I made it to Paris safe and sound, despite leaving my passport at home and having to race back and get it! I even had a dream last week that I had forgotten it and couldn't go on my trip, so for me to leave it home for the first time EVER was really weird. I left the house feeling really good about myself that I had gotten everything done on my to-do lists, drove to the airport, and as we got out of the car, my husband jokingly asked if I had my passport. Haha - except I realized that I had left my crossbody bag that had my ID and phone and credit cards in it on the bedroom dresser. Yikes!! It was 7:07am and my flight boarded at 7:45! We raced back home, carefully - not wanting to get delayed even longer by getting stopped for speeding, and went back to the airport, and I was on my seat on the plane by 7:44. Thankfully we only live 5 miles or so from the airport and I have TSA Pre, for faster security clearance, but it was a close call. Thank God I made it!
I'm a creature of routine, so as usual, I dropped my bags at my hotel and headed to the Marais neighborhood of Paris to go to the store Merci first. I love this moment, coming up out of the Metro and seeing blue skies and the iconic buildings. Perfect!
At Merci, they have exchanged the little red car for a yellow one. I hope the red one comes back!
Inside the theme has changed to flowers for spring...
From there I walked all around the area, stopping at COS, my favorite store for clothes (except this time they didn't have much that I liked between seasons), and wandered in and out and around the area.
I wanted to stop for profiteroles at my favorite cafe for them, but I was so disappointed to see that they were closed for remodeling! I "settled" for the patisserie across the street.
This croque monsieur hotdog cracked me up - so elegant with a hotdog inside?? The price is higher if you sit to eat it rather than take it to go.
I got a Royal Caramel and coffee - it was heavenly! In the US this dessert would probably be so sweet and rich that you could hardly eat it all, but here in France, it is the lightest most delicate thing. Really, really good and not too sweet at all.
I got a baguette for later, a vintage flowered scarf at Merci, and a pale pink down jacket at another shop, Camaieu.
This next photo is just "Paris" to me! The light post, the merry-go-round, the architecture of City Hall, motorcycles, bicycles, blue skies... what a perfect day!
I walked across the Seine to Ile de Cité, the island where Notre Dame is, past this original Metro station with its Art Deco sign, railing, and light posts.
At the tip of the island is Place Dauphine. I'd stopped here briefly on a car tour once, but had never walked around.
A view to the end...
And the look back...
They are renovating a famous old department store, La Samaritaine, that opened in 1869 and closed in 2005. I can't wait until it reopens in 2018.
A lamp post on the bridge...
I walked through the St. Germain des Pres neighborhood, not really having a destination, but ended up at the department store, Le Bon Marche. I always take a photo of the escalators that form X's in the middle of the store. This time there is an amazing art installation made from knotted white string with black strings handing down. They are canoes but kind of look like a tree... the intricacy is unbelievable!
I walked over 20,000 steps that first day, despite only having about two hours sleep on the plane! I was sooo tired when I got back to the hotel!
I slept nine hours that night and was ready for another adventure the next day. This time I started at Les Halles, near the St. Eustache church (nice branding on the renovation facade of the church?)
The work continues building a park there. It will be the Nelson Mandela park - someday I'll post a photo of it from this same spot. It's hard to imagine it will go from this to a park!
I had my lunch and coffee and watched the people from a cafe...
And the birdies watched me...
I walked from there to Rue Montmartre, one of my favorite streets... (Mom, notice the name of the shop in the right foreground.)
And continued to Galerie Vivienne. I love this bookshop window!
Inside the Galerie there is an elegant bookstore where I bought vintage books before...
Shops line the way in this predecessor of the modern shopping mall.
By then it was time for dessert! I stopped at the bistrot there for this scrumptious treat...
I got the Mousse au chocolat - the last item under desserts...
I walked past Place Vendome to the Madeline area (I was heading to a Zara store) where I ended another day.
My days are a little shorter here because I don't like to be out after dark by myself, so by 7pm, I'm safely back at my hotel for the evening.
Today I'm off to Luxembourg and lots of wandering - it's a gorgeous day again! You can follow my photos in real time, instead of looking back a few days on my blog - on Facebook and Instagram. I hope you have a lovely day!!