Paris - Day 3 - Ditchin' the kids!

Trip Start Jun 25, 2008
Trip End Sep 01, 2008

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bonjour from your Guest Blogger aka Mimi.

Mommy and Daddy took off for a romantic evening in beautiful Paris, leaving me with les enfants for some fun and good ol' fashioned spoiling. Oh la la...

We started out with a cool book called Paris Mini, showing some of the places we planned on seeing in Paris and little art projects for each. The book inspired us so much that soon we were creating the Arc de Triomphe and the Tour Eiffel with our Monster chips.

Then we put together a cool tractor thing with a wrench and screwdriver - it was a gift to Samuel from the Boudin family - it can be taken apart and made into a helicopter too. Fun watching the little ones with tools and lots of little parts...kind of like Ikea Mini. That done, we headed to a community park and playground - after we visited the very nice lady at Amorino for some limone glace. So good and only a block from our apartment. A great dessert after a sandwich of peanut butter, honey and Nutella on brioche bread. Tres bien!

Ella, being world famous for skipping, insisted that we skip all the way to the park. Ol' Mimi rested on a park bench and watched Sam & Ella make their place among the local children. It was adorable to watch Ella dodge the advances of a little girl bully; when Ella couldn't get far enough away from her, she came and asked me what to do. She tried, "Bonjour, je suis Ella." to no avail and was happy that saying "Non!" and shaking her finger finally did the trick.

I took out mon Aquarelles and painting board and painted a simple picture of Sam in the sandbox and Ella on le cheval. They recognized themselves (which made me happy) and got excited about painting their own pictures. Very fun and you can see that Samuel painted a little bear holding a heart and a pink tulip; Ella painted an abstract featuring a purple oval.

We walked back to the apartment to unload our paints and walked to the Metro, which took us to Le Relais L'Entrecote, a steak and frites restaurant where we'd eaten the night before with Mommy & Daddy. Sam's call...he likes good food just like his Daddy. The Metro brought us back to Denfert-Rochereau just in time for more glace from Amorino. Then it was back home for a bubble bath, a Mimi Massage, a bedtime story about Monsieur Antoine and a back sctratch until they fell asleep, 11pm.

So now the hour is 1am and this guest blogger is tres fatigue. Signing off for a bon nuit, dormir avec les anges.


*** ***

Asher back at the helm again. Great to have my mommason here!

Janice and I are so excited to be able to escape from the hijos today and enjoy Paris by ourselves. First things first, we pack our backpack and head to the hotel ... a one-night stay as a surprise for Janice. We take the Metro to the Arc de Triomphe, and begin our wak down Champs-Elysees towards the Louvre. Two blocks down, we hang a right ... and half a block off the main drag, we find Hotel Galileo. Its a wonderful 3-star hotel. Close to everything. Friendly staff. And a crazy bargain. I got it during peak season (August) at LESS than the standard rate. $149 euros for us... WooHoo!

After checking in, we head downstairs and enjoy a leisurely stroll along Champs-Elysees. Window shopping, checking out the amazing car store displays ... and then our stomachs begin to growl. Janice's choice today for food. We stroll off the beaten path in search of a smaller, less touristy (and less expensive hopefully) place to stop for lunch. We find a packed little place called L'Ecluse Francois Ier. Only two seats left in the house, ... PERFECT!

As we look over the menu, our neighbor (a guy near our age eating lunch with his father) leans over and suggests that we order the Steak Tar Tar. I've never had it. But seeing the big glob of gooey raw meat on his father's plate is a little too much for me today. I pass on his first recommendation, but ask him for another recommendation. He's eating a nice slab of beef with a little bowl of mashed potatoes. Looks perfect, so I order a plate. Janice gets a nice chicken breast salad. All good food.

When the food comes, we continue talking with our neighboring table. Turns out that Xavier (the guy our age) and his father are both native Parisians. We talk a bit about local things to do and see, and I mention the two restaurants that I've planned for our time in Paris (L'entrecote yesterday, and L'alterior de Joel Rubichon for tonight). I can see the look of approval in his eyes, and he tells me that L'entrecote is a local favorite and VERY good (we agree!), and that Joel Rubichon is 'tre bon' ... with the old hand towards the mouth kissing motion and everything. His big smile and approving eyes makes me feel like a million bucks. My research has paid off! : )

More talking and laughing with Xavier. His father doesn't speak any English, so we mostly just chat with Xavier. Once again, my complete and utter lack of French speaking ability is a wonderful source of amusement for everybody at the table. More talking ... and then, I'm worried that we've been a bother to them. But ... NO! They tell us they love the opportunity to meet people from other parts of the world. Awesome. I ask if either have been to the States or if they are coming soon. Xavier is coming to CA in three weeks. LA area for the bulk of the trip, but he will make a stop up on SF for three days. I ask him if he has any friend to meet there (nope, its a work trip) and I suggest we meet him and his colleagues for a night on the town. Dinner or drinks maybe. Or .. better yet, a baseball game! Jaione and Inigo loved it so much, and its such an American experience ... Perfect! Its settled then. We will treat him and his friends to a game (we might even bring a blind date for Xavier ... he's handsome and single!) As Xavier and his father get up to leave, we discover that they've bought Janice and I coffee. Too cool! And then... as if it couldn't get any better, it turns out Xavier works in the film industry (upper brass actually) and so he has offered us free tickets to enjoy Wall-E tomorrow. ... in English! Awesome!

Its so stinking cool to be making these most random connections. Not only is it enriching our trip beyond measure, ... but I feel like we are making genuine friendships around the globe, ... AND its teaching me so much about social interactions and making new friends at home.

After lunch, we feel like we are on cloud nine having met Xavier and his father. How random and crazy cool! I wish all of you could meet him. A great guy.

Janice and I enjoy some more walking and window shopping along the boulevard ... and we purchase the museum passes we will need for the next couple of days (a discount card that allows you in all the major sights and lets you skip the lines!) ... before we return to the hotel for some R&R. On the way to the hotel, we spot something that sends Janice in to a smiling frenzy: NESPRESSO HQ! A three story shop of everything Nespresso, complete with two eating/drinking areas where you can be served a special Nespresso creation. Despite the fact that we are both stuffed to the gills, ... we make a stop and enjoy a mocha drink with a scoop of vanillla ice cream plunked right in the drink. Yessss.... and then, to the hotel. One thing we love about Europe is how there always seems to be a tennis match or two on TV! So great to watch these pro's go at it.

Before we know it, its time to get dressed and ready for our evening activity: dinner at L'Alterier Joel Robuchon. . This is our largest splurge activity by far on the whole trip. Its not cheap. At all. But just the fact that we got reservations is a flippin' miracle. Normally, you must reserve a spot several months in advance. BUT, it turns out that like many popular high-end Parisian restaurants, this place closes for the summer. Guess the re-opening date? TODAY! Just a couple of days ago was the first time they've taken reservations, and guess who got in? US! SWEET! They only take reservations for one time each night: 6:30pm. Otherwise, you have to stand in line outside and wait for a table to open up. ... When we arrive at 6:20pm, there is already a line outside. Its crazy. And every seat inside is taken when we are finally ushered in. ... An eight course meal gets us one last chance to taste modern French cuisine. YUM! ... The set up for the place is sort of like Sacramento's "The Kitchen", minus the loud chef. A huge open kitchen, with bar stools around. You get to watch the eight or nine chefs working on your plate before its brought to you. Good times. Low camera battery = no pictures of each course. Just trust me. It was awesome.

After dinner, we are fully bloated and walk around a bit more before crashing at the hotel for some much needed sleep. What a day!
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nicoleisjealous on

wish I were there
I wish I were there to go to Nespresso HQ with Janice. That would be my kinda treat.

tonja_f on

... I'm not sure I'm officially taken... *hint, hint* hehe. Sounds tres magnifique! wait, is that even french? :)

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