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denisea Nov 13th, 2011 05:08 AM

One week countdown to Paris! Any last words?
We are almost there. We leave for our Thanksgiving trip to Paris a week from today! I am checking the ten day forecast and starting to print out apartment address, reservations, itinerary and passport copies. I have plotted out my lunch and dinner plans on my calendar. And, the guest room is becoming the staging area for things we will take (French flat iron for my hair, plug adapters, travel umbrella, cashmere wrap, camera).

So, we have been to Paris several times and are not ones to plan every moment. We just like to plan a few places to visit and then let the day take us where it wants.

On tap this visit: L'Orangerie, finally to see the Monets & Ste. Chapelle (pray for a sunny day!); we will climb the Towers at Notre Dame; possibly get to St Denis; and probably will visit Musee Marmottan. (Have seen all the other major sites/museums, ET, Notre Dame, The Louvre, D'Orsay, Opera Garnier, Sacre Coeur).

A little less decadent dining this time (no Le Cinq, or Joel Robuchon)...we certainly plan to hit Cafe Constant and Les Cocottes, with the highlight being the T/G dinner at Violon D;Ingres. We hope to try Reed (dinner) based on Joan's recommendations, and have reservations at LOrangerie (lunch) on Ile St Louis, Le Florimond (dinner) and l'Obe at the Crillon (lunch). The rest we have left open to see what happens. We may try to get into Chez Dumont (there's a Josephine in there somewhere) for lunch , We might go back to Le Comptoir for the no resevation/brasserie service and may have to go back to Le Souffle...because I love a souffle....but, who knows? So many choices and we will stay in the 7th this arrondisement and new to apartment dwelling!

I have a friend who is supposed to meet us at the end of the trip and should have a car...can I talk him into Pierrefonds? (I am obsessed now, Kerouac)!

Sadly, I am told there is a Starbucks in our neighborhood, so I am sure we will have to go there every day. Quelle horreur! (you remember my husband from last year, I'm sure).

Any last words of advice or parting shots? Anything you want to make a case for or sell me on? Speak now...or forever hold...nah, I know you'll tell me where I messed up anyway!

latedaytraveler Nov 13th, 2011 05:57 AM

Denisea, sounds like a great trip. I hope to visit the Orangerie and Marmottan when I go back to Paris in late spring.

I just finished reading PARIS TO THE PAST: Traveling through French History by Train by Ina Caro. She is an art historian who spends a great deal of time with her historian husband in the city. In this work she describes day trips via train/metro through French history examining its cathedrals, chateaux, battlements, and the like.

She devotes a great deal of attention to St. Denis, burial place of most French kings. St. Denis is about 5 miles from the center of Paris and well worth the visit, according to Ms. Caro who has seen it all. The area surrounding the Cathedral has been somewhat gentrified in recent years, she explains, making a visit there more enjoyable. On most of her jaunts she includes the names of excellent restaurants in particular locales.

Looking forward to your description of your stops on your well planned excursion….

lrock5 Nov 13th, 2011 06:11 AM


We leave for Paris on December 21 for our 1st ever Christmas in Paris. I am a Monet groupie and we go to the Orangerie every visit. Last time we visited the Marmatton as well. We have been talking about St. Denis on this trip as we have not been there either. We stay at an apartment in the 15th and this time we want to wander our neighborhood and go to the Christmas markets and wherever else we end up though I really do want to see the windows at Printemps and Galeries Lafayette. I hope you have a fabulous trip.


denisea Nov 13th, 2011 06:22 AM

LDT- Just saw that book last week. May pick it up for the trip over. St Denis has been on the "list" and we just haven't gotten there, so we are going to have to work it in aren't we?
( Am reading "French Toast" written by an American woman married to a French man and discusses all the differences in culture...have read read several books by Americans living in Paris and always enjoy the funny things that happen when you don't know the custom, etc...)

Lisa-we really enjoyed the windows all over Paris last Christmas. The patisseries, especially had festive windows and certainly the grand magasins.

Gretchen Nov 13th, 2011 06:23 AM

Carnavalet, Cluny museums? Street markets?

cocofromdijon Nov 13th, 2011 06:42 AM

"Any last words? " Bienvenue en France! Enjoy! >:D<

TDudette Nov 13th, 2011 06:46 AM

I can only say "Bon Voyage!"

My dog says "Bone Voyage!"

denisea Nov 13th, 2011 07:21 AM it and I hope our two pups will understand and forgive us for leaving them.

Gretchen...I do hear good things about the Cluny and I think Chaz would like it. Do you consider it a "must"?

catcrazyaf Nov 13th, 2011 11:27 AM

I give a big THUMBS UP to the Marmottan, St. Denis and Opera Garnier (take the English tour there). Those are some of my favorite places. Enjoy your visit to the city I love!

serge365 Nov 13th, 2011 11:47 AM

don't forget the corkscrew.

ziggypop Nov 13th, 2011 11:51 AM

Any last words? Take me with you..........

serge365 Nov 13th, 2011 11:57 AM

don't forget yourself at home....LoL..

denisea Nov 13th, 2011 12:37 PM

Well, I think St Denis is moving up the list. Also, Marmottan is looking more like a sure thing!

We are on at Reed (thanks, Joan for checking).

Will confirm that the apartment has a corkscrew....very important.

zeppole Nov 13th, 2011 01:11 PM

Although St Denis is not in the center, the Metro goes right there, so it is quite simple. It is one of the great artistic triumphs of France and influential to French style and French identity in every direction, and its importance in that regard cannot be overstated. Besides, it is an absolutely glorious, glorious sight. On a sunny day, it is filled with color for its magnificent stained glass windows of such gem-like brilliance you swear you hear music through your eyes.

The same is true in a different way when you are immersed in Monet's watery gardens in the Marmottan.

"Parting shot":

Don't bypass these treasures of Paris, and see the French genius for light that sweeps across centuries. You can shop and eat anywhere these days. Starbucks goes both ways. But St Denis? The Marmottan? Souffle for the soul.

mamcalice Nov 13th, 2011 01:19 PM

The CLuny is a "must see" if you haven't been there. I love the museum and "The Lady and the Unicorn" tapestries are certainly one of the great Paris treasures. The Cluny is a good place to pice up a museum pass as it is rarely crowded.

Judy Nov 13th, 2011 01:23 PM

Enjoy your time in Paris!! Sounds like a well planned trip.

I don't agree with zeppole that you can shop and eat anywhere these days. Part of the joy of Paris, at least for me, is a variety of cultural experiences (we always spend some time with Michael Osman for that!), revisiting sites we love every trip, enjoying wonderful food and wine and spending some time shopping as well. I want a little of everything when I go to Paris!

TPAYT Nov 13th, 2011 03:26 PM

You've probably been to the Carnavalet(my personal favorite)

Marmottan was one of our favorite moments in Sept. We've seen so many Monets, but this was a special collection in a calm, lovely stting.

Have you read "Lunch in Paris" by Elizabeth Bard?

~o) As you are in an apt. try the coffee in the black wrapper(can't recall the brand) at the grocery store. We made it in the French press and it was quite good. Not Starbucks, but quite good.

That said, have a wonderful adventure in Paris. I will so be looking forward to your TR when you return. Your enthusiasm is contagious and your descriptions very detailed.

There are so many Fodorites who are in love with Paris. I am one of them, and seem to be more in love with the city every time I return.

ParisJo Nov 13th, 2011 04:10 PM

Denisea, we went to Chez l'Ami Jean for the first time in October and just loved it. It's in the 7th so you may want to try it (I'd do lunch since it's a heavy meal and you can walk it off during the afternoon).

Have a wonderful time in Paris and Happy Thanksgiving!


tomarkot Nov 13th, 2011 04:35 PM

Denisea, reading your post has us feeling that we're leaving next week, although our trip isn't until Christmas week. We have some of the same packing procedures as you. . .using that handy guest bedroom. We, too, as others have mentioned, really support the idea of visiting the Marmatton and the L'Orangerie. We have St. Denis on our list-maybe we'll make it this time.

We wish you a wonderful trip and look forward to your report.

lainie2285 Nov 13th, 2011 04:46 PM

Have a wonderful time(I am sure I didn't need to say that)
I look forward to your reports,and pictures.Sounds like you will be eating well.We are planning trip *8 to Paris,june 2012.I am already taking notes on new restaurants to try.
Enjoy ,we love the l'Orangerie,and Marmottan.
Dress warm

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