Category Archives: Luxembourg Gardens

Color Me Happy

It was a bee-u-tee-ful Wednesday in Paris! Colors popped out at me where none had been seen for days.

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excuse me but may I have your tote and the mustard coat that goes so well with it thanks

 

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even the bees were happy

even the bees were happy

Valentines Day is much more understated than it is at home. This window is about as over the top as it gets.

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The weather was fabulous, but I am also happy because tomorrow we go spend a long weekend with my older daughter, Claire, in Madrid. And for icing on the cake- we will celebrate my birthday together on Friday! Hip hip hooray! Who wouldn’t be happy about that?

I hope to be posting from Spain, but in the meantime….

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from “Ah-ha to Zig-Zag” by Maira Kalman

Thank you and good day.

 

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Filed under fashion, flowers, gardens, Luxembourg Gardens, Paris, Paris in winter, Saint Germain des Pres, Uncategorized

Girl Time In Paris

When I came back to Paris this time I was lucky enough to be joined first by one daughter, and then the other, and THEN three of her friends from Texas. Do I even need to tell you how wonderful it was having 4/5 of my family here? Pret-ty darn fabulous. We missed our son/brother, bien sûr, but sent him pics until he begged us to stop.

My two daughters were here together for a few days. We did some shopping and some dining, and enjoyed Paris at Christmas time.

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Then Martha’s three friends/roommates arrived, and the apartment quickly overflowed with girls and boots and good smells and laughter. I was one very content mama, I can tell you.

The girls made the most of their six-day stay, and were admired by many a man about town. They may not have noticed, but I was behind them, picking up the rear, and I can assure you that they never went unnoticed. But I guess they are used to that. Ah, youth.

Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde

I can't remember where this one was taken.

I can’t remember where this one was taken.

on the one sunny day....

on the one sunny day….

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That same sunny day they also had a pricey drink at the top of the Pompidou, followed by gelato at Amorino.

 

Martha and I shared the tour guide umbrella. One day I took them to Saint-Germain because, you know, j’adore.

bus stop beauties

bus stop beauties

We went to Luxembourg Gardens, which was pretty empty on a cold winter’s day.

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We also visited Au Bon Marche, Cire Trudon, Coton Deux (we love their pajamas), Hermes, Rue de Buci, and finished at Cafe de Flore for hot chocolate and wine (for moi).

Another day we went to the fun and feisty Marche d’Aligre, where the girls got A LOT of appreciation from the spirited vendors.

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We had fun looking at all the produce and enjoying many juicy citrus samples. The small flea market just behind the outdoor market revealed treasures to be explored. One friend bargained hard and bought this framed pencil sketch for her mom. I think she ended up getting it for 1/2 of the first price he quoted her. The girl’s got skills.

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From the flea market we entered the old covered market, which was still festive with Christmas decorations and lights.

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I loved having these girls in Paris with us. They were perfect guests. They were super enthusiastic about everything, even through jet lag and winter grey. They were all adventurous eaters, which automatically earned my badge of approval. No one needed lots of primping time, so they were able to get out of the apartment early each morning, making their tour guide very happy. They helped in the kitchen and cleaned up after themselves, and they even let Mark and me hang out on the couches with them. And did I mention that they loved to eat??? Gold stars all around!

It sure has been nice living in a city that people want to visit. Mark and I have had such fun entertaining guests during our time here. It’s hard not to have a good time in Paris. We miss our family, and we miss our friends, but sometimes they meet us in Paris, which is always a good idea.

Merci, girls, for making Paris just a little more sparkly for a week.

Now get to work. And Hook ‘Em Horns!

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Filed under Cire Trudon, Eiffel Tower, family, flea market, flowers, food markets, gardens, Luxembourg Gardens, Montmartre, Paris, Paris in winter, Sacre-Coeur, Uncategorized

A Great Paris Restaurant

Could it really be the first of August? How did that happen? C’est incroyable! That means that tomorrow I fly back to Texas for two weeks to tend to family business, hug my dog, and eat some enchiladas. That’s the good part. The bad part is that it will be August in Texas, too, which is not known to be Texas’ best event. But it’s only two weeks, so I’m not complaining (yet).

One evening recently, when two of our kids were here, we went out for a drink and then to dinner. We chose to have our drink at a sidewalk cafe close to the restaurant. It happened to be facing the Jardin du Luxembourg, which was so pretty I had to whip out my camera and take some pics. IMG_4356   IMG_4359 IMG_4360 IMG_4361

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If their smiles look forced, it’s because through their teeth they are saying “mom, we really hate it when you take our pictures in cafes”.

Before my son arrived in Paris, he requested that we eat at one of our old favorite restaurants, Les Papilles. We discovered this place early in our Paris adventure and it quickly became a “go-to” place when we had out-of-town guests. In fact, we went so frequently that we got tired of it, and hadn’t been back in a year or so. It was just as charming as we remembered it, if not a bit warmer, as it was a balmy July evening and there wasn’t a lot of air circulating in there. Les Papilles offers a set menu at dinner, which is always a soup, a main, a cheese plate, and a dessert. Sadly for Mark, the main has been lamb the last few times we have been there, one of the very few foods he detests. The restaurant kindly offered him a fish substitute, for which he was most grateful. IMG_4371 IMG_4378 The restaurant is also a wine bar and part of the fun of eating there is picking a bottle off of the wall. IMG_4379

We loved watching this father and son duo.

We loved watching this father and son duo.

our favorite round table in a back alcove

our favorite round table in a back alcove

IMG_4376 Some of the best soups we have ever eaten have been served to us at Les Papilles. They always bring out the bowls full of “add-ins” and then a big tureen of soup. This one was a cold (mercifully) tomato soup. IMG_4381 IMG_4384 IMG_4385

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the lamb and veggies

frozen panne cotte with fruit- always amazing

frozen panne cotte with fruit- always amazing

The next time you visit Paris, make a reservation at this charming little bistro. I think you will love it.

Les Papilles 30 rue Gay-Lussac 75005

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Filed under Luxembourg Gardens, Paris, Paris dining

Another Day in Par-ee-dise!

When I woke up one morning last week and my iPhone weather app had a big sun and “68” on it, I knew I had to cancel all my appointments for the day and spend it outside.  OK- I didn’t really have any appointments.  Or even a plan.   But if I had, I would have changed them all.  It was that kind of beautiful.

By 11:00 I was on the 83 bus, heading across the river and into the oh-so-civilized and elegant St. Germain.

Place de Ferstenberg is a lovely square tucked away from the hustle of the neighborhood.  The Delacroix Museum is located there, although it was closed for an installation when I tried to pop in. The square is lined with expensive and beautiful drapery and upholstery shops whose windows make me swoon.

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Just around the corner are Rue du Buci and Rue de Seine, always lively with sidewalk cafes, restaurants, bars, flowers, and gelato.

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I popped in this popular sandwich shop, Cosi, for my lunch to go.

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Nice black cat backpack. And no that’s not Angela- her ponytail is much too thick.

If you have read this blog more than once, you probably know where I take my sandwich on a gorgeous day. Oui- le Jardin de Luxembourg.

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these trees are just popping little buds

these trees are just popping little buds

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I can’t decide if that is some construction in the background, or if Dairy Queen has entered the Paris market in a big way.

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and the crane has got the cherry

IMG_4096I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering in and out of the fabulous shops in this well-heeled ‘hood.  I popped into Cire Trudon and made a few additions to my cameo candle collection.  Also squeezed myself into City Pharma and picked up a few party favors for friends at home. By that time my bags were too heavy to continue meandering, so I caught a bus home.

I couldn’t resist a late afternoon walk at the park, however!

These kids were having a great time in the tree.
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I hope you find a little bit of paradise in your day.  And cartwheels.

P.S.-

These daffodils were positively vibrating in the breeze.  I was mesmerized.  But I’m easily entertained.

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Filed under Cire Trudon, gardens, Luxembourg Gardens, Parc Monceau, Paris, shopping, Uncategorized

Luxembourg Love

Who would have thought that the sun would be shining brightly again when I left my apartment Monday morning?  It was so gorgeous, I had no choice but to head for Luxembourg Gardens, where I am always drawn on beautiful days.  It was before lunchtime, so the park was relatively empty but for a few joggers dodging the mud puddles, several older folks enjoying the weather, and some moms who were grateful to be outside with their kids.

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I was happy to see that my favorite park inhabitants, the bees, were still buzzing happily, despite the recent cold snap.

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And something I had never noticed before- an Insect House!

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From there I meandered back home, stopping along the way at the Bon Marche, where I wandered around the food section (surprise!) and bought some sea salt to take home.

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I loved this pooch waiting outside the flower shop.

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This shop didn’t have a dog, but was gorgeous.

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Boulevard Raspail waited quietly for its next market day.

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After a quiet lunch on Blvd. Saint Germain and a stroll through the Tuileries, I was home again.  Just in time.IMG_2861

That night we went to dinner in an old pharmacy.  Sadly, my photos of the exterior of Le Pharmacie didn’t come out very well, but at least you can appreciate the gorgeous color.  The interior was decorated with old pharmacy bottles (which are quite collectible now).

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After a long day of walking around Paris, it was just what the doctor ordered.

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Filed under gardens, Luxembourg Gardens, Paris, Paris dining

Lux Redux

The Sunday after Thanksgiving was so glorious that I packed a little snack and a book and jumped on the bus for Luxembourg Gardens, which was teeming with activity.  The landscape was bobbing with joggers (who presumably had not even indulged in Thanksgiving gluttony) , and there were plenty of people like me, who preferred to stroll, picnic, read, and people watch.  The day turned out to be a tad chillier than I had anticipated, and after just one chapter of my book I was forced to get moving again, following the sun.  It was a delightful way to end two weeks of entertaining, cooking, eating, and drinking.  I was able to just be still, and to muse about how fortunate I am to have such good family and good friends, and to be living in this amazing city that still makes me feel like a new bride when I walk around in it.

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On my way out I paused to admire the sun on the bee boxes located near an entrance to the park.  There has been a beekeeping school here teaching apiculture since 1856!  Apparently the bees here are very healthy and take care of pollinating the many fruit trees in the park.  If I were a bee, I would live here.  For sure.

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You can read more about the Luxembourg Bees here.

Au revoir, mes amis!  I hope you enjoyed your little walk in the park as much as I did.

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Filed under gardens, Luxembourg Gardens, Paris

Just Another Great Day In Paris

Bonjour, mes amis!  Life continues to fly by at an alarming clip here in Paris.  This week I am looking forward to having my good friend from college and three of her kids (one of whom is my precious god son) visit from Raleigh, North Carolina.   Soon after they leave, my brother and his wife arrive from Dallas, and within days our good friends are coming from London to complete our Thanksgiving table.  It’s always fun to have new life in the apartment!  Especially when they bring me treats from home.  Which they will.  If they ever want to be invited back.

It seems like a long time ago that I spent a lovely day with a good friend.  We started with an art exhibition at the Musee du Luxembourg, which I always love because it is small and sits right in the Luxembourg Gardens.  The exhibition was called, in English, “The Modern Art Club: Avant-Garde Collectors in Le Havre”.  The collection belonged to art collectors and artists in Le Havre in the early 1900’s.  It was wonderful.  Here is the link if you want to read more about it.  A few of my favorites were:

We worked up quite an appetite looking at all that art, so we walked from Le Jardin du Luxembourg to one of my favorite restaurants, Les Papilles.  It didn’t disappoint.

Their soups are flippin’ amazing. Really.

This was not a light lunch.

Fortunately, we had time for a nice long stroll after that feeding frenzy.

And then I went home and put my feet up and thought about how I could get out of fixing dinner.  I think I was still full.

Forgive me if my posts become a bit erratic for the next few weeks.  I should be gathering some good material for you, but it may take me awhile to get it in the mind-blowing form to which you have all become accustomed.   But I will be back.  Some day.

And that’s a threat, not a promise.

Have a good week, my friends!

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Filed under art, Luxembourg Gardens, Notre Dame, Paris dining, Uncategorized