The Last Supper

“Are you ready to go home?” Jeff asked me. “I’m never ready to leave Paris, can all our family and friends just move here?!”

Originally we planned a very fancy dinner on our last night, but really, all we wanted was a quite night at home.  “I don’t want to have a huge dinner at 10 o’clock a night before we leave.”  Ha!…But we sure did gorge ourselves on the greatest bread, cheese and wine in the world!  It was a perfect ending to another perfect trip to Paris.

All of this wouldn’t have been possible without help of my mom, Marcia Smith.  She graciously took care of our boys and covered them with kisses and stuffed them with chocolate.  Thanks Mimi!

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Le Marias and Picasso

Our last full day we planned to spend the day at Maison Européenne de la Photographie, the place to see Contemporary Photography in Paris.  But alas, when you make plans in Paris, Paris makes other plans.  😉

The Photography Museum was closed on Tuesdays, so we headed to the Picasso Museum instead.  It is always such a joy to see masterpieces that I have grown up studying right in front of me!  I have always known that Picasso was such a prolific artist, but I really had no idea the sheer amount of work he created.  Truly awe inspiring.

Acrobatic Families, Pablo Picasso

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The museum structure itself was gorgeous, and I can never stop gazing out the windows at all the stunning architecture that make up Paris.

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I could’ve watched this video for hours:

After the Picasso Museum, it was straight to our favorite (and everyone else’s) Falafel place, right in the heart of the Marais.

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After a *little* shopping, I ended the day the Parisian way, a glass of wine and plenty of people watching 🙂

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Centre Pompidou

Monday was my day to all to myself, and what better way to spend it than at one of the greatest museums in the world, Centre Pompidou, Paris’ most famous modern art museum.  I can spend a whole day here, endless floors of gorgeous and thought provoking art, it’s like a dream come true!  My favorite part, of course, is how the surrounding neighborhood seems to radiate with art as well.  It’s like the creativity spills out from the museum and on to the streets that surround it!

Sneaky Dali Street Art:

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A couple enjoying the afternoon

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I got goosebumps waiting in line!


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Pierre Soulages, Peinture:
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Marcel Duchamp, Hat Rack

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I did not get this artist’s info, but isn’t this hanging arrangement brilliant?!

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Alexandre Vitkine Photographs from an Oscilloscope (left) and Victor Vasarely Bi-forme (right)

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There seems to be so much more English spoken in the city then there was a few years ago.  And there was no shortage of signs from back home 😉

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Trip down memory lane

On our first trip to Paris (6 years ago!), the apartment we rented was a few blocks down from Rue Montorgueil, a beautiful street that was filled with life on Sundays, when most shops are closed.  On this day, vendors would line the streets selling goods, foods and flowers.  And every Sunday we would stroll down the street, sampling a croissant from one boulangerie, gelatto from a vendor or stopping in for glass of wine at a cafe.  And although we may have slept in a little too late for the market this trip, (“Jeff!!  Wake up! It’s one o’clock!!) we took our time down memory lane with succulent stops along the way.

My #1,432,594th favorite thing about Paris, The Metro:

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In front of our old apartment on Rue Sebastopol

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Meg devouring Pain au Chocolat

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Handcrafted sweets on Rue Montorgueil:

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Baguette Selfie!

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Cruising the old ‘hood and always finding street art along the way…

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Hangover Cure

After a fabulous dinner, and a few too many drinks, the night before; we were up with the brunch crew to try out a highly reviewed breakfast spot.  Eggs and Co. served up the best Eggs Florentine that I have ever had, pancakes as thick as a book that tasted just like crepes and mimosas with fresh squeezed bright OJ that went down a lot easier than I expected 😉

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After a delicious meal, we cruised the art galleries and shops of Boulevard Saint-Germain, strolled down the Seine and made sure to stop along at nearby cafes to sip a glass of wine and people watch (which was our favorite thing to do!)

Found my first (of many!) Space Invader street art on this trip:

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So apparently they took down all the locks on the bridge across the Seine near our apartment.  Looks like that didn’t stop everyone from attaching locks to everything else around there 😉

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I love that they even sell locks, right in front of the bridge.  So French!

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We also stumbled on to a very Parisian sounding band playing right outside Paul Boulangerie.  I fell into tourist trap with glee!

That night I wanted to see what the new young French chefs of Paris were up to, so we looked around for a modern Parisian hot restaurant, and Spring did not disappoint. Although this French Chef was actually from Chicago, the food was fun and tasty and they even had a vegetarian tasting menu.  This, of course, did not stop me from trying Jeff’s foie gras 😉  Afterwards we strolled towards the Eiffel Tower for a night cap and ended the night with views of the most gorgeous building in the world.

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La Tour Eiffel, so beautiful ❤

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Our Parisian Apartment

After a restful and hardworking (Jeff, not me!) stay at the Château, we were off to Paris for the remainder of our fabulous vacation.  We stayed in an Airbnb in the 7th arrondissement, a block away from the Musée d’Orsay and Tuileries Gardens, right near the heart of Saint Germain des Prés.  Our beautifully furnished abode is owned by an antiques dealer, which there are quite a few in this neighborhood.  The website boasted about how quiet the house was, and they were not kidding!  It was so quiet, in fact, that we usually ended up sleeping in past noon!

Our welcoming entrance

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Here are a few pictures from the Airbnb website. If you do visit Paris, I highly recommend this restful suite:

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Cozy:

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Kitchen table where many a light night was spent drinking and laughing:

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Down the street, our oh-so-chic neighbors:

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Fun street art in our new hood:

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French Chefs

On my first night at the Château, I was invited to join the Egencia team and cook a French dinner!  Under the guidance of our Chef, we each spilt into 3 teams, Appetizer, Main, and Dessert.  I was happy to take on the Appetizer Course, a goat cheese and ricotta filled pasta.  The main course was in the kitchen prepping Guineafowl while the dessert was on deck with a French take on Tiramisu.  After our delicious dinner, we retreated to the cavern-like basement to toast the night and sing karaoke…and believe it or not, I did sing!

Egencia Crew:

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One of Château de Nointel’s Chefs showing us the ropes:

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Those who cook together…

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Jeff carefully rolling our pasta

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My turn!

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VinhGiang going for the gold

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My favorite course…Le fromage!!

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Passion Fruit Tiramisu for dessert

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Bienvenue at Château de Nointel!

Our most recent trip to Paris started where I met Jeff at the Château de Nointel, a gorgeous seminar and meeting locale located 30 minutes north of Charles de Gaulle Airport.  Jeff had an offsite meeting at the compound and I was lucky enough to join him for a few days.  The grounds and castle were simply breathtaking.  And while Jeff was busy with meetings during the day, I was free to run around the grounds and take in the beauty of Northern France.

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Morning sunlight from our bedroom window:

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I love how the French combine modern and traditional design.  Our bathroom:

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The library at the Château:

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The grounds were sprinkled with gorgeous sculptures like this one:

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Bullseye!

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Horses, donkeys and even bee hives call this gorgeous palace home:

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Trees for days:

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Backyard views

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There was a whole room filled with new gym clothes, sneakers in every size, and endless sports equipment for all to use.  Like a tug-of-war rope!

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This was my favorite find.  Back in the woods, there were huge slides running down the hills.  The best part was a spooky tunnel that led to the top of the hill, perfect for kids at heart and scenes from scary movies!

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As the fears crept in I kept thinking, “I can use my camera as a weapon if I need to.”


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Guess who else stayed at Château de Nointel during our visit?  (EEEKKKKKK!!!!)

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