Category Archives: France

The Musee d’Orsay, Art Nouveau and the Ballet

Breakfast: Pan au chocolate and quiche with salmon and broccoli.  Must try to make this.

Activity 1: Gallery Lafayette to browse shoes.  Nothing found under 150 euro, not worth it.

Activity 2: Spent 3 hours in the Musée d’Orsay.  Definitely my favorite all-around museum.  I could spend a week there. In the train painting by Monet, the train station used to delay trains so he could finish his sketches and paintings. Some pieces I liked in particular:

Henri Edmond Cross - Les Isles dOr - The Golden Isles
Henri Edmond Cross - Les Isles d'Or - The Golden Isles
Monet - Le Fare Saint-Lazare
Monet - Le Fare Saint-Lazare

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L’Orangerie, Carrousel du Louvre and L’Avant Comptoir

I started the day off right with some delicious macaroons from Ladurée: rose-something, pistachio, chocolate, pistachio, raspberry, pistachio.

Laduree for macaroons

I think my favorite museum show ever is Monet’s Water Lilies in L’Orangerie.  Their intense and large size is balanced by their calming and euphoric subject.  Standing in each room surrounded by them feels like a dream.

Monet's Water Lilies

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The Cousins Come to Paris – Quai Branly & Lipp

The cousins are back in town and that can only mean one thing: adventure – or at least some fun.  We started the day off right with a croissant from Paul (a patisserie I later found out is a chain store – but it’s okay) and coffee on top of the giant department store, Printemps.  Definitely do this.  It gives you a great feel for where everything is in the city.

On top of Printemps sipping cafe and eating our Paul Croissants

Next stop, the Musée du Quai Branly to see the Teotihuacán exhibit.

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Le Bon Marche Madness!

If you’ve never been to Le Bon Marche it is worth a visit just to the food section. It’s sort of like a food mecca, like the food section in Harrod’s in London. There were so many things to try and so little understanding of what things were. Regardless, I went a little crazy and did some serious sampling. Crab meat with dill wrapped with smoke salmon and a glob of caviar, duck and arugula crepe, prosciutto di San Danielli, goat cheese, baghuette, fava beans lightly sauteed in butter and vinegar, and a pear. All excellent.

the mushrooms at le bon marche

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Immune Booster Le Marais

My immune system got a booster today in the form of the H1N1 vaccine.  It felt okay I guess.  Some very good family friends brought it for me from America on ice.  Kind of a hassle but now I am safe which makes everyone happy.  I spent the rest of the day with them, exploring Le Marais.

a museum in le marais called Carnavalet

We took a short Rick Steves walking tour of the area and visited some pretty interesting stores and museums.   Continue reading

Some kind of mid-week holiday

You have to love days off in the middle of the week – in France it was WWI veteran remembrance day or something.  For Sarcozy, it meant parading through Paris in various motorcades and giving a speech at the Arc de Triomphe.  For my cousin, it meant we could play F the dealer the night before and go to a boat party on the Seine and then wake up late and pretend to be tourists (who am I kidding, he was the only one pretending).   And for my first day in Paris, how lucky.  So, my cousin, who normally works nine to six as some kind of consultant intern and I slept in and then went out to find the perfect hangover food.

my cousin

Our desires were met by La Courniche, a family style couscous restaurant near Park Marceau where we were greeted with Korean BBQ style appetizers like potatoes, tuna fish, nuts, pickled carrots, and other assorted cold salads.   Continue reading

Hunting Wild Boar, Choucroute and Acid Reflux

You know when you’ve never been hunting, you kind of have this sweet conception of hunting where you’re with a few ex-marines and your faces are painted so all you can see is the whites of each others’ eyes and you have a big-ass gun and you’re all slithering around on the ground or crouching behind trees or in ditches stalking like a rhinoceros or a saber toothed tiger?  And you’re wearing those sweet Aussie hats like the one Bob Peck wears in Jurassic park when he’s stalking that one dino but it turns out that the dino’s partner is actually stalking him and he says, “clever girl” and then gets eaten?  (I also want to mention here how much I love and respect Miguel Sandoval and White Hertford – they will live in my heart forever, not that they’re dead or anything, maybe just to the cinematic world).

So, let’s just say I didn’t get to say “clever girl.”

A lot of other obscenities came out of me while I was tunneling my way through thick brush, blackberry brambles and trees in an attempt to sweep through the forests and scare out any bore that might be hanging out.  I also learned a new French word, alé, which sounds like alay and can be said in lots of different ways including the long, sad, alaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyaaaaahhhh.  You say it this way when you realize that you’re actually being consumed by blackberry tentacles and that you might have to be rescued by one of the 80 year old French men who’s easily making his way through this crap, with his 80 year old dog (in dog years) who’s scampering around your feet just teasing you.  ALEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Pictures after the jump!
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