Tuesday, November 15

Day 14- Last Day of FRANCE

Well, here it goes, day 14, the final day of the trip! :(
We are very sad it had to end, but we can't wait to get started on the holidays and making our store even better! We also can't wait to see our friends/customers! 
We miss you all. A day doesn't seem complete without the company of all of our regulars and our not so regulars who brighten our lives so much!

 We had our macaron making class at Le Cuisine Paris. 

We can't say enough great things about them! What a class company! We had so much fun and made, and ate a TON of macarons! 

 I think we are both good enough now that we will be constantly featuring macarons! So get ready!! 

We have made a pledge to not use artificial coloring in our food, ice cream or even our macarons, so they won't look like these.

 That being said, it sure was fun making them all those amazing colors! We thought our bright blue and purple ones were the best, besides the instructors tie-dyed ones.

 They were delicious! We made 4 flavors of fillings and are going to be even better with that then our macarons in the past, so get ready!!!! 

 After that, we went to a place I found on TripAdvisor called Kraft Hot Dogs.

 It was rated the 66th best restaurant out of over 13,000 restaurants here in Paris. It's a tiny place that serves like 5 types of hot dogs each day and they were SO good. If you follow our blog, you'll remember we went to a burger joint in Orange in Provence and it was a very similar experience. They asked where we are from and when they heard we are from America they were excited and thrilled, a lot like we are when French people come in to try our shop.  The owner followed us outside and asked what we thought of the hot dogs. We told him we loved them and he did a little victory dance that made us SO happy for him. We know that feeling very well and it's one of the things that keeps us doing what we do with the passion we still and will always have! 

We left there and walked through the Marais district and just wandered. It was fun and fascinating.

It's very alive! Even in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday. We walked through the Jewish area and spent a lot of time looking and shopping at all the amazing Jewish bakeries and absorbing all the history of this very interesting neighborhood.

 We decided to head back to our hotel from there, but I HAD to stop at Berthillion, the most famous ice cream shop in all of France. 

It's VERY expensive for ice cream, but WOW the flavors were intense and SO good!

 I had chocolate, salted caramel and coconut. Emily had vanilla and honey nougat. 

We were very happy with our choices and felt satisfied with the experience. It's almost like a pilgrimage for me, and I'm glad I made it there! 

 Then we made it to our hotel and got ready for a late dinner with our friend in Paris again. 

For the first time we went back to a restaurant for the 2nd time.

 It was the steak place with the amazing frites and the crazy green sauce called Le Relais de l'Entrecote. It's my sisters favorite place in France and I can see why. It was good enough to go back twice that's for sure!! Amazing!!!

 So, we wake up early tomorrow and head for the airport and come back to Michigan. 
Then head back to Charlevoix to see how much if any smoke damage our house has suffered and to assess the damage to our beautiful town we love so much! 

We are so sad that this journey is ending, but, we are married, finally and that journey is just beginning. I keep telling Emily, our Honeymoon won't end until we stop talking about it! So please, come visit us in our little shop, see what we have learned, introduce yourself to the new Mrs. Emily Freund and talk to us about France and our experiences! That way this amazing experience never has to end!

  Thanks again for supporting us, helping make all of this possible, and following our journey, both at home and on our blog! I'm a very lucky man to have the life I have! I have a beautiful amazing wife. A business that I love and enjoy. A community that I adore. Friends that look after us and that we look after as well. And being able to share it with so many people makes it all the most amazing journey of my life. 

I love you all and I can't wait to see you all again, at the store and out!
 Until then...VIVA LA FRANCE!!!!!

Monday, November 14

Day 13- Donuts and Notre Dame!

We woke up this morning looking for a patisserie called Carton that a friend recommended. Apparently they're either closed for the season, most likely, or just closed. No Luck! :( 

But there's always more pastries close by and we found some good ones!! 

We had an excellent quiche for breakfast and a croissant donut! 

We ate it while sitting on a bench on the Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris! We had great food and a great view of a great city over the Seine. Life is good! 

Then we went to St Chappelle church.
That's the church that Saint Louis built to house the crown of thorns. It has some of the most complete 13th century stained glass in the world and may be the most beautiful interior of a church we have ever seen! 

You walk in the downstairs, where the commoners prayed and it's beautiful! Then you walk up a tight spiral staircase into the place where the wealthy and royalty prayed and it literally took our breath away.
  I've actually been there before and was still stunned at how spectacular it is! It's all stained glass that seems like there's hardly anything holding it all together.

 It really took about 15 minutes to pick our jaws up off the floor and start doing our self-guided tour. The crown of thorns and the case that was bought to put it in cost, in today's money, about 900 million euros. 

The magnificent church built to house it only cost about 150 million euros to build. The whole thing cost over a billion euros of today's money! Unreal!!! And it was built in only 6 years as opposed to 200 years for Notre Dame cathedral. 

That's truly a can't miss sight in Paris. I can't recommend it more!

 After that we went to the Louvre! We spent about 4 hours there and felt like we did a pretty good job of working our way through the largest museum in the western world! And after all that time, there was still so much more to see! We really enjoyed it although it feels like work trying to get through the whole thing. There's just so much there! 

That being said, there is just one masterpiece after another. 

The French really got a lot of great stuff through the years.

What we post pictures of, that's just the pieces that moved us the most!

After that we went back to our room and rested our weary feet. 

After a couple hours, we went for dinner at a place right around the corner and had another wonderful meal.

  For the first time, we almost forgot to take pictures!!! That shows you what a walk through the Louvre does to people! LOL We tried to put it all back together and made the best of it.  Hope it still looks as good as it was! 

We have had one bad meal in 2 weeks, and it sure wasn't today!! That's pretty darn impressive!!!

Tomorrow is our last day! :(
We have our final cooking class. Time to perfect our macaroons!!! 

Not sure what else we will do, but we will definitely enjoy our last day!
Thanks for taking this amazing journey with us. It's been so special for us, and being able to share it with all who are interested makes it even more meaningful. 

Signing off for the night. We love you all!
-Brian and Emily