Monday, May 07, 2012

Friday in Paris: A VERY FULL DAY

We started our day at a little coffee place called Cafe Verlet.  It's one of the best coffees you can get in Paris.  I love these first two pictures I took while we waited for our coffee.
 Don't the girls look lovely?

Now, go back to the first picture and look for Lyle in the background.  Over on the left.  You can see him in the mirror in both photos.  Does he look like he needs coffee more than the rest of us?

The coffee arrived and it was so pretty everyone took photos of it.

 Including me.

Then we walked over to the Musee  Les Arts Décoratifs and went in to see the Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs exhibit.  It started off with a lot of history of how Louis Vuitton started as a "packager" in 1854 and became a trunk maker.  Then you go upstairs and it shows how Marc Jacobs has handled the brand since taking over as creative director since 1987.
 There as a very large sign that said no photos.  So I snuck these with my iPhone.

There was a wall of signature bags from over the last 20 years.  Circled in pink would be my favorite.  You know how I love all things shiny.
 Check out the shoes.

Lyle said this display was very "Dr Who" but I don't watch that show because it's scary, so I don't know.

Our friend Ophelia saw this exhibit the next day.  She also saw the Alexander McQueen exhibit in New York last year.  She said the McQueen exhibit was by far the better show.  Having not seen it in person, I was able to enjoy this one just fine.

After the show, we were hungry.  We decided to go to Cafe Marly just around the corner.  It's a bit touristy, a bit pricey, but it was close and it had a great view of the pyramid inside the Louvre courtyard.

 Group photos are my favorite!

I love placing things on heads.  Dorothy gets an arch for a hat!
 Cindy gets a raging stallion for a hat!
 Angie takes on the epic showgirl sized headpiece of the pyramid!
You go girl!

At Cafe Marly everyone ordered either the Croque Monsieur or the Croque Madame (the Madame has a poached egg on top of it.  Though I have had bites of Lyle's sandwiches in the past, this was my first complete Croque to myself.  It was delicious. It was also Cindy's first Croque.

 Cindy is overcome with love for the Croque Monsieur.

 Dorothy and Lyle cut a dashing portrait.

In Paris, the old meets the new in the cleaning of the Louvre Courtyard.

Then it was off to shopping!  Today we were going down Rue St. Honore.  The high end hottest fashion boutiques.  Hermes, Gucci, Collette, Valentino, Chanel is just off on a side street.  We saw them all!
 Dorothy, Angie and Venita stop traffic and snap their photos.

 The windows at Hermes.

As is our tradition (Lyle and I), after shopping we retired to the Crillon Hotel bar for beer and champagne (Beer for Lyle, Champers por moi).  We all enjoyed a break from walking.  I am sad to report that for the first time, I did not have a shiny parcel to unwrap in the bar.  It made me depressed.  Somehow, I managed to recover after two glasses of Champagne.

After cocktails, 4 of our group headed back to the apartment by taxi (secretly plotting a side stop in the Marais for more shopping).  Lyle, Venita and I decided to walk back through the Place de la Concorde, along the Seine, over the Isle St. Louis, and then home.  I think the champagne had made me forget how sore my feet were.

 Place de la Concorde fountains.
 The outside of the Musee D'Orsay.  It used to be a train station.

Such a small house.  Only as wide as the door!  
I guess that's a pretty big door.

And then it happened.  As long as I have been coming to Paris, I have never had Berthillon ice cream.  I always gorge on pastry.  Ice cream?  You can get that anywhere.  Then my friend Sheryl told me she had been the same way until one day... she had it, and it changed her life.

So I decided to try it this trip.  But it was closed.  They didn't open until Friday.  This was FRIDAY.
 My flavors were caramel buerre avec sea salt and vanilla (as a control).  It was AMAZING.
 They only give you small scoops, but anymore than that and it would be a crime. (I took this photo with my hand in it for scale.)  So delicious!  I immediately started making plans to go back.

We continued home through Place Des Vosges.

And then it was time to change and get our party clothes on.  Tonight we were going on an elegant bar tour!
 I believe I said, "This one's for the blog, look goofy!"

We started out at the Eiffel tower.  The plan was to go to the top to the champagne bar and get our first cocktail.  We did not anticipate the 2 hour line up to get into the elevator.  Since we were all in nice clothes and thin jackets, it was decided to snap a few photos and move on with our night.

 Everyone is trés, trés, chic!

Our first stop was the Hotel Raphael.  It is located up near the Arch du Triomphe.  They have a rooftop bar that is open in the summer.  Tonight was not summer.  So we had a cocktail in the bar off the lobby.

 We all salute you,
 and wish you.
   many happy happy days (and nights)!

Next stop The Bristol.  You can see the two fussy girl drinks on the ends, those are mine and Cindy's.

The Ritz was to be our finale. 

We came in the front door so we could walk the long hallway through to the Hemingway bar in the back.

 But it was CLOSED.

The hotel has started a renovation and will be completely closed starting in August for two years.  It was disappointing.

At this juncture, the group split.  Those who were hungry, and those were hungry but still wanted to drink.  I think we can all guess where I fell.
Angie, Lyle and I went on the Maurice hotel.  I had the Printemps Royale, which is another girly drink, like a Kir Royale made with champagne but instead of Cassis they added blackberry and raspberry liqueur to it.  Another hit!

And then we tried to find somewhere to eat after 2 am in Paris. That didn't work out so well.  On the bright side, when I am in Paris, I always keep one emergency pastry at home for just such an occasion.
The sign over the doorway to our apartment entryway translates as, "Make glasses bombs only house for the big pieces by Claude Desserme." (roughly translated)

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