Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two Days in Paris

We decided to make an overnight trip to Paris Wednesday the 20th of July. Two reasons: 1. Nick's friend Lane arrived in Paris Tuesday and was going to be there for a couple of days. 2. Marc could golf guilt free!

Picked up the train tickets on Tuesday, and found out that, despite me calling the credit card companies to advise of this trip, two of my credit cards were rejected. Thankfully, I had a third, for which I had also provided notification, and it worked. And thank goodness for skype. I was able to call the credit card companies, again, to confirm my travel. We've since had occasional problems with both mine and Marc's credit cards, but it's just due to the way some merchants are set up. Most credit cards in Europe have a microchip, and most credit cards in N.A. do not. Some merchants, and toll booths, are only able to process the chipped cards. And so it goes.

The ride from Reims to Paris Est is 45 minutes. Enough time for a few rounds of a card game the kids called Egyptian Rat something or other. They didn't play that when I was a kid.

I think our favourite thing about strolling the Champ Elysees was the fountains en route to the Louvre. They're encircled with chairs, and over the lunch hours they're full of people enjoying their long midday break.

Elmo came along, of course.

We decided to visit the Louvre Thursday, as there was rain in the forecast. But I made Nick pose for a picture with me, very similar to the last and only time that I've been here. When I was pregnant with Nick. I'll have to get the photo from Marc and see them side by side. We ARE in both photos!

Marc booked us a lovely room, right on the Champ Elysees, and this lovely cheese plate was waiting for us. There are definitely some benefits to the traveling Marc endures.

Before we could get in our room, we used the computer in the business centre to contact Lane. Gaby was intrigued by the difference in the keyboard. A French keyboard is difficult to use, when you're not used to it!

Thursday, we set out for the Louvre.

And so did hundreds of others, perhaps also escaping the rain. Not the best plan I suppose. It was so crowded, but we put up with the crowds to get close to the Mona Lisa. We were there, so we had to see her.

Packed in so tight, I could probably have lifted my feet and stayed upright. Insane! And all for this:

We saw her!

And so did Elmo.

The Louvre was fabulous. Overwhelming. And so crowded that we probably only saw half of what was there. But it was enough for that day. One more stop at the fountains after lunch, and we were on our way back to Reims.

By Metro.

And of course, the train. We were entertained by more pigeons at Paris Est, while we waited. We had fun, but were never able to meet up with Lane.

Thursday evening we had another dinner invitation. This was at the home of Catherine and Patrick, friends of Marc's from the golf course. Catherine is a fabulous cook. I should have photographed the appetizer, which was a sardine mousse served in individual sardine cans. It was light and delicious. The beef and carrot stew, the main course, was perfect for the fall-like weather. And also SO good! Dessert was mascarpone cheese and berries served in individual jars. Beautiful and yummy.

I meant to get both of them -- Patrick was in the kitchen when I snapped this.

A couple of their friends also joined us. No English this evening, which was fun and enlightening. I realize that Nick's 4 years of French have given him better comprehension than I have, though he's not comfortable speaking. I was impressed!

Of course by the time we finished dinner it was past 10:30. We're in France, remember?

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