Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Visitors from CT in France!!!

 Hi all! We've been visited! (by friends, that is.) Mr. and Mrs. P came to see us a couple weeks ago.

Mrs. P is one of my very good friends and was my freshman year roommate in college. We've been friends now for almost 12 years. And, what's even better? Our hubbies get along too!

Makes for excellent get togethers and whatnot.

Well we started the trip with, of course, a visit or two to the great city of light, Paris. Except we saw a few non-touristy things, like bunnies on a balcony:

Here's Mr and Mrs P in front of La Sorbonne, the very famous university in  France:

Next we headed off to another great place near the Notre Dame:

The cherry trees were in full bloom, making for some wonderful chances to take some pics!

And, even though April in Paris is usually rainy, we had the best weather possible!

Of course it wasn't just the cherry trees that were in full bloom. Wisteria, or la glycine, was also going strong:

 And as always, we had to stop by our favorite little cupcake place, Bertie's Cupcakery. The perfect treat for an afternoon outing. Check them out!

But our outing didn't stop there. We continued on and found a flash mob pillow fight at the Place de la Republique!  So cool!

It was epic!

Oh the carnage!

The next day we headed back in to see the Sacre Coeur Basilica and the environments. So cool.
Ah ha! I see a basilica lurking behind a building.
We ate lunch at a great little restaurant called Chez Ma Cousine down a really touristy street up there (rue Norvins) and had delicious food. My friends ordered duck (<<magret>> and  <<cuisses>> or filet and legs) and I had the bavette. We chose not to do the prix fix and weren't disappointed at all.

After the great lunch, we walked around the place du tertre (artist square) and enjoyed looking at all the paintings and drawings up for sale. The portrait artists are fantastic and I can never get enough of watching them do their magic.

Continuing on, we made our way to the basilica.
Look who I saw, hiding in the trees!
We went through the church and it is breathtaking. Highly recommend a visit inside. The mosaic ceiling is beautiful. But the best part? Climbing the towers. You get to see all of Paris from the rooftop.
A little famous monument in the distance there...
Totally worth the 6 euros. You can stay up there as long as you want. Sing to the gargoyles if you choose (though I guarantee you will get some strange looks from the other people). Or just get lost in the moment and take as many photos as your camera will allow you. The choice is yours and you will be a happy person. Trust me on this one.

Tearing myself away from the fun we decided to go to the Seine and see the famous Pont des Arts (or "Lock bridge"). Mr and Mrs. P had a lock they wanted to attach. It was perfect!
You throw the key into the river behind you after you kiss to
symbolize your never ending love for each other. 
Awww. Mr. K and I have yet to do this, and by golly, we will. But, he needs to be present to do this. He was unfortunately away in Germany during this time. *sigh* There will be another time.

We walked along the Seine a bit more and just enjoyed being down by the water. Aside from the strong smells, the view is really quite nice.
Like the Notre Dame at sunset. Very nice.
We capped off the evening with a stop at Luxembourg Gardens for some ice cream. I had to try a new flavor.
Violette, or Violet ice cream
Yes, you read that right. Violet flavored ice cream. And it was just delicious. It tasted sweet and, well, just like a violet flower. If you've never tried violet candies, you're missing out and should definitely try the ice cream. Or just get the candies. Whatever you do, try the violets. It's very chic.

On another day during their trip, we went to see Versailles. Got up super early to beat the...non existant lines. Oh well, at least we got some nice photos! But truthfully, it can be quite bad if you're not there before 9:00am. We just happened to hit it right.
Le cour de marbre, or, The Marble Courtyard
We fell in love with the Hall of Mirrors:

And our other favorite was the Petit Hameau de la Reine, or the Queen's Hamlet where Marie Antoinette played shepherdess.

They had lots of animals out too. The following bunnies are for Miss O, second younger sister of mine.

Reminds me of Moose.

"He's so fluffy! I'm gonna die!" -Despicable Me
Aww, look at the widdle wabbit!

Just adorable.

Then we made our way back...
The grotto near the Queen's Hamlet
 And of course, the ever changing flowers at the Petit Trianon are quite spectacular.
Just look at those spiky ones. Intense I tell you!

After all that, we looked around at some shops in Versailles, but we were all rather tired and decided to call it a day and head back. That, and I had forgotten where some of the nice shops were. Eh, when you've only gone shopping one time in Versailles, you can't remember everything, right? 

We were tired. The bus was crazy. We happened to hit it at the time when all the middle and high schoolers take it to go home. Thank goodness we all had seats and Mr and Mrs P fell asleep from fatigue so they wouldn't have to endure the ripe smells on the way home. Middle schoolers with no room to sit on the bus had to stand holding onto the bar from the ceiling. The smells were so strong you could taste them. 


I kept envisioning this:

And it worked. 
A little. 
Okay, not really, but it was a nice try.

40 minutes later and we made it back to St Remy. The fresh country air never smelled so sweet. And we rested.  (So we could take a trip to Reims-the land of Champagne the following day)

But that's another blog post. I'll let you digest the goodies in this one. 

Until next time,

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