August 3, 2009

Relaxing weekend

We had a relaxing, touristy weekend here in Pars. That's the weird thing about living in such a gorgeous city: it's almost like one forgets about all that's there. Since we realize that Paris might not be our home forever, we're planning to visit more of it and also because it's just fun to be a tourist "at home".
With that in mind, we took the kids to the château de Vincennes on Saturday. Though Paris is crowded with tourists right now, the place was nearly empty. Clearly, le château de Vincennes is not featured in tourists' guides, though it is an interesting place to visit. We took a guided tour of "le donjon" which is highly recommended. Mistakenly we thought it used to be a prison, only. Not so! Several of France's kings have resided here and only later on it became a "dungeon" to some very famous men. If you're interested in finding out more about this historically important place, make sure to check out the excellent official site of this château, here.

chateau de vincennes
The girls had packed their cameras and sketching books in their little backpacks. This is M. drawing a detail of the grid.

Back home the girls cooked dinner with daddy: Mac'n Cheese (from scratch - daddy's secret recipe!) for themselves and a Spaghetti Putanesca for daddy and me. Yum!

We took a slow start on Sunday, but in the afternoon we decided to take a stroll in the Quartier Latin with a stop at le Musée Cluny - aka the National Museum of Middle Ages. The museum resides a magnificent collection of tapestries, artefacts and sculptures of the middle ages, the most important pieces in the collection undeniably being the six tapestries of "La dame et la Licorne". Stunning! Unfortunately the place was incredibly crowded, probably because it always is and also because entrance is free the first Sunday of every month. I definitely need to go back there!
After the visit we decided to head over to the Ile de la cité only a short walk from there.

on our walk to "l'île de la cité" we passed this charming bookstore...

Our feet growing tired - I was wearing my pumps, not ideal for taking long walks I realized - we went for a drink at Café Panis, which can best be described as an authentic, romantic Parisian brasserie, located near the Notre-Dame de Paris, a hot spot so witnesses the price list.

An afternoon in Paris
Café l'Imprimerie - I was sitting right under this light fixture. Of course I couldn't resist...

Since the weather was really nice we just kept on walking, now towards Châtelet and the Forum des Halles, where we planned to catch the metro. We didn't feel like going home, however, and ended up at another café, the very nice Café l'Imprimerie, 29 rue Coquillière, 75001, where we decided to have dinner. The nice decor, with accents reminding of the 30's, really good soul music coming from the speakers, a friendly and helpful waiter, and very unusual... 2 golden retrievers made this place the perfect "endroit" to end our touristy weekend. I had a divine salad with grilled toast topped with "confit de poires" and grilled goat cheese. So good! Might try to make this at home!!

Now, let that be my first post in the "Paris series" I promised. I didn't intend this post that way, I just came to realize it while re-reading it.

There's so much more I want to share about this gorgeous city. To be continued!
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