Friday, January 1, 2010


Paris!!! (Tuesday December 29)
(Happy Birthday Grandmere and Amanda!!!)

We woke up at 6 am this morning to make the hour drive to Chartres to take the one-hour train to Paris. Yes, we should have just driven to Paris given it’s only an hour away, but it’s almost impossible to drive in Paris, so this was easier somehow. My aunt Dany, cousin Caroline, Mom and I all got to the Montparnasse train station around 10 am and went straight to Café Atlantique across the street. We used to come here a lot with my grandmother, so I couldn’t wait to go back and finally get my croissant and café au lait. My aunt and cousin complain instantly about the prices, but I guess considering they live in the country, Parisian prices are quite high. It’s comparable to San Francisco, so I’m happy. It actually ends up being cheaper since according to Dany and Caroline, you don’t tip the server. I hear conflicted theories on tipping, but whatever.

Unfortunately it’s raining, but we still walked down Rue de Rennes and peeked in all the shops. We found this great ceramics store where I found a fancy wine opener and mom found some miniature spoons for her miniature dinners she’s eventually going to make, I’m assuming. She’s lagging on the blog, so definitely give her grief when you see her. ;-) Honestly, she’s so busy, she hasn’t had time to do anything. It’s been a busy week!

We walked down to St. Germain des Pres to look at the fancy couture shops and although I wanted to keep walking, we took the metro station to our next destination – Sacre Coeur in Montmartre. We get off the metro station and although the Sacre Coeur is a beautiful church and huge tourist destination, it’s in an awful part of town. We all hold tight to our pockets and purses and walk quickly to the cathedral. It’s on the top of a hill and once up there, gives you a magnificent view of the city. You can take a tram to the top, but considering the only exercise we have done in a week is move our jaw and walk down the street to see the donkeys, we decided to take the stairs. Mom and I wanted to return to a restaurant up on the top of the hill where we went a couple years ago in the main square, Place du Tertre, called La Cremaillere It was raining on and off, but the square and entire area was so crowded. We ate moules frites (muscles and French fries, common French dish). We even saw the same waiter we had the last time we were there. DELICIOUS!

We walked back down the stairs, got back on the metro and headed over to the Latin district on Blvd. St. Michel, up the street to the Jardin de Luxembourg and finally back to the Montparnasse train station where we said goodbye to Caroline, Mom and Aunt Dany. Valentin invited me to stay with him and his adorable girlfriend, Camille, for the night in their apartment in Versailles, so we stayed behind. Versailles, best known for the Chateau de Versailles where Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette lived back in the day, is about 15 minutes outside of Paris by train. I love doing Paris by night!

We met Camille at a bar over by Bastille and then went to dinner to a fabulous bistro called Bofinger. Highly recommend it. However, we didn’t have a reservation, so had to wait until 10:30 to eat. Totally worth it though. Menu below:

Prix Fix Menu at 25 Euros (about 30 USD)
Starter: Duck foir gras with fruits confit and pistachios
Meal: Beef Carbonade with steamed potatoes (AMAZING0

We quickly ran through the metros in Paris to catch the last train out back to Versailles at 1:15 am. Perfect day!

Famous Cathedral in front of Chartres Train Station

Croissant and cafe au lait!

Mom halfway up the hill

Me and mom at bottom of hill

Me doing dads pose

Moules Frites at La Cremaillere

View from Cathedral

Us at Jardin du Luxembourg

Bastille at night

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