"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Monday, June 14, 2010

Lover's Weekend: Day Three - Sunday

"Only in Paris
one discovers the urge to merge with the splurge of spring
Paris loves lovers for lovers know that love is everything."
- Fred Astair, Silk Stockings (1957)

Good Morning Lovers,

Today is your last day, lots to do and see...

The breakfast at Pain et Chocolat is excellent
Don't forget your newspaper ;-)

Your first stop of the day is Musee d'Orsay

Make sure you see the museum's magnificant clocks

Next grab a taxi and tell the cabbie to take you to Ile de la Cite - literally the heart of Paris (where the city began more than 2,000 years ago)...

Notre Dame
Of course the Ile is best known for the Notre Dame, but there is much more to this de la cite. The square and surrounding streets are teaming with tourists and Parisians - just wander...

Les Bouquinistes - La Seine, Ile de la Cite

Be sure to check out the booksellers (Bouquinistes) that dot the Seine. The 250 bookstalls are recognized via the large green metal boxes that house their wares. Since the mid-16th century, these 'second-hand' booksellers have had this prime location on the Seine.

But the term 'second-hand' booksellers is a bit misleading. Bouquinistes sell out-of-print editions, 1st editions, rare LPs, cassettes, and CDs, vintage and rare books, newspapers, comics, journals and magazines, stamps, postcards, photographs, trinkets and even small toys. I've seen World War II editions of Time Magazine, bought a phamplet published in the late 1800s, and a Cyndi Lauper LP.

You'd be surprised at all the the stuff these tiny shops carry - some of it is cheesy, some of it exquisite. So, take your time and explore. You'll be pleasantly surprised at what you might find. Be forewarned. If you're a history junkee (as I am), you could easily spend an entire afternoon here - good times!

On the other end of the island is the tiny and ridiculously romantic Place Dauphine.

In between the two points are the Ancien Cloitre Quartier (a small tangle of cobblestoned medieval streets) and Sainte-Chapelle (home to the oldest stained-glass windows in Paris).

There's some wonderful people watching to be had too

Walking at a brisk pace, you can walk from one end of the island to the other in @ 10 minutes - of course you'll take your sweet time. There's lots to see and do. Until late October there are music festivals, street artists and adventure everywhere.

Musicans on Ille Saint Louis

Your next stop - Ile St. Louis. There's a bridge that connects the two islands (Pont St. Louis) - just past Notre Dame. This ile is dotted with quaint and lovely shops, art galleries, bookstores, three hotels, a world famous flower shop, L'Occitane, etc. And prices are surprisingly reasonable. One of my favorite spots in the city.

By now it's late afternoon and you're ready for a break. Lucky for you, crossing Pont Louis Phillippe will bring you to a cafe with one of the most beautiful and romantic views of Paris - Le Flore en L'Ile...

Cafe La Flore en L'Ile, Ile St. Louis

Be forewarned, this cafe is one of the most popular in Paris - thus it's always packed (that's why I suggest that you visit in the fall, mid-October is the best time of year: still warmish and fewer tourists). The good news is that there is lots of outside seating w/ heaters. The bad news is that you'll probably have to wait for a table -but it's so worth it. Just make sure that you're sitting facing the street/view, side by side with your honey for maximum romance.

Sitting inside is nearly as good 
just try to get a table in front of a window.

If you'd like sit inside, the cafe is wall to wall windows - great views too. It's also so romantic it makes my heart ache - especially on a rainy day. The food here is only so-so - but you're not here for the food. But if you want to nibble, I suggest that you order something simple. Mr. Gorgeous and I always order Kronenburg Beer(s), a salad w/ scallops and a plat du formmage (cheese platter). Also their soups are yummy as is the bread. But please, be adventureous - and remember, Paris and romance make the best seasonings.

*Again, call the Tuk Tuk company for a ride home - tres romantique, especially at sunset!

If you're not quite ready for a siesta, stroll to Musee Rodin (@ a 10 min. walk from the hotel)

The Musee Rodin is housed in the Hotel Biron and features the sculptures and other works of Auguste Rodin. Scattered throughout the stunning surrounding grounds are some of his most famous works.

Inside, throughout each of the gorgeous rooms (high intricately carved ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, and parquet floors) are the most beautiful sculptures:

The Kiss (My favorite)

Behind the museum is a garden, small pond, and a cafe off to one side. Just follow the sun-dappled cobblestone path - perfect for some romantic meandering...

Okay, you should have just enough time to relax a bit and get ready. Tonight you're going to a soiree.

Mr. Gorgeous at a Paris Soiree

Patricia Laplante Collins

For nearly 30 years, Patricia has opened her home to members of the Paris expat community, Parisians, and visitors to Paris from every corner of the world. Drinks, dinner, and a featured speaker or musician, the entire evening is centered around one endeavor - to meet and talk to new and interesting people, and to make friends... 

The highlight of every soiree is a featured speaker (an author, painter, poet, writer, film producer, designer, etc) or a musician 

Coincidently, one of the soirees we attended fell on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Soirees are every Sunday night, 25E per person includes: Wine, hors 'deouvres, dinner, and lots of fun!

*I recently had the honor of being the featured speaker in May

 While Patricia's soiree is open to one and all, getting in is wonderfully 1920s speakeasy:
1. @mail Patricia: ParisSoiress@gmail.com
2. Tell her a little about yourself and be sure to give her your contact info.
3. A day or so before the Soiree, Patricia will contact you and tell you when and where.
*Now if only I can get her to start using a password and a special knock at the door!

Can you think of a more perfect way to spend your last night in Paris?

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


with Mr. Gorgeous at a soiree ;-)


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