Rachael & Justin’s Honeymoon Trip Report
Left Woods Hole, MA for Paris, France. Flew U.S. Airways to Philly, then had a 5 hour layover. We weren’t too impressed by the service.
After arriving at CDG we took a couple of trains to Gare de Lyon. Justin paid to pee for the first time ever, and we had a couple of delicious camembert sandwiches. From there we took a speedy TGV to Dijon. Side note: you do indeed need to make a reservation on a TGV train, even if you are traveling on Railpasses, as we were. It was $22 to make 2 reservations from the U.S. so we decided to take our chances and make the reservations once we arrived in Paris. It was only 6 euro for the 2 reservations there.
Once there, Corrine (Cocofromdijon), the woman who rented us our flat picked us up from the train station and gave us a driving tour of the beautiful city of Dijon. Dijon, in the French fashion, has the old city, which is surrounded by the newer city. Our flat (www.myhomeindijon.com) was in the center of the city, about 10 meters from the Ducal Palace courtyard. The flat itself was remodeled by Corrine and her husband into a spectacular high-ceilinged, wood-floored home away from home. Corrine left the fridge stocked, a basket of goodies, and a bottle of Burgundy wine on the table, along with fresh flowers and just-baked brownies. Before leaving us, she led us on a short walking tour of the center of the city. We both relaxed for a bit after her departure before exploring the city ourselves.
Today we explored a bit more, and then hit the Amore mustard museum. We now know more about mustard than we thought possible. In Rachael’s words, we took an interesting but long tour. We had an awesome multi-course dinner at Les Clos du Cappucines. We had a chicken aspic (basically chicken jello), a delicious salad with eggs, bacon, and crutons with melted cheese and some kind of tartine as appetizers. Our entrée were fish and beef burgougne, our desserts were white cheese and a chocolate soup with marshmallows. Sorry gourmands, we don’t know exactly what our courses were because we don’t speak French, but these our our simple descriptions and it was delicious.
Today we met Corrine and 4 Americans from Washington state (names?) for a pastry tour led by Corrine. Everybody picked a couple of pastries and we split them at a café and gabbed and gorged our morning away. That afternoon we took a bus (bus 60) to Gevrey-Chamberton, where 9 of 30 grand crus are produced from the Burgundy region. It was a sunny, albeit windy and chilly day but the wine served in this quaint village was good. And the tour of the castle was interesting and well-timed (15 min. tour + 15 min. tasting). For dinner we feasted on cheese that we purchased at a fromagerie. After dinner we relaxed and watched one of the movies from Corrine’s well-stocked movie library (many languages!). Having the flat was great because it made us feel more at home than we would have felt in a hotel. We were able to relax, listen to music, check email, and cook meals.
Today we hopped on a train from Dijon to Beaune. It was a 20-minute trip, and once in the nice but touristy city of Beaune, toured the wine museum (mostly in French), drank wine and ate delicious pizza and escargot, and toured the extensive caves of Patriarch Pere et Fils. The caves were maze-like, and we spent a lot of time oogling the countless bottles of wine. At the end of the tour we began a tasting that seemed never-ending. Just as we thought it was over, it kept going, and going, and going. At some point we met a couple from New York that retired to Paris. They spoke good French and somehow (well, through their very personable attitude) got our tour extended and the best wines kept on coming. This was one of the high points of the day and was followed shortly by a low point when we ordered a glass of wine at a café across the street from the tourist office. The wine was good, but the atmosphere sucked. We caught a train back to Dijon at about 7:30pm, dropped our new purchases of wine at our flat, and headed to dinner at L’Emile Brochette, where Rachael had a pineapple, cheese and shrimp kabob, and Justin had a shrimp kabob. Neither of us knew what we were ordering but the meal of shrimp, pineapple, cheese and all turned out awesome. For dessert we got some kind of kabob (cake maybe) covered in chocolate and served with coconut ice cream and a delicious sauce.
Today we did laundry and explored the Palace de Ducs, as well as several churches, including the Notre Dame and St. Michel, all very impressive. We also sampled pain du chocolate from several bakeries, all good, but Justin has his favorite. We also spent time in the sun drinking coffee and writing post cards.
GAP-we're still looking for our travel journal on these dates that we were in Provence. But can note that we had a great time traveling by car through Arles, Les Baux, Chateneuf du Paupe, etc. Probably our favorite part of the trip.
We arrived in Gare de Lyon in Paris on a TGV train from Avignon. We took the metro to the Latin quarter and arrived at our hotel, Hotel Central at around 2 or 3pm. We had to leave our stuff there because our room wouldn’t be ready for another hour or so (it turns out the room wasn’t ready until about 6pm). While waiting for our room to be cleaned we explored the Latin quarter. Most importantly, we found a great chocolatier (name?) and had a savory crepe. After settling into our room (in the middle of a busy square) we decided to head to a restaurant called Pain, Vin, Fromage near the Centre Pompidou in the 4th arr. Unfortunately we did not have reservations and it was a Saturday night, so we ended up walking around for quite a while to find a restaurant that was not busy but still in our price range. We ended up eating at a little diner on the Isle de Cite. We also tried to hit a popular ice cream place back in the Latin quarter, but by the time we arrived it was closed and we headed for home. Back at the hotel, Justin discovered that the toilets were unbearably small. As we made our plans for the next day we included an obligatory museum stop where we could be assured of comfortable toilets. Justin brought his book.
Today we woke up and headed to a couple of markets where Rachael found some nice cashmere scarves and we discovered what tripe and other cow innerds looked like (uncooked). After the markets we sat down for a coffee at a nearby café and just about died when the bill came—probably over 10 U.S. dollars for a couple of café au laits! After the coffee we headed to the Picasso museum. Unfortunately for us, much of the museum was closed because they were opening up a new exhibit in just a few days. We were able to see a bit of the museum, though, and it was very impressive. After the museum we decided it was time to get some falafel in the Jewish quarter. There was a long line, but the falafel was definitely worth the wait. Our stomachs full, we decided (ambitiously) to walk to the Sacre Cour. Partway through the walk we realized that we weren’t in the best neighborhood and were certainly glad that it was 3pm on a Sunday afternoon. By the time we arrived, we were exhausted from all the time on our feet and the high temperature. A snooze on the slopes of the Sacre Cour was delightful. Recharged, we hopped on the metro and headed back to the Latin quarter. We enjoyed a glass of wine at the window of our room where we could people-watch the cafes below. For dinner we went just up the street to a little French-Italian restaurant where we had a decent but not remarkable meal.
Today we woke up and went in search of a crepe for breakfast, but were unsuccessful. We did, however, find the chocolatier ( xx) and bought some candies for friends at home. After fueling up on some street food we tried to go the L’Orangerie (part of the Louvre) but discovered that it was closed for reservations. The parks around the Louvre, however, were gorgeous! We then took a walking tour of the area around the Opera (La Madeline, etc.) We stopped in the gourmet food market, Fauchon, and had a great time eyeing all the goodies. We tried to eat at a much-talked about tavern, Henri IV, on the Isle de St. Louis, but it was closed. After resting at our hotel, we walked to the Jardin de Plantes and wandered around before walking back to the Point de Neuf for a boat cruise at sunset. We tried the tavern again after the boat trip, but it had just closed, so we had a simple but delicious meal at a rather generic bar.
Today we woke up and headed up the street to another market. We enjoyed a cheap but great coffee near the market, where we bought enormous and succulent figs. From there we headed to the Muse d’Orsay. Unfortunately, the line was about 1 hour long, probably because it was Tuesday and the Louvre was closed. We made reservations at La Chaumiere (http://www.restaurant-la-chaumiere.fr) on the advice of our sister-in-law. After the museum we had a terrific lunch at a café called Café D’Orsay then walked around Les Invalides and the Tour Eiffel. Before dinner, we stopped at a wine shop and bought some wine and pastis to take home. We packed up the majority of our belongings, then headed to the wine bar just below our hotel room. They had a wonderful selection. We then hopped on the metro to go to dinner at La Chaumiere. Perhaps because we had actually made reservations, we ended up sitting at a great little window table. The service was excellent—our coats and umbrellas were wisked away as soon as we entered the restaurant. The owner, and British woman (I think), helped us with our selections. We started the meal with the traditional French apartifs, a kir and a pastis. Our appetizers were delicious—fois gras and delicious seafood. Our entrée were also outstanding, and we finished off the meal with an extremely moist chocolate cake the melted in our mouths. It was topped with a chilled fudge sauce that was surprisingly fluid. This was by far our best meal in Paris.
Sadly, it was time to go. But not before we purchased the stinkiest cheese on the planet, epoisis. We also purchased camembert de Normandy, various goat cheeses and brie. These were then vacuum sealed, and we headed to the airport. We somehow got into the country with 13 bottles of wine and lots of great cheese despite a long wait in immigration.
honeymoon trip report 14-18 Sept 2005
Rachael & Justin’s Honeymoon Trip Report
- 1 Barcelona - eat, drink, dance.
- 2 How to make a phone call from a pay phone in London to Germany
- 3 culinary classes in Biarritz/San Sebastian
- 4 Weather's crummy in northern Italy now--suggestions for places
- 5 browsing homes for sale in Kent
- 6 Help me choose places to visit in Italy
- 7 Spain and Portugal Itinerary 2 Week Vacation Help
- 8 Just Returned from a Gate 1 Danube River Cruise
- 9 My First Trip to Provence and Paris...Loved!!!
- 10 How Long For Santorini?
- 11 Bathrooms Along This Itinerary (Day in Rome)
- 12 Car rental Italy
- 13 Crete to Sifnos by Ferry?
- 14 Rough itinerary for 14 days in the UK
- 15 Scotland Itinerary getting better, still needs your expertise!
- 16 4 days in Zurich for the adventurous- what to do?
- 17 Prague Itinerary
- 18 A Christmas Store in Paris
- 19 EU Rule On Olive Oil Roils Europe!
- 20 International Trains to Switzerland using Swiss Pass
- 21 London at Xmas
- 22 how much time in York, Edinburgh, etc?
- 23 Best castle for 7 and 9 year old boys
- 24 When to exchange US dollars to Euros
- 25 Zagreb, rental car and Slovenia