I'm filling in the contributions from MM&K as soon as I get them...Mindy's are in, Kelly too.

September 27

Kelly, Mindy, Marsha...welcome to PARIS! They've just come over on the Eurostar, through the chunnel from London to Paris, and they're taking a welcome-to-PARIS break on the couch.

And then I was all-like Let's Go Let's Go for a little stroll around the 'hood here at Saint-Germain-des-Pres.
First some pointing about what's where and then we went into the church where the organist was playing which was a real treat.
It's lovely in here, at the Église de Saint Germain des Prés.
Out in front there was a brass band and this little lovely. That's a euro symbol on her winged back but it wasn't a protest but rather a game for a scouting club.
We had to stop off at the Cream Puff Palace and it was as spectacular as ever.

The shell has the freshest crispest most delightful delicious flavor and texture, and one of the few flavors you can have squeezed inside (original, chocolate, caramel, praline) the original is a cheesy creamy fabulously mouthwatering delight.
It was a spectacularly beautiful Sunday and for the first time Ever Paris was having its own cycLAvia and had closed the major streets to cars with the exception of taxis, buses, and residents going home, so there were still plenty of vehicles around.

Here we are at Pont Neuf enjoying the classic sounds of a fine brass band.
This inline skaters club (Rollers and Coquillages) turned out in the hundreds.
It wasn't any easier to walk than normal because the place was completely packed with skaters, cyclists, and walkers.
After a short break we took the Metro for our trip out to Montmartre. Awww, kitty kitty.

What Lonely Planet says about this place: "Le Refuge des Fondus. This odd place has been a Montmartre favorite for nigh on four decades. The single menu provides an aperitif, hors d'oeuvre, red wine, and a good quantity of either fondue savoyarde or fondue bourguigonne. The last sitting is at midnight."

I'm surprised at LP. Calling it 'odd' is not the half of it.

There are two rows of tables smashed together in this tiny hallway of a restaurant. To take your seat along the bench one of the extravagant waiters presents you with a chair and holds your hand as you Step Over the table.

They immediately bring you your aperitif, hors d'oeuvre, and red wine. The red wine comes, omg, in those ridiculous baby bottles. It has a big hole in the nipple so you don't actually have to suck on it but I was having none of that and poured some wine into my aperitif glass. The main guy rushed over, shook his finger at me and with a grand flourish he removed all the other glasses from the table to prevent anyone else from committing this heresy.
The meat and cheese fondue. It was fun, an adventure, tasty enough, and very very odd.

This is my second and last visit to Sacra Coeur...
...so I snagged some internet pictures to give a fuller view of it's beautiful aspect.

(internet pix)
From the walk down Montmartre...
...to the Moulin Rouge!
In the meridian where everyone takes pictures of the Moulin Rouge, I gave them some money so I got to clap.

September 28

That, my friends, is a two and a half hour line that will eventually let you climb more than 400 stairs to the top of Notre Dame.
Waiting waiting waiting. It was freezing cold. Waiting waiting waiting.

Check out Mindy and Kelly in their ooo-la-la berets. Only helped a little though, because it was cold.
Waiting waiting in full tourista mode.

ACK! Front of the Line!! Only these two guys in front of us. And then they let in a tour group. And then they let in a school group. And FINALLY, Yes! we got to go.
Up up up.
And here we are face to face with the gargoyles of Notre Dame.
It was awesome.
Selfie from the top...Kelly, me, Mindy, Marsha.

Nice view!
It's turning into Fall along the river Seine.
The other ladies went off to see the Eiffel Tower, and here they are at the top...

...and as I was walking home this art exhibit that usually had a very long line was line free. Yay! I can go in!
Basically you got to take things. I said 'Oh wow can I take one of those rugs!'. No, you can take a little bottle of rose water in the corner.

Here are some words from this website..monnaiedeparis.fr

"Displayed on the walls of the last factory in the centre of Paris, the exhibition is an invitation to revisit the myth of the singularity of an artwork and question its modes of production. Like coins, works of art are destined to be disseminated. This exhibition, designed as a place for interaction between visitors and artists, is characterized by its open form which evolves in time.

"When it ends, the pieces will disappear, having been distributed in their entirety. Challenging conventional economic channels, Take Me (I’m Yours) presents a model based on exchange and sharing, and thus raises questions about the exchange value of art, an issue intimately linked to Monnaie de Paris."
Here you take some clothes.
But my way favorite was this, the Eiffel Tower room. I took one of those Eiffel Towers AND a postcard. It's my favorite souvenir EVER.
This lovely Parisian woman is hold the bag that you could get at the first room. She took something from each display, even a crazy little house dress, in support of the artist. We had a fine chat about modern art. I told her her glasses were modern art.

I didn't take a bag because I was sure I wasn't going to take anything but then COOL I could have an Eiffel Tower and an Eiffel Tower postcard.
And then I put a card on the wishing tree.
September 29

We were out of the house at 5:45AM, as In The Morning to get to the tour bus that would take us out to the WWII D-Day beaches of Normandy.

It's very far away, a very long day, a very long bus ride.
Passing by the Arc de Triomphe.
Our first stop: Le Mémorial de Caen, in the town of Caen.
Here's an orientation map.
There's never enough time on these tours but it was good to look around. I actually think the Army Museum at Invalides was better at telling this story - more coherent maybe, I don't know, but it was interesting anyway.
The flags flying outside the museum.

Next on to one of the beaches showing the remaining bunkers and the holes left by the bombing.
I know. Really. American monuments. One of them is meant to be a dagger, the symbol of one of the invasion teams. The other is called 'Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves'. Really.
Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
The most sentimental moment was when a clarion started playing the National Anthem and this is what happened.
The actual area covered by the D-Day Invasion was huge, the beaches were miles long and beach-heads were so far apart tactical coordination was a real feat.

There a ton of material written and filmed about this one day. I'm going to watch Ken Burns' version again soon.
Awww...The bus ride home.
September 30

Marsha, Mindy, and Kelly took a bus tour today out to Versailles...

...and Giverny.

I didn't go with them as I'd been to those places already.

Instead I got to meet Tony for lunch and a little walk-about.

This is the restaurant, Bouillon Chartier, an historic and tres ooo-la-la place.
The place is constantly packed and they fill all the seats even when there are empty tables. I think this is not entirely uncommon. Meet our lovely tablemates from Hong Kong.

Wiki: "Bouillon Chartier, or simply Chartier, is a "bouillon" restaurant in Paris founded in 1896, located in the 9th arrondissement and classified as a monument historique since 1989. The restaurant has had only four owners since opening.

"The long Belle Époque dining room has a high ceiling supported by large columns which allows for a mezzanine, where service is also provided....with a menu offering traditional French cuisine.

"The table service is provided by waiting staff dressed in the traditional rondin, a tight-fitting black waistcoat with multiple pockets and a long white apron."

Expect crowds and you might be pleasantly surprised by hitting a quite time but you'll still sit with strangers.
Some views around town.
Oh my, love the wings and the necklace. A tiara would be nice. Too much?
The buildings. Oh man.
And you can glance up to enjoy a golden family of snails.
Or glance to your side and find this. Paris.
That's the Louvre over there. I went to meet MM&K there after their tour. It's Wednesday night, the best time to visit the Louvre as they are open late and amazingly there are no lines.
No lines, but you can't throw a stone without hitting a bride. So many brides.
"The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel is a triumphal arch...built between 1806 and 1808 to commemorate Napoleon's military victories of the previous year.

The more famous Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile, across from the Champs Élysées, was designed in the same year; it is about twice the size and was not completed until 1836. It is also an example of Corinthian style architecture."
Hi everyone!

Marsha, Kelly, Mindy
The water pools were empty but you could still get some reflection off the marble.
Another view of the The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, between the Louvre and the Jardin des Tuleries.
October 1

MM&K went shopping and picked a little bag at Louis Vuitton for one of Marsha's colleagues. They give you champagne while you shop, and enjoyed a day of eating and drinking and making merry along the Champs Elysees.
I did some work in the morning and we all met in the late afternoon here, where we find an entrance piece to the Musee d'Orsay by Alfred Jacquemart created in 1878.
LP: "...home of France’s national collection from the impressionist, postimpressionist and art nouveau movements spanning the 1840s and 1914 is the glorious former Gare d’Orsay railway station – itself an art nouveau showpiece – where a roll-call of masters and their world-famous works are on display.

"Top of every visitor’s must-see list is the museum’s painting collections, centered on the world’s largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art."
A railway station beauty...
...from every angle.
The collection of Impressionist paintings covers the entire fifth floor and gives you googly eyes and a constant recitation of 'look at that' 'look at that' 'look at that'.
As well as the amazing collection of paintings there are exhibits of French furniture, sculpture, and photography from the same period.
This evening MM&K are packing up for an early departure tomorrow so Kelly and I went out for a last buzz around the neighborhood and to swing by the Cream Puff Palace.

What a hoot, this private party was happening right there in the courtyard!
Sisters Mindy and Marsha leaning out our balcony window in PARIS...no, no, not that kind of window...

Kelly took this with Mindy's camera.
HomeEurope • France • '15 Sep: Paris! week 4 w/Marsha, Kelly, Mindy

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