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I love Paris.....in the summer.....when it sizzles....

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Jun 28th, 2005, 12:56 PM
  #21
dcespedes
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Jocelyn, I'm so sorry to read about your injuries--ouch! Glad you weren't more seriously hurt. Palace shmalace--we were perfectly content wandering through the gardens as well.
 
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Jun 29th, 2005, 03:10 AM
  #22
 
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Wonderful report, Jocelyn. I liked your phrase "go long!" I'll have to remember that one when we are debarking the plane, heading towards customs.

The Segway tours sound like so much fun -- I really wish we would have tried one of them. Guess I'll just have to return to Paris soon!



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Jun 29th, 2005, 05:13 AM
  #23
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Serendipity
Of course we visited the museums, churches, and sights that most people visit when they go to Paris. But I was hoping for something more. I wanted for us to stumble onto something unique that we didn't plan for. Wow, did we ever!

We had no idea that every June 21 the entire country celebrates the summer solstice with a music festival. That was the day we went to Giverny. We got back to our apartment in the afternoon, rested up, then metroed out to the Latin Quarter, just to stroll around and find something interesting for dinner. We would then catch a sunset river cruise.

We came out of the metro station along Blvd St. Germain and my first thought was "Wow, this area sure is more lively during the summer!" The sidewalks were packed, and on just about every street corner there was a band playing some sort of music. There was rock and roll, new age, bagpipes, and even a mash pit! We kept wondering if this was a typical summer Tuesday night in the Latin Quarter, lol.

We grabbed some gyros, then waded our way through the crowds to the Luxembourg Gardens for a break from the action. Ha! Turns out this was the centerpiece of the festival, with a huge Brazilian percussion band entertaining in the gardens. We somehow got a spot along the railing, so we could look down and see the 50ish(?) member band walk along the path, with hundreds of people surrounding them, dancing. What a sight! By this point we figured there was something special going on. We stayed and watched for a long time, then slowly made our way to the Pont Neuf for our river cruise. There were countless bands set up along the quais, so as we lazed down the river we got to hear the different bands and watch all the locals have a great time.

By the time the cruise was over, the party was really starting. The crowds had spilled out into the streets and Blvd St. Germain was impassable by car. We had a heck of a time trying to get back to a metro station, but we eventually did, and made it back to our quiet Passy neighborhood. Walking back to the apt from the metro station we came across one folksy band, with about 4 spectators. We were laughing, saying we were staying in the right place.

Of course there may have been some goings-on that we didn't see, but we were so impressed that with that many people partying out in the streets, we didn't witness any violence or situations getting out of control. The mood was festive and people were just out having a good time. What a great way to experience the spirit of this great city.
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Jun 29th, 2005, 05:28 AM
  #24
 
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Jocelyn, I am glad you witnessed the "Fête de la Musique"... and you really picked the right place to sleep! Imagine, if you had chosen a hotel in the 6th or the Marais, I can tell you there was heavey partying in central Paris until the break of dawn. Actually, the whole Fête de la Musique scene has not always been that rosy. It's part of a string of early summer steet parties (FdM, Gay Pride, Bastille day) that draws lots of youths from the "banlieues" (suburbs), and things can sometimes go sour. A few years ago, they ransacked one of the last trains riding back to the outskirts. Since then, SNCF and RATP have woken up and are providing an all-night service on Fête de la Musique evening to avoid this type of problem. Police patrolling is quite heavy too, but the event seems to have found its balance, not unlike London's Notting Hill Carnival.
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Jun 29th, 2005, 06:51 AM
  #25
 
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We watched the party from our sixth floor balcony and bedroom window on rue Petit Pont and rue de la Huchette drinking wine with bread and cheese until about 11 p.m. We even toasted some revelers from our balcony. Then we closed our double-paned windows and got ready for bed - amazing how quiet it gets.

Hope to get my trip report done started soon. Lots of catching-up after two months.
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Jun 29th, 2005, 07:17 AM
  #26
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Food/Wine
We both love to eat, but neither of us are huge fans of French Cuisine, so we spent a lot of time perusing the vast array of ethnic foods that Paris has to offer. Generally we'd have breakfast in our apartment. I'd run across the street to the bakery (La Flute Enchanté, which was fabulous) to grab some bread and/or pastries, then we'd supplement with juice, fresh fruit (the cherries were in season), yogurt, ham, and cheese. Not a bad way to start the day. We'd usually have one meal a day in a cafe or bistrot, then Italian, Greek, Lebanese, or North African for the other. This was all supplemented with plenty of Berthillion ice cream. In case you were wondering, bitter chocolate and pear go together beautifully.

Although we enjoyed most of our meals, the only restaurant I feel comfortable recommending with gusto is (this is what the business card says) "Le Bois de Vent, Fourchette d'Or de la Gastronomie Libanaise," not far the the La Muette metro stop in the 16th. DH and I love Lebanese food, and this was probably the best we've ever had. They had a special dinner for two, where they'd bring out 4 cold dishes, then 4 hot ones for 42 Euros. It was more food than we could handle and everything was absolutely fantastic. The staff was so welcoming! I had the feeling they don't get a lot of tourists, as they seemed surprised to see us and we were treated like kings.

My husband, who is not a big wine drinker, is now hooked on Kirs. I'm having a hard time convincing him, though, that it's not just an expensive wine cooler. We had them every which way: the traditional cassis, peach, raspberry, you name it. Since I'm sadly coming to the conclusion that I don't like Bordeaux, we both had Kirs with almost every meal.

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Jun 30th, 2005, 04:25 AM
  #27
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Here are some pictures of the apartment and Passy neighborhood:

http://share.shutterfly.com/action/s...&x=1&sm=1&sl=1

I'll share more pictures as I get them downloaded.
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Jun 30th, 2005, 04:49 AM
  #28
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Segway tour:

http://share.shutterfly.com/action/s...&x=1&sm=1&sl=1
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Jun 30th, 2005, 05:48 AM
  #29
 
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Jocelyn, I am really enjoying your report. It sounds like you and your husband had a great time. My husband said the same thing that your husband said- He loved it so much that he wants to go back one day. I am not sure if guys think Paris is a girlie-girl place or what, but they are sometimes surprised at how much they like it. Your apartment looks neat too, what a value!
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Jun 30th, 2005, 05:51 AM
  #30
 
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Not to digress, but Art Vandelay, I got a kick out of your name. I love to see Seinfeld fans because I am one myself (as well as Curb Your Enthusiasm.)
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Jul 1st, 2005, 05:56 AM
  #31
 
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Yes, and the 4th season is just out on DVD here in Europe. Yummy... On antoher forum, a poster named himself Bob Saccamano... well, that's level 3 at least!
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Jul 1st, 2005, 05:10 PM
  #32
 
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Thanks for sharing your report and pictures Jocelyn - the apartment looks lovely - we stayed in the 16th as well, last month - its the second time we've stayed in that area and I too enjoy the fact that its fairly quiet but you are still not far from many of the sites.

I am now regretting that I chickened out on the Segway tour

That is unfortunate about your trouble with the metro tickets - I bought a carte orange and didn't have any trouble with it (other than the fact it took me half a day to find a functional photo booth to get my pic taken )

I am having major Paris envy!

Whiskey
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Jul 1st, 2005, 05:20 PM
  #33
 
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I love Paris every moment.....every moment of the year.........I love Paris....why oh why do I love Paris...
because my love is near!

Now I have that song in my head.

Great trip report, Jocelyn!
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Jul 1st, 2005, 05:22 PM
  #34
 
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Very good dsm! they are running through my head too LOL
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Jul 1st, 2005, 06:26 PM
  #35
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dsm, there's a funny story about that wonderful song. Fodorite "amarena" and I have been email buddies for some time now, and we joke about how we think alike. She and her husband took a trip to Paris this month, just before we did. A few months ago she burned a CD with some classic French songs, "I Love Paris in the Springtime" being one of them. She was kind enough to send me a copy.

We both wrote trip reports as soon as we got home. Unaware of what the other was doing, and obviously with the same song in our heads, she titled hers "I love Paris in the Springtime." She had better weather for her trip, or we may have had the same title!
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Jul 1st, 2005, 06:35 PM
  #36
 
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Oh Jocelyn, it is reports like yours that make me sad I have never been to Paris, but possibly something will work out one of these days. I so enjoyed reading about your adventures. And thank goodness neither of you were hurt any worse than you were. I have taken two falls in Italy and both times really hurt my right knee. Also hurt my dignity, LOL.

Lutece, what a good idea to supply your apartment with a first aid kit. Imagine tenants really appreciated your thoughtfullness. I always forget to pack anything in the way of first aid supplies which is so stupid of me.

Oh how I want to visit Paris!
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Jul 1st, 2005, 06:38 PM
  #37
 
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That's a cute story. I like Cole Porter, and I got to sing a lot of his stuff at my last concert, so it's been top of mind.

Also in my head lately is "Too Darn Hot". It has been HHH and my husband has been complaining, he needs rain for his corn to grow.

I think I replied to that post singing too!
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Jul 1st, 2005, 07:16 PM
  #38
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LoveItaly,

I know this is easier said than done, but watch for the airfare sales and just go. Don't think about it too much, just do it. Paris is such an easy city to navigate and feel at home in. With all you've been through lately, you could use a pick-me-up, and I can't imagine a better one than spending time in Paris.

I hope your family situation is improving. Best wishes to you.
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Jul 1st, 2005, 07:37 PM
  #39
 
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Joceyln, thank you for your thoughts. Yes the situation is much better. Daughter & SIL are home. Grandsons back home with them too. The entire family is tired of course but we made it through the month of June by working together and that sure helps. Now we are just hoping for a peaceful July. And all the legal things in Italy will have to be taken care of as they come up. Fortunatly in this case paperwork in Italy moves slowly so that is a blessing this time.

About Paris, there is possibly that there will be an invitation sometime down the road and if it works out I will certainly accept. My DH never wanted to go to Paris, what a shame, think he would have loved it (he was even part French so go figure, LOL). In the meantime I really enjoy beautiful reports like yours. Thank you for sharing your trip and thank you for your kind thoughts. Have a happy 4th of July weekend also!
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Jul 1st, 2005, 07:48 PM
  #40
 
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For all the posters here, new and old have a happy 4th
To you in Canada it is your day and layer the 14th for France. Let the fete begin!

http://fransandree.tripod.com/lyrics/id80.html
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