Sunday, July 21, 2013

Momma in France

Hi there friends!

Again, sorry about the MIA on the blog here. We were BUSY!

My Momma came to visit us in France for a few weeks.  And as this was her first time experiencing more than 6 hours in France, we had to show her everything we could think of!
We went to see Versailles (inside and out), had a guided tour in the magnificent Chartres Cathedral, went to the second story of the Eiffel Tower, took a Bateaux Mouches cruise on the Seine, walked through the Notre Dame and tasted the finery of Bertie's Cupcakery, meandered through St. Michel, waked under the Arc de Triomphe and shopped on the Champs Élysées, experienced Gif village life and typical French food, and best of all, we went to see the fireworks for Quatorze Juillet (Bastille Day), Gif-style, complete with a 70s and 80s cover band.

Seriously, it was fantastic!

So I'm including in this post a few choice pictures, my personal favorites from the stay.

First off, Momma in Paris with Mr. K:

Lock Bridge (Petit Pont) by Notre Dame
Minelli Shoes during Soldes in Paris!

Pantheon from the Latin Quarter

Now that's a lot of flavors from which to choose

Luxembourg Garden and Faun

St Geneviève, Patron Saint of Paris
After a wonderful time in Paris, it was time to see a place a bit closer to home...

Versailles Gardens to be exact!

 Lucky for us they have a bus that goes from St. Remy to Versailles so we could go to the Musical Gardens (Baroque music plays while you watch fountains).

Mirror Fountain, where the water was timed to the music.

Orangerie, a small taste of Florida in France here

Gorgeous gardens!

Momma and Daughter, classic shot in front of gates
Going further a field, we three headed to Chartres, home of the most beautiful stained glass cathedral.

Blue stained glass is unique to Chartres

This here is the Madonna and child on the left. So pretty, the picture doesn't do
it justice.  Love that "Chartres bleu".

Behind the altar is this large Baroque sculpture, which really irritated our guide.
"Why mix gothic and Baroque? It makes no sense to me."

Then we stopped for a some tea, hot chocolate, and pain au chocolat. Miammmm!

During Momma's visit, she got to experience the first Sunday of the month, when all the museums are free entry. She wanted to see the Louvre and so we went. We learned from our friends who lived here that to visit the Louvre on Free day, you go to the Porte de Lions (it's on the right side, looking at the pyramid as you come from the Jardin des Tuileries, and has two lions statues in front of it). No line to enter and it's painless, which is exactly what we did. You enter down in the scupltures and whatnot for ancient greece, but it's worth it.

Momma and Mr K in front of "The Last Supper"

This was a new sculpture mixed in with the old.
It's called "Venus aux chiffons" and is supposed to represent an irony.
We just thought it looked out of place.

Classic shot from our balcony lunch, at 2pm and the line is just endless. Porte de Lions, I'm telling you!

These are the three graces, sort of. I liked the middle one as she represents "Science"

They had an exhibition on Scandinavian Art, so of course, I had to go see it.

This is one my Mom liked, because she had a beautiful face and was with a dog. There is no title to this one, but it's done by Waldemuller.

And you can't see the Louvre without looking at the Mona Lisa, but all my pictures turned out terrible due to the mass of people looking at the little lady. So I got a better picture of a Vermeer. This is "Lady at the Window"

Classic Louvre day, we left exhausted. But the air-conditioned Carrousel and Pyramid revived us for the long trek home.

We had to rest up that night because we were back to Paris the next day: Eiffel Tower day!

Tip to the wise: buy your tickets online and you avoid the massive lines. 

A bust of the great man himself, Gustav Eiffel

We went to the second tier by elevator. I've walked it before, but it's a hike.
 Back on solid ground, we found a lovely bench to photograph the event.

And another tip, walk along the Seine on the other side and you can get great shots of the Eiffel Tower.

Our view from our picnic lunch
 After the Eiffel tower, we had to stop by the Champs Élysées. I had the famous song by Joe Dassin, "Champs Élysées", in my head the entire time. It's catchy!

This is just funny. Oh, Louis, you are a riot.

Avenue du Champs Élysées during Soldes. Of course we did some shopping!
Back to Versailles after a day of rest and chores. This time we visited inside, the Petit and Grand Trianons, the Queen's farm and her hamlet. So pretty. It had been about 6 years since I had done that. Loved it!

Another tip to see Versailles: buy your tickets online and get there at 9am. You'll get right in after only 10 minutes of waiting. Key if you want to actually move in line.
The front gate to Versailles.

The chapel

Hall of Mirrors for the Sun King, Louis XIV

Marie Antoinette's room

Delicious pause for macarons and the best chocolat chaud ever tasted at Angelina's!
We both agreed that the Apricot and the Vanilla macarons were the best.

Hameau de la Reine (Queen's hamlet)

Bunnies! This one's for you Liv!

Petit Trianon (where the Queen resided to escape the palace)

The Grand Trianon (where the King resided to escape the palace)

Looking royal, Momma!
Our feet were so tired after walking all the grounds, we took the Petit Train back to the palace to go home. It was so worth the 3,70 euros for a one way. Get on at the Grand Trianon and you get a nice long ride back.

We rested the next couple days, saving our energy for what was to come...Bateaux Mouches on the Seine and Notre Dame.
We were early to the boats, so we walked through the Notre Dame.

Have you had cupcakes in Paris? No? Well you should! It's to die for!
Clockwise from right: Strawberry Lemonade, Pistachio Vanilla, and Coffee.

How can you say no to such a cute little place? Next to the Notre Dame on a side street. Do it!

Walking through the Bird and Flower Market.

Me and Mr K on the boat.

Ta-da! Gorgeous as always.

And the carrousel was there too!

Momma has dreamed of getting her picture taken on the Bateaux Mouches since she was in 6th grade. Live it up, Mom!
But of course, the big treat we had was celebrating 14 Juillet (Bastille Day) with the Gif village- in 70s/80s style.

Everyone who was anyone was there.

 Oooh! Aaaah! We had 20 minutes of great fireworks to the music of Blondie, Claude Francois, and the Village People, and a female cover of "You're Just Too Good To Be True".

After the fireworks, the cover band came back on and played great hits, all in English, like Survivor's Eye of the Tiger, Police's Lonely, and many more.

Mom rocking out!

The band, Wanted Revival

The 14 Juillet "Bal" or Dance complete with disco balls.
We didn't get home until 1:30 am (we walked home as it was only 3km) happy and tired.

And thus a wonderful time with Momma came to an end. We loved having her here!

Until next time,



  1. Beautiful pictures as usual!

    1. Aww! Thank you, kindly! :-) I am turning into a little bit of a photographer these days, huh? Hope you're staying cool this summer!