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"Photos of trip to Paris & Cote d' Azur" and mini report by Seaurchin

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Oct 24th, 2006, 04:34 PM
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"Photos of trip to Paris & Cote d' Azur" and mini report by Seaurchin

HI, just posted my photos in two separate folders "Cote d' Azur" and "Paris" 2006 at

www.pbase.com/seaurchin.

I'll gather my notes and write some tidbits too. Take a peek. Ciao.
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Oct 24th, 2006, 04:42 PM
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My daughter and I love your pictures.
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Oct 24th, 2006, 05:26 PM
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Your pictures are WONDERFUL! Makes me want to go back. Thanks for sharing.
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Oct 24th, 2006, 05:27 PM
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Absolutely beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing your trip.

I'm waiting for the info on the hotel behind your fabulous 'porch'. On a nice day, I'd be sipping a lot of wine out there.

DH has been looking for another site to post our pictures, and pbase was so easy to manuever and the small pictures show very well, as well as the enlarged ones. He's tried several, but I like the clear way that they are displayed, along with your captions.

Four cute Fodorites at Jim Haynes' and Melissa's dermatologist is the only one that lucks out - and she is across the world ..... hmmmmm what's wrong with this picture???

Hurry, hurry, waiting for the rest.

Thanks,

Nina
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Oct 24th, 2006, 05:35 PM
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Enjoyed your photos too. What was the name of your hotel?
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Oct 24th, 2006, 05:35 PM
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Great pictures! I've only looked at Nice so far, but will go back to see the rest. You stayed at Le Grimaldi, yes? I recognize the view.
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Oct 24th, 2006, 06:34 PM
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Ooh la la, loved the photos.
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Oct 24th, 2006, 07:30 PM
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Love the pix, and I can't wait to hear what hotels you stayed at. We are planning a very similar trip.

Can you recall on what day was the flea market in Antibes?
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Oct 24th, 2006, 07:41 PM
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I loved your beautiful photos! Thanks you for posting them.

pbase looks like a good site.

I have an almost-identical shot from 4 years ago of "The Thinker", surrounded by beautiful roses, with the Eiffel Tower in the bg. Great stuff.

Can't wait to be there again (32 more sleeps until we leave).
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Oct 24th, 2006, 07:49 PM
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can i ask you how you posted your pictures on the net, what a great idea?
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Oct 24th, 2006, 08:56 PM
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Hi SeaUrchin

Thanks for posting the wonderful photos of Paris and Nice! Looks like you had a great time. It's also nice to be able to put a face with the name. So that's Barb of the famous divas thread!

Johanna
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Oct 24th, 2006, 10:13 PM
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Dammit! Your photos are great! Can you hear the seething envy in my voice? Where was that oooh la la sculpture? Do you know I've never been to Rue Mouffetard? And you, like Monica P., used a Canon.

That's it. I'm getting a new camera. And taking another damn "do over" trip! That looks like a FAB FAB time!!

As for the hotel...join the "I can't stay at the Minerve" club!
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Oct 24th, 2006, 11:30 PM
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Beautiful pictures. Looks like you had a wonderful time.
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Oct 25th, 2006, 12:06 AM
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Thanks for the kind words, everyone! I am so glad you like the photos.

I signed up with pbase.com, I think it used to be free or you can have some photos for no cost but if you want more you pay about 30 dollars a year, which I do.

The market is on Thursday in Antibes and oolala is in Luxembourg Gardens! I do like my little Canon and it held up even though I dropped it in the parking lot of Versailles and the memory card popped out. I thought it was a goner but it was ok.

It really was a great trip, I hadn't been to France since 2000 and it was nice to return and stay in different places this time.

In Paris I stayed at Minerve like Melissa said. Even though I did like my room and had the wonderful view and the little porch, my friend and I had trouble with pests there and I don't mean human ones. She changed rooms three times because she saw bugs and larva and the last two nights I had a mouse in my room. Melissa and I had a good laugh over what I thought was a ghost in my room pulling on my blankets until I realized the next night that it was a scurring mouse. Now it might have come in the french doors to the porch that I did leave open for fresh air so I can't blame the hotel for that I guess. I don't know what the blame rules are in France but the hotel staff were all kind to me and it is a nice place but now I do have my reservations, so to speak! I wish they would give it a good cleaning so people can relax and stay there with confidence. She ended up with parasites and I itch whenever I think of it now, which is a shame. I paid 125 euro a night for a double used as a single.

In Nice I did stay at the Grimaldi (good eyes, mrs go) on the rue Maccarini side which is very nice. I would and will stay there again for sure. It is spotless, nice large room, perfect bed and I had the classic room but I loved my view, it was quiet and elegant. This staff is professional and you can sure tell the difference from the staff at the Minerve. At the Grimaldi they are top notch. www.le-grimaldi.com I paid 125 euro there also for a large double room used as a single.

I took Lufthansa through Frankfurt to Paris and for 47 euro right in rush hour I had a cab take me to rue des ecoles for the Minerve. The driver was nice and took both of my bags right to the front desk, escorted me inside so I gave him 50 euro, the cabbies must make better tips carting around jet lagged women. I had room 506.

That night I met my friend who had flown in earlier from Chicago and we walked down to La Petite Perigourdine at 39 rue des ecoles for dinner. It had rained while I had been resting and it was very pleasant to sit outdoors and relax with some wine. I ordered vegetable soup, salmon with a cream sauce and mashed potatoes, good comfort food. I like the first evening of a trip when you are tired but happy and you can have a nice leisurely dinner and just breathe in the ambiance of your new surroundings. It was a Friday night so the locals were all enjoying their night, the waiters were laughing and joking and it was a good beginning to the trip.

After dinner we walked around the neighborhood, up to the Pantheon and then to our rooms at about 1AM. I slept so well with my french doors wide open and the gentle breeze filling the room.

(more tomorrow)
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Oct 25th, 2006, 02:50 AM
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Absolutely beautiful pictures, SeaUrchin! Oh, to have straight hair on a warm day on the beach! Anyway, the pictures were great - we will be on the French Riviera in July so they made me excited about planning opur trip.

Thanks for sharing and I"m looking forward to the rest of your report.
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Oct 25th, 2006, 10:32 AM
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Thanks! Hope you have a wonderful time in July!

I guess I should have asked Amy and Melissa's permission to put their photos up, Amy? BTW there is
probably too many pics of me but family and friends are looking at them too.

Next day, Saturday, we went to buy some chanel makeup at Benelux, good deals, duty free shop at 174 rue de rivoli and poked around in some of the stores, strolled the jardin des tuilleries and sat by the little pool watching Paris life happen on a Saturday.

Le Castiglione for lunch at 235 rue Saint Honore. I love this place. I used to stay at the hotel Intercontinental around the corner so I know this area better than others and had to visit my old places first. I had salad nicoise and it was just as good as I remembered, with wine of course. Fresh fish and crisp salad. Excellent dressing, darn, I want one right now!!

We strolled around, went back to the gardens and then went to Le Souffle at 36 rue du Mont-Thabor for dinner. I love this restaurant too, always has been my favorite. We were seated in the back room and it seems like the patrons back there had already bonded. We were seated by a young American couple who said welcome to the less desirable room. We laughed and the other tables all chimed in, even a French couple seated on the other side of us. It seems they were in the middle of a "same time next year" affair, the lady having married and moved to Switzerland and the man left with his wife in Paris. Hey, they offered the information!! I liked our less desirable room with people from various walks of life enjoying their night at Le Souffle freely. As each table left they bid adieu to all their "friends". Funny how that happens sometimes, just a blip in our lives but lasting memories were made. Oh, I had the salmon souffle, salad and a chocolate souffle, wine and coffee. I was so full I really didn't need the dessert but I had waited five years so I practically licked the plate. No way would I leave one ort.

When we left Le Souffle at about 11pm it was raining, luckily we had umbrellas so we tripped along in pouring rain towards the Louvre. As we passed an entrance to a side courtyard we heard the most beautiful African music and I led the way to follow the sound. Under the arch and down the dark passageway, the music drawing us along we came upon a group of Africans dancing in the dark. What a scene, it was like a dream. The drummers were drumming in such a rhythm that it was hypnotising. We stayed a bit and then as we turned to leave one of the dancers nodded and I was glad for that since we had come upon a private scene.

Back to the hotel, walking and humming in the rain.
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Oct 25th, 2006, 11:30 AM
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WOW .. you slept with a mouse, how brave you are. I can deal with most 'pests', but when it comes to mice, rats and snakes, I'm outta here. I probaby would have spent the rest of the night on the porch.

It's nice to be able to put faces to people that we 'know' from the board.

Thanks for the pbase info, DH is checking it out as we speak.

I can't believe that those 'same time next yearers just blurted out that info to total strangers ... are you sure that you didn't start the conversation with ... "hello, my name is SeaUrchin, so, how long have you two been cheating on your spouses, when did you marry and move to Switzerland, how often do you meet, and do you know that there is a play/movie about you, do you have a Bialatti stove top espresso maker????'

Nina
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Oct 25th, 2006, 01:16 PM
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Jealous jealous jealous jealous jealous I am so jealous and I have not read your whole report yet!

I walked past Le Souffle and had read about it prior, but never made a reservation because I figured my TCFH would not like it. Next time. Your meal sounds every bit like I expected it would be for me! How was the salmon souffle? What ended up being the favorite non-dessert souffle?

That is too funny about the "same time next year" couple, but I believe the fact that they were open with you! I have a Parisan friend, Jean-Francois, who is the classic womanizing Frenchman. He'd tell me everything. I once had the potential for a relationship with a French guy in America, but he decided to go back to his ex-girlfriend. Jean-Francois, partly in an attempt to make me feel better, exclaimed, "Bah! He is not a man. What self-respecting Frenchman cannot juggle two women at once?!"

Are reservations essential for Le Souffle and Le Castiglione? If so, how far in advance?
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Oct 25th, 2006, 01:56 PM
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Hi SeaUrchin, well I not only enjoyed looking at all of your photos again I so enjoyed your kitchen photos that I had not seen. How I wish I had your talent for photgraphy!! They are truly beautiful SeaUrchin.

And your trip report, love it!! The "next time next year couple", to precious!! People relate to you because you are so warm and kind also a lot of fun!

Like Nina66, I would have freaked out over the mouse LOL. As in "EEEEEK", they would have heard me in the lobby.
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Oct 25th, 2006, 02:04 PM
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Ha, yes I was stuck with the mouse because we had so much to do at that point I couldnt take the time to find a new hotel and we were leaving in two days. So I slept with all the lights on and my sleep mask. Can you imagine. I kept waking up thinking the mouse was ready to jump on me, not restful to say the least. Funny about the couple! Your's too Melissa, he is not a man, too funny.

Reservations are needed at Le Souffle for dinner, made maybe earlier the same day, I loved my salmon souffle and M loved her tomato and basil one.
The American man had all three souffles in his prix fixe and he was ready to explode he said. Good visual!

Le Castigilione is more casual so I think you can just stop in. (cute Italian waiters too).

Sunday - lunch at Deux Magots for the history of the place, food was fine, I had quiche of mozzerella and tomato, M had quiche Lorraine, wine and coffee.
We went to St. Sulpice and strolled the Luxembourg Gardens and went into the bee exhibit which was really fun. My throat was a little scratchy so I
bought some wonderful looking honeycomb lozenges. As we walked along I bit off a big bite, yuuuuck, it was a beeswax candle!!

That night we went to St. Ephrem for a violin virtuouso concert. It was excellent! Back to Petite Perigourdine for late dinner, boring I know but we had the same dishes they were so tasty.

Monday - taxi ride to Sacre Couer for 15 euro. Walked around Montmarte and had a wonderful lunch at Maison Rose on Rue de L'Abreuvopir. I had the prix fixe for 17 euro, green salad, roast chicken, brie, wine, water, coffeee.

We went to Lapin Agile to pay tribute to the Impressionists we both have studied, it is so wonderful to step in the steps of people who have shaped the world in their own ways. Too bad there was a flasher in the hedge. Every time M tried to snap a closeup of the door he would make himself "known". We had to time our photograhs around him! I guess that is how he passes his time as he seemed
like just a normal local when he finally emerged from the hedge.

I bought a lovely handmade bowl at Cadeaux Accessoires d' interieur at 3 rue des Soules, by artist Violette Jerma. www.interios.eu. Very nice store and excellent handiwork in pottery.

That night we decided to go to another concert so walked over to Eglise St. Julien la Pauve, the oldest church in Paris form the 12th century. We listened to a tribute to Maria Callas by Lina Castellanza, the soprano from la Scala in Milan and an excellent pianist. We bought the cheaper tickets that were for seating on the side of the tiny church and just as soon as the lights went down there was a mass exodus to the center. M and I were alone on the side of the church. We sat there until the intermission
when the usher/ticket taker came over and clucked at us and motioned for us to move to the center too. So much for being good tourists and obeying the "rules". We thought it was pretty funny. I really recommend these church concerts, not only do you get a feel for the history and feel a part of it but you have wonderful music too.

Oh, afterwards we had the worst meal of the trip at the Baladin Rive Gauch, nearby, for 58 euro we listened to lovely jazz singers and we both got sick from the food. Avoid this place, imho, it is not worth the risk. This is the place where thinking back I donít think the wine in the bottle was the wine that was supposed to be in it,
the whole meal was slightly "off" but we both thought it was the seasoning! No way! Not such a good night afterwards if you know what I mean.

The next day, Tuesday, was like a lost day due to stil being sick from the food, good thing we had not booked anything pressing. We did nothing until late afternoon when the only thing I could think I wanted to eat was another salade nicoise at Le Castiglione. We trekked over there, actually a pleasant walk on a lovely day and after lunch and a glass of local white wine, severes, I felt better and so did she. Good enough to shop! We went to CATHERINE perfumes and cosmetics. at 7 rue de Castiglione. I can't recommend
this place highly enough. Patricia, the daughter of the owners, will guide you to your perfect self. She is lively, cute and knows her stuff. M bought some Sisley for about a third of the price in the US and I made out with Chanel and a mix of other cosmetics. Patricia is not pushy and was willing to just write down what she used for the makover so we could buy it at home. We stayed a while and bustled out later with our new faces to show the world, ha.
We did notice all the well dressed women check out your shoes as they pass you. Interesting. No dinner that night, let our tummies rest.

Wednesday, went to Notre Dame and the Louvre,had chicken sandwich and water at the coffee shop for 4.50 euro, pretty good. Angelinas for lunch
I had the goat cheese and spinach quiche and a strawberry torte, very good, nice atmosphere of ladies who lunch (and some men who lunch too)
I bought cheese, bread, fruit and wine for a mini solo picnic on my little porch, nice and warm evening to relax and watch Paris from above.

Thusday (gee I hate to do a day by day like this, boooring for readers) We went to Mariage Frere for tea. I had tea #T112, selimbong from the Himalayas, very good. Then off to Versailles with tour group Paris Vision, 214 rue de Rivoli, www.parisvision.com. Had a lovely afternoon and tour of the grounds and cheateau. Most of the building is under scaffolding but pretty nonetheless. The last time I was there I didnt get to see the inside, I was with a crazy British friend who drove on the walking paths in his car until we finally got kicked out or rather chased out by guards. This time I went on a tour as a normal person.

Excellent dinner at Chez Clement near rue St. Jacques! What a lovely place, lots of ambiance, great creative dishes. I had crab raviolini which was tender and cooked just right, salmon and potatoes and for dessert, Cloud in Pink just because I had no idea what it was, come to find out it is a gigantic mound of soft merangue sitting in a puddle of what is like melted strawberry ice cream. I could have passed on the Cloud! A bottle of good Muscadet and to bed.


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