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4 Cs-Champagne, Cartier, Chanel & Christmas in Paris 2013 were fantastic!

4 Cs-Champagne, Cartier, Chanel & Christmas in Paris 2013 were fantastic!

Old Jan 11th, 2014, 09:53 AM
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I think the Mussee Marmottan is my favorite museum in Paris.

Both times I went we took the metro and it was a little tricky but I like taking the metro because you then have that longish walk thru non-touristy streets of a posh neighborhood and then you walk thru the park.
I saw that statue you are talking about. I know the area was a hunting area back in the day, and the museum was the hunting lodge of Monsieur Marmottan so maybe it is him?
Looking forward to your visit as I did not go on this last trip.
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 03:18 PM
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FMT - no worries but kind of you to say hello.

I cheated and got myself a new bag, TPAYT!

FabFrance - I will say if we had taken the bus we would have missed a lot in the area, so I know what you mean exactly! We really enjoyed Marmottan.

Trying to get more of the report up.
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 03:31 PM
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Another great trip report, Denise. It's always fun to follow your adventures.

The statue in the park is of Jean de la Fontaine, a famous 17th century writer of fables, including this one about a fox and a crow:

http://www.aesopfables.com/aesopjdlf.html (click on #2)
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 03:38 PM
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Musee Marmottan -

We spent the first hour or so viewing all the articles from the Sisters of Napoleon exhibit. I didn’t know anything about these sisters before this and they seem extraordinary.

Pauline, was Napoleon’s favorite and she actually had political influence. Pauline was the most loyal to Napoleon of all of his siblings. She also was the only sister to visit Napoleon in exile. A beautiful green velvet gown with a train was a part of the collection and quite an outfit for exile! She was said to be very beautiful but also courageous. And that sculpture of her at Borghese is exquisite, so it’s great to get a larger glimpse into her life.

Elisa, wasn’t a favorite of Napoleon’s (a bit of a “mouth” on her, they say). It is interesting that she actually had political power. Caroline, married one of her brother’s generals, who eventually turned on Napoleon, it seems. She was very ambitious.

It seems that all of the sisters were patrons of the arts and also given some ruling power. I found the personal articles and portraits to be interesting. There was the huge portrait of Napoleon’s coronation and an accompanying charcoal “key” listing all those present and depicted in that painting (quite a gathering). I also liked the large painting of one of the sisters in her dressing room with her child and all of her "ladies in waiting".

We really enjoyed the exhibit and felt lucky to catch it while we were there.

So, on to the permanent collection of the museum. There were so many gorgeous paintings and it’s hard to pick a favorite. Mostly Monet and that’s OK with me but there are also Sisley, Degas, Renoir and others. So many of the paintings here were bequeathed to the museum by Monet’s son, Michel. I am so glad we finally visited this museum and I can’t recommend it highly enough. You get to see the progression of Monet’s work at this museum. Paris really has some terrific museums to visit and there are so many that are small and uncrowded. I never tire of the water lilies Monet painted. There were also a few painting of roses and rose arbors and the reds really caught my eye. Impression Sunrise and La Locomotive are also striking and interesting to me.

We ended with some of the medieval religious art housed at Musee Marmottan. There is a lot to see here and it’s absolutely worth the price of admission. I would love to go to the museum in warm weather, as I imagine the area is quite pretty when the flowers are in bloom.

Thanks to all who recommended this gem of a museum to us. I can’t believe I finally got there and next time, we’ll take the bus!

10 euros

2, rue Louis-Boilly
75016 Paris - France

http://www.marmottan.fr/

We headed back to Avenue Mozart and the luggage store I spotted earlier. I have been wanting something new that is lighter than my current rollerboard. I also was looking for something with 4 wheels rather than two. This little shop had all kinds of bags. They also have lots of different colors. I didn’t go for the really bright orange but I wanted something other than black, as well. I didn’t go to Paris looking to buy luggage but I travel constantly, so I decided to get something I could really use. I chose a small, teal blue rollerboard. It is so light and the color will make it easy to spot my bag anywhere. The clerk was very nice and let us look at and test out anything we wanted to see. Great store!

We made it back to the train and on back to the apartment to stash the bag. I picked up baguette since we were going to have some of our blue cheese, saucisson and other goodies. We wanted to go back to Dyptique for more candles (hey, we had a new bag to put them in). We picked a few more candles and headed over to a church I had been curious about all week. I always want to squeeze in a few last things on my last day in Paris. Where does the time go??

The back of the church faces Boulevard St Germain, so we saw it every day. It is St. Nicolas du Chardonnet de Paris. We went in and found it is a very pretty church. I was interested to see the beautiful crystal chandeliers hanging in the church. It’s not terribly ornate but it is warm and worth stopping in to see.

Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet
23, rue des Bernardins
75005 PARIS

We cleaned up for our big night out with Florent, Michael and Florent’s mother. I started the packing process as I suspected (and turned it to be right that we would be out late with the guys). So glad, I bought that bag!

We decided we had time for come Champs and finally got serious about the goodies we had to snack on. No lunch today made it a great occasion to have that Roquefort, baguette, salted butter, saucisson, grapes and olives. All seriously good and even better with some Veuve Clicquot. That Roquefort is the best cheese I have ever had. Oh my god….blue cheese perfection. All of it was excellent and we bo

I miss the salted butter!! God, I love Paris. I can’t believe it’s coming to a close.

Next: Bistro Belhara
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 03:44 PM
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MaineGG - thank you! I am horrified that I didn't know that but I will read that. I am so glad to know.
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 03:56 PM
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D - nice report. We are putting the Marmottan as a must visit on our next trip to Paris.
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 05:49 PM
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I love French butter. Fausto's grocery has it in Key West and I bring it home and freeze it. I wanted to go to Marmottan and will next trip. Do you diet all year to eat in Paris? I want some cheese,butter and a baguette.
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 06:13 PM
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It took me awhile to get to Marmottan but I am so glad to have finally gotten there. I didn't even know about it until I had been to Paris at least 2 or 3 times.

I don't diet at all lately. You know, I need to lose a few pounds but not because of Paris (I need to stop eating French fries and start working out again regularly)! I never gain weight there, I think, because we walk a lot and the stairs in the Metro is cardio. But, I am all about enjoying my Paris diet and I don't worry and I don't feel bad. Yes, I will have the taste tatin and another glass of Champagne!

Speaking of not dieting, I am going to start searching for that butter!
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 07:16 PM
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We arrived at Bistro Belhara and were seated near the back (perhaps they knew we might be an animated group). Florent, Michael and Maman arrived soon after. It was so great to see them and they are looking well.

We chose our seats and the party commenced. Now, I didn't even have to ask but Florent suggested some Champagne and we quickly agreed! Finally, here is a Paris first and about time, gougeres. They brought everyone a hot gougere and I only wish had had brought more. Delicious! Toasts were made and then we got down to the serious discussion of the menu.

Bistro Belhara is small and there is not a lot of English spoken. We were glad to have Florent to translate. If we hadn't had him we would have been OK, but it's nice to have a translator. Florent is excellent at bridging the gaps in language between us all. Maman understood a bit of English but did not speak English. Michael and I have a very basic French exchange and somehow we communicate but Florent has to help when we get stuck.

As always there was lively conversational and they are just FUN! Florent is always the life of the party and I imagine he got in trouble in school for talking. I don't know, but I just bet he did.

Now, I know I had a cauliflower velouté to start with. I was busy sipping my French Fizz and didn't pay attention to what everyone had. Sorry.

Somehow the bottle of Champs disappeared quickly but Florent recommended the best bottle of Bordeaux. It was like liquid velvet. He explained that 2009 was a great year for Bordeaux and if we one from that year, it's a safe bet to order it. It was perfect wine for the meal and for a cold, damp December night. The wine was Bastide Duazac. The label is in the pictures.

For dinner, Chaz and I got pot au feu. First time for both of us and it was so good. Ours was served together and Florent got his own individual one. It is a bit like pot roast...it's a beef roast, cooked with carrots, potatoes, turnips in a broth. Maybe not as rich as beef bourguignon. It was served with course mustard and cornichons. Totally fell in love with it and reminds me of something my grandmother made. Maman and Michael got the cod....I don't remember the details on how it was cooked.

Yep, we ordered a second bottle of that Bordeaux. So glad I was almost packed. We had such a fun time and there was a lot of laughter. I'd feel bad for being the loud Americans but there were 3 French at the table, so we were outnumbered! Maman is fun and I know where some of that wicked humor that Florent possesses comes from.

Dessert? Yes, please. There were a lot of choices but I immediately latched on to the rice pudding. Michael got a chocolate creation and again, I didn't get the details. Florent got a version of tarte tatin ( I think)...looked great! You will see the photos but the pudding was served with a caramel sauce and pistachios, pine nuts, macadamia nuts and pumpkin seeds. The rice pudding was total comfort food...the whole meal was.

The time just flew and before we knew it we were the last ones or almost the last ones there. We decided to wind it down and the guys insist we let them drive us to our apartment.

We briefly met the chef Thierry Dufroux. The crowd in the restaurant was French. Service was very good. On the way out, Florent made a reservation for Gracejoan for her upcoming trip.

http://www.bistrotbelhara.com/

23 rue du Vivivier, 7th arrondissement

We walked over to Flirt The to get the car (I hate that I have not made it to Flirt The yet) and we piled in for the drive. I got explanations to and answers to all the questions I had about the movie posters that I had been seeing all week, as we drove.

We got to the apartment and had to get one last hug, so we blocked the street for a minute as we said our farewells. I love the guys! So glad to have met them though gracejoan! (Thanks, Joan).

A wonderful end to another wonderful trip in Paris. I feel so fortunate to have been in Paris again and especially at Christmas.

Next: Shopping info and the trip to CDG and home
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Old Jan 13th, 2014, 01:22 AM
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Denise - thanks for your memories of the Marmottan. We only heard about it when we were visiting Paris for the big Monet exhibition a few years ago, and we loved it. Of course it was full of Monet then which I never tire of.

I tried to post earlier about your getting lost on the way there but my post got lost - we managed not to do that, somehow, even though we had just had lunch at le cinq and had had "some wine" [including champagne of course] with our meal. However that meant that we didn't want to try any of the restaurants in that area, so of course we must go back sometime and do so.
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Old Jan 13th, 2014, 01:25 AM
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Hi Denise,

Marmottan has been a favorite of mine for many years. I have not been in a couple years. Will put on my list.

I knew you would have a great time at Belhara wih Florent and Michael. We enjoyed it together when I took them there for early Christmas dining together! We spent a lot of time with the chef at the end. I am trying it for lunch shortly after arrival, end of month.

We drink a lot of 2009 Bordeaux together when I am with them. They have been 'graduating' to Bordeaux wines in the past few years and so are pretty up to date on good years and wines. They spend a lot of time in deciding. They are fun to watch with the menus, too!

Your trip came to and end with a nice evening out with good friends. Now you begin planning for the next trip!

a bientot....

Joan
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Old Jan 13th, 2014, 03:51 AM
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Thanks annhig and Joan. Very jealous that you will be in Paris soon, Joan.

The link to the photos from Belhara and our last day. I think I somehow duplicated the photos in that album. Sorry!

http://s1265.photobucket.com/user/de...e%20last%20day
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Old Jan 13th, 2014, 07:31 AM
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Lovely report. Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful trip.
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Old Jan 13th, 2014, 08:40 AM
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Off topic, but today I had lunch in the pizza restaurant you suggested in the Atlanta airport. Good pizza. Thanks for the tip
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Old Jan 13th, 2014, 09:25 AM
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Thanks for the photos of the La Fontaine statue. I've walked through the park to the Marmottan and somehow missed seeing it. Will have to go back someday.

And, I want some of that rice pudding now!
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Old Jan 13th, 2014, 10:59 AM
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Denise,

We leave February 21 and are counting down the days. I enjoyed your trip report and we do intend to definitely try Les 110 Taillevent as Joan has recommended it too. Hopefully she can join us for dinner. I am very jealous that she can spend months in Paris. I am retiring in 6 years and then hopefully I can join that club! HAHA!! I know how you feel about the Chanel. My husband waited very patiently in 2006 while I picked out a purse. I LOVE IT!!!

Lisa

Lisa
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Old Jan 13th, 2014, 12:22 PM
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The only place I can recall having gougeres was at Bistro Volnay. Then I looked up Bistro Belhara and realized Thierry Dufroux used to work at Volnay.

I hate that this is coming to an end. I've immensely enjoyed living vicariously through your report. We had an opportunity to go to Paris last week but decided to stay home and rebuild our deck. We're in week two of our deck project now and wondering who thought THAT was a good idea

Back to staining I go.
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Old Jan 13th, 2014, 04:09 PM
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Thanks everyone. Carol, glad you found your way to Varasano's....a bit better than your average airport pizza.

MaineGG---it's a really nice statue and off to your left if you are walking toward the Marmottan with Avenue Mozart to your back.

Lisa....also jealous of you. I hope you have a great time in Paris. I know you are counting down the days!!!! I think you will enjoy Les 110 Taillevent. I loved the ambience there and our food was wonderful.

Interesting about Volnay, Patty. I love gougeres!! I don't think I could pass up Paris to do anything with my deck. ;-)

Denise
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Old Jan 14th, 2014, 05:59 PM
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Terrific report all the way. Many, many thanks for the ride!
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Old Jan 14th, 2014, 07:46 PM
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you're welcome taconictraveler...

The trip home

We had lots of time to finish packing before the driver picked us up to go to CDG. I am glad I got an early start the day before. We probably should have made a little better use of our time in the morning and gone out for breakfast. We snacked a bit on the fruit and other things we still had in the apartment. I knew I would miss that butter!

We were lucky that no one came to clean before the official checkout time, so we got to stay put until our driver arrived. Which he did and right on time. Victor Cabs has always been wonderful to work with and very reliable. [email protected]

We were on our way and gosh, even on a Saturday you can bet you will hit traffic. Two separate accidents on the way but we eventually got to CDG and still fairly quickly even with the backups.

Check in was quick and since we had so many wonderful purchases, we decided to check our oldest clothes and the Maille mustard (very carefully wrapped and buried in the center of the checked bags).
The new stuff was gonna stay with me. On to the tax desk, and much to my surprise, no line!! They didn’t ask to see any of the merchandise, but I am sure if I had checked it, they would have asked. On to passport control….no line. Security, no line. Amazing, but we did have access to the Access One line and that does seem to be worth it. (We still have nightmares about the insane amount of time it took to get through security at CDG four or five years ago. Our flight was boarding when we got to the gate and at the checkpoint they just kept letting anyone with children or elderly in front of the line….so it never moved!!
On to the Air France lounge. It’s nice but the food offerings were not. There were trays were food was supposed to be, but they were always empty. Bummer. Oh well, some chips and we would knew that we would get fed on the plane.

For the second time, we walked to the gate and caught it just right. Boarding and no line. I will say that in the past we were always so perplexed by the boarding process (or lack thereof) at CDG. It was always an ill-defined, free for all and we dread it. This time, it seemed to be more orderly, not that we were there long enough to really tell.

Onto the plan and onto the last few glasses of vacation Champs. Bags stored. No babies anywhere near us. Champs. It was all going so well, until it wasn’t.

We pushed back and started to taxi. At some point, I realized we were moving and we weren’t in line for take-off.

And then, “Uh, from the cockpit, you may have noticed that we have been trying to restart one of the generators.” Oh, no.

“We have advised maintenance in Atlanta and we are going to try to restart it one more time, but if that doesn’t work WE WILL HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE GATE.”

This can’t be good. This stuff never turns out well. I can just imagine the mobs of people trying to get rebooked on other flights. We sat there for a while.

“Looks like we will have to go back to the gate”. Awww, hell.

And then, we were told. “Maintenance has given us a procedure and a few ore things to check, yada, yada, yada, and their solution worked”.

OMG, I should buy a lottery ticket now as this is an amazing stroke of luck. Taxi, taxi, taxi and takeoff for Atlanta! Thank God for the maintenance crew at Delta operations in Atlanta. Au revoir.

Am I getting old or is that flight home getting longer? It seemed to last forever. Maybe it was because I was tallying up the damage we did in Paris to the credit card. At least on the flight home the food was a bit better than the shoe leather steak we had on the way over.

Well, I got caught up on my movies while I imagined that I must be developing a blood clot. Sabrina (the original); Anchorman; Silver Linings Playbook and the Hangover 3. Even after they said we would be landing in 10 minutes, we were in the air another 45.


We landed to what amounted to Noah’s flood. Immigration went fast. A few questions about what we bought, but on we go. The bags came off pretty quick (for an international flight). And then the last check with customs. I was waiting for them to pull me over and make me pay for the purchases. Nope, welcome home. Even the shuttle driver to the parking garage didn’t wait to fill up the shuttle. Awesome. All in all, not a bad trip home.


Home to two puppies who were very glad to see us and to that addictive blend of cheese and caramel popcorn that someone sent us for Christmas (and that I have to admit we lived off of for the next 2 days, that, the chocolate covered almonds and the biscuits we bought at Hediard).

We were glad to be home but always miss Paris and hate for the trip to end. It just went so fast!

I will do a little shopping summary next, for anyone who is interested. We love going back after some time passes and re-reading the trip reports. Thanks so much to all who have commented on the report and thanks to all who have given us advice and suggestions for the trip. The information we get here has really helped us take some terrific trips and we appreciate everyone who takes the time to post.
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