Paris on my Mind

July 5th, 2010

We have been so busy with the cottage renovations the last few years that travel has not been a priority. But now, with the end in sight, I am longing to broaden my horizons and see more of the world. We have traveled to England, Hawaii, Nova Scotia, and the Canadian Rockies. We have been to Napa Valley, Nantucket, New York and New Orleans. But always, in spite of the fine times we have had, Paris has been on my mind. It is one of those longings that is hard to describe. It has to do with my love of French cooking of course. I want to see #81 Roo de Loo where Paul and Julia Child lived during the years of her culinary enlightenment. I want to sit at the second table in front of the main door at Cafe De Flore where Picasso sat every night after the war and chatted with his friends and order an omelet and a glass of Rose. I want to buy a Poilane baguette and a cumin flecked pork sausage from Charcuterie Alsacienne and enjoy a picnic along the Seine. I want to experience the open air markets and visit Dehillerin to find the perfect copper saucepan. My culinary longings are strong.

But there are museums, antique markets and other things on my mind as well. Planning a trip is almost as much fun as the actual experience. I would like to stay at a small hotel on the left bank. Hotel des Grandes Ecoles is one that I am considering. We will not be able to make this trip until a year from October so there is time to dream and plan. I would appreciate advice from any of you who have been to Paris. The guide books can tell you only so much. If you have been, what were your favorite cafes, lodging, sights and experiences? I would love to hear from you.

I am heading back to the porch to pour over my map and read my books. There will be no cooking today. We will be eating the 4th of July leftovers for days. But if you want a great recipe head over to My Year on the Grill for Dave’s recipe for the best pulled pork made from a smoked pork butt that you will ever taste. Dave was kind enough to walk my Dave through the steps the other day. Thanks for your email. Your advice was great and he did you proud.

9 responses to “Paris on my Mind”

  1. I LOVED Paris Penny! We were there a week and it was a whirlwind time. I loved the Montmarte area. I loved the flea market – not the BIG one but the Vanves Flea market.

    The Rue Cler area is a great place near the Eiffel Tower that has the most amazing food shops to purchase your picnic items – here is a link:

    I would love to get together for lunch! When are you free?

  2. Big Dude says:

    Sounds like it’s time to make the dream come true. We spent about a week in France several years ago, but we were on a self guided wine tour and stayed out in the countryside – had a blast.

  3. Susan says:

    Penny, we always check with the frequent travelers in the world on forums and under community on Slow Travel Questions are answered immediately by friendly people. Our choice would be to rent an apartment for a week or two of the stay. Much cheaper than a hotel and besides, you could go to the markets and buy all the goodies and prepare them at home and often eat on a balcony overlooking the city in your apartment. Then, you will have extra money to buy more macarons!! I can give you a man’s name who rents many apartments in Paris. What fun!!!

  4. I love to plan a vacation. It is almost as much fun as being there. You have to visit Paris.

  5. Barbara says:

    My daughter lived there for 6 years and goes back frequently. She made up a list of favorite restaurants for her friends that I can send to you if you like. Email me if you’re interested. I used to have a list of other Paris things to see and do…not sure I still have it.
    I took my granddaughter last year and we stayed at Hotel Duc de Saint-Simon.

  6. edwardtomlin says:

    Paris is my favorite city in the world ! Just walking the streets is my favorite thing to do. Be sure and look up! It is easy to get wrapped up in street level sights but the buildings are amazing above street level. My favorite restaurant is “Pain, Vin, Frommage” in the Marais district….it is tiny and casual…bread, wine, can you go wrong. You have to go to l’Ambassade d’Auvergne….best food I have ever had in my life. Lauderee for the best macarons……Oh,my, you have made me want to go back right away.

  7. Leslie says:

    You should check out David Lebovitz’s blog He lives in Paris and talks about his adventures and favorite places to visit. Enjoy!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I, too, am planning a first trip to Paris. I look forward to the French cuissine, but I also am a painter and organizing art museums I do not want to miss. I’m particularly enjoying getting names of restaurants and people you met. Thank you for sharing.

    Janet Murray

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