Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Last Few Days...

If you missed the last post in June, be sure to look at it - Kavin took some incredible pictures as we flew over Greenland and the Pole.

Yes, we're home, but we neglected the blog for a few days, so here's the rest of our Parisian holiday. I've tried to get some short videos in here, but it just wouldn't work. 

On Thursday, since it was partly sunny, we went to the district called Momtmarte, a very hilly and picturesque old village. We rode the "funiculaire" (sort of a cable car) up to Sacre-Coure, a beautiful basilica with a great view of the city.

The newest street performers are those who stand perfectly still for hours at a time, and only move when someone gives them money. We saw them costumed in all white, in gold, in silver (Tin Man from Wizard of Oz), but this girl was the best.

Another trip to the patisserie that night...

We decided it was time for some serious shopping, so headed on Friday to the "Grand Magasins" of Paris - the huge department stores that are unlike anything you'd ever see in the states, especially in Kodiak! They have up to 9 floors and two or three buildings, and one of them (the Galleries Lafayette) is almost as decadent as the palace at Versailles. Unfortunately, they were seriously hot, crowded, and expensive, so we bought little but went up to the terrace for a bite to eat and the view. Here's Kavin holding up the Eiffel Tower!

That night, after dinner with Sandy and Phillippe, we headed back to the Eiffel Tower to see the special night lights. The sun didn't set till 10 so that's when we went. There's not much you can say about Eiffel at night - it's that spectacular. And the party never stops - people, music, food, venders everywhere.

The regular nighttime lights -

The special blinking lights - only done on the hour for 5 minutes -

Saturday morning we made our second trip to "Breakfast in America," where you can get an American breakfast (not available elsewhere) and burgers and such in a 50's diner atmosphere - surprisingly, there are at least as many Parisians as Americans eating there. We went for our last shopping foray down Rue Mouffetard - came home with some special gifts for friends and relatives. Then we packed up and got ready to leave on Sunday.

One last look at the Rue Monge end of our little street.

Loooong trip home - Paris to Reykjavik, then to Anchorage, then hours in the airport, then home on the last plane... exhausted but happy.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

We're back!!

We are finally back to Alaska! Yay! Can't wait to go to bed, by the way this blog is written by Kavin the coolest, oh! I forgot these are pics of the pole that I took, take a look.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Another two days that we've had to spend in Paris - poor us...

Monday night there were rumors all over town (including online at the Paris Events site) that there would be a fireworks extravaganza on Ile de Saint Louis, so off we went - Sandy, Josephine from Australia and her 5-month-old Tex, Kavin and I - and headed down to Quai Saint-Bernard to watch and wait... and wait... and wait... until 11:30 and no fireworks. But it was all fun anyway, as there were lots of other people, music, and boats on the Seine. Best of all was an incredibly huge full moon that rose as it got dark. Didn't get a good picture - iPhone just doesn't do night very well. You can see how big the moon is - just pretend it's a Monet painting.

Tuesday morning I awoke with a cold and we were both pretty tired from our late night, so it was a very slow day for us. Kavin had bought a wind-up bird and had only flown it out of the apartment window (really!) so we went over to Luxembourg Gardens, just a few minutes away. The bird flew, and there was another family flying theirs as well. I have some video of it, but I can't seem to get those videos into the blog. At the park we had the worst meal we've had since we've been here, and the only bad food I've ever had in Paris. But, as usual, it was fun to watch (and feed) the ducks in the pond and watch the pigeons and the people.

Here's a guy living the good Paris life. He was actually asleep.

Today, after a much-needed rest (I slept for 10 hours!), we were ready for the Eiffel Tower! I always think its better to wait and not go see it right away, as you get peeks of it from all over town and the anticipation builds. When you get off the Metro at Trocadero and turn the corner - there it is! It's never a disappointment. 

We had already decided not to go up - looking at it is the spectacular part - so when we got there and saw this, we just had to laugh -

There are constant strikes and demonstrations. We've seen an anti-gay marriage demonstration (when the law legalizing it in all of France has already passed) and one with the farmers' union protesting the price of livestock feed.

Here are a couple of shots from underneath 

And a couple of shots of the surrounding area and Kavin playing tree-man.

As we came back through the Trocedaro, these guys were dancing. They put on a great show, and (again) I have video but can't get it here. There are plenty of street musicians and Metro musicians, too, but these guys were the best. I also appreciated (with Euros) a guy in the Metro singing James Taylor's Sweet Baby James.

Tonight was the second time we went out for pizza and didn't have pizza - something else on the menu always looks better. This time it was a calzone as a calzone should be - simply a folded over pizza. Delicious. Bought more pastries on the way home - the best was the cafe (coffee) half of a chocolat/cafe duo.

Forgot this before: One day went to MacDonalds (really!) and it had this Easy Order machine. Place your order and pay and get a number and collect your food - so 21st century!

And, finally, here's Kavin looking out the stairwell window - our apartment is next door with the flowers.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Three Very Full Days - Make that Four

Friday: Notre Dame and the Conciergerie and Fete de Musique

Notre Dame

Locks of Love on the Pont (Bridge) to Notre Dame - many more then what you see here

Fete de Musique - free music all over the city all night for the solstice

Philippe, Sandy, and Kavin

Kavin and Mulan (Sandy and Philippe's dog)

Saturday: Chateau Versailles -the excesses of Louis the 14th

Dinner at Cafe de Contrescarpe - risotto and shrimp for Margaret, cod and potatoes for Kavin

But best of all, dessert - chocolate cake with molten chocolate inside, kumquat on top

Sunday: brunch with Sandy and Philippe and friends
Musee d'Orsay, Musee Rodin, Les Invalides

Musee d'Orsay

Musee Rodin

Les Invalides - Napoleon's Tomb

Monday: Arc de Triomphe and Saint Chapelle

View from the top - worth the climb!

Looking down Champs Elysees and toward our Paris home

Saint Chapelle