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MaiTaiTom's Paris When It Sizzles; Paris When It Fizzles Anniversary Trip

MaiTaiTom's Paris When It Sizzles; Paris When It Fizzles Anniversary Trip

Old Feb 27th, 2015, 06:26 AM
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dont worry TDK - the restaurant is so small and the tables so close together you become friends with everyone....
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Old Feb 27th, 2015, 06:53 AM
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Thanks Tom for the greetings.

LoriNY1 Thanks for your encouragement .
I have been traveling solo for many years, first in my business life when I made many trips to Europe and Asia solo and then vacations after my husband died so I have no worries about eating alone.
I have found that it is easier to meet people when alone.

I am sure it will be a very special experience for me.
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Old Feb 27th, 2015, 07:26 AM
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How does l'Ange compare to La Ferme, the restaurant you liked in Angers?

thread trivia note: With all the posts on your TR, I did a search for the word l'Ange. Only I accidentally hit enter after typing just "l". Turns our there are nearly 5000 hits for the letter "l" on this thread alone.
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Old Feb 27th, 2015, 08:33 AM
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I thought that Tracy could at least write a report about all the fun she had in Paris while you were on your deathbed.
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Old Feb 27th, 2015, 08:52 AM
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Hotel du Ville looks so amazing! I'm hoping against hope to get on one of the tours they offer outside the Heritage days.

And making note of L'Ange 20 for our trip in October. It may be our splurge meal! And we have to get back to the Marmottan--only been once, way back in 2003.

Your reports are so much fun to read, maitaitom. Thanks for taking the time and effort to put them together! We are getting great ideas for our jaunt into the Dordogne and Loire thanks to your 2012 France report.
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Old Feb 27th, 2015, 11:30 AM
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kerouac…Tracy says that this "in sickness and in heath" vow is getting old.

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Old Feb 27th, 2015, 12:23 PM
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This is fabulous, maitaitom! Can't wait for the next installment!
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Old Feb 27th, 2015, 02:13 PM
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All right Tom, counting down to Saturday. Enough already
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Old Feb 27th, 2015, 02:26 PM
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Hi MaiTaiTom -- Really enjoying your report and the blog photos. I always enjoy your wicked sense of humor. BTW the England trip went very well -- I enjoyed staying at Bramley House in Chipping, and the Eight Bells. Thanks for recommending both.
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Old Feb 27th, 2015, 06:09 PM
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I've read all of your trip reports over the years, and this one is just as much fun as the earlier ones. I'm trying to wait sooooo patiently for your next post. I'm very happy you lived to tell the tale.
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Old Feb 28th, 2015, 11:13 AM
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Hi MaiTai -- Just want to add that I was in Paris during Heritage Days in September, 2013, but did not take advantage of seeing Hotel de Ville, and now wish I had. It's one of my favorite buildings in Paris, and would love to see the inside. Thanks for the glimpse through your wonderful photos. You're blog is giving me some great ideas of places to visit next time. Looking forward to your next installment!
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Old Mar 1st, 2015, 06:54 AM
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<B>DAY SEVEN – Senate Seat, Jardins Galore, Protestants in Paris, The Deluge, A Bourse Is A Bourse Of Course Of Course, The Big Cheese, One Dessert Is Just Not Enough and The Beginning Of The End</B>


We were up so early this morning that not even Starbucks was open. Slackers!

Luckily our corner patisserie had coffee and croissants (plus a delectable petite beignet avec framboise) waiting for us at 7:45, and after gorging ourselves we started the trek across the river to Le Palais du Luxembourg, which was constructed for Louis XIII’s mom (and widow of Henry IV), Marie de Médicis. This was another Journées du Patrimoine sight that I had really wanted to visit.

In the early 1800s Napoleon started some restoration projects and Palais du Luxembourg became the home of the first senators (I believe Diane Feinstein was part of that group). Then in the mid-1800s, Louis Philippe had the palace extended to basically what you see today. The Palais du Luxembourg is the home of the French Sénat.

We walked the mostly empty streets past the Théâtre de l'Odéon, which was built in 1792 and is one of six national theatres in France. Tracy and I arrived at about 8:30 and, once again, there were 20 people crazier than us already in the queue.

By opening time an hour later, there were more people in line for the Palais Luxembourg than I think actually live in the country of Luxembourg.

After walking through the courtyard and past a couple of statues…

…we climbed the escalier d’honneurdu, which was quite magnificent, and once again opulence became the order of the day.

Marie de Médicis wanted Le Palais du Luxembourg to look like the Palazzo Pitti in Florence (I can’t fathom that town without Pitti). We walked past a memorial…

…and a a marble sculpture featuring Achilles and Deidamie. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why my heel started aching.

We walked by a beautiful room that serves as a media reception room. I believe it was Brian Williams who said he designed this salon back in the mid 1700s.

We visited the Salon des Messegers d’Etat, which just so happened to be designed by the same guy who designed the Arc de Triomphe, Jean Chalgrin. Chalgrin also designed the Grand Staircase that we would descend later. In this room is the ceiling painting Allégorie, by Henri Decaisne.

From a window in one of the rooms there were nice views out onto the gardens, which we would visit afterward.

We stopped in our second Bibliotheque in the past two days, which set my record for visiting libraries in a weekend. Another beautiful ceiling painting is Les Limbs (Limbo), which was painted in the 1840s by Delacroix. With all this walking, I was in no mood to do the Limbo.

Not a place where people get together to contact spirits from the dead, Sénat Salle des Séances (Chamber of Peers) is where the French Sénat meets. In the front are “Les sept statues de grands législateurs.”

Then Tracy said something I had never heard her say in 20 years of marriage. “Hey Tom, would you like to go see some busts?”

Unlike the busts at the Moulin Rouge, the Galerie des Bustes are just that…busts. This corridor was originally the terrace of the palace, and now contains the busts of some of the great figures of the 19th century.

One of the most beautiful rooms is the Salle des Conferences, whose ceiling paintings were commissioned by Napoleon III in the 1850s. The ornate gilding was something to behold.

The Annexe de la Bibliotécque (the French Senate Library Annex) with its amazing ceiling proved you could judge a book (or lots of books) by its cover.

One of the final rooms we visited was the Salle du Livre d’Or, which was decorated in 1817. The room is decorated with arabesques and numerous paintings and even has some wood from the Louvre Royal apartments.

In one room, we saw a great old relic from the first empire; the throne of Napoleon I…

…and there were beautiful tapestries…

…and paintings.

…and doors.

But as the late, great Billy Mays would say, “Wait, there’s more!”

After going down the Grand Staircase…

…we were led to a smaller building; the Petit Luxembourg. We walked around for a bit, saw some nicely decorated rooms and the chapel, but we wanted to get outdoors, even though the rain was spitting at us as we exited.

The gardens, which were still blooming with late-season dahlias, geraniums and pale yellow petunias (flower information is courtesy of my lovely bride), awaited us. As we exited, looking at the humungous line waiting to get in to the palace, we were happy we hadarrived here early.

It was overcast, which leant itself to taking some (hopefully) pretty photos. La fontaine Médicis’ construction began in the 1830s and is patterned after the Boboli Gardens in Florence, a place Marie enjoyed as a child.

We took our time strolling through the gardens.

On this overcast day, the autumn colors were starting to pop a bit.

If you want you can rent remote-controlled sailboats.

There are an abundance of statues throughout the garden, including a number of French queens and saints. Saint Genevieve is on the right.

After stopping at a nearby restaurant (Les Editeurs) for petit déjeuner, we took the metro back across the Seine, and don’t ask me how, we found ourselves at L’Oratoire de Louvre, a place I knew nothing about (not that that’s anything new).

This Protestant church was originally a Catholic church until Napoleon gave it to the Protestants in 1811. Since it was here we decided to make a detour and check it out.

We learned that this was a place where a bunch of big name funerals took place, such as Louis XIII, Cardinal Richelieu, along with Austrian queens Maria Theresa and Anne. We went upstairs to get a nice view of the interior.

In front of the church is a huge statue of Gaspard de Coligny, a French Nobleman, admiral and a Huguenot leader during the French Wars Of Religion. He was killed during the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.

Continuing on, we stopped in Eglise Saint-Germain L’Auxerrois, a church with lots of history, but Tracy knew some history from a more recent time. “This is where Eva Longoria and Tony Parker were married.”

I took the exterior photo on our first day in Paris, which reminded me that the weather was now turning cooler. That bode well for the remainder of our trip…or so I thought.

We were in this part of Paris because I was looking for the Bank Of France, which had been open on previous Heritage Days. As we walked in that direction, the skies opened up.

Looking to the right, there was the Bourse de Commerce, and as they say, “any port in a storm.” It turned out to be an interesting (and quick) stop.

This is the old Commerce Exchange, and it has a dome that Victor Hugo once said looked like a “jockey’s cap.” There is also an impressive mural that depicts world commerce.

After the brief rainstorm, we finally found the Bank of France. It was not open for Heritage Days, so we made an early withdrawal from the area. That was fine, because we were getting sort of tired and my cough was suddenly worse.

We recharged our Navigo Découverte (and once again ran into Thierry’s Canadian renter), and headed back to the apartment via a pharmacy where we picked up some cough syrup and Magic Cream (aka Voltaren) that saved me on our 2006 Christmas trip.

Back at the apartment, we turned on the television, and the weather report for the following week looked just like what we had hoped for…autumn weather.

We went for an early dinner at a place called Pain Vin Fromages (not for the calorie conscious), a fondue place that is located almost directly across the street from L’Ange 20. We had 7:30 reservations, and though we hoped we’d get to sit downstairs in a more cave-like setting, we were seated at one of the eight tables upstairs at street level, but we did see all the cheese producing areas in France on their map on a nearby wall.

The salads here were very good, but the Roquefort fondue was just average. The highlight of the dinner was my dessert, Mon Cherry, which was a tart cherry ice cream with cherry liquor. My Cherry Amour. Yes, it was Wonder-ful.

Once again, that was not enough sweets, so we stopped at a nearby Pierre Hermes store on the way back and bought a couple of crème brûlée macarons.

Tracy and I were really looking forward to our second week in Paris. This was going to be our week to casually explore some places in Paris we had not been to previously such as a “secret” vineyard in Montmarte, a 20th arrondissement walk, a metro ride to La Defense, go to the top of Tour Saint-Jacques and lots of other Parisian walks.

On Monday, we had reservations at Chez Janou for dinner with Kim and Mary’s daughter who was visiting Paris with a friend. On Tuesday we had plans to meet ktTravel from the Fodors Board.

For Wednesday, we had booked a Viator bus tour to Château Fontainebleau and Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. We were really looking forward to that day.

On Thursday, we were supposed to get together with some former neighbors of ours whom we hadn’t seen in six years, but who just happened to be in town at the same time.

We would end the week on Friday with our traditional meal at our favorite little haunt, Chez Fernand, and toast our wonderful anniversary trip with a bottle of champagne, before we headed home on Saturday. Everything right down to the weather report had lined up perfectly.

As I settled into bed, I hoped the cough syrup would perform its magic like it usually does in these situations, and I drifted off to sleep. By the time we saw the light of day Monday, Tracy and I realized our trip was going to take a rather miserable detour.

<B>Next: Days Eight & Nine – That Was The Week That Wasn’t (Part One)</B>
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Old Mar 1st, 2015, 07:36 AM
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Loving your report especially the beautiful pictures. I think I read that you were in Paris in September. What were your dates? I will be in Paris this September and am wondering what I might expect weather wise. It seems like it was very warm and then cooler.

I have been sick in Paris but only for a few days, not a week. I am looking forward to the next installment but am so sorry you got sick.
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Old Mar 1st, 2015, 07:49 AM
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Enjoyed reading your report.
You write beautifully and the information you are sharing is educational. Will help travelers plan their trips too.

Waiting to read about your medical emergency too. It will help us gain knowledge about medical care in another country and maybe how we should all prepare when we go on your trips. We never think we will get sick when we are planning to have a wonderful, memorable trip.

Do share what travelers should do to get ready for a medical emergency even through they are healthy and expecting no problems.

I guess, we should be like scouts "Be Prepared."

Have a great Sunday relaxing and writing your report.
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Old Mar 1st, 2015, 08:34 AM
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Uh oh, feeling more than a little trepidation.

I know first hand that doctors make house calls. A few years ago a young doctor came down our street in the middle of the night on a motorcycle, in full leather. Such a cool guy who arranged an ambulance for my mom who, it turned out, needed gall bladder surgery.

From our experience, the French medical system is fantastic, so efficient.

I hope you didn't need hospitalization, nothing worse than being ill away from home.

Fantastic pictures and story!
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Old Mar 1st, 2015, 11:48 AM
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Great installment. Delacroix and Chopin were great friends, and D used C's likeness in one of the ceiling paintings at Luxembourg Palace (I haven't been inside). I studied your ceiling photos carefully and did see one candidate with a Chopin-esque profile. I'm sorry you became ill during your trip!
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Old Mar 1st, 2015, 12:03 PM
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" I'm sorry you became ill during your trip!"

It's probably lucky I did or this trip report might have lasted until next year.

maitaitom is online now  
Old Mar 1st, 2015, 12:06 PM
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Tom, your trip reports are Wonder-ful but without Pitti.

I realize that the hard time of this visit is coming up for you and Tracy, and I'm glad to know that in spite of whatever happened in September, you now have your joie de vivre back. I hope you are in full health now and that it stays that way.
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Old Mar 1st, 2015, 12:40 PM
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Diane Feinstein, Brian Williams

Tom, you make me laugh!!
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Old Mar 1st, 2015, 02:13 PM
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Tom, as always, I'm thoroughly enjoying your report. We are planning to go to Europe in September and will definitely plan to be in Paris for the Journées du Patrimoine. I've always wanted to visit the Hôtel de Ville and the Luxembourg Palace. Your descriptions and photos have moved them to the top of my list. Speaking of pictures, yours of the Medici Fountain is beautiful. Like others, I sort of dread what's coming up next, but it's good to know you're home safe and continuing your planning for your upcoming trip to Spain.
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