For someone who was determined to do as little as possible while in Paris, I did pre-commit to three things.
- Cooking Class at Le Cordon Blue
- Walking food tour of the Les Marais with Devour Tours
- Monet’s home in the village of Giverny
Spread out over two days (Thursday & Friday), I had booked a spot for all three about 4-6 weeks before I arrived and would recommend the same to anyone who may want to try one or all of them. I was incredibly lucky to have Janet’s company and feel that both of us would rate each of these experiences a 20 out of 10. The Secrets of Tarts class at Le Cordon Blue has left me speechless. It was so much fun and I learned so many techniques. I want to take a class every time I visit Paris from now on. We also had the world’s best food guide, Celine, who spent almost 4 hours taking us from one amazing place to another. And Giverny – what could I even say about Giverny that would do it justice. Monet’s garden was in full bloom, the crowds were non-existent, and it was a perfect taste of French countryside just a short train ride from Paris.
I also found a great cocktail bar – Little Red Door. As any good cocktail bar, this one has unique drinks that taste so good that one needs to be very careful of how many they consume. The service was great and the people watching even better. Janet and I had a lot of fun. By the time we left the Little Red Door, it was way past midnight and we were tired. But the night still felt young, or may be it was a hankering for some onion soup and fries, which sent us in search of a bistro with an open kitchen. It was Friday night after all and we found what we were looking for easily enough in a very pretty and lively square near our hotel. People watching just seems to improve with the night, doesn’t it. Bedtime came around 2:30am.
And now, allow me to digress a little …
The year was 1997, the month was May (or June maybe?), when I visited Paris for the first time. The Eiffel Tower at the time had a giant counter on it which was counting down the number of days until the year 2020. On this particular day, when I happen to be there with my mom, dad, and sister, it was 975 days until the new millennium.
I was moving to the USA with my family that summer, and my dad and mom had decided that we take some time to travel before life gets busy as we settled in a new country. Paris was one of our stops. I was not yet 16. I wore big glasses and would describe myself as nerdy with a fashion sense of a 10-year-old boy. There is a picture some where of all four of us posing by the Eiffel Tower. My parents just 48. My sister and I still their babies essentially.
I called my dad from Paris on Thursday, October 27, because it was his 70th birthday. I wish I could have hugged him as I thanked him for giving me my first taste of Paris. I love you dad. :)
Sharing a few pictures. And by few I mean way too many. Be patient as they load. Enjoy!