Friday, July 27, 2012

Paris Memories

As we left Paris for several days in the Netherlands before returning home, we were already filled with an overload of warm memories and the assault on the senses that only traveling to a place so different from your own could bring.
We knew we would miss Jerry's beautiful apartment in the Marais. This was our view each morning!
His style is so strong, his nose for antiques to sharp that there were beautiful vignettes throughout.
These are a couple of my favorites.
On the last night of our time in Paris, Jerry treated us to the dinner of a lifetime at the restaurant Verjus, located on Rue Richelieu, not far from either the Louvre or the Opera. 
We started with a green gazpacho (cuke and green pepper)  with mozzerella, chickpeas, sweet peas and an awesome garlic crouton.
That was followed by a poached egg salad with hummus, frissee, fingerling potatoes, green goddess dressing and fava beans. 
Next we enjoyed several main courses, including skillet cooked hake...
...grilled milk fed veal with asparagus, chilipeppers, radish salad and ricotta andpan seared duck breast (tasted Rick's!).
There were cheeses and our choice of two amazing desserts. Wine was plentiful, and while the courses were small, our three-hour dinner left us most satisfied and ready for a nighttime walk home.
It was a glorious introduction to France for Rick and a wonderful visit for me! Here are a few of my parting tips!

Parting Tips!

1) Enjoy Paris at night. They don't call it the City of Lights for nothing! 
2) Get a good guidebook or map that you can take with you. I'll post something soon on Chopsticks and Strings on guidebooks. We liked a small one by Knopf called "Paris" which was divided into neighborhood sections. It was small enough to fit in my purse and offered spots to eat, shop or visit in each section. The maps unfolded into a tidy and manageable size and it was extremely easy to use.
3) Backpack or purse -- you will want one large enough to include an umbrella (and you might want to consider taking one even when the day begins just fine, unless it's a drought period!), your guidebook, camera, etc. Mine was a little big but there were only a few times I regretted it. CARRY SNACKS.

4) Plan and Don't Plan -- by this I mean you need to have the main things under control -- like your tickets or reservations. But be flexible. Some of our best experiences came from things not working out quite as we planned. Good prep before you leaving can help you with your decisions.
5) About wardrobe -- Europe tends to be dressier than the U.S., at least in the cities. Long ago Tara Bradford suggested no big white tennies! I was lucky this time to find some black Mary Jane style tennies by Propet that took me everywhere with a minimum of pain. And a nice scarf or two can make it seem you have a whole new wardrobe.
6) Managing the metro is pretty simple -- you buy a ticket. You can also buy an extended pass for a week (least expensive option) or a carnet -- a group of 10 tickets. Don't be caught without a ticket. And remember, you need to hold it till you leave the train as they may check it.

7) A language class helps.And by this, I mean a basic conversational French class. I took one at Evening College last year -- ten weeks and we learned the basics. It's fun to try and speak (though people are very kind about assisting you!) and it helped me tremendously in reading the French-only explanations at museums.

8) Shopping. Of course you want to shop, so budget for it. Things to remember -- prices are what they say they are; tax is included. If you spend a great deal in one place you may be able to get some of that tax back. There are many department stores in Paris -- I must show you Gallerie Lafayette.
Take a look at that Tiffany ceiling! It was truly the most elegant store I've ever visited (with prices to match.)
It's near the Opera Garnier and if you go, take the time to go to the roof where you have a magnificent view of Paris!
9) Museums. At the end of the vacation posts, I will do a bit on small museums that might not otherwise be noticed and that may be worth your while. Do check out the museum pass. They can be purchased for several days if your feet and brain will handle all your museum visiting in that time!
10) Don't overprogram yourself. It's easy to say that -- harder to do, when you know you may not be back soon. Overprogramming leads to sore feet, overload and exhaustion. Find the little ways to relax and still enjoy without a timetable.
11) Go Parking. Sit in a park. Maybe with lunch, maybe for a break. You may get to see a wild and crazy ping pong game!
12) Turn left when you meant to turn right. If you get lost, don't panic. Look around. You may find things you never expected that will enchant and delight you!

13) Be aware of recycling. The streets of Paris are remarkably clean for such a large city. Treat it kindly.
14) Taste new things! Eat off the street. Savor!
15) Enjoy every second! 

(We'll visit the Netherlands soon, but take a brief break to post on some fun things happening in my world here! Remember, all these posts count for a prize drawing!)


Debby@Just Breathe said...

Love the photos. Takes me back to my trip last year and I really did enjoy the beautifully presented meals. Great tips, thank you.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

As always, great post! Your tips are spot on! My biggest recommendation to people is to try to stay in an apartment so you can have a kitchen! I saved money by eating 1-2 meals in my home - and it gave me an opportunity to shop at the markets and go to places like the butcher for a roasted chicken (which was to die for!!). And resisting the urge to over-plan is a vital tip, too! You def need time to just wander and stop when you want!

I have loved these posts about Paris!!!

Joanne Huffman said...

A beautifully photographed and fond farewell to aris. I like your travel tips.

Toriz said...

Thanks for all the tips; I'll bear them in mind when I finally get to visit Paris for myself!

Marilyn Miller said...

Good advice! I still need to go back again to explore new places. One thing I have not done is the department stores. I guess I need to check out your guide if I go again. I remember this advice about the white tennies from Tara too. Those wearing them definitely stood out when walking around.

Maggie said...

What a marvellous Ambassador for Paris you are! Your posts make me want to jump on a train tout suit, wonderful .

bibliolathas said...

Such sensible advice - you're spot on. I love your photos - that meal looks absolutely amazing.

ds said...

Gorgeous photos, and sound advice. I hope I can make use of that someday! Thank you.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Excellent travel tips! I'll take them to heart for sure!

Sally Wessely said...

You truly did have a marvelous time. The photos tell it all. Your host was amazing. I don't recall how you met him. I'm sure you told us the connection, but I have forgotten. What a gift it is to have a place like that in which to say.

I had to really laugh at the photo of Rick. He looks as if he was just plain exhausted. Traveling is hard work!

Your tips are fabulous. If I ever travel again overseas, I must remember to make of note of them.

Jennifer Richardson said...

this is such a treat
to tag along
and soak in the beauty
through your eyes
and wonderful storytelling.
thanks for sharing
so richly.....i feel
as if i've been a fly
on the wall:)

Tracy said...

Hi, Jeanie! I've been savoring every taste and sip of your trip to France via your post... Thank you for being so generous with photos, stories and tips! That picture of Rick sprawled on the sofa says how wonderful it all was--that happy exhaustion, you know. ;o) Can't wait to see all that's been happening in your world before you take us to the Netherlands. Happy Week ((HUGS))

Introverted Art said...

The view from that window is just fantastic. I love the recycling garbage from Paris. it reminds of some of my favorite movies that have some scenes around a trash box just like that...

Arti said...

AMAZING post to finish off our Paris tour. Thanks so much for being our guide and offering us spectacular photos and useful tips. Those night photos are inspiration in themselves. And the dinner... I now know how much I'd missed when I visited Paris the last time. Be my guide will you, for real? ;) I look forward to your Netherlands posts.

Bella Rum said...

Your tips are dead on. Especially the ones about packing a snack and umbrella and allowing yourself to get a little lost. Sometimes you find the best things when you wander a bit.

The pics of the food are fantastic. I want to taste everything. And I love Jerry's apartment. How lucky you were to have such a place to stay.

joyce said...

"A nose for antiques"...what a compliment!

shoreacres said...

What delightful days you had. Thanks for sharing them with us!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Another scrumptious Paris Post! So many wonderful pictures of so very many wonderful foods and places..! That Tiffany Ceiling is FANTASTIC! I have so enjoyed these Paris Posts, my dear...More than I can say---REALLY! They Have Been Divine, in every way...! Thank you sooooo much!

Alexa said...

So glad you found me, so I could find you in return and vicariously enjoy your fabulous trip to Paris! I'm going back now to see the whole thing --

paris parfait said...

Nice to see the pic of Jerry and you and sounds like a wonderful meal out! Funny pic of R zonked out on the daybed; long days of walking around Paris will do that to you! So glad you both had an amazing trip.

The Artful Diva said...

I've never been to the Netherlands - would love to do that one day. We're talking about a trip to Nova Scotia - have you ever been there?

Privet and Holly said...

Catching up, here,
and so enjoyed all
your tips as well as
the eye candy! Thanks!

I have not been to
Paris in 16 years but
hope to visit again,
some day. I can just
imagine how hard it
was to leave that darling
apartment in the Marais!

Happy Thursday,
xo Suzanne

~*~Patty S said...

waking up in that apartment would make me never want to leave

what a grand grand time you all had


Annie Jeffries said...

I'm a little late but didn't miss the "further adventures of . . . " Great tips. Main not ever use them in Paris but domestic use works for me, too.

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