Thursday, October 4, 2012

Back from Paris...Part II

Paris is a chic, fabulous city at night!

The Palais Garnier is an 1,979-seat opera house, built from 1861
to 1875 for the Paris Opera
We had dinner across from the Opera House at Restaurant Arola at the W Hotel.
The modern restaurant serves a tapas-style menu.  I started out with the
crab salad, the mussels and bacala.
The soap dispenser in Arola's ladies room was too cute

We stumbled upon Harry's Bar, the birthplace of the Bloody Mary,

by accident.

Harry's was full of old signs, memorabilia and patches.
This was my favorite sign.
From there we went on to Caveau de la Huchette, a famous,
cave-like jazz club where Count Basie has played.  The music
was great, but the clientele was a little strange.  I had a sneaking
suspicion that it was "Swinger's Night" when we were there.
We found a great 24 hour lounge around the corner from our hotel called
Le Pub St. Germain.  I had my first ever St. Germain cocktail.  I was hooked
after the first sip.  Here's Chrissy gazing happily at our pitcher of drinks.

Lolabar at the Hotel Banke was another cool venue where we imbibed.
The ladies room was way cool.  I wonder where I can get snakeskin
fixtures like these?

This tourist from Germany was in Paris for his bachelor party.
I couldn't  resist getting a picture with him!
Then the whole crew joined the fun!
Me being silly after a long night of partying!
It was a most wonderful trip!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Back from Paris...Part I

I had an absolute blast during my trip to Paris.  It was very difficult to board the plane home (I prayed hard for a cancellation)!  This was my fifth time to this magical city, and I still discover new joys at every turn.  The people, the lifestyle, the food, the wine - all magnificent.  My daydreams continue about moving to Paris permanently, and I feel like I am one step closer to my goal.

Pre-flight drinks in the United Club at Newark
Our charming Deluxe room at the Grand Hotel de l'Universe on
Rue Gregoire de Tours,  just a few hundred feet from the Boulevard St. Germain
The bustling scene outside our window...notice the Taschen bookstore!

Now time for a little sightseeing!

Love-struck sweethearts lock padlocks onto the chain link fence on the Passerelle des Arts, 
which crosses from the left bank to the Louvre museum.  The love padlocks, 
called ‘cadenas d’amour’, multiplied until there were more than 2,000 love tokens 
on the bridge, each one with an engraved message of love.  After locking the 
love padlock onto the fence, the lovers tossed the keys into 
the Seine River – a sign of their eternal love.

A closer look
My favorite lock..."Love in Paris"
Another visit to Notre Dame was a must
I just love the jutting gargoyles
Everywhere I turned there was a garden inviting me to sit down,
relax and enjoy
Look closely and see all the people on the top of the Arc de Triomphe
A must stop on every trip - The Heaven store in the Marais owned by
Brit Lea-Anne Wallis.  She designs and makes all the jewelry, clothes and
accessories in the store.  I never leave here empty handed.
Check out the retro Elle pillow - Lea-Anne said it is one of her best sellers!
I collect vintage ashtrays so I love rummaging through the
stands by the Seine - I always find a treasure to take home and
add to my collection
I thought this condom selection at a tourist shop deserved a second look!
No shopping excursion in Paris would be complete without a stop
at Louis Vuitton!  Legendary Japanese polka-dot painter
Yayoi Kusama was tapped by Marc Jacobs himself
to do the current window installations.
Escargots - one of my favorite lunches.  They were as delicious as they look!
Rose wine and Foie Gras..a little bit of Heaven (Chrissy's salmon was
delicious too!)
Chrissy was on a mission for traditional fish soup...I'd say
she was successful!
Paris Part II - the Nightlife - coming up next!