Saturday, December 3, 2011

France for Thanksgiving

I was thrilled when I realized that K had an entire week off for Thanksgiving, actually enough time to take a long trip.  I love France at this time of year.  The weather is nice and it is not crowded.  The Christmas lights are beautiful and I love the charming little marche de noels.  We planned to leave on Thursday evening so K would miss a half day of school.  Our trip got off to a bumpy start.  The day we were leaving K woke up not feeling well so I let her stay home from school and she rested all day.  I figured with some benadryl and some sleep on the plane she would be just fine.  
As we backed down the driveway I heard a huge bump and realized that the back of the car was not closed and luggage was falling out.  I always keep my carry on with me because I keep my valuables in it (well that is a bit of an exaggeration, I don't have any valuables but I do always have my camera in my carry on) but this one time it was in the back of the car.  Camera destroyed.  LV carry on in pretty bad shape.  No problem, I have my new iPhone 4s so I can use it to take photos.  iPhone 4s died (completely died) half way through the trip.  Photos had not been backed up so not many photos of this trip-just the ones that K took with her iPhone.  
We had a layover in Stuttgart and had big plans to take a city tour but ended up having breakfast in the airport and dealing with ATM card problems and luggage issues.  Fortunately this was the end of our bumpy start.  We got to Paris and got on the TGV to Lyon and had a wonderful relaxing train ride. K was thrilled that they had Pringles on the train and I was thrilled that they had wine.  There is something so relaxing about watching the French countryside go by.  It is so bucolic and I like to fantasize about the people who live in the little villages.  
We stayed at a wonderful hotel in Lyon that is a Paul Bocuse training school.  K managed to stay awake for dinner (although her eyes were rolled back in her head).  We woke up the next morning and she was feeling much better.  Some French cold medicine and Disney Channel in French were all she needed.  We did some antiquing that day and had another Paul Bocuse dinner.  
The next day we picked up a car and drove to Isle Sur la Sorge.  K was a great sport about going in lots of antique stores.  The highlight of the day was watching a cat trying to catch some ducks in the Sorgue River.  I had some great photos.  Darn!  The next two nights we stayed in Avignon.
On Monday we went to the Palace of the Popes.  It is amazing how large it is and also amazing that as many times as I have been to Avignon that this was my first visit to the Palace of the Popes. We spent the rest of the day in Saint Remy.
We then headed up to Paris with another relaxing 3 hour train ride.  When we got to Paris we headed to the Bon Marche for a little shopping and then to the Eiffel Tower.  The line for the elevator was very long and because we had dinner reservations we decided to climb to the top.  I like to think I am in kind of good shape but it was pretty tiring but really worth the view.  We had dinner in an Italian restaurant that a friend had recommended.  Really good food and I think K was in need of a break from French food.  K was a great sport about the food the entire trip and was able to find something on every menu that she liked.
The next day we got up and went to the Musee D'Orsay.  K loves impressionism so this was one of her favorite parts of the trip.  We had a wonderful long lunch in the beautiful restaurant.  The room was incredible with beautiful chandeliers, gilded and painted ceilings.  We were seated by the window with a view of the Seine.  I would highly recommend having lunch at the Musee D'Orsay-it was one of the highlights of the trip.  The food was good-they actually have a children's menu so K had boiled ham, french fries and ice cream.  I had fois gras terrine and wine.  Then it was off to the Place de la Concorde to ride the Ferris wheel. The views were stunning and we had perfect weather, although a little foggy.  After that we walked up the Champs Elysee and checked out the darling marche de noel.  We ended the day with some shopping on Avenue Montaigne and dinner at L'Avenue.  We got a great table along the side walk and had a leisurely dinner.  I attributed the great table to my excellent French and the fact that we don't look very American.  K told me that my French is terrible!  L'Avenue has great people watching and kid friendly food.  K had egg rolls, one of her favorites.  
On Thanksgiving Day we started the day at the Orangerie.  A great museum for kids especially because it is not too big.  We then headed to Mariage Freres for lunch.  K was not feeling well so after lunch we took a cab (we are always  metro kind of a girls) back to the hotel.  Poor K threw up before we could make it into our room.  Poor baby slept all afternoon and was feeling fine by dinner.  We went to Rotisserie Beaujolais for dinner so we could have some Thanksgiving type food.  We had yummy roast chicken and the best mashed potatoes in Paris. The restaurant is owned by the same people who own Tour d'Argent and is right next door to Tour d'Argent.  K ate a ton of chicken which she normally will not eat.  And she was entertained all evening by the restaurant cat "Beaujolais."
The next day was more shopping and a late lunch at Laduree.  
On our final day K was a good sport and went to the market at Port de Vanves with me.  She had some early morning French fries which attracted a lot of attention.  We spent the rest of the day at the Paris Flea Market.  
We had a very early morning flight the next day with a very short connection in Zurich.  We have been a couple of jet lagged girls this week.  Blogging without photos is not so easy!

The restaurant at the Musee d'Orsay

K enjoying some wonderful weather

K's photo from the Ferris wheel, can you see the marche de Noel?  The little buildings look they are made from Lincoln Logs.  They sell French crafts, cheese, hot spiced wine, jewelry and lots of regional French gifts.

A photo that K took from our table while we were having lunch at the Musee d'Orsay

I think this is a great photo that K took of the Eiffel Tour from the Ferris wheel

K very early in the morning the day we left.  We had breakfast at this little restaurant named Bert's.  One of our cats is named Bert and we both realized how much were missing our pets.  We were on City Jet to Zurich which leaves from a very small remote terminal at CDG.  No detax.  Not good.  Need to plan another trip to France so I can get my tax refund!


Lori said...

Wow, how lovely ~ it seemed to end up being a great trip despite the rough start! The photo of the Eiffel Tower from the ferris wheel is beautiful and looks like a postcard!
Everything sounded so wonderful, what a special Thanksgiving week!

a. said...

I cannot wait to take WL to Paris! And it looks like i will be taking her by myself too.