Monday, January 19, 2009

J'ai deux amours....

mon pays, et Paris.

Yes friends, we finally made it to Paris ! My apologies for not blogging sooner, I actually sat down to write this post last night, but it was somewhat lacking in the creative writing department ("then we saw a church, then we had lunch"), so I figured it'd be best for all concerned if I came at it fresh. Phil is off to work, I've had my morning croissant, so let's get to it!

*** Warning, this is a picture heavy post. Proceed at your own risk. ***

Our flight out of Montreal was at 8:00PM local time Saturday night, and it proceeded without too much incident. Actually, there was a bit of a scare when the flight attendant pointed out that my Aeroplan number (I redeemed some points for my ticket) and my passport weren't technically in the same name (Aeroplan only uses my initials), but I did eventually make it on the plane. Here I am, casting on for a Clapotis (come on, it was inspired by Parisian women, how could I not?) in the waiting area. More on the knitting when I get back to Montreal, though. As usual, I packed far too much knitting (Phil already commented that there is "Wool Everywhere!"). Whatever.

We arrived in Paris at 8:45AM local time, bright eyed and bushy tailed from our 3 hours of sleep sitting straight up and being kicked in the back by the kids sitting behind us, and took the navette and the metro to our hotel, which isn't far off from the Arc de Triomphe.

After dropping off our luggage at the hotel and resisting the urge to crawl into bed, we headed back out again (yesterday was Phil's only sight-seeing day) towards the Chapelle Notre-Dame, which Phil hadn't seen on his last trip here in November.

What can I say? It's Notre-Dame! The Seine and the towers and the gargoyles and the stained glass windows and everything! It was très awesome, and not tooooo crowded. We even got to enjoy an organ recital that afternoon (OK, enjoy is a fairly loose term, but we heard the organ playing).

We were first in line to climb one of the towers, but when we noticed that the summit was closed until later in the afternoon, we decided to head over to the Sainte-Chapelle instead.

Can I just say? Dudes... It was breathtaking. The stained glass in this chapel is UN-believable. I've never seen anything like it. Apparently it's quite the accoustic heaven, as well, so I'll see if there are any concerts there while we're here. Maybe they need a soloist? (Hey, a girl can dream, right?).

From the Sainte-Chapelle we visited La Conciergerie, where many of the condemned, including Marie-Antoinette, were held before being carted off to the Guillotine during the Revolution. Phil is currently re-reading Dieu et nous seuls pouvons, about a family of executioners, so he found this museum quite interesting (as did I).

From there we walked back to Notre-Dame and waited in line in the freezing cold (yes, it's 7 degrees here, but it was incredibly windy yesterday) to climb the tower.

The view was wonderful, you could see all the way to Montmartre. But, you know, it was a bit cold. In fact, I'm beginning to wonder if I'm going to climb the Eiffel tower today...

By this point it was about 4:00PM, so we just wandered along the Seine, through the Square Jean-XXIII and across the pont de L'Archevêque to l'Île Saint-Louis where we spent some time browsing the book vendor stalls. Then we walked down to the Seine itself, and I got a little knitting time in.We went back to Notre-Dame to hear the organ recital, and then we decided to call it a day. We headed back to our hotel to freshen up and then had dinner in a little restauraunt in the area, Madame Tomate (I had Cassoulet, it was awesome).

And that's it, folks! Phil is off to work, and I'm sitting here in my pajamas, blogging when I should be getting ready to head out the door. Paris awaits, and I've got a big day ahead of me. I want to see the Eillef Tower, the Hôtel des Invalides and the Musée d'Orsay today. Better get crackin'

Happy Knitting Everyone!


Sinéad said...

I bet it was cold at the top of that tower, the wind would cut you in two. I remember that well from my visit many moons ago when I climbed the Eiffel tower.
Have a ball, and don't forget the Sacre Coeur if you can climb all the steps up to it!

Dad said...

So here am I having snuggled, cuddled and fed the twosome and taken them off to school - and you think that you are in French heaven?

Mais non, mais non, Nanny and I are in heaven at your computer, drinking your coffee, admittedly whilst Nanny has returned to sleep. We just want to say thank you for letting us spend some time with them (but I continue to hate your multi-remotes)

AliP said...

Oh tara, I'm so glad you are having such a good time. We only had one accidental night to see Paris and all we managed was the Arc and the Champs but it was awe inspiring. Such history!! Such beauty!!! You go girl and soak it all up! Hugs and happy Parisien knitting!

Sam said...

Gee Tara
J'ai oublié de te donner le nom de certains restos plutôt sympathiques:

Le Petit Pontoise
9 rue de Pontoise, 5e
Location 5th Arrondissement
Métro: Maubert-Mutualité

La Boucherie Roulière (pour viandeux !)
24, rue des Canettes, 75006 Paris

La Rôtisserie d'en face
2 rue Christine, Paris 6e

Tous des restos de bonne vieille tradition française mais tu ne peux pas te tromper.
Dans le coin de Notre-Dame - Café Zimmer - une institution avec belle déco - 1 Place du Châtelet..Paris 1e

Va voir le guide Routard sur le web - bcp de recos hors sentier touristique (où tu paies trop cher pour ce que tu as)...


kate-the-enabler said...

Ton pays, I might add at the moment, ce n'est pas un pays..(and you know the rest.)

Your trip already looks like so much FUN! - I'm glad you posted that pic of you with your bag at the Sainte Chapelle because I think it's funny the way your bag seems to echo the motif of the windows (I know it doesn't really - but it does sort of look that way..)
And the vaulted ceiling in the pic with Philippe just gives me the happy chills.
enjoy :)

Knit and Purl Mama said...

I need to go on a vacation where I can knit. I went on vacation and got to knit 6 or 8 rows total on a sock. (Never traveling with the kids again without my hubby)

Looks like fun!