Monday, January 02, 2006

Finally: Christmas in Paris!

Alright, I'm watching the Fiesta Bowl, which my husband is at (I, however, didn't want to hop on a plane the day after getting back from Paris, so I stayed home) and I'm finally getting my account of the trip up:

Dec 24: We arrive in Paris around 11:30 am, make it through all the red tape with no problems, and take the RER into the city to go find our hotel. The problem is we have no idea, really, where it is. We have the address, and an approximate location, but... nothing definite. We get off the metro, with all our luggage, at the Luxemburg stop on the blue line, because we know that the hotel is near the Jardin du Luxemburg. But... it's almost exactly on the opposite side (and then some) from where the blue line comes out... Oh well. 45 minutes later, I'm about to kill Matt because I'm so tired, and we find our hotel. The beautiful Victoria Palace. I've never been so excited to see a hotel in my life. And it was everything we'd hoped it would be.

And we open the half bottle of champagne that's in the room (it's our honeymoon, after all!) and then fall asleep for 3 hours (we had gotten no sleep on the plane... and had been up for over 24 hours. We needed it!)

We wake up and head over to see Notre Dame, and Mass is going on, and there's a huge Christmas tree, and it's perfect. We talk about going in, but we're tired, and just happy to be there, and just taking it all in - and going inside seems to be more of a hassle than it's worth, so we decide to go back on Christmas. And then we go and have a kind of crappy expensive touristy meal. My salad with avec noix and rocheford had neither nuts nor any sort of cheese - but it did have canned tuna, sardines, RICE, cooked frozed vegetables (carrots, corn, peas... it looked like the succotash mix to me), and drowning in dressing. Oh well. We ate much better every day after that.

Dec 25: We get up, have the hotel breakfast, and then set out to walk around the city, which is mostly closed for the day. We walk to the Pantheon, which is closed but has a huge display of blue and silver decked christmas trees in front of it. Then we walk over to Notre Dame and do a quick, fun, crowded walk through druing Mass. Then we keep walking - see the ice rink and sledding hill that has been set up outside of the Chatelet - little Parisian children playing in the almost snow. I LOVED it. Next we went to the Centre Pompidou (the modern art museum) and go through their Big Bang exhibit - which was fun. Then - we get touristy food which we love - a gyro for Matt and a falafel for me. But you can tell you're in France because they're stuffed with des frites as well as the traditional Greek food. And we walk and eat and then go to get a bottle of wine at Sainte Severine, a little wine bar on the Seine. We each have a glass of Bordeaux and head back to the hotel. At the hotel we ask about places to eat close, and they direct us to the Montparnasse area which is about 2 blocks away from the hotel, and we head down and go to a small cute Italian place, Pizza Pino, and I have basically a bowl or tortellini and melted cheese, which is fantastic, and Matt has a complicated pizza thing - and more red wine. Then we pick up a bottle of red wine on our way home and drink it at the hotel just before we fall asleep, watching the last half hour of the Princess Bride in French on TV.

Dec 26: This is getting long. I'll try to be shorter. We bummed around the Louvre for most of the day, and then walked around the Ste. Germaine des Pres area, and Matt wanted very much the Moules et Frites at Chez Leon, so there we went. Look into the popular cafes from back in the day - Les Deux Maggots and Cafe de Flore, and they're very much more upscale than I expected. We have a bottle of wine at the Chai de l'Abbye, and then find The Moose, the Canadian Bar, and that is FUN.

Dec 27: Head to the Eiffel Tower, and it's snowing and the lines are from one leg to the other. And Matt and I have both been up in the tower, and we're NOT waiting in that line. So we head to the Musee D'Orsay. Then we try to go to a very nice Japanese place, Azabu, but they're full, and so we head over to Takara, which is closed for the holiday (and... did I mention about an hour of being lost in the finding of both Azabu and Takara?), so we go to Le Dauphin where Matt has his first foie gras of the trip, and we really enjoy the food. And the pinot.

Dec 28: This might have been my favorite day of the trip. We head to the Musee Picasso, and Picasso is my favorite artist, and they're running a special exhibition called "Picasso: Le Passion de Dessin" and my favorite things of Picasso are his drawings. And there were so many of them. And they're all brilliant. With this exhibition you could just see that Picasso couldn't sit still. He must have been drawing all the time. And I finally understand why he went to cubism - seeing some of his drawings, you can just tell that he could see so many angles, and everything that he could put in the drawing, and he just put it all in - he could see these angles, so they HAD to go into the picture. I love it. And we head up to the beautiful Sacre Coeur, which I'd never been to, and I think it's just gorgeous. And we have crepes on the street, and I love them. I just love everything. I'm kind of over the top today. Oh well. Then we ate at the AOC Cafe - it was amazing. Seriously the best food. Matt had the Cote de Normandy Boeuf, and I haven't heard the end of it, it was so good. I had a salad, which has become my favorite, with little crustini with melted goat cheese on them. And Creme Brulee. Then we went to Finegan's Wake bar, and drank Guinness with students, and I saw the funniest sign in the world.

Dec. 29: The Musee Rodin. Fun. I loved the little Giacomettis, the big Rodins, and the beautiful paintings. And lunch a little Cafe Musee near the Rodin. And it snowed. It was snowing off and on the entire time we were there. But not hard until the 30th. And then, good friends of ours had gotten us tickets to Le Lido, a caberet on the Champs Elysees, with amazing food and wine. or, REALLY good champagne. We sat next to an older British couple and we were at a table right against the stage, and we saw lots of boobs. Of all sorts. We picked out our favorites and compared. And lots of glitter and singing and dancing and gymnastics and ice skating. It was a really fabulous spectacle. I couldn't believe it.

Dec. 30: Ran out and did some present shopping, and had take out pizza for dinner. Very low key, very snowy. And I wasn't feeling the best. But it snowed like crazy, and we packed and laughed and watched Sumo wrestling and Iron Man competitions on French TV - it was really fun.

And the 31st we flew home, and I bought a Longchamps pink shopper, and we were ready to go home, but it was still sad. And then Matt turned around and flew to Pheonix on the 1st. Crazy. I couldn't do it. And now I have to get back to the game. Because we're losing 14-7 to Ohio State in the 2nd. And that can't be right!!

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a wonderful honeymoon. I wish I was in Paris for Christmas.

librarian pirate said...

they were obviously loosing because you weren't paying attention!

v said...

Wow, seems you two had a wonderful trip. Great photos btw.

Seriously though, did you get any strange looks if someone heard your American accent?

And did you see much of Manet's work? I don't know much about art but I like-a-the Manet.

Great post mb!

TheIdleReceptionist said...

Oh, it sounds like you had a FABULOUS time... :o)

Did you make it to the Mona Lisa?

Ooo...memories of warm streeeeeet creeeeeepesssss....((like Homer Simpson)) UUuuuuugggghhhhhhh......

starbender said...

What a fantastic trip!
Happy New Year!
:)

The RetailJunkie said...

I love how you had a day in your room watching hilarious foreign TV. One day when we were really tired on our honeymoon my husband and I watched American monster trucks with a hilarious Italian voiceover. Brilliant.

muse-in-training said...

Sorry about the loss.

But your honeymoon sounds like it was fantastic!

Glad you're home safe.

e-liz said...

It sounds fab! I'm glad you are back though.

HelpMeBubba said...

Glad you're back! Happy New Year!!

blog Portland said...

Christmas in Paris. Someone made the nice list this year.

Jsto said...

Glad you had a great time. No sign of your husband in Tempe, but we were staying at one of the official Ohio State hotels. Oops

Kelly said...

Great pics!
Still jealous, of course...
But Happy New Year anyway!

neal said...

Marcia, the post and the pictures are just wicked awesome! Reminds me of a few things:

1. I should go to Paris soon;
2. I need to get married;
3. Blogging had to be better than enduring that Notre Dame pain at my Notre Dame game watch...

Liz said...

Marcia, count me among your jealous fans...

(And despite being an Indiana girl, I was rooting for the Buckeyes... Sorry.

Kat said...

I love that you gave us a little travel diary upon your return! We missed you!

Fiesta Bowl was, like not okay.

blackbird said...

after reading this, I feel like I had a mini trip to Paris...
but I need one of those big long sandwiches they sell on the street!

Jen said...

BTW- Your pics are amazing!!! I just went in September and recognize all of them. It looks a little different around Christmas. I want to travel again now. I better start saving some money.

Kat in da Hat said...

Welcome home!

Zee said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip! And the pictures were great.

2faced said...

I WAS AT THE FIESTA BOWL TOOOOO-- MAYBE I SAW YOUR HUBBY! HAHAHHA