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Two Ladies on the Loose in Paris - dln and Marcy trip report!

Two Ladies on the Loose in Paris - dln and Marcy trip report!

Jan 21st, 2005, 10:18 AM
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111op, you may as well give up on not being addicted to Fodors. We all are! You are among friends here! Taggie, more adventures follow and yes, we are lucky to have become friends. It made for a very easy and happy week. As much as we both love our husbands, there's something to be said about leaving them home every once in a blue moon. I know that mine would never have stood for all the window shopping *and otherwise* that I did in Paris!
Jan 21st, 2005, 10:42 AM
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Marcy and I woke up promptly at 8 am. Marcy ordered our breakfast. She spoke French but could have just as easily asked for our tray in English. All the people who work at the front desk at the Bonaparte understand it perfectly. I had room service for the first time in my life! When I was single, I was too poor to ever have afforded a hotel that offered it; when I married, I married a man who likes to dress quickly and get moving in the morning, which naturally precludes any nicety such as a breakfast delivered to your door. I LIKE room service. (I may have to do some serious re-education on that man of mine.)

We were each served coffee, a roll and a croissant, which we supplemented with citrus juice and yogurt purchased at the nearby Monoprix and stored in our in-room minibar. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before taking our baths. We turned on the TV each morning and listened and half-watched the cartoons for half an hour, then the soap opera. We both speak enough French to have followed the plot lines and by the end of the week we were hooked on "L'amour, la gloire et la beaute" soap (I can hum the opening music in my head now; isn't that pathetic!)

We left the room every morning by 10 am, impeccably coiffed, dressed, and made up. When you don't have a husband there impatiently tapping his foot, willing you to hurry and then hurry some more, you can leave your hotel looking like a million bucks. What a refreshing change of pace! (Disclaimer: this applies strictly to my husband, not Marcy's.)

We went to mass at St. Sulpice, only a stone's throw from the Bonaparte. The quite elaborate Christmas creche was still up. It was a very intricate tableau, complete with a water-filled fishing pond, moving characters, and mountainous terrain. Think of a model train tableau and you'll get the general idea of what this looked like, only holier and minus the tracks. Mass was very good as the priest ennunciated and spoke clearly. We could both understand a fair bit of his sermon. Two things were very different at the French mass than at ours--they stand when we kneel because there are no kneelers. I don't know which I dislike more, to tell you the truth (I prefer sitting). The other is that the French aren't as polite as we are during Communion! It's a bit of a free-for-all. Each row doesn't empty out in an orderly fashion to go up and receive Communion. It's each man for himself and if you want to partake, you go up and get it, elbowing your way into the line. Whew.
Jan 21st, 2005, 11:23 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
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What a great trip you two had, but no surprised as it sounded like it was going to be so much fun.

Yes, isn't room service wonderful? Wonder why a lot of men don't like it.
And having time to get ready properly in the morning is heaven IMHO.

Wonderful report, for not taking proper notes you sure have a lot of details.
Wish I had that capability. Next trip I am determined to have a quiet glass of wine late each afternoon and write down the days information.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 21st, 2005, 11:47 AM
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"only holier and minus the tracks"
That is the funniest observation I have read here in weeks!

I'm glad you had a wonderful trip, Barb and I who met on Fodors will be on the loose in Rome soon, so this is intriguing.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Jan 21st, 2005, 11:53 AM
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Loving your report - and am very grateful for all the details (espcially considering no notes!).
bardo1 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2005, 12:02 PM
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I so agree with the leisurely start to the day. I saw Nativity scenes like model train sets in Italy too. I'm glad you had such a good time and that it worked out so well for you together.
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 21st, 2005, 12:07 PM
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Merci beaucoup for the compliments. I will cheerfully admit that I am a glutton for an audience, so I am very appreciative that you're all reading my report!

Sea Urchin, you'll have a great time in Rome. What's not to love about a city like glorious Rome? And girl trips are such fun. You get an entirely different perspective when travelling with someone of your own sex. You can go to the same places but come away with new impressions of it. I think it ought to be required travelling, to go with a friend every now and then, rather than always with a spouse or family. It certainly broadened my scope to go with Marcy.

After mass we looked around the church. Marcy particularly likes a painting in St. Sulpice of the Madonna and Child, and indeed it is very beautiful and worth seeking out. We read the disclaimer about "a certain popular best-seller" ie, the DaVinci Code. I think much too many people have read this book and taken it for more than fiction, to the annoyance of the Church. There's a terse message near the oblisque about the way things really are, as opposed to the way they're portrayed in the novel!

We spent a bit of time strolling the neighborhood, enjoying a stop at a wonderful bakery called Gerard Mulot at Rue de Seine and Rue Lobineau, near the Provencal shop Souleido. At 1:00 in the afternoon on a Sunday the place was mobbed! And no wonder: you should have seen the mouth-watering tartes, chocolates, and pastries. We were very good, though, and took only a photograph before heading over to the absolutely charming intersection called the Carrefour de l'Odeon where we sat down and had a coffee at Le Comptoir du Relais. Even though it was January, the sky was clear and it was warm enough to sit outside. The travel gods were surely smiling upon us! The view from our seats was very good. There was a beautifully painted trompe l'oeil building down the road a bit that caught my eye. (On a related note, there's an interesting and artistic mural of a person feeding birds, only it's not painted, it's formed with bits of iron bars. It is found on the side of a building that is on Rue de Vieuille Columbier near the intersection of Carrefour de le Croix Rouge in the St. Germaine des Pres neighborhood.)
Jan 21st, 2005, 12:47 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Great report. That's terrific you are able to nap on the day you get there. It doesn't work for me. I have to stay awake the first day until I start slobbering all over myself about nine o'clock, or I wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep.

Looking forward to hearing more about my favorite city.
maitaitom is online now  
Jan 21st, 2005, 12:54 PM
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Enjoying your report, dln. Glad you and Marcy had such a wonderful time. Aren't girls trips just a blast? I adore traveling with my hubby, but have a different kind of time with my best girlfriend.
Statia is offline  
Jan 21st, 2005, 12:58 PM
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I'm loving this report, it's getting me salivating over my trip next month. Where did Marcy buy the cheese tray?
Nikki is online now  
Jan 21st, 2005, 01:00 PM
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And? And? Never really had the desire to go to France but loving your report. MORE PLEASE!!!!
hightide is offline  
Jan 21st, 2005, 01:01 PM
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maitaitom, you had better stop making yourself sound so attractive when you travel LOL so many women will want to meet you

Imagine a church having to make announcements that things are really not like the novel/move!...
Scarlett is offline  
Jan 21st, 2005, 01:04 PM
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DLN, Great report you are making me hungry!
Jan 21st, 2005, 01:19 PM
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Thanks everyone for the nice compliments! Adoptionisfab, I haven't even mentioned the assortment of yogurts we bought (seeing that I'm making you hungry). They're so much better-tasting than ours. Less sugary, more creamy and what flavors! We got figue (fig) and rhubarb, which tasted like the pie without its crust. Almost like dessert.

After our cafe break we walked to the magnificent church of St. Etienne du Mont with its unusual rood screen. This church is in my top three beloved churches of Paris (the other two being Sacre Coeur and St. Severin). It's a very feminine, soft-looking church, not in the least bit imposing or austere. If I weren't so lazy in the morning I'd have preferred going there to mass, but St. Sulpice was closer! Afternoons are very good for visiting churches--it's lovely looking at the high afternoon sun streaming in through ancient stained glass windows. St. Genevieve, patron saint of Paris, is buried at St. Etienne, and we watched as elderly ladies approached the sarcophagus, touched it lightly, and hurried away, blessing themselves.

Ah, what else to do on a Sunday in Paris but visit another church! Marcy and I left St. Etienne for Montmartre and Sacre Coeur. We took the Metro to the Abbesses stop. I must warn you all that the Abbesses station is buried very deep in the ground. We should have figured this one out when we saw the ELEVATOR. Did we? Noooo. We climbed a million stairs up to ground level. It just about wiped Marcy out. And we had yet more stairs to climb to reach Sacre Coeur! I needn't tell you that when we walked into the church and saw that Vespers was beginning, we didn't give it a second thought. We marched in and grabbed a seat and sat for a good long while. This turned out to be a wondeful thing, too, because the altar was crowded with nuns in flowing habits and they all had exquisite voices. We were in for a real treat (though I will sheepishly admit that when the singing stopped and the priest took the pulpit, we left).
Jan 21st, 2005, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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"I will cheerfully admit that I am a glutton for an audience, so I am very appreciative that you're all reading my report!"

Hello, DLN, even I am enjoying your report, although not planning on going to France any time soon.
FainaAgain is offline  
Jan 21st, 2005, 01:46 PM
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I bought the cheese plate at a little shop called Fromagerie 31, 64 rue de Seine (between Blvd, St. Germain & Rue de Buci.

This was a wonderful little shop with a mouth-watering array of cheeses. I didn't know where to start, so I asked for a recommendation for an assortment, and the man said, "I make you a beautiful plate.", which he did, complete with instructions for the proper order to eat them!
marcy_ is online now  
Jan 21st, 2005, 01:53 PM
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dln & Marcy, I'm loving your report! I'm meeting my adult daughters and a friend in Paris in May for a "girl" trip before my friend and I meet our husbands in Greece. I think I'm more looking forward to the 5 days in Paris than 2 weeks in Greece!
I have to say I don't understand those who are reading your report yet admit no desire to go to Paris!
Judy is offline  
Jan 21st, 2005, 02:07 PM
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Marcy and I took in the views from Sacre Coeur. The sky was very dramatic. It was threatening rain and a huge dark cloud hovered over the sky. The effect was sort of like what you see when two liquids separate out--the sky was divided very distinctly into two layers of light and dark. I'd have lingered longer but I had to go to the bathroom! Badly enough to take a chance and follow the signs that pointed to the public toilets. Doesn't that phrase strike you with dread? It did for me, but we marched on down the hill in the oppocite direction of the funicular to what turned out to be very acceptable, very clean, very well-furnished and very free, restrooms! Each stall had its own sink, soap and mirror. What a find.
Jan 21st, 2005, 02:09 PM
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Sounds like great fun!

My DH has little interest in going to France, so I wonder how he would react if I told him that next month's "girls' night out" was going to be in Paris...hmmm...
Jocelyn_P is offline  
Jan 21st, 2005, 02:14 PM
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If you are not Siamese twins, why not?

I am enjoying your dual reports. More on food please.
peeky is offline  

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