on October 16, 1919.

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Building materials.

The exterior travertine stone is known as Château-Landon. It exudes calcite upon contact with rainwater, which is how the basilica stays so white.

Sacre Couer in Montmartre with carousel in foreground

Scam Artists.

Be forewarned that if you decide to walk along the area in front of Sacré Cœur, you will likely be harassed by scam artists known as “string men”. We were familiar with many of the talked about scams in Paris, but had not heard of this one. It is very obvious that there must be an underlying scam and we were very direct in saying “no thank you”. However, these men were especially keen to try to prey on my 15 and 17 year old sons by appealing to the fact that my boys are friendly. One tried to fist bump the 15 year old and as he went to oblige, the man opened his hand as if to handshake instead and began to place the string. I turned and pulled my son away, again saying “no thank you”.

It left a sour taste in your mouth that it did not end. Others would continue to come up and tried to talk to my sons when they weren’t standing right beside us. Originally, I wasn’t the least bit worried about harassment of my sons since they stand at 6’6″ and over 6′, and while the men were not aggressive (in a hostile way), they were unrelenting.

There were no police around to create a presence that would perhaps eliminate the harassment.

But I wasn’t going to let that stop me from enjoying the beauty of Sacré Cœur.

Views.

Even though everyone was tired, I coerced them into climbing the stairs and getting a closer view of the basilica.

We did not go inside the basilica. We climbed to the balcony above the crowds picnicking on the lawn.

The views of the city were breathtaking.

At one point while the hubby and I were taking selfies and Miss Sunshine was capturing the city views, the boys sat down near the lawn below and listened to a gentleman playing his guitar.

It was a resplendent spring afternoon in Paris.

The beauty of the basilica more than made up for our tired feet.

Creating Memories.

I can still remember that day so clearly.

Walking along the streets of Paris, hunting a little boutique for Mr. D to buy his girlfriend a present.

Deciding that I,too, must have a present and finding a bangle bracelet in a little shop along rue d’Hauteville.

Watching my teens stroll along drinking their sugar laden Starbucks fraps.

Holding my husband’s hand in Paris.

Climbing the stairs of Montmartre.

Taking in all its beauty.

From here we would make our way to my one requested stop… Shakespeare and Company, a bookstore in the heart of Paris

… but not before getting off at the wrong stop along the way.

Each moment a memory.

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things- Kurt Vonnegut quote with daisies in the background

Let your light shine!

Amy

 

Doors of Paris - Part Deux

Doors of Paris – Part Deux

Doors of Paris.

Part Deux.

As promised in last week’s Doors of Paris post, I’m back with another set of doors from our strolls around Paris this past spring.

66 Boulevard Saint-Germain.

I was able to find the location of this door because it’s located beside Jeff de Bruges. Now I’m wondering why I didn’t walk over there and get some chocolate!

64 Boulevard Saint-Germain.

I love a green door set in some stonework.

1 Place Franz Liszt.

After doing some shopping on rue d’Hauteville (where I purchased my bangle bracelet), we walked toward Sacré Cœur and passed this door along the way. The tiny sign above says “GAZ á tous les étages” which means “gas on all floors”.

73 Quai de Tournelle.

This was on our walk from Notre Dame to Boulevard Saint-Germain. I loved how the doors were set beind the archway. That notch in the arch does disturb my perfectionist tendencies though. The sign is letting you know that cars exit from inside there. The awning to the right is for Avanti la Musica, a music box shop.

4 rue Frédéric Sauton.

What can I say? I love a character-filled blue door that I stumbled upon down a rue in Paris.

7 rue des Grands Degrés.

I love this door because you could tell that it opened into a courtyard. It seemed to portray a relaxing, Parisian ambience.

It was so much fun exploring the city and I know that I didn’t even begin to find all the treasures that it held.

One thing I found so interesting about this set of doors is that many of them have the doorknob located in the middle of the door.

Do you have a favorite amongst these hidden treasures?

What is your favorite part of Paris to explore?

For more amazing doors, be sure to hop over to see Norm, the host of Thursday Doors.

Angelina Jolie quote "If you don't get out of the box you've been raised in, you won't understand how much bigger the world is."

Let your light shine!

Amy

 

 

 

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A Corner of Paris

A Corner Of Paris

Paris. 

The City of Love.

La Ville-Lumiére. The City of Lights.

Two beautiful nicknames for a beautiful city.

 

A Corner of Paris.

Last week when I shared some doors from Paris in this post, I realized that I had shared very little about the Paris portion of our trip this past Spring.

The best place to begin is always the beginning. When we decided that we would like to travel to Europe over Spring Break, Paris was one of my top choices. Even though I was somewhat intimidated by the city, it seems like everyone who has chance should visit Paris. Given that our travels to Amsterdam and Paris were confined by the dates of the teenagers Spring Break, our time in each city would be limited.  Just enough to have a taste of Europe.  This was the first time I, or the children, had ever ventured out of the United States.

Walkable Location.

In order to create the least amount of anxiety (for me..the anxiety-prone person), we chose hotels that would make each city walkable. Finding rooms for a family of five is not an easy feat. When they were tiny, we could squeeze them all in to one bed. Now that Big Mr. is 6’6″ and Mr. D is over 6′ and Miss Sunshine is in the 70th percentile and not done growing….we need more beds.

In Paris, that was found in this hotel.

Hotel Opéra Richepanse.

Located at 14 rue de Chevalier de Saint George, this boutique hotel consists of 39 rooms and suites.

We took the train from Amsterdam to Paris. We had considered taking the Metro to the hotel since it is located 200 meters from the Madeline Metro Station (which serves lines 8,12,14) and 400 meters from the Concorde Metro Stations (which serves lines 1,8,12). In the end we opted to take a taxi since all five of us had luggage. There are signs when you exit the train reminding you to use the “official” taxi line. I would advise that you take heed of that message.  We did have a gentleman ask if we needed a taxi and try to wave us toward his driver. We got in the “official” line. I imagine that driving in Paris is not for the faint of heart. I could not tell if there are “rules” of the road with people squeezing here and there, but our driver was very nice and got us there safely.

Location.

The hotel is located in the first arrondissement and has been renovated. It was quite beautiful inside. This was the view as you walked through the front doors. Through that door and down the stairs is where we would eat a breakfast buffett each morning. To your left was a gathering area and to the right the concierge/check-in desk.

Modern Touches.

Perhaps you have frequented a very modern hotel.

I had not.

While the concierge did explain we’d need to put the key into the box, we did not understand what she meant. The lights, etc. do not work in the room without placing the key into the slot. We had to send Big Mr. down to figure out how to turn on the lights. They graciously sent a worker up to show him where it went. The foyer was dark and we would never have thought to look there. But honestly, we still wouldn’t have known how to work it.

This also means that when you leave, the power shuts down.  This seems like such a great way to conserve energy (Just be sure that you aren’t sharing a hotel with someone who’d like to make your lights disappear while you’re showering. This didn’t happen on our stay…but I’m just sayin’)

The key was also required to access the stairs from the lobby or to make the elevator move. I wouldn’t realize how grateful I would be for this fact until later. We were there during the shooting on Champ Élysées. While we didn’t hear about it until after we returned to the hotel, it also explained why there had been a helicopter flying overhead as Big Mr. and I walked to the nearby grocery. This hotel was only about 1/2 mile from the shooting. There was still talk of perhaps another shooter being on the loose. My heart raced as I heard people running down the hall (probably a child running to their room), but then I remember that without a key, nobody could get beyond the lobby. This put me at ease.

Hotel Room.

The rooms that we actually had were connecting rooms. Ours was considered a Superior Room and the kids were in a Deluxe Triple Room. This was the view of our room from the bed looking toward the room that the teens shared. Your can see other photos of the rooms at the hotel’s website. Our rooms looked like their photo of connecting rooms without the wood-beamed ceiling.

City Views.

Our rooms overlooked rue Duphot. It was a very quiet street.

We would end up ordering pizza twice from Pizza Nelly

… because teenagers… and pizza.

I’m not sure if it was the managers or owners who were working. I suspect owner because they called their daughter, who spoke more English, to help us place the order for pepperoni pizza and that we wanted to take it with us. This was helpful because we didn’t realize that putting egg on pizza was the standard there. Eggs seems to be very popular on quite a few foods in Paris.

That’s another wonderful thing about travel…seeing how they prefer to serve their food. Other items that we experienced which were not our normal way of eating an item   were ketchup and mayonnaise served together as the side to fries and lemons in the coke.

While the teens were up in the hotel room nom noming on pizza, the hubby and I would walk to the brasserie across the street.

Beer at Paris Cafe

Le Relais Madeleine.

Located at 9 rue du Chevalier de Saint George, we adored this place.

We stumbled upon it our first night in Paris. Miss Sunshine was very ill. She had mustered up enough energy to walk down to Place de la Concorde and check out the Jardin des Tuileries, but then she really needed to eat and rest. We decided the best option was the brasserie near the hotel. We had a nice dinner and the owner / manager? was so nice that we returned for drinks each night. Unfortunately, I didn’t write down his name, but I think it was Pierre.

People Watching.

We love sitting outdoors and watching nighttime Paris come alive. Happy Hour was from 18H-21H. You would see the crowds begin to come and meet as the work day ended. And you would see those who had been shopping nearby on rue de Faubourg Saint Honoré carrying their bags from Hermés and other nearby shops. You could imagine what it was like during an evening as an actual Parisian.

We could see the door to the hotel, in case a teen needed to get us. I would even have my one encounter with a mostly complete language barrier in the pharmacy next door. While intimidating, it wasn’t that hard to point and say advil. I’m not sure if I would have known if she gave me the correct change, but she took her time counting back each piece, so that I would feel confident in her honesty.

It also felt delightful to have these mini-dates with the hubby while in Paris.

Place de la Concorde.

Many nights we walked down to Place de la Concorde to watch the sky begin to glow as the sun nestled into it’s sleeping place. The Eiffel Tower would light up and for 5 minutes every house it put on a dazzling display of twinkling, adding even more spark to a magnificent view.

Architecture.

On the return from Place de la Concorde back to the hotel, I was in awe of the beauty of these historic buildings. Building whose architecture curves and dances into the cityscape.

Beauty.

While Paris had intimidated me with its sheer size and language differences, I did fall in love with its beauty.

Paris in Spring is definitely spoken of in a reverential tone for good reason.

I hope to again walk her streets one day.

Let your light shine!

Amy