Monday, January 18, 2010

How 'Bout a Lil' Bubbly?

December 28, 2009 - Reims, Champagne

A daytrip to Champagne...*sigh* I had visions of dirt roads, little dusty mom and pop cafes, and maybe a vineyard or two.
A daytrip to Champagne in the 21st Century... *shocked gasp* A modern city with Pizza Hut, Phone House, and definitely a freeway or two.

Hmmm, okay so not exactly what I had envisioned; for whatever reason I apparently thought the TGV was not only my means of transportation but also some sort of time travel device.

Once in the city, the sun had risen and I had eaten a nasty curry-flavored quiche (why curry?!) for breakfast, I went straight to the Notre Dame of Reims. It. was. HUGE. and old and beautiful, of course.

Now, I was SO proud to have our entire day all researched and planned. I found activities, prices, hours, directions etc all before leaving Paris. I wrote all of this essential information on my handy yellow paper...that then proceeded to get destroyed by the rain-soaked umbrella in my purse. I failed to plan for that tiny detail.

Anyways...a little street that looks old fashioned-enough to sort of meet my expectations!

Did I go Champagne tasting? Well, of course! Twice! First, toured Charles de Cazanove, a more industrialized "cave" where the champagne is made in big metal vats.
 This tour was so to taste 3 types of champagne by the glass.

Next, I headed to the uber-touristy caves of Pommery. This tour was much more glamorous (and expensive) and the caves were really beautiful, but I'm so glad I did both because I learned so much more at the first one! And, I only got one glass here!

Entrance to the caves and bottle racks...

A massive French flag hanging in the cave...

After a dinner of a Kebab sandwich, I walked by this shop! Ganesha in France!! A little love for P-Town!

The cathedral at night was even more impressive!

So if you are ever in Paris, Reims is a great little day trip, and it's only about 45 minutes away by TGV (French High Speed Train). I had a great day exploring a new place that I knew anything about! And once you get over the fact that they drive cars and not horse and carriages (what was I thinking?!) can be quite charming!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2009 - December 23-25, 2009

On the 23th, I headed to Les Galleries Lafayette and Printemps to check out the Christmas decorations and last minute shopping rush! There were decorations everywhere as well as people... So fun!

Dior, J'adore! I got myself some Dior J'adore perfume for spoiled am I for a Parisian Christmas!? It smells so yummy; I LOVE it!

Tea & macaroons: I wish I could have taken this whole table home with me!

To take a break from all the craziness of the French Department stores, I visited Notre Dame for the first time in the evening Every year, there is a massive decorated Christmas tree in the plaza.

Christmas Eve, I went to the special Christmas service at the American Church (though it was packed and I was stuck in the side wing) I got to sing carols in the beautifully decorated sanctuary.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Happiest Place France!

Tuesday December 22, 2009 - Disneyland Paris

I know it's not very French, but I was happy to indulge in some American-ness.  EuroDisney is only about 40 minutes outside of central Paris by RER train. It was freeeeeeeezing the day that I went and in good ol' Californian style all of the lines were still outdoors. You would think they would change some things at least to make it weather appropriate... Anyways it looks almost just like Disneyland back home. So I loved it!!

More frozen ponds...but this one had the cutest little ducks walking on the ice. I stood and talked to them for at least 10 minutes...

I went to the Mickey and Minnie on Ice show in the afternoon. It was cute and cheesy and definitely for children apparently, but I loved it!

The rides were pretty much all the same and I never had to wait longer than 20 minutes at most. I went on Buzz Lightyear, Space Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, Pirates, Indiana Jones (which was actually a roller coaster and NOT a bouncy jeep ride), Back to the Future, and It's a Small World.
I stayed all day till the Christmas Parade, but by then I was so cold and miserable I needed to go home; my toes were frozen!! While I was watching the parade, a French family near me was talking to me and saying how surprised they were to find an American at EuroDisney...well I can see why; ours' has sunshine! and ice cream! and heat! and SUNSHINE! I guess I'm not in Anaheim any more.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


December 19-20, 2009 

Only good thing about freezing winter Paris: the Christmas Market! On the Champs Elysees beginning at the Place de la Concorde there is a huge Christmas Market every year in Paris, as is the case elsewhere throughout the city, with vin chaud (warm, sweet wine), Nutella beignets (a warm melt-in-your mouth donut filled with Nutella) and gauffres (like a big warm waffle) to taste!

L'Arc du Triomphe

Visiting the Musee d'Orsay is one of my favorites...this was a building block up to the Louvre. A friend told me that if you were to look at each piece at the Louvre for 30 seconds you would be there for 3 months...ughhhhh

An evening in Bercy Village! I had never been here before but it is super cute and kind of off the beaten path. There are rows of cute shops and cafes. 

Bercy Village Park: just to illustrate how cold it was/is. I look freezing period, but I saw some kids playing on the ice in the frozen fountains. It was sss-s-s-s-so bbbb-b-b-beautiful. (that's my teeth chattering fyi)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Fondue d'Hiver

Saturday December 19, 2009 - Winter in Paris

Loving the Eiffel Tower and the Christmas Market at the Trocadero.

At le Refuge des Fondues, a fantastic fondue restaurant in the 18th arrondissement. A tiny little hole in the wall place with writing all over the walls and the girls have to literally crawl over the tables to get to their seats on the other side; a party straight from Paris herself. 

Le Refuge des Fondues is DELICIOUS!! Melted cheese, hot meat, unlimited bread and wine in glass baby bottles...what more could a girl ask for!?