Posts tagged “france

Adieu Paris!!!

 

It’s now time to leave Paris…. it’s been a great couple of days and the weather has been magnifique!  I’m sitting at the airport writing this last entry for our trip because we got back from dinner too late last night.

Our last day…. what can I say.   I stayed up late the other night with the blog and Faceboook and got many nice responses on the pictures from Tielt and Lokeren – in fact, I got responses as I was posting them.  We really had a great time and enjoyed the entire time.  As a result, we got up late this morning and didn’t hit the streets until 10:30.   Anyway, it was a beautiful morning and I captured some great pictures as we went from the Champs-Élysées, to the Left Bank, and back to the 9th arrondissement.  Here are a few:

 

Place de la Concorde

 

Place de la Concorde

 

Place de la Concorde

 

 

On the Champs Elysee – doesn’t it look like i’m on a bike behind this guy?

 

Look out for that car!

 

Arc de Triomphe

 

The famous Les Deux Magots – we had drinks here.

 

St. Germain des Pres

 

Inside St. Germain

 

Inside St. Germain

 

This is St. Germain

 

The organ

 

We rested a bit and then got ready for dinner.  We couldn’t do the special birthday dinner for Rich on Monday because most of the high end restaurants are closed on Monday. We had an outstanding dinner at Le Cinq which is in the Four Seasons George V Hotel – it was magnificent!  The entire hotel is beautiful but the restaurant itself is a work of art – the service was superb and the food divine.  We had the prix fixe and were there from 8pm until almost midnight!  Wow – I think that’s a record for us.  Here are a few pictures from the evening.

 

Place setting at the table – the flower petals were for Rich’s birthday

 

A glass of champagne – bien sur!

 

Rich waiting for the first course

 

Amuse bouche – octopus on the left (it was great)

 

First course – tuna tartare with caviar

 

Second course – tomato millefeuille with crab

 

Second course – a melon refreshment to go with the tomato millefeuille

 

A great Burgundy – Chambolle-Musigny – Les Baudes

 

Third course – razor clams

 

Fourth course – mushroom risotto with mushroom foam

 

Main course – blue lobster with a veal reduction sauce

 

Pre dessert – sorbet

 

Dessert – peach ice

 

Main dessert – chocolate pie with lemon sorbet

 

End of the meal – they actually gave us a picture to take with us

 

We had a wonderful vacation and it’s now time to get back to reality.  This trip was very special in so many ways.  We visited so many great places – Paris, London, St. Emilion, Mont St. Michel, Honfleur, the Normandy sites, Maastricht, Antwerp.  We also had a memorable time with my family in Belgium.  Monique and Eddy were outstanding hosts the entire time and attending the christening of Julie was also a highlight.

Monique, Eddy, Bart, Mariam, Sophie, Tom – heel erg bedankt voor een goede, goede tijd!

So now it’s the end of the story.  There are many memories and some beautiful pictures.  I hope that everyone who has followed the blog enjoyed the commentary and photos.  I’ll end with a couple of night time shots of the Eiffel Tower – what a magnificent city Paris is.  Adieu!

 

Eiffel Tower from our hotel window

 

Eiffel Tower from the room

 

 

 

 

 


Return to Paris – Happy Birthday, Rich

 

Happy Birthday, Rich!!

 

Having a glass of champagne at the Grand Hotel

 

Today we left Tielt in the morning and got back to Paris around noon.  Marie led us directly to the hotel without a hitch but the traffic was tough.  Driving in central Paris is a nightmare with all of the pedestrians, motorcycles, crazy cars, taxis….. yikes!!  We did, however, make it back without a problem.  Of course, we had to ditch Marie…. c’est dommage….. she’ll soon be helping others find there way…. tournez a gauche!

We spent the afternoon checking out different – and then some of the same – areas of Paris.  Here are just a few shots I took today:

 

Palais de Justice

 

Notre Dame and the Seine

 

Notice the crowds at Notre Dame

 

We had a great dinner tonight at a Venetian restaurant – excellent food and a very nice location.

 

Attached below are a few of the pictures I took while in Tielt, Belgium with my family.  We had a great time, ate a lot, drank a lot, and laughed a lot.  It was truly a great time.  I’ll close with the pictures and hope to have the final entry of our trip tomorrow night.  Adieu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Saint Emilion

 

 

The trip from Paris to Bordeaux on the train was fairly uneventful.  When we arrived at the train station, it took us forever to find the car rental agency.  Then, of course, the car we had requested (one with GPS) wasn’t available.  After lunch and a couple of comical episodes, we were able to exchange the car and were well on our way.  It’s actually pretty funny… the car is a great diesel Peugeot, stick shift (they still make those?), and a navigation device that only offers directions in French.  She has a wonderful voice so it makes the turns and roundabouts even more fun.  The difference between straight ahead and turn right is “tout droit” vs “droit” – better pay attention or you might miss your turn.  LOL

We arrived in Saint Emilion and checked into the hotel.  Since it was Sunday afternoon, there were a ton of visitors (mostly French) in the small town – it’s absolutely beautiful!  These are the views from our room:

 

 

And then a few more from the street below:

 

 

 

The town is famous, of course, for its noble wines but is also known for its macaroons…. haven’t tried them yet but it’s next on the list.

 

 

 

 

We had dinner at a very small restaurant in the village on a very steep inclined street – so steep I almost lost my balance on several occasions.  Anyway, the dinner was great and we sat next to a couple from Cape Town, South Africa.  We talked throughout dinner and found out that the husband was originally from Belgium – sorta reminded me of Hercule Poirot.  Those Belgians are hiding in the most unusual places, don’t you think?

In closing, here are a couple of shots of the town after dark.

 

 

 


Nous Sommes Arrivés à Paris

We arrived without a hitch and had a wonderful flight on the Air France Airbus A380 – what a machine!  We boarded the plane via several ramps that led us directly into Business Class which was the overhead portion of the plane.  It took off like a rocket ship without a sound – it was truly amazing.  And the seats were incredible!  We were able to recline totally flat so that we were able to sleep fairly well.  Here’s a small preview of our dinner meal:

 

 

Lobster salad with a mango chutney in center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken fricassee                                                                                        Beef Tornadoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice the real silverware!!!

 

Here’s a picture of our little neighbor on board who was a champ throughout the flight and never sounded a peep:

 

We arrived on time and took a taxi to our hotel – it took a long time because of the traffic. The hotel, Hyatt Madeleine, is new and very comfortable – are we really in Paris???  Everyone is helpful and speaks English.  There was a problem tonight with the drapes that we never noticed and they left a very nice bottle of champagne for us – mon dieu!

We had to have a couple of beers at the Cafe de la Paix – it’s a tradition for us and a landmark in Paris.  It looks upon the old Opera Garnier so I couldn’t resist this wonderful view of the opera house with the cafe logo in the forefront:

 

 

After resting a bit, we had a very nice dinner at the Royal Madeleine bistro – very authentic French and not touristy at all.

 

Bienvenue en France and what a wonderful welcome it was….. this is just the first day so stay tuned!