Dinner on the Seine

John, Jenn, Aaron and I took a dinner cruise on the Seine when we were in Paris.  It was another thing Aaron and I had not done before, so we were looking forward to the experience.  My first trip to Paris as a teenager my family and I took a river ride on the Seine, but it was not a dinner cruise.

IMG_8332

We had a great time!  The waitress was so surprised when we told her we would not be having champagne or any alcohol.  She asked us quite a few times if we were sure we did not want something more than water and/or soda.  By the end of the evening she told us she was very impressed that we did not drink alcohol.  It is a very hard concept for the french to understand and respect.

We arrived at the boat around 8pm and we left the dock at 8:30.  It was a two hour cruise up and down the Seine.  We had a menu with 3-4 choices for each course.  We ordered our food at the start of the cruise and the courses, 4-5 total, kept coming until the ride was over.  We started with an apéritif, cheese/cauliflower puffs, with our drinks, then we had soup or a salad, our main dish, a cheese tray and then dessert.  I tried the duck and Aaron had a plate of veggies.  Their mashed sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes were so yummy!  We all really liked our food!

IMG_8336 (1) IMG_8335 IMG_8334

It was fun seeing some of the sites from the boat.  For example, the Eiffel Tower was beautiful as we rode by.  When the sun goes down the Eiffel Tower has a light show on the hour and we happened to be passing by right at 10 pm.  It was so neat!  Also, Aaron was able to capture the Statue of Liberty, with the Eiffel Tower in the back ground!

IMG_8338

We loved being with friends and we had a night of laughter, good food, fantastic ambiance in one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

Paris with Alexis

Last week I enjoyed taking Alexis and her roommate, Rebecca, to Paris.  Rebecca was leaving for America and, of course, Paris was a must see.  We visited all the popular sites.

The Eiffel Tower

IMG_3090 IMG_3096 IMG_3097 IMG_3098 IMG_3100IMG_2947 IMG_2946IMG_8319

The Louvre (the below pictures are of Napoleon III Apartments)

IMG_3081 IMG_3082 IMG_3083 IMG_3084 IMG_3085 IMG_3088

Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie (I didn’t get many photos.)

IMG_3089 IMG_3092 IMG_3093 IMG_3094 IMG_3095

Ladurée

IMG_3091

No photos:  Versailles, Notre Dame, Champs-Élysées, Place de Concorde, Tuileries Gardens, Metro, RER, delicious restaurants, crêpes, Arc de triomphe…

Vélodrome d’hiver

The Vélodrome d’hiver was an indoor bicycle track and stadium not too far from the Eiffel Tower.  On July 16 and 17, 1942 the French police, under German orders, round up over 13,000 Jews, 4,000 being children, and located them in this large stadium under terrible circumstances.  The Jews were given barely any water or food, the sanitation conditions were almost non existent and it was extremely crowded.  The Jews were held there for about a week and then deported to concentration camps throughout Europe.  The majority never survived.

I have read many books and histories about this particular historical event.  Our friend, Benjamin, loaned me a french movie, La rafle du Vel’ d’hiv, 16 et 17 juillet 1942, that was difficult for me to watch.  It took me three days to get through the whole film.  It is one of the most accurately portrayed film of these events.

When Aaron and I were in Paris we had a morning to ourselves and I wanted to find the small memorial in the location where the Vélodrome used to stand.  I am so glad we found the monument and plaque.  I felt like it was sacred ground and it stirred more emotions in me in regards to this period of history.  I was happy to see that a future memorial garden is currently under construction.

IMG_2948 IMG_2949 IMG_2950 IMG_2951 IMG_2952 IMG_2954 IMG_2955IMG_8315 IMG_8316

Versailles

One of our favorite places to visit in Paris is Versailles.  Aaron and I love going and spending an afternoon in the gardens.  We took Jenn and John to Versailles and we spent quite a few hours there.  The grounds are massive, around 1,976 acres of land!  We all had a fun time visiting the Château, Marie Antionette’s hamlet, the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon and the extensive gardens!

IMG_2964 IMG_2965 IMG_2966 IMG_2967 IMG_2968 IMG_2969 IMG_2970 IMG_2971 IMG_2972

IMG_8340 IMG_8343 IMG_8347

Sainte-Chapelle

IMG_2956

Aaron and I traveled to Paris two weeks ago to spend a few days with my best friend from college, Jenn and her husband John.  We were so excited to finally have family and/or friends come to visit.  We spent 2.5 days with them in Paris.  Aaron and I went a day early so we could spend a little time together too.  It was a fun few days in Paris and then we all took the train south so they could spend a few days with us in Sanilhac.

One of the places we visited while in Paris was the Sainte-Chapelle.  Aaron nor I had visited this cathedral before.  The Sainte-Chapelle is a medieval Gothic chapel dating back to the late 1230’s-1240’s.  It was erected under the commission of King Louis IX to house his collection of the Passion relics, including Christ’s crown of thorns.  The chapel was damaged during the French Revolution but it was restored in the 19th century.  It has one of the largest 13th century stained glass collections in the world.  It was magnificent!  My iphone did not capture the vibrant colors of the stained glass.  It is not a large chapel, like Notre Dame, but it is beautiful!  The ceiling of the chapel is a vibrant blue that did not show up in my photos.  The Sainte-Chapelle is a few blocks away from the Notre Dame.

IMG_2963 IMG_2962 IMG_2961 IMG_2960 IMG_2958 IMG_2957IMG_8328IMG_8326IMG_8325