Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Day in the City of Light

Signs of the holiday season were all over Paris in the days before Christmas. Laura was particularly delighted with these "recycled" trees made with Sprite (green), Badoit (red), and Coke (clear) bottles, just behind Hôtel de Ville, which is near our apartment.



We needed our own tree, of course, and we found a tiny one in an odd little discount shop in Le Marais. There were larger (and much more expensive) trees at the Monoprix, which is something like Target. The Monoprix is your one stop shop for groceries (alimentation, in the basement), sundries, household items, and clothing.


We woke up on Christmas morning and found cadeaux under our tree. Voilà! Santa came to Paris!



Our plan was to take a walk, which turned out to be a trek spanning many an arrondissement, and then spend a quiet day at home. We started our journey by hoofing it along rue de Rivoli to the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel just outside of the Louvre.



We strolled about and took some photos in le Jardin des Tuileries, which is located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde.




Laura managed to capture a photo of a bird in flight over the grass.






After some sky gazing at Tuilieries, we headed over to Place Vendome to check out the holiday decorations and whatnot over there. We also walked into a fancy hotel there and feigned guest-like expressions in order to use the, ahem, facilities located across the lobby and opposite the main doors. Place Vendome is beautiful even by day, and I imagine it would be quite spectacular when lit up at night.




Next we strolled over to Palais Royal to do some window shopping. How on Earth would I have resisted this red Yeti outfit had the shop been open?




We stopped to rest our feet and have some hot chocolate. I love this picture of Laura and a random French woman sitting on either side of the café window. Laura is immersed in her thoughts and game inside, contrasted by the woman immersed in her thoughts and cigarette outside.





We made another brief stop on Pont Neuf to rest our feet and take in the view along the Seine.




Here we paused for a photo in front of the Christmas tree outside of Notre Dame.




We went inside because I felt the need to go to church on Christmas, and where better to do it in Paris than Notre Dame? Also, we had seen the lovely crèche minus the baby Jesus before Christmas. I wanted to see him nestled in his tiny manger bed.



While we were there, we happened upon an organ recital that was just beginning, and we managed to find three seats. We did not stay until the end of the recital because we were all in need of the "toilette," water, and food, although it was tempting to me to gut it out to be able to experience the mass that was to follow the recital.



Thinking that everything in Paris would be closed for the holiday, we laid in a few simple supplies for our Christmas dinner. Much to our surprise, however, when we were out walking we found many cafés and shops open for business. Once home we had a meal of quiche (Lorraine for Tom and me, fromage for Laura), fingerling potatoes roasted in butter and salt, a simple lettuce and tomato salad, and a crusty baguette, of course. For dessert we heated individual chocolate souffles that we had purchased on Christmas Eve from a local patisserie, which we ate with a boule de glace chocolat (scoop of chocolate ice cream) on the side. Christmas in Paris will always hold a special place in our hearts for many reasons, not the least of which is because we topped it off with French chocolate.

7 comments:

Gary's third pottery blog said...

oh gosh, simply AWESOME :)

Jen on the Edge said...

I cannot believe you didn't go back to that shop to buy the red Yeti outfit with the built-in boobs. *tsk*

Aunt Snow said...

Oh, how lovely. Your posts are just wonderful.

Jason, as himself said...

You are having the time of your lives, aren't you? What a special Christmas that you will never forget.

Sam said...

LOL. "Guest-like expressions." I have those. And the yeti outfit--c'est magnifique!

MJ said...

Lucky you! I love Paris! Instead, I pacified my need for it via Paris Las Vegas. Not quite the same but a substitute non-the less. (Yes, non-the less was a deliberate word play on "non".)

Janet said...

I love the picture of Laura with the woman outside, and of the tree outside Notre Dame...just beautiful! Nothing like eating your lunch at your desk and reading about and viewing pictures of Paris :-)