photo of the day (our last day in Paris)

It is our last day in Paris. Je suis triste (I am sad) but I am also ready to go home to my dogs, my yard and most importantly, my own bed. As much as I would like to stay in Paris and eat croissants and drink café créme every morning, one has to have a way to pay for all that and besides, my friends and family are all in the States. I’d love to get them all to wise up and move to Paris with me, but that is a highly unlikely scenario.

On today’s agenda was a trip to the Jardin des Plantes. I didn’t know much about what we would find there and I had no idea just how large the place would turn out to be. There are at least 3 museums and a menagerie and to see everything would have taken the entire day. We took a family vote and decided to spend our time seeing the animals in the zoo.

The day was shaping up to be a warm one and as in all Paris parks, people were out enjoying the weather, but this time mostly from the shade.

I think we all learned an important lesson about zoo visits, especially if the goal is a good picture or two: try not to arrive at lunchtime on a hot day. Why not? Well, the animals eat their fill and then proceed to take a nap. Not always the most inspiring of scenarios to capture in a photograph.

The menagerie was lovely and the kids and I enjoyed it very much. There was everything from bugs to birds; a very complete collection for such a small zoo.

By the time we had wandered our way through the whole thing and made sure we had caught a glimpse of all the animals, our tummies were grumbling and it was time for us to find some sustenance.

As we made our way out of the park and towards someplace to eat, Zki decided he wanted to do some exploring on his own and I decided to take advantage of our final day in Paris to do some last minute shopping. So while Zki set off on foot, the kids and I headed for the nearest Metro station so I could stop in a few shops for gifts.

We hadn’t made it to Lauderee yet, Nick wanted some chocolate from Cacao et Chocolat, and I just knew there were some treasures, yet undiscovered, on the Boulevard Saint Germain.

We stopped for lunch at a bakery/cafe called Paul. According to Carol at Paris Breakfast, Paul is cousin to macaron master, Lauderee. Clare sat down and did what she does at most restaurants: turn over the placemats and begin to draw.  Our waitress, who had been fairly gruff and preoccupied when we stopped in on another day, was taken with Clare and her artwork. She was very insistent that Clare move her drawn on placemat before she put down our crocque monsieurs.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures during our last shopping adventures. We made it to Lauderee for macarons and I decided I like Pierre Herme’s better. Then we bought some chocolate to eat and some to take home. We browsed, shopped and walked the rest of the afternoon away before we headed back to the hotel to rest before our last night in Paris.

That evening was one of last looks: a last glimpse of Notre Dame,

a last view of boats along the Seine.

We walked around Notre Dame and watched clouds gather and build in the plaza. We had been lucky with the weather for our visit. It did rain on one of our days in Paris but for the most part it was warm and the sun was shining for the rest. Tonight, storm clouds were gathering and despite the sun peeking out, the weather was beginning to look ominous.

We found Point Zero in the plaza in front of Notre Dame. Point Zero is the spot from which all distances to and from Paris are measured.

Then we crossed back over the Seine to the Left Bank to find a place for dinner.

We found a lovely cafe right not far from Shakespeare and Company bookstore. Clare had one last opportunity to have duck for dinner. The duck was served with pistachio nuts and it was a lovely presentation but unfortunately, all our pictures of her plate came out unfocused. What didn’t come out unfocused was the lovely tarte tartin I had for dessert.

After dinner, we meandered our way back through the streets of the Left Bank and headed to our hotel.

Our evening of last glimpses included:

a last view of Paris cafés,

a last evening stroll down Paris streets. I’m so glad we had the chance to visit Paris as a family. I hope we will get there again soon.

Au revoir, Paris. A bientot. Je vous manquerai.

~ by photobella on 25 May, 2009.

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