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Country #13: France

May 11, 2011

As usual, we have already told you some things about our time in France – the Fat Tire bike tour, our trip out to the Loire Valley, hot chocolate at Angelina’s, and our bike rides in Versailles.  So on to the rest of our time in Paris.

Our first real night in Paris (we got in really late the night before), Leigh cooked us an fantastic meal and then we headed over to sit in front of the Eiffel Tower with a good bottle of wine.  They live about a two minute walk from the park that is just in front of the Eiffel tower – a killer location and an awesome apartment.  It was a great night and a fun time to get to catch up!

Jack with his crepe guy

Having the bikes was an awesome way to get around the city.  Jack gave us directions and a map so that we would be able to just ride around as we pleased.  Our first day on our bikes without Kiwi Karl, we headed over to Luxembourg Gardens and passed tons of sights on our way, including a beautiful old church.  We stopped in the gardens and sat and read for a while watching the sun start to set and snacked on a baguette.  Eventually, Jack and Leigh met us around that area and we all headed off to pick up dinner at L’As Du Falafel.  We got the food, which was an incredible falafel, and headed to a nearby park to have a picnic.  Unfortunately, Leigh got attacked by a duck and then the park closed not too long after we got there, so we had to finish our meal on the street.  We didn’t mind though, because the falafel was so good!  Crazy as this sounds, it was better than the falafel we had in Israel.

Monet at the Musee de l'Orangerie

Then, we got back on our bikes and headed towards the Louvre and to see the inner courtyard where Jack and Leigh got engaged – they even briefly reenacted it for us.  The Pont des Arts is a famous bridge that a lot of people sit on at night and have drinks.  So, from the Louvre, we rode over to the bridge and joined the masses hanging out enjoying the night.  I’m glad we did it but it was extremely crowded.

Another day of our biking adventure, we stopped at L’Orangerie which is an impressionist art museum.  Steven is the bigger art fan of the two of us, specifically impressionism, but I was even extremely captivated by the museum.  It was awesome!  Upstairs there were two round rooms that each had four of Monet’s water gardens wrapped around the walls.  The picture we have doesn’t do it justice but I’m still including it to give you an idea of what it was like.  Downstairs, there were tons of paintings from Renoir to Picasso to one more Monet – Steven loves Monet and was sad there was only one of his paintings downstairs.  

Notre Dame at Sunset

While we were in Paris, we got to enjoy seeing Jack and Leigh’s life there as well as the sights of the city.  One of their friends, Graham, had a birthday party at a Mexican food restaurant during our stay.  It was great getting to meet their friends and celebrate Graham’s birthday with them.  Plus, we always love eating Mexican food!

Locks of love on the bridge

Another part of their daily life that we experienced was going to the grocery store and open air market with Leigh.  Jack and Leigh were having an Ocho de Mayo party and we were helping to prepare so we went with Leigh to buy supplies.  They have a good little grocery store down the street plus several other little stores nearby.  And twice a week, there is an open air market that sells a ton of stuff and it is just down the way from them.  I love the open air markets! 

For the last several years, we have been having an Ocho (or whatever number) de Mayo party so it was fun to still get to have one this year.  We had pork tacos (the same ones I posted the recipe for), salad and salsa made by Leigh, guacamole by Katy, queso by Jack (thanks for sending the velveeta and rotel Mom!), clerico by Steven (which we learned about in Argentina), and Mexican beer.  It was a ton of food and was sooo good! 

The Louvre at dusk

Our last night, Jack and Leigh took us to a typical French restaurant so we could have one nice, final meal in Paris.  It was absolutely amazing.  Everything we ate was so good.  My favorites were the escargot, oysters, foie gras, and of course the dessert, an amazing chocolate cake with caramel.  Yum.

While on the food subject, I should probably just keep going with all of the awesome food we had that I haven’t already mentioned.
– I love the patisseries in France!  We had tons of good baguettes and cheese and lots of good chocolate croissants. 
-Of course, you know my love for Angelina’s hot chocolate. 
-Leigh cooked us several really, really good meals – thanks Leigh!
– We really wanted to try good macaroons while we were in Paris so we asked Leigh what her favorite place was – she said Pierre Herme but that Laduree was the most famous.  So we decided to try them both but unfortunately, Pierre Herme was closed when we went!  So we only got to try Laduree which was good but I will definitely be trying Pierre Herme next time we come to Paris. 
-Crepes!  Jack has a crepe friend that he made while he was in Paris for the summer back in college.  So of course we had to try the crepes from Harry.  We got a nutella crepe and it was excellent. 

So basically, all of the food we had in France was wonderful!

We loved our time in Paris – both because we love the city and because we got to hang out with good friends.  We definitely plan to go back, see everything we didn’t see this trip, and visit more friends.

Thanks to Jack and Leigh for being such wonderful hosts!  We can’t wait to have you come stay with us!


One Comment leave one →
  1. June 3, 2011 13:34

    What a rich trip! You need to stop making it sound so perfect.

    I’m D.C. this weekend with Joe! We’ve already talked about any thought of you. Love y’all.

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