When you are older and in love you go for it.
Bill and I had 10 days and frequent-flyer points, so last minute we decided to return to our favorite city, Paris, to celebrate the Christmas holidays and the New Year. We wanted to feel like Parisians, so we mostly stayed in the neighborhood of our hotel on the left bank of the Seine -- between St. Germain des Pres and the Luxembourg Gardens. We shopped at the tiny grocery and put fruit and flowers in our room, used the local laundromat and met the shopkeepers and neighbors.
The weather cooperated, the holiday lights were glowing -- and so were we.
Come along with a couple of giddy septuagenarians on a little tour through my bedazzled eyes.
New Year's Eve dinner at Polidor, the restaurant that opened in 1845, where Hemingway and Dali dallied in Woody Allen's film. It's right next door to our little hotel. Our own Midnight in Paris.
The darling, reasonable hotel St. Paul Rive Gauche, on the left bank, with sections remaining from the 17th century. From here we walked to nearby cafes, cinemas, book stores, museums, gardens and concerts in ancient chapels. Rooms are tiny, but we slept until 11 in the morning, enjoyed croissants and cheese, fruits and baguettes, and then happily didn't return to the room until around 11 pm.
An icon of Paris, a 15 -minute walk from our hotel . We attended a concert here, featuring Gregorian chants, the type of music that was popular 850 years ago when Notre Dame was opened.
Holiday lights here seem more original and elegant than in most other European cities. The Champs Elysee is a couple of miles of LED lighting. And here, at the new Musee du Quai Branly, featuring non-European art, the lighting at nightfall is striking.
More colorful lights: fragments of Medieval stained glass artfully displayed on a wall
Parisian lovers still kiss and cuddle in public, here by the Orangerie in the Tuilleries gardens, with the Place de la Concorde (and a Christmas tree) behind them. (This one's a famous statue called "The Kiss" but there were lots of humans doing it all over the place too. Nice to see the tradition continues.)
Escargots: garlicky, buttery baked snails. We had lots; and oysters, and pate with cornichons, and crepes and cheesy croque monsiers and madames, crocks of soupe de onion, souffles and crepes and tarte tatin. All seem especially savory and delicious at a cafe table, along with open air snacks of roasted chestnuts and hot wine.
Place du Tertre, in hilly Montmartre, an artist's area for centuries, with the church of the Sacre Coeur behind
A walk under a rather iconic tower. Every hour it shimmers for five minutes, then goes back to looking merely golden.
A golden street, one of the oldest in Paris, on a rainy night near our hotel
A golden toe. Parisians love their philosophers, and Montaigne was one of the greats. Students at the nearby Sorbonne rub his toe for wisdom, or maybe some other reason.
Gothic interiors, Musee de Cluny
Art-nouveau interiors, Boullion Racine restaurant (700 years later than the Gothic period)
Here at the Rodin museum, backed by the dome of Les Invalides, home to Napoleon's tomb. New Year's resolutions? Like the famed statue, I'm still thinking.
What lies ahead? These shadowy stairs in a Paris house lead both up and down. Here's to an up year for all, wherever in the world we may be! Bonne Annee!