Thanksgiving in Paris—The 2019 Edition__Part One

Thanksgiving in Paris is a relatively new tradition that Bonaparte and I embarked upon three years ago.  This little trip gives us just enough time to get mentally prepared for the Christmas holidays and gives us a bit of respite from a holiday that neither of us is particularly crazy about.

And away we go!

Don’t get me wrong.  It isn’t that I despise this holiday, it’s just that it never rang that important.  Growing up with dad who was a NYC Police Officer, there were many Thanksgivings when he had to work.   And when my mother discovered that the turkey and all the trimmings could be catered, the local deli made our feast.  And it tasted weird.

And as a young adult I just never got into it.  When the kids were growing up Thanksgiving meal was rushed because Oona and I had to high-tail it into the Marriott in Philly for the annual Oireachtas, the regional Irish Dance competitions.

The kids are grown and into their careers and their lives.  Jake is working and living in Los Angeleez, Oona is married and living in Cincinnati and Roman is in NYC and works the parade many a Thanksgiving.

And so, Christmas is my thing. That’s the holiday when family gathers together and this year, we’ll be celebrating the Sunday before Christmas.  That’s the way life goes when the kids have work commitments.

But back to our trip.

It was five days.  From Wednesday until the following Monday morning when we returned Stateside.

And here’s how it rolled….

Five days of clothing, underwear, makeup, and hair!  I am not lying when I tell you, I would rather WEAR five days of undies and clothing on my person than to pay $60 to check a suitcase with the airlines!

Five days in Paris.  And I refuse to check luggage because I don’t want my wigs or makeup to suddenly become “lost” at the expense of American Airlines.  I’m also a light packer and went with the essentials.  Black pants, black sweaters, jeans, a couple of tee shirts, underwear, a blazer.  I’m easy.

What I wore on the way over–comfy J. Crew Pixie pants, flat shoes, a black long-sleeved tee, a scarf and Gabor’s High Society wig.  

Whereas Bonaparte decided to check a large suitcase because we would be doing some shopping.  American Airlines charged him $60 for the checked-in luggage. This is what happens when you fly economy.  You get nickeled and dimed.  Friends of ours were on the same flight and in business class, they were not charged.  I can’t stand the Corporate Caste System!

Due to circumstances with my brother’s passing, there was a part of me that just wasn’t “there” when we landed.  It’s to be expected but I made the best of it and was truly happy to be back in The City of Lights.

Quite honestly, I’m more comfortable here than in Philadelphia.

Going through customs took no time. In fact, it was the quickest I can remember in fourteen years of visits!  The Frenchman’s luggage collected, we headed out into…………………. rain!  And more rain.

And we got into the cab at just the right time because there was a manifestation about to occur.  The farm workers were annoyed and were holding a tractor brigade along the highway leading from the airport into Paris.  Luck was on our side.

Image result for tractor manifestation in paris

That’s right folks, we just missed the start of yet, another manifestation.  It makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside!

We arrived at the Prince de Conti hotel, dropped our luggage off until check-in, and hit the streets of the Sixth Arrondissement.

The weather ensured that many small streets would be empty.  It was kind of nice!

First stop was Café Buci for some good coffee and croissants.  And after getting fueled up, we hit my favorite stop, CityPharma where I picked up a few skincare items.

Just what was needed after a flight through the night.  Good coffee and croissants.  Weight Watchers be damned. I’m eating right now!

Morning fuel!

This time around I didn’t get too much at CityPharma.  Just a few small items..

But I DID stop at Carrefour to pick up Banana juice. I can’t find it here in the States but each visit to France has me happy as a fly on $hit because I drink this stuff  like a madman!

More walking around looking at sites and before you knew it, we were ready to check into the hotel.

This cafe is on Rue de Buci and I love the way the awning is decorated.  Very similar to last year!

Never allow a bit of rain to put a damper on your travel plans. Either the weather is going to be good–or it isn’t. Regardless, you’ll still have a blast!

Dinner was at Le Procope, an old cafe/bistro filled with history, we had dinner in the Chopin room.  On a Wednesday evening, the place had a good crowd. The food didn’t fail to please either.

Le Procope was a hangout for the intellectual crowd at one time.  Now..it’s just a darn good place to eat!

I’m telling you, wearing a wig is the greatest asset for travel!  You change your hair the way you change your shoes!  We’re enjoying our first dinner in the Chopin room!  That guy–huh??

Bonaparte started off with escargots while I enjoyed…

Foie gras and jam on toast.

And he also enjoyed steak with a nice Bearnaise sauce.  I was so busy chowing down on my duck that I never took a photo!

Our server was so upset that the fries weren’t hot enough for HIS pleasure that he brought out another serving.

The rain stopped and we enjoyed a nice stroll back to the hotel under festive street lighting!

And that was our first day!

We started our first day on Buci and ended it on Buci!

Thursday, Thanksgiving, 2019

Rise and shine.  To more rain.  Actually, the rain isn’t bad. I enjoy rain when I’m in a large city.  When I lived in Manhattan, I welcomed a rainy day and the same holds true for Paris.  The buildings lend themselves well to the gray sky.  The rain isn’t as heavy as it is here in the States. It’s a lighter, more refined form of precipitation!

We started the day off by running a few errands.  I hit Fragonard because a refill of my Santal scent was in order and we walked to Repetto to get me a new pair of ballet flats.  We walked and walked and let me tell you, it was such a welcome change.

This scent.  My new favorite as of last year.  Santal is actually a unisex scent.  It’s definitely got some masculine vibes but I like that in a winter scent.  It’s sandalwood with a hint of pepper. I love it!

I picked up a little decoration for the tree too!  

I bought Navy ballet flats and I can’t wait to finally wear them!

I stopped into St. Sulpice to light a candle for my brother and one for a wig sister and another for my sister-in-law.  In addition, rosaries were purchased.  There’s something very soothing about sitting and reflecting in a church and the musty scent of St. Sulpice gives hints of the layers of history that took place in this house of worship.

This is not St. Sulpice. It’s Eglise St. Germain.  I stopped in there too.  It’s an obsession. I love going to church in Paris.

I was also obsessed with this sculpture!

And once again we were off.  We played a visit to Bonaparte’s cousin, Hugo at his office and did more rummaging around.

Bonaparte’s cousin Hugo — always a pleasure to stop by the office to say hello!

At this point the rain subsided but it was still gray.  Which, I might add, makes it great for walking around.  And since it was our Non-Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving, we decided to take in the decorative windows at Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann.  This year’s decorations were great. The theme was bees.  And I tried my best to get good photos but those little French kids were in my way!

The Galeries Lafayette Christmas tree is quite floral this year. Must be because of the bee theme!

I’m always fascinated by the domed roof!

I did a thing.  I bought a coat.  And the coat was just the kind I was looking for.  Straight and camel toned.  The price was right because on this day, the stores were having pre-Black Friday sales.  Yes.  Black Friday is now a “thing” in France—at least in Paris it is.

Yes. I bought a coat. Good thing too. It was getting cold!  Check out the husband’s expression!  Honesty, I LOVE this coat so much!

I’m sticking this random photo of Christmas cheeses because I didn’t eat any cheese whilst in Paris. I’m a bit shocked at myself but I just didn’t!

More walking around, more errands and back to the hotel for a little rest before dinner.

A quick change of clothing and hair and we are off for our Thanksgiving dinner!

Thanksgiving Dinner was no disappointment.  We dined at our favorite local haunt—Restaurant Paul on Place Dauphine.  As usual, the husband didn’t stray too far from beef.  I went in a different direction.  I started out with Bone Marrow and went with Tete de Veau, Veal head and brains with sweetbreads on the side.  Why not?  It was different than Turkey and I figured if I ate brains, then perhaps I would become a bit more intelligent.

We started with Kirs

and some olives…

I tell you, the husband does not stray far from his usual selections.  Escargot. Again.

I started off with bone marrow…

And like a rabid dog gnawing on a bone. I ate every last morsel!

Some wine if you will..

Beef for the husband…

Veal head complete with brains AND crispy sweetbreads surrounded by carrots and parsnips!  YUM!  

Um…that didn’t happen.  How was my meal?  The bone marrow was great.  The other?  It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great, the texture wasn’t as solid as I thought it would be.  I’m glad I tried it though.

To end this feast, Paris Brest!  

A nice picturesque stroll back to the hotel ended our Thanksgiving and it was off to slumber for the next day, we had a car and would drive out of Paris…

Now and Seine you need a stroll after dinner!

Stay tuned for Part Two!

See you tomorrow!

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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15 Responses to Thanksgiving in Paris—The 2019 Edition__Part One

  1. doodletllc says:

    Can’t wait for Part 2(!) I love your France adventures!

  2. Momcat says:

    Hahaha, Bonaparte’s expression when you are purchasing the coat!!!. That’s everyhusband that has ever had to go coat shopping ….and assist by holding the old coat!! You look so good in all the photos..I love your lippy colour, what is it?
    The tete de veau did make you smart, smart enough not to order it again. Bone marrow is delish though not something you see a lot of on American menus just not sure I could get down with the brains but kudos to you for trying!

    • Catherine says:

      LOL! Momcat! Yeah, his expression is on the priceless side! I used so many different but similar lip glosses I don’t even remember which ones I took with me. Oh I think I will be passing on the tete de veau from no on but at least I tried it and know what it tastes like! XOXOXOXOXO

  3. Juliet says:

    You are looking fantastic – I am loving all the photos, and may I be cheeky enough to suggest a career change? How about leading your fan club on a walking/shopping tour of Paris as you had me drooling at City Pharma and then almost off my seat and climbing into my screen at Fragonard. The decorations are so pretty – but come to Glasgow, ours as we proudly tell people are “sh*te” – its a tradition around here as to how awful they actually are 😀 we are quite proud of them in a way

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Juliet. Oh I would love a career change to leading a walking tour of Paris–but the real estate is too pricey–BWAHHH!!! Please. The decorations here are tacky as all get out and the tackier, the more entertaining. I’m just so fascinated by the thought and elegance that goes into the French decorating for Christmas!! XOXOXOXO

  4. emjayandthem says:

    thank you for taking us along with you! I’ve missed you!! Hugs. MJ

  5. Margaret says:

    Sorry to say that I have a lot of catching up to do on your blog Catherine and just saw your beautiful tribute to your brother, and would like to extend my condolences. What a beautiful and accomplished life he led, surrounded by so much family love. Truly a special thing. May he Rest In Peace and may Perpetual light shine upon him.
    It’s good to hear that you were able to take a vacation after such a stressful time, and of course most wonderful that you were able to share the highlights with us again. Love the Lafayette Christmas tree and the altar (I like visiting different churches too), and even that sculpture (I can’t look away!). The new coat is a beauty, so classic and tres chic!
    Wishing you and your family a peaceful Christmas this year.

  6. Linda Toews says:

    That coat is fabulous! ❤️

  7. capecoddaze says:

    You crack me up. The bit about wearing all the underwear, That’s my husband.
    You are a GEM. Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

  8. Denise says:

    You look wonderful ! And, that coat, Beautiful!! Thank you for sharing your trip, I’ve always wanted to go to Paris and know I get a little glimpse from you ! Thanks!

  9. suth2 says:

    I can see why you were obsessed with that statue. It is fascinating.

  10. Cindylou says:

    I’m so glad you were able to make your trip. We’ve missed you this last month. I love the coat. I love the way you dress. You’re pictures are great, do you use a camera or phone? My old IPhone 6s just doesn’t take very good pictures compared to the newer ones.

  11. Fiona says:

    Always love to read about your French sejours Cathe. Interested to see what you bought at CityPharma, Embryolisse and Caudalie are on my shopping list next time also. The Repetto shop looks fab, as does your camel coat. Don’t think it has stopped raining in Northern Europe since your trip…got stuck in floods this morning on way to work.

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