Meet Me in Paris (Part II)

…continued from Part 1.  It’s Sunday morning in Paris, we get up and stroll through our neighborhood’s(behind Les Halles) market en route to The Marais.  We learned that in Paris it’s actually a law that each Arrondissement must have at least two markets a week–and the point of them is not novelty, but to feed the public with fairly priced-local food.  Sweet.

20140914_042035Though I don’t speak French, these folks speak my language.

MEMarkets every day of the week?  Yes, please.

20140914_042536Marais is a very popular part of town to visit on Sundays, because nearly all else is closed in Paris on Sundays.  20140914_045852It is also very cool.  I can’t believe how far this district has come since I was last there 13 years ago–where we primarily seeked the neighborhood out for the opportunity to see Jim Morrison’s grave at Père Lachaise Cemetery.


20140914_050619 The Marais has arrived (note the gentrification as evidenced by the All Saints/hipster store). It is fashionable and quite the “it” spot.

Hordes of people and cute trendy families wait for seats to eat in cafes.  20140914_050634We had a few “missions” while in the area.  The first being as we joked, a “death march” in search of what has been called the “best sandwich in all of Europe.” L’as du Fallafel.  We waited in a line reminiscent of what one would expect at Disneyland and searched for the FastPass, but alas it was worth wait/hype.

20140914_050706We ate it standing up with sauce deliciously dripping down.

fallafelWe shopped some local vintage clothing stores.

20140914_050759which were full of a lot of faux fur and jean shorts.

20140914_051222May be a trend there in the making?20140914_101616We walked back, once again through St. Germain

20140914_102242Where the light is magic, and now that we are not totally exhausted with jet lag, the specialness of this experience is truly starting to set in.  20140914_102713

Can you even stand the intricacy?20140914_102937The architecture does not disappoint, Notre Dame in all it’s splendor and the “All saints” of a different sort.

20140914_102948 20140914_105439Legendary cafes and restaurants, sprinkle the area and we want to enjoy them all, though must be selective.  20140914_105519Later that night we make our way to Relais Entrecote where we enjoyed the ultimate in gluttony, limitless steak frites. Covered in a delicious green peppercorn sauce of course, to dredge the perfectly cooked frites though.

LeRelaisdelEntrecote122310-01-RobynLeeCHECKLINK-FlickrYou know a restaurant is good and has perfected their main dish (and worth going to twice while in Paris, my 1st and 2nd times in the city) where steak frites is literally all. they. serve.

There is but one question, how do you like your steak cooked?


Again, this can be a spot with a long line (which was sort of our food destiny that day), and they do not accept reservations, so I would suggest getting there around opening, which I believe is 6 p.m. or prepare to wait.

The next morning, with bellies still full from steak and frites, we decided to do something cultural.  We headed to Musée d’lOrangerie,


which was described to us as somewhat of a ‘best hits” of  French Impressionism, and considering many of us had already hit the “majors” (Louvre, Centre Pompidou, etc.) on the French art scene, we were surely up for this highly curated experience.


a little Picaso and20140915_034130and Rodin are hardly something to sneer at, after all.  It culminated with the Claude Monet’s, Nymphéas (Water Lilies).  Which, though the 360 degree view of the canvases was stunning, we were not allowed to take pictures of, so you’re just going to have to trust me on this one;)


We met for lunch at Brasserie Lipp, stomping grounds of so many literary greats, such as Ernest Hemingway, and while it was good, by this point we were getting a little tired of French waiters giving us “the business.”  Maybe it was the words printed on the menu in English, “no salade as meal” that turned us off a bit, especially as some of us were still full from too many frites the night before.  So we started adopting our own little ‘tudes, you know, still acting respectful and trying to speak the language etc., but acting like the attitude did not get to us.  That’s the trick. You remember that scene when Meg Ryan finally figures that out in the movie French Kiss, right?

That night we took a mini hiatus from the night-life/restaurant circuit and imbibed on a lot of cheap (and good) french wine, Pringles, (turns out Pringles are very chic in Paris) and things foraged from daily markets.  Actually, it was one of our most fun nights.

pringlesNext morning our clan was to divide and conquer.  Some of the group wanted to walk up to see the gargoyles at Notre Dame bright and early.  My named mission (you know, the trip wouldn’t have been complete “had I not X)” was to check out Versailles.  Between a fixation on Marie Antoinette that I still cannot quite explain and some kind of force that also made a bike tour an easy possibility to see the grounds and Chateau, I simply could not resist.

One of my travel companions graciously agreed to accompany me.

20140916_023940So we set out for the day that began on an hour train ride outside Paris to Versailles.  Once we found our tour we were off on bikes to Marché Notre-Dame, a wonderful and active daily market to get our goodies for a picnic on the grounds of Versailles.  20140916_024150I could have spent all afternoon here.

20140916_024157 20140916_024509But we grabbed our charcuterie and pain, and patisserie and were off to our guided tour of the grounds.

20140916_025036 20140916_033011 20140916_034321The Queen’s Hamlet was the first stop.

20140916_035106 20140916_035434 20140916_035543This Neverland is a preserved little Eden for the Queen who reserved it as a favored place to escape (the pressures of the palace) with her children and favorite folks.  20140916_035554  It’s still kept pristine with the rows of vegetation, such as these perfect artichokes and lettuces and cabbages.20140916_035642 20140916_035652 We admired this sculpture given to Marie Antoinette as a gift from her husband (they married when she was 14), Louis XVI…who apparently was in the dog house often.

20140916_041600We biked a several miles around the grounds

20140916_044116 20140916_043953and rested at a spot on the Grand Canal for our picniccheeseI can’t lie, I still sometimes dream about this picnic and cheese, OH this cheese…

20140916_044925 The weather was simply gorgeous. 20140916_054218Eventually we made our way to the Château de Versailles, though I could have spent days in the gardens.

20140916_063722 20140916_064134

the opulence is, as you imagine.  20140916_065826Mondie and I snickered at the recent request of Kim Kardashian and Kayne West making the request to marry there over the summer.  They were of course denied permission.  I suppose there is some justice in the world.

20140916_065722 20140916_070931  20140916_071150 20140916_071616 20140916_070419we gawked at the Hall of Mirrors a.k.a. every girls dream room full of bling bling.

20140916_071316and it just went on and on.

20140916_071022 20140916_074815 20140916_075430And we ended outside Lee Ufan’s Arch of Versailles, a stunning contrast of new and old.

Making our way back to Paris by train, it was…I can’t believe —our last night, sigh.

We ran out last minute to fill our bags with souvenirs for our kids.  And quickly changed for our last meal in Paris.  We headed to Au Passage in the 11th.

au passageIt was without question, my favorite meal in Paris.  We had an amazing, multiple courses, a non-rude server, and with that, like all good things, the trip came to an end.

Au revoir Paris, until we meet again.




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