Monday, November 15, 2010

change of plans

Well, we meant to go to Fontainebleau yesterday.

But we ended up sleeping in and then breakfasted in a leisurely manner on toast, coffee, and Poilaine pastries while listening to Billie Holiday and didn't make it to the Gare de Lyon until after noon- too late, as it turned out, to catch a train to Fontainebleau. So we bagged the idea and decided to go to Montmartre instead.

We took the metro to Notre Dame de Lorette and then walked up rue de Martyrs. We stopped at Jiga, a darling candy store so Joleen could pick up sweets for her five-year old twins.

Then we went to Rose Bakery to see about some lunch, but there was (as always) a line out the door, and since patience does not run in my family, we left and went for brunch at the Hotel Amour.

Very charming.

After lunch, we started the trek up to Sacre Coeur.

That's my mama, with her little red umbrella.

Even though it was sort of wet and windy, it was still fantastic. The church really is so impressive, poised on top of the hill the way it is. And even though my mother studied in France when she was in college, she had never been to Montmartre before. She was duly impressed.

The area has character. Something cool around every corner.

One of my favorite things is the tiny vineyard on the Rue des Saules, the Clos Montmartre. It's the only remaining vineyard still left within Paris.

Then it was time to go- we'd made reservations to see the Monet exhibit at the Grand Palais

It was pretty amazing to see so many of Monet's paintings gathered together in one exhibit. The organization of the pieces was sort of confusing (not by date but by subject...kind of) but so many of the paintings were so breathtaking, that it seems rather small to quibble over the curation of the show.

Some of my very favorites were the series of paintings of the Parliament in London.

For a post-exposition dinner, I had made us reservations at the newly revamped Mini Palais, which is actually inside the Grand Palais. The decor was sleek and the food was delicious (I had a duck burger!), perfect after a long day on our feet. 

Finally, to top it all off, Jolene wanted to see the hotel George V, so after dinner we hopped in a cab and headed over. We sat in their beautiful lounge and listened to the piano. Jolene and I had champagne cocktails and my mother had an armagnac. Yes, it was heavenly.

Such a lovely Sunday. I love having my visitors in town!

17, rue de Martyrs
75009 Paris

Hotel Amour
8, rue de Navarin
75009 Paris

Mini Palais
Grand Palais
Avenue Winston Churchill
75008 Paris

George V
31, avenue George V
75008 Paris

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