Paris in Four Days—A Louvre-ly Last Day with Art and Family!

Our last and final day, before heading home tomorrow, was a full one—and pleasant from morning till night!

Good Morning from our room at the  Hotel Prince de Conti ! I love this hotel for its charm, great location and price–but the lighting is horrific!

We woke up considerably earlier than the previous day because we had a lot to cover.  Dinner would be in the Paris suburbs with Bonaparte’s Brother-in-Law, Michel, his wife, Marie-Claude, their kids, Ann-Sophie, Alexandre and Bonaparte’s nephews and niece, Nicolas, Jean and Nathalie.  It was a family affair.

But first, we headed back out to Rue de Buci for breakfast.  That being Café Crème and Croissants.

Another gorgeous window display.  No matter what time of day you walk around Paris, there is always a great sight to behold–even if it is in a shop window!

Passing the Cafe Buci–boy oh boy, I can’t even count the cups of Cafe Creme I’ve had here over the years!

The morning was a rainy and gray one but it didn’t stop us from enjoying our petit déjeuner under the striped awning of the heated outdoor area.  And even on a rainy morning, the people-watching was still entertaining.

We lingered over coffee and croissants at Cafe de Paris..

Buttery. Flaky. Delicious croissants.

A group of men in an intense moment of conversation.

And on a cold, rainy morning, the heat from above kept us warm while we watched the goings on!

A mother wheeling her baby in a carriage with a small unleashed dog provided some humor as the dog paid no attention to the young mother’s commands.  He just wandered in and out of the legs of those of us enjoying the warmth of a hot beverage and a warm pastry– and it wasn’t until the mother gave up, turned around, and walked away with baby that the dog realized she meant business and he obediently followed her home.  The pleasure of an off-leashed dog! Sorry I don’t have a picture but I was completely involved in the doggie drama!

We watched a waiter, in a fashionable man-bun immersed in a serious phone conversation while smoking a cigarette.

Who was this waiter texting to…

Was he texting his girlfriend that he had a great night with her?

A restaurant worker starting his day at the place next to us.

The restaurants are empty on this Sunday morning–but there are people out and about..

The stories of the passersby that we made up and discussed kept us busy in conversation as the rain fell overhead.

Was this couple going out to breakfast?  To Mass?  Out for a stroll in the rain?  We make this stories up as we go along.

The rain didn’t stop us from doing a bit of shopping as we strolled back to the hotel to pack for tomorrow’s trip home.

Across the street, we stopped at Nicolas for wine to bring to dinner…

A stop at Buci News, quite possibly THE most adorable stationery store in all of Paris.

I love passing by the boutique Oona on Rue Dauphine.  It reminds me of Oona!

Our plan before dinner was to head to BHV, the department store over in the Marais.  Bonaparte’s brother, Francois, was having a book-signing event.  Francois has inherited the talent of photography from their grandfather, Jacques-Henri Lartigue and we were on board to support him!

And with a few hours to kill, we decided to walk over to The Louvre.  The Louvre—most likely the most famous art museum in the world.  It can be overwhelming—and it was the first time I visited.  In fact, I prefer the Orsay because it’s smaller and more intimate and manageable.  But it had been quite some time so we headed off.

Another walk through Place Dauphine…

On our way to the Louvre.

A sleepy Seine on a rainy Sunday

How does this man manage to look so suave in this weather?  

The great thing about being in Paris with a native is that they know which entrances to go to where the crowds are minimal.  My husband got us into the museum in record time, beating the long lines of which I am thankful!

Bonaparte had his French on for sure. Rather than notice that the Pyramid looked beautiful in the rain, he started to complain about the Ferris Wheel (which I love) in the background!

The Louvre was handling a great crowd-not only from tourists, locals, and lovers of art, but from those who dared to do some underground shopping.  Under the Louvre is a mall of sorts offering goodies galore and some very seasonal eye candy.

Oh yes….the Christmas shopping is in full force!

But back to the museum.  We both agreed on checking out paintings from both the Romantic era and the Realist era.  Two of my favorite artists, Eugene Delacroix and Gustave Courbet were painters in both those eras.  Somewhere along the way, we took a wrong turn and ended up in a section of the Louvre that was just about empty.

It certainly is a Louvre-ly Sunday!

Ready to enter…

I was sad we it was our last day because the Louvre ticket was also good for two days entry at the Musee Delacroix.  I LOVE that little museum–it’s Delacroix’s home turned musee and it’s incredible charming.

It was a magnificent mishap that made both of us feel as though we owned the museum.  We ended up in a section that was chock-full of Louis XIV furnishings and we couldn’t quite get enough.

Won’t you join us as we peruse the Louvre?

Come with me.

This guy. Louis Quatorze–he certainly knew how to decorate a home–and to dress too.  Can we discuss his stellar wigs for a moment as well?

I can’t even with this cabinet..

Is it Aquaman?

This is an incredible display of stuff.  Those tapestries had me going ga-ga.  I cannot imagine how tedious it must have been to hand stitch them!

OK. This is really weird. These are priest’s vestments.  But–I thought they bordered on eerie and creepy because they belonged to a sect of priests–I couldn’t understand the rest of the description but as beautiful as these are–they are just creepy to me.  

There were quite a number of Catholic icons–this crucifix is beautiful. Jesus is ivory as were many items here.

I had visions of stealing this desk.  I cannot believe it is centuries old!

More Home Goods that I covet.  Can you believe that there was nobody here except for me and Bonaparte?

Now, THIS is a table for a family Christmas dinner!

This belonged to Empress Eugenie. I wanted to break the glass to take this home to Princess Oona to wear for her upcoming wedding!

We did manage to see a painting or two..

…and for my UK girls–a trip to the Loo-vre was in order!

A view from a window..

and another view.

Honest to God, we could have spent the entire remainder of the day there but we had places to go and things to do.  But before those things, we headed down to the shopping area where I made a purchase of Fragonard’s Santal.  It was impossible to get the scent out of my mind after opening up a sample that I had in my travel bag and this just may very well be a new favorite scent for me.

In hindsight, I should have purchased two bottles of this fragrance!

The entire shopping area was festooned in everything Christmas!

Back out into the now incredibly damp, chilly and gray afternoon, we took the Metro over to BHV and were welcomed by more Christmas shoppers!

Paris has Mary Poppins Marketing fever.  Ugh. Disney has invaded this city like a dictator!

On our way to the Book Department!

We headed up to the book signing and Francois and Bonaparte were happy to see each other.  Jean-Denis and Marie were there so it was a most pleasant afternoon!

Francois is a great and talented photographer.  His photographs are stunning and I’m glad that we have his book!

This was a nice moment for my husband–he’s a very proud older brother and it was great to be here..

It was also fun to spend a bit of time with Jean-Denis and Marie before leaving.  We had a wonderful evening with them on Saturday and there’s never a dull moment when we are with them! I consider Marie my bestie and if I lived in Paris we would hang all the time!

Look who I found in the book department! Daniele–I swear she’s never too far!

Be still my heart. My two favorite French Pop stars!  Laurent Voulzy and Alain Souchon!   I died on the spot!

Leaving our photographic author, we walked back to the hotel. No longer raining, we definitely got our share of exercise! As well as working up an appetite for our family dinner!

The most random sighting ever was a group of French cheerleaders we spotted on our way back to the hotel.  They were being photographed and it was unusual and fun to see this!

Back in the warmth of the hotel lobby, I literally flung my body against that white heater. It felt sooooooooooo good!

Michel and Marie-Claude live just outside Paris in Asnieres-Sur-Seine. Thank goodness the Uber driver knew how to get there because we would have been completely lost and, once again, it was a pleasure to arrive at their home for dinner.  Their home is big, warm, inviting, airy and incredibly comfortable.

Family dinner at Michel’s and Marie-Claude’s.  The greatest host and hostess ever. I cannot even begin to tell you how welcomed I felt!  This was the BEST evening!!

And if Marie-Claude is ever looking to enter back into the work force, she should open a bistro because she’s one of the best cooks ever.  Last time we were there for dinner she made, hands down, the best beef bourguignon I had ever eaten.

This time was just as incredible.  We started with plenty of champagne and a fish mousse served with a fennel salad.  It was hard for me to not stuff my face with two and three helpings.  The main plate was Osso Bucco—and its marrow was divine!  Served with noodles and a light sauce it was the best meal I had in the four days.  Yes. It was even better than the beef cheeks!

The table is set…

The fennel (fenouil) was off-the-charts amazing and that fish mousse–I wish I had the recipe!

I longed to be a Hoover vacuum cleaner so I could have sucked up all the bone marrow from everyone’s plate.  Excuse me but Marie-Claude is one of France’s greatest chefs!

I can’t even mention the greatness of this French cheese..

M

My heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Marie-Claude and Michel for a wonderful evening! There is no greater way than to end a trip to Paris by being invited into someone’s home for a spectacular dinner!

Dessert was an apple tart made by Anne-Sophie who is very adept at baking and before we knew it, it was time to say good-bye.  The Champs Elysees was quiet and beautifully lit in red lights as  Bonaparte’s nephew, Nicolas drove us back to the hotel.

A drive down the Champs Elysees on a Sunday evening.  Quiet but beautifully lit in red! Thanks to Nicolas for driving us back!

A fine way to end our stay.

The morning of departure. We headed downstairs past the little comfy reading nook in the hotel…

….to enjoy our last breakfast..

….and the powdered Chocolat Chaud was incredibly satisfying and delicious.

A Monday morning drive in the rain…

This time, we left to return back to the States from Orly airport—smaller and more manageable, I’m a fan of this airport.  However, Air France is just as disorganized at Orly as in CDG and boarding was messy but we took off on time.  As we left the runway and into the air, that same sadness hit me that always hits me when I leave France.  I can’t wait to return.

So long Paname! Till next Thanksgiving…or possibly late next summer…

It’s always sad for me to leave but for my husband, it’s even more difficult..

JFK-bound!  Surprise–the flight is on time!

Back in the States, we arrived to rain—and a lot of it.  And as we crossed the Verrazano bridge, my throat felt scratchy and by the time we arrived home, my head was stuffy.

Home again. Home again. Jiggity Jig!  Was our trip a dream?  

But you know what?  It was glorious to fall asleep in my own bed.  As much as I love to travel, there’s nothing like the comfort of coming home to your bed with its fluffy pillows and oversized comforter to make you feel warm and fall into a sleep that gives you dreams about your next trip to Paris!

Tired, with a cold but returning with great memories….I can’t wait to return.

Well.  That’s it.  I truly hope you enjoyed our trip.  Now it’s back to reviews, and my outspoken opinions and lots of other fun stuff in store.  Thanks for coming along with us!

Paris. Paname. Padam.  Many names for the City of Lights.  Here’s the great Edith Piaf! Padam. Padam!

 

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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24 Responses to Paris in Four Days—A Louvre-ly Last Day with Art and Family!

  1. KEWLM0M says:

    Cathe, I enjoyed every minute of “our” trip – thank you so much for taking the time to share with us! I’ve been reading you for years and I have a confession to make… Ya know how you are “besties” with Ina Garten, well, kinda…in your head, anyway… Well, I’m kinda besties with you…kinda…too! There – I said it! Please don’t block me – promise I am not a stalker!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sandra says:

    I enjoyed your trip report very much. You and Bonaparte might be interested to learn that a novel I just finished, Paris Echo, by Sebastian Faulks, described one of the characters as being like a “Lartigue” model.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How did you and the Frenchman meet? I loved your trip. Thanks for taking us along.

    Like

  4. What a fabulous read. I felt that I was there with you. How lucky were you to find the Louvre so quiet and what a beautiful final meal. Now home you will need to recover and then start planning your return visit. Love – Jill x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nancy says:

    Yes, tell us about how you and Bonaparte met!

    Like

  6. Kathy W says:

    I have so enjoyed this trip with you to Paris. The one time I was there was with a “herd” of tourists, but you made it feel like such an enjoyable time. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Kathy! Thank you! The trip to Paris is always enjoyable but I’ll tell you something. I enjoy the city more in the Fall and Winter than in the Spring and Summer. It isn’t as crowded!!! XOXOXOXOX

      Like

  7. fiona says:

    You certainly packed a lot into four days Cathe, thanks so much for documenting it in such detail, I love reading your posts on France. €15 Louvre entrance fee is quite reasonable I think, and it seems November is a great time to visit Paris, I didn’t see hoards of tourists in your photos. How lovely for you both that you were able to catch up with Bonaparte’s family, special times indeed.
    Bonne journée! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Fiona. It WAS a very agressive schedule. I swear we’re used to less running around but this was great!!! Yeah. The end of November is wonderful for visiting Paris. In fact, we’re going to make the Thanksgiving weekend an annual thing. That price for the Louvre is a good deal–especially since it encludes two days at the Musee Delacroix!!!! XOXOXOXO

      Like

  8. junedesilva says:

    Hooray-I’m back! I re-subscribed; seemed the most straightforward thing to do. Perfect timing for reading about your fabulous trip to Paris. I now have Paris envy! It’s been a while since I’ve been. You certainly packed a lot in to your stay. I won’t mention the ‘gilets jaunes’… sorry!! Xoxo 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Denise Conlow says:

    Thank you for sharing your trip. I truly enjoyed it. I feel like I was there too!! I hope to visit Paris someday!!

    Like

  10. Pingback: Paris in Four Days—A Louvre-ly Last Day with Art and Family! | Atypical 60 – International Badass Activists

  11. Maryellen Reardon says:

    Would you ever think of relocating there? Probably very expensive. You are so lucky to have your Bonaparte so you can see Paris as a local rather than as a tourist!

    Like

  12. lilianelandor says:

    Thank you for a truly enjoyable read.. what hotel did you stay in and would you recommend it?

    Like

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Liliane! We stayed at the Hotel Prince de Conti It’s our third stay there. In the sixth arr and very conveniently located, the price is right. The rooms are small but they have bathtubs. The lighting is awful for applying makeup but the price trumps the bad lighting. We’ll keep staying there. The staff is very cordial and helpful! XOXOXOXO

      Like

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