Thursday, December 3, 2015
03.12.2015 - 04.12.2015
Slept a bit late and needed it., We’re B&B so had breakfast at the hotel. Got ready to leave, stepped outside and went back in to get extra layers. It was a gorgeous day but brisk. Took the Metro to Mabillon (escalator!) and walked up to St. Germain des Pres. The market was supposed to open Nov. 27 but they were just putting in shelves and wiring . . . a bit behind schedule. I’m sure we can thank the terrorists for that delay . . . and probably all the others too.
We walked on through St. Germain to the Seine window shopping. Beautiful store windows. Christmas brings out the romantic in everyone. Crossed the river and walked through the Tuileries toward Le Grand Roue at Place de la Concorde where we finally found an open Christmas market. The giant Ferris wheel was the perfect landmark; you can see it from all over Paris. The Christmas market is settled at its feet and very brightly lighted. It’s all very fun and festive. We wandered past all the booths/chalets and I found a cute wool hat for a chilly day so now I have a hat made in Paris. The lady who sold it said her daughter makes all the hats. Fun! Now I have a hat hand-made in Paris.
About halfway down one side, we started looking for lunch and wanted to sit down. No luck so we tried the other side and finally worked our way back to the beginning and the gourmet food section. Good place to look for lunch! We found a nice chalet with heat and indoor seating (La Terrasse VIP Deuil la Barre) and a charming beret-clad waiter. Ed got a huge, fabulous Croque Monsieur and I got a Salade Périgourdine with foie gras . . . excellent. We washed it down with a Cote du Rhone and hit the market again. At the end we found an ATM and got some cash, then started back up the other side of the Champs Elysées. At Place Clemenceau there was another flower memorial and two gendarmes on horseback guarding us. On the way back towards Place de la Concorde, we passed an ice-skating rink. They had rental skates and also cute skate buggies for parents to push their toddlers on the ice. The kids were having a wonderful time. Looked like the moms and dads were too . . .
It started to get dark and the giant Ferris wheel lighted up. I got some fun pictures of it. We wandered back into the Tuileries and found an empty bench beside a few other empty benches when suddenly a young man walked over and sat right beside me nearly touching. Very strange . . . We moved and he got up and left. We walked back through the Tuileries at dusk, crossed the Seine and found (refound) La Bonne Excuse to check their hours. We had an hour and a half before they opened so walked a block to Café de L’Empire, got a window seat and ordered hot, spiced wine. Excellent choice! We nursed our wines and watched people until 7:00, paid and walked back to La Bonne Excuse. When we walked in, she immediately recognized us and remembered our 50th anniversary a year and a half ago. We were very surprised. It was like coming home.
Ed got the pork he’d gotten on our anniversary but I decided to try the chicken stuffed with chestnuts. One should eat chestnuts at Christmas. Needless to say, both meals were excellent. I got a chocolate fondant and Ed took a few bites. It was what I would call lava cake, not a fondant, but dark and delicious. The whole experience was great fun. We’ll be back on the next trip! We now have two favorite restaurants in Paris . . . completely different in all aspects but two; they are friendly and the food is really good.
Walked back to the Louvre-Palais Royale Metro stop for a direct train to our hotel. Very useful.
Long day . . . need sleep!