OH, I'm so sad - I feel like this trip is coming to an end for the second time as I finish these blog posts! I had looked forward to this trip so much that I almost didn't want it to start because then it would end... do you know what I mean? I will cherish every memory. I'm so thankful for photos that help us remember and relive our happy times. Thank YOU for reading and commenting and enjoying our adventure along with me!
Our last day in Paris was on Saturday, Christmas Eve (we flew home on Christmas day.) For me, a Saturday in Paris means that it's flea market day, and I was surprised and very happy to find out that there would be the usual flea market at the Port de Vanves - even in winter and even on Christmas Eve. You never know what you'll find there (the treasure hunt is my favorite part of the fun) and this time there were so many good small things! I didn't buy a lot but I did find some really cool little things that I'll share in tomorrow's blog post.
This was one of the really good booths...
I love this stack of floral fabric-covered boxes... I wish I had room to bring them all home!
And these patterns...
The vendors were playing their usual game of backgammon...
And Roland was playing his piano...
I enjoyed his serenade while I had my coffee and crepe (the best bargain in Paris for 3 euros!)
Brandon and Dave had taken a quick look through the flea market and then went back to the hotel while I took my time looking at every little thing. When I met back up with them, Brandon and I went and did a quick shopping stop at Galeries Lafayette (I know, crazy on Christmas Eve!) and then met Dave at a cafe in St. Germain. The first time Dave and I went to Paris we stopped for coffee here and Dave got yelled at by the waiter when Dave bumped our table and spilled his coffee. For some reason, he wanted to go back and see if the same guy was there. (I don't think Dave would actually remember who he was.)
As we shared an assortment du fromage (a cheese plate) we were serenaded by this couple across the street. She had the strangest voice ever - it was pretty funny.
Then the perfect ending to a cheese lunch - gelato from Angelina!
We walked back through the neighborhood, past the famous cafe Les Deux Magots, hoping to stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens, but they were already closed at 4:30 in the afternoon. (They are closed after dark.) Brandon had gone there on his own a couple days before, so I was glad that he got to see them, but I was sad to miss them on this trip.
That evening was another special occasion... Dave and I had tickets to see the musical 42nd Street at the Theatre du Chatelet. We had seen An American in Paris at this theater two years before and were so happy to get tickets for the Christmas Eve performance of this show. This theater often does American musicals - they are performed in English as they are written and then subtitles in French are projected above the stage. The theater is closing after this play for two years for renovation. Maybe we'll be back in two years to see their next play!
We got all spiffed up again...
Brandon didn't get to go since his trip with us was a last minute plan and the show's tickets were sold out. He was happy to stay behind and pack and do a little last minute exploring on his own.
We took a taxi to the theater... it's a little unnerving to arrive and see it surrounded by police vehicles. This is our world now, I guess. With it being Christmas Eve and a large gathering of people, I think they are very cautious, which I'm grateful for, and had lots of security there. We had to go through security to enter the theater.
The inside of the theater is so pretty! It was built in 1862.
The musical was really fun. I didn't really know anything about it other than the theme song, 42nd Street, but a couple other songs were familiar... We're in the Money and Shuffle Off to Buffalo. That was surreal! To be in Paris, in a theater, with French people, hearing a song about going to Buffalo! The scene was set in a sleeper car of a train named the Niagara Express. Small world! :) The musical was written in 1933, so a lot of the humor is very corny, but it was fun to share it with a mostly Parisian crowd.
Brandon met us outside the theater and we walked over to the Ile de Louis to have a late dinner - it was about 11pm by now. We found a cozy restaurant and ate outside under the heaters.
A little night music...
We walked past Notre Dame. Midnight Mass was taking place inside. If you've been to Notre Dame, you'll appreciate the fact that the entire area was blocked off with security. You couldn't even cut through that area without passing through inspection.
We intended to end our trip with one last visit to the Eiffel Tower, but it was going on 1 am, and we were leaving at 7am for the airport, so we decided that we'd had an overflowing amount of good memories and could give in and call it a day.
I was surprised by all the crowds of people flying on Christmas day! Two years prior we did the same thing and our plane was almost empty and this time it was full! We had a good flight - the sunset in Philadelphia welcomed us back to the USA. It was a Merry Christmas!