photo of the day (paris day four)

This morning we had our usual croissant and coffee (ok, I think today Clare and I had a yaourt (that’s yogurt in French, if you don’t know) and then we visited an open air market not far from the hotel.

There were fruits and flowers, honey and foie gras, fish and frommage. Clare bought une belle éscharpe (a pretty scarf) for only 5 euros. I think I may have hooked her on my addiction to scarves. Scarves are a huge fashion accessory in Paris; everyone seems to sport one well into the warm weather of summer. I started wearing them when I went to Paris the first time. The evenings were still chilly and I didn’t bring a warm enough jacket. The addition of a scarf kept me warm and added just a bit of chic, as well. Now I am rarely without one. Ok, 80 degrees is my limit but all the rest of the year I love to wear my éscharpes!

The rest of the day was spent browsing and shopping. We walked along the Boulevard St. Germain towards the Rue de Buci, a lovely little street lined with shops and cafés.

I bought some tea at Kusmi (one of the few things I couldn’t find in the States) and visited a perfume shop or two and we had lunch and gelato at Amorino. Is it odd to travel to Paris and search out Italian ice cream? We all wanted to try an ice cream cone shaped like a flower.

After another long day spent walking through Paris, we stopped for a rest and a bath at the hotel. I’m loving my afternoon soaks in the tub.

In the evening,  we headed over to the Le Tour Eiffel to meet our friend Max, who had been in Paris working with Zki.

On my last visit to Paris, we stayed a few blocks from the Tower on the Avenue Suffren. I used the Metro almost every day as the 7e arrondissement is a bit further away from most of the other museums and attractions. Now, staying in the 5e, we can walk more places but the tower is a Metro ride away. The kids got a kick out of the double decker RER trains.

When we got to the Eiffel Tower, the sun was still shining. The kids ran off to hang with Max and Zki and I wandered around a bit and took some pictures.

The lines were long for the elevator ride onto the tower and I’m not a big fan of spending much time standing in a queue if I can avoid it. Zki had taken me up to the Jules Verne restaurant on my first trip to Paris and I know my kids will make it up there eventually. So we passed on it, for this time anyway and made our way to a nearby restaurant for dinner.

My kids love Max and getting to spend time with him anywhere is a real treat. We had dinner in a restaurant close to the hotel that Zki and I had stayed in on my first trip to Paris. We’ve been to better restaurants since we’ve been here but the atmosphere at this place is very laid back for Paris and the waiters are friendly. They were even the same waiters that served us when we visited 2 years ago. It was fun to have a night to just relax.

Then it was time to head back over to the Tower for the evening light show. The lights have been sparkling at night on the hour since 2000. I’ve heard it was supposed to be a temporary event but the sparkling tower has been lighting up the Paris skies ever since. There are some videos out there including a few on the official Eiffel Tower website, here, but take my word for it — a video does not do this experience justice.

On my first trip to Paris (yes, I know, you all must be very tired of that phrase) our hotel room had a view of the tower. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and the tower would be lit up and sparkling and I would lie in bed and watch until it stopped. You can see the tower from almost everywhere in Paris. Catching it sparkling off in the distance is one of the most beautiful sights in the world. There’s a really lovely movie, Avenue Montaigne, that captures a brief moment of that sparkling tower. Rent the movie and see for yourself.

The sun doesn’t set until much later in Paris and I’d find myself looking at my watch and wondering why it was still so light at 9:30 pm. It was quite  late after we watched the Tower light show and time to catch the metro back to the hotel and get to bed. We have a couple more days to enjoy the City of Lights and I want to be rested so I can enjoy tomorrow to it’s fullest.

In another life I will live in Paris and watch the Tower sparkle to my heart’s content.

~ by photobella on 23 May, 2009.

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