Thursday, October 31
Another wonderful Paris day full of surprises! We let everyone rest this morning because it’s needed and we had a long day ahead of us. We met at around 11 and had our first group ride on the Paris Metro system. It is an amazing thing! Everyone really did great. First stop was the Opera Garnier, where Phantom of the Opera was based and set in. It’s such an opulent, beautiful building. The outside is spectacular, but the inside is really something. We finally got to get a good look at the Marc Chagall ceiling and of the whole stage area and seating. Incredible!! Then we got to see where the rich went to see and be seen. It’s so much gold everywhere, frescoes on all the ceilings sculptures and busts. It’s a great place to see how the rich lived in Paris in the 19th century. After that, we decided to take the metro to the place we went last year that had the best hot chocolate we have ever had and it’s owned by the man Emily kind of idolizes and makes a version of his chocolate tart recipe. We went all the way there and it turns out, they stopped running it as a cafe. It’s just a chocolate shop now. No tarts or cakes, no seating and worst of all, NO HOT CHOCOLATE!!! I was devastated!!! At least 20 people came in while we were there talking to the people about the changes asking for hot chocolate and they just turned them all away. A lot of people left disappointed today! But, alas, we move on. We went up to Montmartre to see Sacre Cour, one of my favorite churches. They have been doing some form of mass there for 24/7 since the church was opened in the 1870s! It feels more like a real church and less like a tourist attraction, even though it’s definitely a tourist attraction. We left and took pictures of, what I feel is one of the best views in Paris, way up on the highest point of the city. Then we did a tour of the more bohemian side of Montmartre which is always fun. We shopped while waiting for our dinner reservation and then had dinner at a wonderful little place called The Letter Box. It’s a tiny 10 table place that has some of the most delicious food! Everyone really enjoyed it!! For an appetizer I had a poached egg in a mushroom cream sauce while Emily had carrot soup. Both were fantastic!! For dinner I had a steak and Emily had risotto with Serrano ham. Both were amazing. We were supposed to trade, but Emily was so happy with hers we only did a 1/3 to 2/3 trade. After that we took the long ride home exhausted from a long day with no rests in the middle. Thanks to everyone who is making the effort to still find and read this blog. It’s been fewer and fewer since Facebook stopped lemme from posting about it. It makes me appreciate those who put in the effort to find it that much more! I will always keep writing it because in the end, it’s really for Emily and I. And now it’s also for the people who have toured with us to remember their journeys too. But, it always motivates me more to know that more people are paying attention. Tomorrow is a HUGE day!! Tickets to see the Leonardo daVinci exhibit at the louvre! As if the louvre isn’t intense enough we needed to add the once in a lifetime experience of this Leonardo daVinci exhibit! I am so very excited! And we are having dinner at one of our truly favorite places! Our Asian noodle restaurant!! We can’t wait! We will see you then! The pictures are gonna be INSANE tomorrow!! Be prepared!
Wednesday, October 30
Today was The Marais day. Where we spend the day getting familiar with our neighborhood. We stay in such a fun, vibrant, upscale, interesting area that it’s so much fun taking people on a tour to show them about it. We started at the oldest public park in Europe, Place des Vosges. It’s a small park with beautiful buildings and shops all around it. It’s really a special place. We were there a little too early to see the usual action that is constant in the park that is part of what makes it so special. But it is still a beautiful place to visit. After that we walked back to the center of the Marais and went to our favorite patisserie in our immediate neighborhood. Yes, we have lots of levels of favorites, especially for pastries. The place we went had some of the most beautiful pastries and quiche I’ve ever seen. If it just went by looks this is the best bakery I’ve been to, unfortunately they are fantastic but not the best. They do have kouign amann which they do a pretty darn good job on. I sure enjoyed it. They also had a rolled pastry with some kind of pistachio paste and chocolate inside and it was covered in chopped pistachios that was out of this world! We are going to try and recreate that one when we get home! WOW!!! After that we walked to the Picasso Museum. Now Emily and I have been to this museum 4 times now and they are always changing their art that they display which makes it tough to guide people through and explain it so it makes sense. Picasso is difficult to help people to understand anyways. He made SO many works of art over such a long period. There’s a lot of stuff of his I don’t like and it’s hard to understand or relate to. It’s always worth it though once you get to his really great paintings that I love. Especially the ones of the women in his life. Unfortunately, they had mostly his cubist art from the 1920’s before Guernica, his masterpiece and that’s a time when he was trying to perfect his cubism and it’s weird and hard to understand. Finally, after like an hour of seeing weird shapes with mouths and eyes in weird places you come to his self-portrait during his blue period. It’s hauntingly beautiful and I love it. In my head I’m thinking that we are finally getting to the good stuff, but then it went past it to the stuff he did when he was old which is very simplistic in comparison. They completely skipped the most accessible part of his career. The stuff that you can show to anybody who likes art and they will understand the genius that is Pablo Picasso. It was frustrating and I felt like it left our tour guests a bit confused and wondering what’s the big deal. I wrote a review on the in house suggestion kiosk about what I was unhappy about. I’m sure that’ll change everything. LOL. So we left and went back to the center of the Marais to the best falafel place as recommended by Lenny Kravitz. Anyone who has been to this area will know exactly the place I’m talking about and how good their falafel is! Everyone really enjoyed it. Then we all went back to our apartments to rest for dinner. We had a pre-dinner wine party with everyone and shared our amazing bottle of Burgundy wine we brought from the area. It was wonderful and we all went to dinner with a little warm feeling from the wine. We had dinner at a place I found that’s right on the Place Des Vosges. So we ended where we started. We had a wonderful meal! I had a steak and frites, Emily had pasta with pesto and Parma ham. And everyone enjoyed their meal. We went a little more crazy with desserts that yesterday and they were all very good. Now it’s time for bed! Tomorrow we look for the Phantom of the Opera!!! It should be awesome! Thanks for finding this blog now that Facebook has changed their policy and took down all my blog posts!! WHATS UP WITH THAT FACEBOOK????? Anyways, thanks again.