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Benita In Paris

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May 26th, 2013, 10:53 PM
  #1
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Benita In Paris

Here I am in Paris again. Paris lives in my heart. It is a feeling only those who are in love with the city can understand.

Well, some of you may remember I didn't have a place to stay, because of elevator problems with Paris Perfect. All worked out and I a sitting in LaTour this morning looking at the tower. Sun is shinning and looks to be a beautiful day.

We arrived Friday in Newark but our friends couldn't leave Phoenix because they had no runway time to land. So obviously they missed their flight and didn't arrive until Sunday morning. When my husband and I arrived our apartment wasn't ready. Went for walk. cafe for coffee, then Fountain de Mars for lunch. I had eaten there before and didn't particularly like it. But this time it was delicious. Sat upstairs front room and because it was late had the room to ourselves by half way thru the meal. Asperagus (big white) with a sort of hollansaise sauce. Absolutely delicious. I was comtemplating having another starter for dessert. Baked white fish and floating island for dessert. And wine, of course.

Checked into apt, grocery shopping, one hour nap and off to Reed for dinner. Can't recommend it enough. Delightful owner. Celery soup ( would have liked a bowl), chicken and chocolate with chocolate sauce for dessert. We hope to return another evening.

Good night's sleep. Friends arrived in morning. They have never been to Paris. Rue Cler for crepes. Some fruit and snack shopping. Then I thought it might be fun to go to Notre Dame. Ecole Militare metro closed, walked to Napoleum's Tomb, metro closed. No taxis anywhere. Were preparing for the gay marriage wedding rally yesterday and 64, 70 and 71 (Our ages) were right in the middle. 70 and 71 were exhausted from the trip and could see them going down for the count. Saw a bicycle transportation, sort of rickshaw white bubble affair. Called him over and asked if we could all fit in. We jumped in, The driver told us if his vehicle wasn't motorized it would have been 5000 euros. We were terrified he were going to blow out his tires. Every street he turned on was baracaded by police.
After many attempts, I told him to take us to Dominique and Rapp and we sat at red awning cafe for a bottle a wine. We have decided that drinking wine takes away foot pain. Who knew?

Walked over to tower, pictures, back to apartment. more wine. Went to pizza restaurant downstairs. We had eaten there before. This time we sat inside. Cheap and very good. Called it a night. Except when we got back to the apt. the elevator was not working and we had to use the other outside door to get to the service elevator, We were given the door code on arrival and a special back door key. But all that information and key were in the apartment. Besides my husband. these were my guests so, you guessed it, I walked the seven flights to get into apt. Found key, code, out back door, service elevator. big enough for one person and trash, and opened the outside door. I was ok walking up two flights, two thru six were a killer and barely had enough energy to the seventh. My legs almost collasped at the door.

Off this morning to take a cooking class for Macaroons.
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May 27th, 2013, 12:35 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Wow, you really do have problems with elevators. Have just read the post about the problems with your apartment and am glad you have made it and that the weather is being kind. Your trip sounds awesome - hope it all goes well without too many further hitches. Do let us know how lunch at Le Cinq goes.
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May 27th, 2013, 05:07 AM
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Hi Benita,

Glad you arrived Ok and I do know the view from Ch La Tour well.

Isn't Catherine Reed a delight? Nice gal. We have become good friends.

It is the time of the year for elevator problems with all the use given them..and it is the time of the year when most needed, too! C'st la vie. Yes, good to have all that information with you, just in case. Service elevator sizes do vary....

Enjoy your stay...

a bientot...

Joan
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May 27th, 2013, 05:29 AM
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You're better folk than we!! We never plan on a "nice" dinner our arrival night because we'll collapse in our plates!! Nice start.
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May 27th, 2013, 05:50 AM
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I am so looking forward to your trip report. The apartment looks absolutely lovely. Since our new apt is in the same neighborhood, I am anxious to see your restaurant choices.
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May 27th, 2013, 09:14 AM
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Love, love Reed. Great food and Joan is right Catherine is a delight. I am glad the apartment was worked out for you. You feel the same way we do about Paris. It is our favorite place in the world. We don't go back until February so I will be reading about your trip and counting down the days. Enjoy and good luck with the elevator.
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May 28th, 2013, 04:10 AM
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Monday

Cookin with class was great. Great pastry chef from Australia. There were six in the class. We made 64 macarons. Now I understand why they are so expensive. Macarons are not something you just wake up in the morning and decide to make. There is much prep. I have decided to pay whatever Laudree wants to charge. Chef likes Laudree's best. They make 600 an hour. It took us 3 1/2 hours to make 64!

Ate lunch at Cafe Francoeur, 129 Caulaincourt. Sat outside in sun. Reasonable and good lunch. Was told Sacre Cour was too touristy for lunch. Walked up the hill for a short visit. (More stairs)

Took cab to cooking store because 70 is a great cook. I bought more than she did. I love to shop. Walked to Louvre, got Navi passes. Cheese and crackers at apartment and , of course wine.

Went to Opera Comique to see Marouf Opera. We sat in the center but at the top. I guess you could say to could touch the ceiling. Great view, but seats are made for children. Definitely not for me or 70H (husband). Husband and I were sitting on the front of our seats. At intermission, 70M and I went back to first floor and told them these seats are not made for Americans. The girls said they are not made for the French either. After some conferencing, they put us in a box seat with individual chairs so close we could spit on the stage. 70M told me this was a short opera. Three hours!

Had something to eat at Ecole Militaire corner restaurant at 11:30. Nothing special but we were hungry. Collapsed in bed. Did an insane amount of walking. Got lost a few times. Wrong direction on Metro. Then to change lines walked up and down metro stairs, My legs are getting stronger.

Elevator is still being worked on. We just use the service elevator next door. 70 and 71 can go together but 64 and 70H have to go separately. But at least we have an elevator and I am very thankful for that.

Thanks for being interested.
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May 28th, 2013, 05:38 AM
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I am glad that it all worked out. You write well. I look forward to me.
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May 28th, 2013, 06:22 AM
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look forward to more...
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May 28th, 2013, 07:41 AM
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IRock,
You will be there when I am there..Will see you in Feb!!
Joan
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May 28th, 2013, 08:23 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Yes Joan we plan to be there. Not sure of the date yet. My husband won't pick vacation dates until October, but no one ever picks February so we feel we are safe. We have some vouchers from Air France we have to use by March so we figured why not!! Hope these Air France flights go better than the last flight home, but Paris will be wonderful no doubt. Looking forward to Reed and we are going to make it to a Constant restaurant this time also. Can't wait! See you in February.

Lisa
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May 28th, 2013, 12:17 PM
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I apologize for all the misspelled words and writing but it is really early or late and I am not coherent at either time of day. Basically it is easier for me to type than write in a journal.

Tuesday

We all slept very, very late. Had just enough time to make our chocolate tour at St. Germain at 2 o;clock. Tour was thru Viator and called Chocolate and Pastry Food Tour. It was excellent and I would highly recommend it. We visited the following sampling chocolates, caramels, bread, cookies and eclairs. La Maison du Chocolate (we thought it was excellent until we got further on in the tour); Poilane for bread (also sampled a nut bread that was unbelievable and it can be kept frozen for several weeks); Patrick Roger (we thought we were going into a glass blowing store; some of the candy looked like pieces of glass; unbelievable); Un Dimanche a Paris (for eclairs); took a break at Cafe de Flore for Croque Monsieur. bottle of wine, coffee and the cookies we got at Poilane; then on to Laudree for macarons; Pierre Hermes for a macaron (so we could decide which is best); Pierre Marcolini (chocolatier from Brussels who has been accepted in France as a chocolatier) (I bought these red heart candies that looked like jewelry with three layers of raspberry); then Henri Le Roux for the salted caramels). If you take this tour ask for Maria, she is excellent.

Stopped by Bon Marche (just walked thru the store) and into the grocery store. I needed another supply of wet sea salt. Cab back to apartment and cooking at the apartment tonight.
Wine, cheese and bread first.
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May 28th, 2013, 10:42 PM
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Tuesday (continued)

After dinner, 70 and 71 went for a walk. When they came back, the service elevator wasn't working. They had to walk seven flights. But the staircase is narrow and said it was easier than a wide staircase would have been.

I had read from someone on Fodor's to buy the Violet jelly. I bought some from the grocery store and it is great. Am getting more today to bring home.

For my own personal information: 70 and 71 cooked dinner. Bacon and eggs /w toast.

I have always prided myself that I never write on facebook what I am eating for dinner. I promised myself that I would not do that. Why is it that every time I say never, it always bites me in the butt?
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May 31st, 2013, 01:13 AM
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70H forgot his suspenders and his shirt was falling out and pants falling down. Took the bus to Galleries Lafayette for the suspender hunt. Actually, the store wasn't that busy so we found them rather quickly. Much nicer than his home ones, Beautiful silk straps with either the button attachment or clips, I was quite a sight to see the man and wiman clerk putting them on him in the middle of the store.

Took a cab to BHV (70H wanted to look at hardware) and I wanted some Caudalie products. They are much more expensive in states. Sales lady sold me some other skin care products to try also. They saw shopper written on forehead). I also purchased a lightweight black Lamarthe handbag.

Had lunch around the corner at Cafe. Nothing special. Except the bathroom. Why are men's urinals right there in plain sight? I came down the winding stairs and there was a man facing the urinal with a half door. I immediately slunk to the side and clinging to the wall with my head in his opposite direction. Just waited patiently until the bathroom was available. Fortunately when I came out no gentlemen were around
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May 31st, 2013, 02:23 AM
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Went to Garnier for a dance performance. I don't patricularly care of modern dance but this performance was outstanding and the music was beautiful. Of course, the Garnier is so lovely. I just like to stand at the entrance and enjoy the view.


Had lunch at Cafe Constant. Absolutely fabulous. Crispy shrimp. fish and tempura vegatables. High recommended.

Also ate at Petit Sud Quest. Great duck. 70H and I have eaten there before and wanted 70 and 71 to try real duck. They were quite resistant but finally agreed and said they will never order duck anywhere again. It is grilled and partially sliced. Sort of like a steak- done med rare. Highly recommended.

We did not make Le Cinq but plan to on the return after Provence. 70 and 71 seem to want to share everything. I guess they are trying to be careful with how much they eat or save money. We can be careful when we get home but this is France (with great food) not the time to hold back on life. IMHO
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May 31st, 2013, 02:26 AM
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Lovin' the review. I, too, greatly enjoyed the food at Cafe Constant.
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May 31st, 2013, 06:36 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Hi Benita,

You are keeping busy. I guess your stay is about to come to an end! Goes so fast. That's why I stay for a couple months at a time..also because the hateful flight does not come around so soon. With the 3 Constants, and other favorites always so nearby, it makes it difficult for me to spend the time going across town for dining!

Enjoy the last of your stay..

a bientot...

Joan
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 09:15 PM
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Friday, May 31st. 64 and 70H's 27th wedding anniversary. I wanted to do the sewers and Galleries Lafayette but thought I should spend some time with husband. He wanted to go to the Marine Museum at the Trocadero. We made the climb very slowly. It was interesting but I would not go back. Would be great for shipbuilder, sailor or marine history buff. Downstairs they were having an exhibit by a painter from the late 1800 to 1956, I think. I do not recall his name but it will come to me. He did all types of work, Water color, tile, dishes, vases and the most magnificant tapestry. It is the largest tapestry of marine life ever done. It is worth the trip to the Trocadero just to see his work.

70 and 71 took us to Cafe Constant for our Anniversary Dinner. Again, great meal and wonderful evening. Then back to apartment to pack for Provence.

The apartment has been wonderful. The back elevator worked just fine. Little slow because it is so small, it takes a while for all of us to get up and down. Bathroom sink wouldn't drain but was fixed immediately and they bled the radiators because not all radiators were working. Paris Perfect is so responsive to whatever problems one encounters.

Pick-up by Victor team on time, arrived in station and hired man with cart to take all the luggage. Got us settled on train, luggage on first level and we were sitting on second level.

Because we lost luggage on previous trip. I was so paranoid that I stood by the luggage until there was so much luggage brought on that our luggage was totally blocked in. When we arrived in Avignon, people were waiting for their luggage to be found. The luggage compartment was jammed and the area to get on the train was stacked high with luggage. Just a very narrow walkway to get off the train. 71 and I were off first. I had her wait with a piece of luggage until I could get back on the train to find the rest of our luggage and take it to her. My husband and I carry bright luggage called Big Bird. The porter was nice enough to take the two big birds and place them on the platform. I was so relieved to have all our luggage in one place. We got ourselves organized and waited for the elevator. When Big Birds came off they were put next to another bag. I didn't think anything of it because bags were everywhere.

As we are waiting for the elevator. The train has left and the woman conductor on the platform hollars at me and says I forgot my bag. I told her it wasn't my bag. She then said to me, Why did you tell us to take that bag off the train. I hollared back, I didn't ask for that bag, I only asked for my bags. And then the real fun begins.
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 09:52 PM
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Called for car to be delivered to tgv. We rented a seven passenger van with automatic. I do all the driving and didn't want a stick shift. I have not driven stick for thirty years and am not starting on the Luberon Mountains. Never say never Benita because you know what happens. Gentleman came to pick us all up and took us to his office gas station office. A 7-11 type store called Avia Boutique Had about 1/8 the items of an American 7-11. I signed the papers, got instructions for the car and we were on our way. But only about 500 feet because the hand break light wouldn't go out and the car was starting to smoke. This was a brand new car with only 18 miles. We drove back to the station and after much discussion and many telephone calls, a wrecker arrived, more discussion and telephone calls, our car was going on the wrecker. I talked with the company that deals with service calls and they said they will try to find me another car. They called back and said there are no cars available.

I told her I had to have a large car because there was luggage and four people. She said she would call me back. The gentleman and woman at the station were helpful. He spoke very little English, the woman none and the mechanic who drove the wrecker none. The gentleman kept asking if we wanted a cab. He just wanted to get rid of us. I said, a cab to Murs from Avignon, then what. We had no food and had a reservation for dinner in Goult. We took all our luggage out of the van and put it on the side of the driveway. After a few minutes, the man and the woman brought all our luggage into the store. I am making calls to our rental agent letting her know our progress. It is now six p.m. and we arrived in Avignon before 2 p.m. The office in the 7-ll was a high table with two chairs in the middle of the store. The man kept talking about his office. I started to laugh but I think he was very proud of his table and two stools.

Then he says to us again, I will call you a cab. I asked him if he was getting ready to close. He said yes. I told him I was waiting for a call about another car and after he draged all our luggage inside I was not moving. Well. actually I wasn't quite that polite, but he certainly understood we were not moving from his office.

Eventually, I was called and they found a car for us. But it was a standard!
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 10:29 PM
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Enjoying your report; sounds as though you had a super time in Paris!

Two questions: where did you find a person to hire at Gare de Lyon to take care of your luggage? I have trip plans for a family group of us in Oct., all 5 of us 70 and over, and I would like to find someone to help us with our luggage at Gare de Lyon. I've never especially looked before, but I don't remember ever seeing porters around to help. Did you just see someone standing around or did you go to an office to arrange this?

Also unsure about what happened to you re car rental at Avignon. Last year we just walked from gare to the car rental places right in front of the station so didn't understand your saying you called to have car delivered. Was it from one of the rental offices right there?

Not meaning to get so specific with questions, but I am kind of "in charge" of this family group, and I want to avoid as many pitfalls as is possible since a couple people have some mobility issues.

Looking forward to reading more of your trip!
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