Saturday, April 5, 2008

Ahhh, Paris!

Angela & Guillaume arrived in Paris late on Friday afternoon. With a quick phone call to Martine, they were inside the front door and in the elevator with their three HUGE suitcases. Angela doesn't know how all 5 of them fit in the elevator (Angela, Guillaume and suitcase 1, 2, and 3!).

They met Martine and went to the 14th floor, to their beautiful new apartment. Can you see what's in the background? This view is from their living room!

After bringing the suitcases in, the dining table came from their old apartment into the new. (It's VERY new, they had not moved all the way in yet - in fact, Angela & Guillaume were the first to spend the night there.)

Vincent and Martine came up to 14 for an aperetif before dinner at the brasserie at La Closerie des Lilas. The Eiffel Tower lit in the background was an amazing backdrop for the beginning of their evening, with a delightful champagne.

They arrived at La Closerie des Lilas, and waited at the bar for a table. More champagne? Bien sur! They finally were seated, 2 more glasses of champagne later. The olives were delicious, too.

This is the inside of the brasserie. There is also another restaurant at La Closerie des Lilas. Hemingway enjoyed this place, as well. He said: "The only decent cafe in our neighborhood was Closerie des Lilas, and it was one of the best cafes in Paris..."

Everyone had a delicious dinner, and very nice wine. Lots of wine. Angela didn't feel very well the next day, and it took her a long time to get moving. First, they went to the Crillon Bar for lunch! Angela had just a little club sandwich, and she wished she felt better to enjoy it.
Then, she saw the Velib' and had to take a picture. She loves the Velib'.

After lunch, they went shopping for a bag for Angela. She got a beautiful black bag, and a beautiful red wallet. Then, they went to Galeries Lafayette, and shopped a little bit more. Guillaume and Angela both bought very cute Lacoste watches.
Finally, they left shopping and tried to get a taxi home. But they ended up in the middle of a manifestation (protest) for the handicapped. They weren't sure what the protest was about, but there were lots and lots of people, and it took them a long time to get to a taxi. But, it did allow them to have a nice walk down rue de la Paix and through Place Vendome, past the Dubail store, where they bought their wedding rings!
Saturday night was the Big Birthday Dinner! Vincent had made reservations at Le Pre Catelan, a 3-star restaurant. They took a taxi to the restaurant, which is in the Bois de Boulogne, a beautiful wooded area in Paris. Roland Garros is also on the edge of Bois de Boulogne. At night, however, the Bois de Boulogne takes on a different tone... it's kind of like the "red light" district of Paris. At 9:00 p.m., there wasn't too much action in the woods, but they saw a few "workers"!
They turned into the drive of Le Pre Catelan, and saw the beautiful building which houses the restaurant. Guillaume thought it looked like the White House. The man who greeted us told us it is fashioned after a casino!
They were led to a beautiful table in a corner of the dining room, and they felt they had the best seats in the room. They could see everything, and no one was close to them. Of course, the table was set beautifully.

The first course was a mushroom soup with onion foam ... (if Angela had the menu, she could say exactly what it was, but she can't find it)...

After that, they were given urchin, as a gelee, as a creamy mousse, and as something else that can't really be described. It was amazing.

This is the gelee. Angela thought it was so pretty.

Then the scallops...

This one was seared on this hot stone, and the waiter said to turn the scallop over to sear the other side. Guillaume and Vincent were very happy with their wine choices.

The next course was langoustines - in a ravioli, with some kind of delightful sauce that both Angela and Martine drank after the langoustine, and with some kind of green foam. Not only delicious and pretty, but fun, too!

Then, Angela's first sweetbreads. And she's glad she chose this place for her first time.


Dessert! This is actually a glass made out of sugar. Angela tried to pick it up and it broke in her hand (she didn't know it was sugar).

This was a banana/peanut butter dessert (yes, two desserts... plus chocolates).
By the time they finished eating, they were the only ones left in the dining room.

They had such a lovely, delicious evening, they didn't want it to end.

But, they had a lovely apartment to go home to, with Paris and the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the background.

On Sunday, Guillaume went with Vincent on the scooter to buy some books for his friend, and to buy Angela a sandwich that she has been craving since she had it the last time she was in Paris... a year ago! The four of them had a lovely lunch, and then Angela and Guillaume took the train to Pigalle to see Bruno, Virginie, Milo and Lola, and Claudia and Guy would be there too!

Angela and Guillaume forgot the camera, so there are no pictures, but it was a very nice time, and it was so, so so nice to see them again, and they hope it won't be so long until the next time. And Angela is looking forward to a couple of tours with Virginie!

Claudia and Guy drove them to the Rosebud Bar, and they said their goodbyes on a rainy streetcorner in Paris. After The Rousseaus drove away, the other Rousseaus dashed down the street to the bar, and met Vincent and Martine, and Guillaume's old bar manager, Phillipe. After a few glasses of champagne for Angela and Martine, and a few bourbons for the boys, they left.

Angela got a ride on the back of Vincent's scooter, and Guillaume and Martine walked home. Angela's first scooter ride was pretty fun! As they rounded the final corner, the Eiffel Tower came into view, and was sparkling for the last time that night, and the last time Angela would see her for a while, so she was grateful for the show.

They sadly said goodbye to Vincent and Martine, and went to bed to prepare for the early day, and long flight home on Monday.


p'tit pap said...

Many good souvenirs !!and some "kilos" more?? LOVE..Ptit'Mam'

Andy said...

You guys look great and so happy together... but when doesn't Le Tour end grandly in Paris :)

That gelee looks soooo tasty...and it's urchin?

remember dot candy?

Angela & Guillaume said...

Oui, Claudia!!

Andrew, can you believe I had a box of dot candy in my office for about 6 months!?!?

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