I’m not going to lie. The last day in Paris—no matter how long or short the visit, can be daunting and angst-ridden. Actually, I can be pretty cranky on those last days of trips– only because I don’t want to leave. And I was pretty cranky at one point today.
But read on and we’ll get to my royal crankiness later—which was well-deserved.
On this last day, we woke up early. We decided to pack at this moment because it would be better than rushing either during the evening or tomorrow morning. Luckily, I literally lived in the same clothes for the past three days, so packing was a non-issue for me. Bonaparte carefully cut the canvasses from the paintings he claimed from his family and even more carefully, packed them away.
We enjoyed our last breakfast—or rather, our last petit déjeuner at Café Buci. We didn’t go far from the neighborhood.
Not too much time spent in the cold–the cafe is just around the corner from the hotel!
I’m a sucker for a tiled floor like this. Cafe Buci has a ton of character..
Isn’t the interior inviting? It was a great place to wind up our last morning..
And there’s plenty of reading material to chose from while drinking your coffee. I wanted to deface the magazine cover of
Mailorderbride but Bonaparte put a stop to it! I’m a revolutionary!
Our plan for the day was to head over to the 5th arrondissement and over to Rue du Cardinal Lemoine. There is a small passage named after Bonaparte’s grandfather, Jacques-Henri Lartigue and he wanted to get a few photos. What actually prompted this was one of my blogging friends who happened to be in Paris, took a photo of the plaque and refreshed Bonaparte’s memory! I thought it was cool, too, because Hemingway lived at 45 Rue du Cardinal Lemoine—just a few feet away from the passage.
It was cool to see this plaque honoring Bonaparte’s grandfather in real life!
..a closer view. I think we’ll get this blown up and framed. It’ll be cool!
The weather was still cold and so we headed out despite the wintry blast. And it was so cold for Bonaparte that he decided we should cab it over to the passage.
Also in the day’s plan was a visit to Bonaparte’s nephew’s office. There were a few paintings that had been stored at the gallery; and he was given a chance to look through the works of art to see which ones he would want to bring home. This was a well thought process.
The two men corresponded with each other and were to meet at 11:30 in the morning.
I’ll get back to this in a moment.
The office was pretty far away from where we were. And so, I had my very first experience on the Paris Metro. Strange as it may seem, and in the more than 14 times I’ve been to Paris, I had never, ever been on the metro. We always had the use of a car. Or we walked.
Look! My very first Metro tickets. And yes, I saved them!!
A certain someone did not like the metro. Whereas I loved traveling underground in the NYC Subway system for years and years—underground is the quickest way to get where you are going.
Lookit this!! What’s not to love? The lighting is so much better than in the NYC subway! Oh..and yet, another puffy coat!
More Metro! And more puffy attire!
What I found fascinating about the metro was that it was pretty darn clean! And—the maps were very easy to read. Maybe I was spoiled with the ease and comfort of the Subway when I lived in Manhattan, but I wish we had taken the Metro years ago. This was a great discovery for me!
Ok. Back to the “meeting”. We showed up at Nephew’s office at 11:30 AM. We rang the doorbell. No answer. We waited a while. And then Bonaparte rang the doorbell. Again. No answer. I could feel my blood boiling.
Bonaparte used my phone to call his nephew. No answer. He left a message.
We left the office.
Bonaparte was incredibly disappointed and a bid sad. I was a cranky, angry, pissed off madwoman!
And I would not keep quiet about it.
How friggin’ selfish and self-centered can one person be—and I’m not talking about me this time. I’m talking about the Nephew. Plans are made for a relative to fly from the USA all the way to Paris, France. Time is of the essence because Uncle B. has only three days to squeeze in family business and pleasure. Uncle B. doesn’t get to even see his family except for the times when he comes to Paris. AND HIS SPOILED, ENTITLED OVERGROWN NEPHEW CAN’T EVEN MAKE THE TIME TO VISIT WITH HIS OWN BLOOD—HIS UNCLE—AFTER THIS MEETING WAS SET IN STONE??
NOTE: I am NOT speaking of his cousin who directed the movie. This is another relative. I want to set the record straight!
I had a meltdown in the streets of Paris. Many versions of the “eff” word came rolling off my tongue. My head spun around like Linda Blair’s in The Exorcist. My crossed-eyes straightened out then crossed again! Livid doesn’t even describe the true way I felt.
Oh..and I was validated because later on Nephew called and made up some sorry-ass excuse that he was at the radio station at an interview. Which proves that he could care less about his uncle who flew over the Atlantic to meet with him.
All his nephew had to do was call and cancel the meeting. But to shrug the meeting off with no word is so rude and disrespectful that I. Can’t. Even.
Bonaparte, being the much better person than I am, pulled me to the side of the street where I was now speaking in tongues. He gently and calmly said ” Cassee. Eez ahr lass day ‘ere”. “Ou nid to let ziz go.” “Are you gon’ to be ma’d awl day?”
Still crazed, eyes half shut, I looked up and uttered “oui.”
After I saw the look in his eyes, I came back down to earth. His eyes looked sad. He was deeply upset that his nephew wrote him off. I was not going to make matters worse.
And with that, I grabbed his arm and we went back into the Metro! We were on our way to see the decorations and do some shopping at Galeries Lafayette!
We were entertained while we rode the train—first, by an accordionist playing old-school French songs and then by a jazz musician playing his trumpet. I can get to really enjoy this French version of the subway very quickly!
Before we arrived at Galeries Lafayette, we stopped off at La Vaissellerie.
I’ve been to other locations of this fun store. It’s a great place to get dishes and mugs and just tons of fun stuff!
THIS is the place to bring back little souvenirs for your friends. Check out the mugs..
Look at the piles of plates on the floor. This is a very dangerous place for me to be in–but it is one of those stores that you can roam around in for a long time!
Bonaparte’s daughter had asked if we could pick up a small gift for his granddaughter’s French teacher. La Vaissellerie is a mix of kitchen stuff, cookware, and kitch. Its great! We picked up a cheese holder and were on our way. Due to my clumsy ability and my gift of bumping into things, Bonaparte wanted me out of that store as quickly as possible. The longer we stayed, the better my chances were of breaking something!
Galeries Lafayette is so prepared for Christmas!
Next stop. Galeries Lafayette!
Galeries Lafayette is an incredibly cool and unique store. The departments are actually smaller galleries divided up within larger departments.
I gasped at the price of the beautiful leather belts at this galerie, Faufe Le Page. I’ll have to stick to J. Crew for now!
It’s very pragmatic if you ask me.
From one of the upper tiers. You can’t pass up a view like this!
This year’s Christmas Tree under the domed roof!
See the little tram? It kept going from side to side. It was so much fun to watch!
..and then there is the ferris wheel!
A closer view. Any closer and I would have fallen through the Chanel counter!
The decorations were incredibly elaborate but yet a bit simple in that everything was done in white. It made the lighting beautiful.
White paper ornaments hanging from the ceiling..
Change color with the lighting..
..and go on and on and on..
It was decided that since it was so cold, I would forego my shopping on Rue de Rennes and just bask in the warm toastiness of this magnificent store!
On the top floor, we were able to take a photo overlooking the Sacre Coeur..
..I’m so happy that the camera’s zoom did not let me down. Can you believe this photo was taken from a department store window?
A bit of Christmas shopping and a treat for me.
I’ll be placing MY tam tams into..
These beauties. Surprisingly, the cream colored lacy number isn’t padded but it is constructed so well that nothing sags!
I stopped at the Princesse Tam.Tam galerie and picked up a couple of bras. I’ve heard how great French lingerie is but never bothered with any purchases. I can honestly tell you, these bras are great. The fit is fantastic and my girls are appreciating these laced wonders!
We left the store (And look at that–more puffy coats!)…but not without taking…
Photos of the outside window displays..all white and..
By the time we left Galeries Lafayette, it was late afternoon—and since the days are significantly shorter, the sun was starting to set on this last day.
We cabbed it back to the hotel for a little rest and to get ready for our last dinner!
But wait! Before we rested, we managed to browse around Gibert Jeune and pick up a few books..
I laughed a bit too loud while looking at this book–it’s hysterically funny. But the illustrations are what makes it! Any woman who has ever had a fail will love this book!
We also stopped at a used CD and DVD store that we frequent. I picked up an inexpensive Juliette Greco CD. I’ve been listening to it in my car instead of Christmas music!
I needed pens and another journal so we made a stop here at Buci News..
Had I not been so hungry, I could have spent all night here. Look at all these ornaments..
But this–THIS-was by far, the greatest Christmas decoration I’ve ever seen. A certain Frenchman would not allow the purchase. He said he would never allow such a thing in the house. I’m currently searching for this online!
Yohan was picking us up at 8AM the next morning and we figured an early dinner would be best for us. Reservations were at 7:30 PM. And we had a nice little walk across Pont Neuf and onto Place Dauphine.
One of our favorite restaurants in Paris. Going to Paris? Save the number and address and enjoy a great meal!
Restaurant Paul never fails to please. We’ve had many dinners there over the years. In summer enjoying our meals outdoors and watching the activity on Place Dauphine. In the winter, nestled in a banquette or table in the warmth of the dining area.
Yum. Yum. Carbs were my friend at this dinner. The bread was great..
But first were our Kir Royals!
My artsy dinner collage. From top left. Potatoes that I’ve duplicated at home. Oh..they are so gooood. Escargot. Next–quite possibly THE best appetizer of all time. Fricassee of escargot with a mushroom cream sauce topped with a foam. It’s the second time I’ve had this and was thrilled it was still on the menu. Dessert was french toast with baked apple slices and a caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. I had the lamb with polenta and Bonaparte had steak topped with foie gras. Yeah. It was a great meal!
The food here is always consistently good. And better than good. The menu is small and there aren’t a lot of choices. The menu pretty much stays the same. And trust me, that is a great thing.
I am a member of the clean plate club. And I am not ashamed!
The staff is always so professional and pleasant and it is nice to see the same faces welcoming you year after year, time after time.
We toasted our trip and enjoyed our meal!
Bonaparte was so excited about the food that he couldn’t even focus the camera to take a photo of me. Um..WHO’S YOUR GRANDDADDY????
And afterwards, we took a slow walk back to the hotel!
Night time along the Pont Neuf..
I sure hope that boat was heated!
Yohan—the best cab driver in Paris, showed up promptly at a few minutes before eight in the morning to drive us to the airport.
We left Paris just as the city was about to wake up. The sun was rising and greeting us as we bid Au Revoir Paris once again.
So long for now!! See you next time!
This was a great visit. We had closure. Bonaparte was able to move on. We enjoyed each other as we did a bit of everything and absolutely nothing! We enjoyed seeing Hugo’s film “Demain tout Commence” and are thrilled with the success the film will bring to him! We enjoyed our little adventures. And—I learned that tantrums just aren’t worth the energy!
Some more shopping at the airport and we were on our way back home. And imagining our next trip back!
..more Christmas Shopping and…
I DID take a photo of the Eiffel Tower!!
The menu for economy. Air France may strike quite often but they know how to service the travelers!
I went vegan with cous cous and veg. Note to American Airlines–are you looking at this???
Regardless of what you may read in magazines or books. Or what you will see in fancy advertisements, Paris is just a non-pretentious city. Her inhabitants are not all chic and elegant. They wear puffy coats and jackets. They love tacky Christmas Markets. They eat fattening street food. They have an open mind about cemeteries!
So seriously, if you have never been to Paris, don’t be intimidated by the smoke and mirrors and the perfection of those you read about during fashion week. Those things are just a tiny part. The big picture is a wonderful, historic, beautiful, lovely, charming, art-filled visual. It is glittery and gritty at the same time. Paris welcomes all. And you don’t have to have a plan to enjoy it! Let the City guide you. Wander. Discover. You are bound to find something fun and memorable!
And thank you for reading about our three-day in Paris. Sometimes I get long-winded but there’s always something to write about. You CAN have a great time without cramming every museum and sight in.
On this last day, I’m ending the post with one of the most beautiful songs ever! From “Notre Dame de Paris”. The three men from the original cast: Garou, Daniel Lavoie, and Patrick Fiori singing “Belle”. You’ll get chills up your spine! (Momcat—you’ll love this again!)