Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year - France Edition

Sometime during late summer Laura and I decided to vacation in Paris during my winter break.  Location was Laura's idea, and being as I had not previously ventured across the Atlantic Ocean I was game for something new.

Let me start by saying that my wife is a terrific travel guide and the perfect travel companion.  We had an excellent time exploring the city and trying new foods.  (We even split a plate of escargot!)

Here's the highlights with pictures:

 A sepia-toned picture from our rented, sixth floor apartment in Paris.  We were located merely three blocks from the Louvre! In the above picture taken from the apartment's east window you can see Notre Dame on the right in the skyline.  Visible from the west-side windows was the Eiffel Tower.

The first evening we were in Paris we went to the Jacquemart Andre museum, which was erected in the 1800's.  Jacquemart Andre and his wife were a couple of highfalutin art collectors. 

 On Christmas Eve we visited Sainte Chapelle.  It was currently in the process of a major restoration project, but the chapel was absolutely gorgeous.

 Next up was Notre Dame.  We were actually touring the inside during mass ... crazy.  Afterwards we climbed the stairs to the top and gawked at the scenic views of the city.  Here's one of the famous gargoyles atop Notre Dame.

 Here's a picture of Notre Dame at night on one of nightly walks back to the apartment.

 We walked the Champs D'Elysees on Christmas Eve.  Many, many vendors and food opportunities along the way.  I thought my dad would get a kick out of the "grill" in the background of this picture. Whoa!

 We visited the Arc de Triomphe on Christmas Day.  What a massive piece of architecture.

On Christmas we took a guided boat tour along the Seine River and climbed the steps to the second level of the Eiffel Tower.  High winds put the kibosh on our attempts at venturing to the third floor.  The tower stays is illuminated all night long and for the first five minutes of each hour it flashes with mammoth strobe lights that can been seen from just about anywhere in the city.  Just beautiful!

On the 26th we toured the Louvre. It is by far the largest museum that I have ever toured.  It used to be the palace for the kings of France, but now it houses world famous artworks such as the Mona Lisa.  Pictured above is the modern entrance to the museum: a glass pyramid!

 Here I am pictured to my favorite find in the Louvre: the Code of Hammurabi.  You know, the ancient tablet that has 282 laws.  Perhaps you've heard of, "An eye, for an eye"?

On the 27th we took the train to Versailles to see the palace of Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI & Marie Antoinette.

Here's Marie Antoinette's getaway "vacation" home, which was located on the palace grounds.

On the 28th we toured the George Pompidou Art Center and the Musee D'Orsay.  Lots of art, but no photos.  Sorry, folks!

We managed to walk off everything that we consumed in Paris: multiple baguettes, croissants, gourmet cheese, and crepes.  Crepes were my favorite by far.  Oh, the variety! 

 Here's a walk-up crepe window, but they were also served in store fronts and of course in sit down restaurants.  In the window a jar of Nutella is visible.  Mmmmm... Nutella crepes...

 Here's a snapshot of a lunch that we had on the Isles de La Cite.  Laura had a quiche-like dish, and I had the "crepe complet" at the top of the picture.  Mozzarella, thinly sliced ham, and an egg all wrapped within a crepe ... yum!  That was my favorite crepe by far!

I hope you enjoyed the pictures and brief commentary of our trip to Paris.  It was a really fun and educational trip that Laura and I will not soon forget.

So, no baseball or baseball cards on this trip?  For the record, we walked by an office branch of Panini while in Paris, but Panini in Europe primarily focuses on soccer.  I didn't even mention it to Laura as we passed by.    No worries, I have plenty of baseball related posts lined up for January!

Have a great New Year, everyone!


  1. Looks like fun! I remember being surprised how small the Mona Lisa really was.

  2. I have nothing witty to say. Thanks for sharing.