Voyage to Paris, and beyond?

We started with our trip to Paris in March 2006...and from there, who knows? We are a mother and daughter having an adventure.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mommy, I'm so glad to be home...

...because I missed my toys! - CB

I'm glad too, though sad as well - it's always hard to let go of a wonderful vacation! But there's lots to do here, and it's time to get started doing it! Before we end this blog, though, a few last pictures and memories....

We took a few photos of our neighborhood so we wouldn't forget, including SI in front of Beaubourg, eating our favorite breakfast, pain au chocolate.

Baby, our little red, white and blue dog, came with us for our last day - she especially enjoyed seeing all the sights.

We went to a fantastic exhibit of Henri Cartier-Bresson photographs - portraits of many writers, artists and intellectuals. It was in Montparnasse, which I think we already mentioned was another great neighborhood to visit.

We finally visited the Eiffel Tower. We made it to the second level but decided not to go all the way to the top.

And of course we have hundreds more pictures of everywhere we went - just ask and we'll share them!

Our trip home was long but smooth - about 14 hours after we left our Paris apartment, we arrived home in the US to warm weather and warm and happy welcome.

It was an amazing, beautiful and exhausting trip. We wore out our feet, spent lots of money, got into great shape climbing up and down 7 flights of stairs to our apartment, learned a few things, and perhaps most of all, enjoyed spending so much time just the two of us, talking about everything under the sun.

There is no way to express our thanks to our host, Michel, for all he did for us - but Michel, if you're reading this... we hope we can return the hospitality some time very soon! And Christian too, for sure! By the time we see you both again we hope to be perfectly fluent in French!

Our fondest memories are of Versailles... of painting together in the Musée D'Orsay. and at Sainte-Chapelle.. of the boulangerie across the street, and the guy in the Parisian equivalent of Brooklyn bodega, who wouldn't let me buy the wine I'd chosen, but instead gave me a bottle he insisted was much better (same price) - and it was perhaps the best wine I'd ever had...the carousels...the friends we made and hope to keep forever.

Many people have asked us if we were affected by the demonstrations. No, not really, though we certainly saw a lot of evidence of them!

This blog is ended, but we've started a new blog: - we have joined the family of daily photo bloggers. Please come visit!

Here are some more links to info about our favorite things in Paris.

A recipe for French crepes ( we liked them best with lemon and sugar, or Nutella):
A recipe for pain au chocolate:

The Eiffel Tower:


Notre Dame:

Museum of the Middle Ages -
-- Museum of the Art and History of Judaism

Musée D'Orsay

Jardin du Luxembourg

Sainte Chappelle

Video Hosting - Upload Video - Photo Sharing

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Nearing the end

No photos tonight, though we have many. It's a bittersweet night - of course we are glad to go home and see our loved ones, but it's hard to say goodbye. We had a mostly lovely day today - finally made it to the Eiffel Tower (though not the very top) and to an absolutely wonderful exhibition of Henri Cartier-Bresson photographs. I twas at his foundation, in Montparnasse - a neighborhood we hadn't yet seen. It reminded us of the theater district in NYC - quite lively, though perhaps also slightly seedy. We'd had some interesting encounters earlier with crazy homeless people, busses that weren't running, and other challenging situations, but we overcame all.

Tonight, for our last night out, we went with our friends Michel and Christian to a little outdoor cafe near Beaubourg. There is a fountain there with whimsical and amusing sculptures - we sat nearby and tried to find something CB would like to eat. We failed, so we snuck off to "McDo" to get her a happy meal. (SI quite enjoyed her duck with cabbage, however.)

Perhaps when we get home we can post our last pictures and descriptions of the last few days.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The places we went.

We got up and out and had breakfast on the run – a crepe with lemon and sugar for CB, one with fromage and oeuf (cheese and egg) for SI. We got on the bus and went to Musée D’Orsay again. The line was long, but not as bad as the other day, and after only a few minutes a guard told us that we could go right in a special door since one of us was a petite fille (little girl.) We had no idea we’d get such special privileges but we were very glad not to wait!

At first we couldn’t decide what we wanted to look at. We tried to find some of the paintings on our art cards (from our game) but were feeling impatient and grouchy (and a bit tired!) So we went to the café, even though we’d just had breakfast, and we ate again. Then we decided to sit in front of some paintings we really liked and copy them in our sketchbooks. We painted for a while with our watercolors, but a guard told us we couldn’t do that, so we took out our colored pencils instead. We each copied one Monet and one Morisot. SI thinks it was the nicest time we’ve had so far on this entire trip.

On the way out we looked at all the sculptures of naked people. CB was very interested in looking at their “ritz bits”- that’s their private parts. SI tried to explain something about the allegorical meanings of the sculptures, but CB didn’t seem to be listening!

After that we’d planned to go to the Louvre but we both agreed we’d had enough of art for a while, and SI really needed to run around. So we got on another bus and went to Le Jardin du Luxembourg again. SI wasn’t feeling very well so she sat on a bench and painted quietly while CB found a black cat to pet, American children to play with (who by the way were from Connecticut!), and also made another painting. It started to rain very hard, so we went under a shelter for a while, got CB some more candy, and then left.

After a late lunch at McDonalds, we walked all the way back, stopping to shop here and there, and at last we visited the Musée de la Moyen Age, the museum of the middle ages. We spent a lot of time looking at a very famous, very old tapestry, The Lady with the Unicorn. The different panels show the five senses, and the sixth one is called “My Sole Desire.” Nobody knows for sure what that one means. We drew some scenes from that one. Then we went to the gift shop and bought lots of cool presents.

It wasn’t too far to walk home from the museum. We went past Notre Dame, as we do every day, and talked about what we’d think of it if we lived here and always saw it. Would we get tired of it, or always notice how amazing it is? CB says she would like to live there and see it every day.

Here are some things we’ve noticed about France. France looks a lot different from the US. The houses are much closer together. The streets and sidewalks are much narrower – it’s hard to walk side by side holding hands. The ambulances and police cars have a different kind of siren. Even the toilets are different!

We only have two more days here – the trip has gone by very fast! PS sorry the pictures aren't very clear - we just took photographs of our paintings and they are a little blurry.

Our trip to Versailles (and afterwards)

Yesterday we went to Versailles! It is the grandest palace in France. It was built by Louis XIV (that means the fourteenth). Many queens and princesses lived there (and kings, of course). It was AWESOME! The Queen's bedroom was so pretty! The whole palace had lots of gold.

We walked through the Hall of Mirrors, (which was so pretty,) and all around the gardens. There were scenes painted on the walls and ceilings of battles, greek gods, and angels. The one in the ballroom had a different version of Hercules than the one we know. We thought about what it would be like to wear those fancy dresses - they are beautiful, but maybe hot and very heavy!

In the garden café CB had ice cream, even though it was very cold outside, and tried to melt it into soup under the heat lamp.

We had to take a train there. We went with Michel and his friend Christian. Christian doesn't speak very much English so SI tried to speak French. We managed to understand each other pretty well! Luckily Michel helped translate when we needed help.

After we came back we all went to a Belgian restaurant. (First SI tried to show Michel and Christian how to make a blog.) CB got a hamburger and frites, which came with a surprise which was three ceramic masks that you could paint. CB and SI each did one and the third one is for LS when we get home. SI had mussels with blue cheese sauce - delicieuse!!!

By the way we haven't even mentioned much about our visit to the doll museum, before we even left for Versailles. It was just around the corner from our apartment, and was very nice too.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A quick posting

This is the view out our sixth floor window. We have MUCH to say, and many pictures to share, of our amazing fantastic visit to Versailles today - it was incredible. (Happily, we found the cable to CB's camera after all so we can post her photos soon.) However we may have a little technical difficulty - the transformer we are using to plug our American laptop into a European outlet has started to over heat and smell bad! If we can't solve this problem our blog might be out of business til we get home, as the laptop is almost out of juice!

À plus, as we say here! Posted by Picasa

Our visit to Beaubourg.

Yesterday we went to the Beaubourg museum-CB. We saw an exhibit especially for kids called Téte à téte, which was portraits from the Louvre, next to portraits from Beaubourg - very old and very modern together. There were lots of interesting activities too - we got to mix up different eyes, noses, ears and mouths to make faces, and in this picture we used a joystick to distort our faces in different ways - colorized, mushed up, or like a kaleidescope. After that we took the escalator up to the very top and got a great view of Paris -- in the rain and fog! We also saw some very interesting paintings and sculptures -- CB's favorites were the Picassos. And we saw one like in "Olivia" -- by Jackson Pollock. CB says, "I could do that in about five minutes!"

After that we went to the Musée d'art et d'histoire de Judaisme, and then walked to Place des Vosges. But it was very cold and rainy and not so much fun! (We both got mad at each other!) Finally we found a restaurant where we could eat hamburgers and frites (french fries). When we got there, there was a film crew making a movie of an old man reading a book - we thought he must be somebody very important or famous. By then we were in a much better mood. We came home and went to bed early. Today we've been making some of our own paintings, and we went out early to the Doll Museum. In a little while we're going to Versailles! (Tonight or tomorrow we'll have some great pictures to post on our blog.) - CD and SI

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Inside Sainte Chapelle.

Bonjour!!!Today we went INSIDE Sainte Chapelle!!! -- CB

We got a late start due to some very late sleeping...first we went to Sainte-Chapelle but it was just closing for lunch, so we got on a bus to the Musée d'Orsay. When we arrived the line was VERY LONG and it was VERY COLD and windy. So we thought of the Louvre, but as we walked there we realized it was closed! Very sad start to the day! So back to Sainte-Chappelle, but we were hungry. Luckily CB spotted a sushi restuarant - perfect! A yummy way to lift our spirits. Back at Ste-Chapelle, the line wasn't too bad so in we went. Here's what we saw: thousands of stained glass windows, it was very old (almost 800 years old!), there were lots of stories in the windows of Christian religion and Jewish religion, such as Esther, but we couldn't really see the characters. We both drew some pictures til we got too cold. So then we went to the gift shop and bought a princess and a queen and a postcard. And the queen is for LS. We hope she likes her!

Then we were hungry so we got crepes - CB got lemon juice and sugar and it was delicious. SI got "creme de marron"which was interesting! Then we went shopping and bought a new coat and hat for CB. Then we went on another carousel.(Twice.) Then we got tired and came home. Now we're going to eat spaghetti for dinner and we're going to try to go to bed early so we can wake up early so we can go to the Eiffel Tower!!! or the science museum.

WE LOVE PARIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - CB and SI together

PS CB took some great photographs today but SI forgot to bring the right cable for her camera so we can't post them til we get home! (Sorry!)

A rainy day

Hi friends and family - it's so much fun to know you are reading this, and to read your responses, even if sometimes we aren't sure who is who! (About which more below.) It's morning here - late morning- and we are still at home. CB is sleeping and I'm looking through all our guidebooks (actually pages printed out from websites about Paris) and maps to decide what we can do in the rain. Seems like a perfect day for musuems. Right here in our neighborhood there are more than we could ever see -- one about the history of Judaism sounds interesting, and of course Beauborg, Picasso, Rodin (I think that's nearby!) and many others. A short walk would take us to other places high on our list - Ste Chappelle, of course, and the Museum of the Middle Ages, which has a famous tapestry we are quite interested in, since CB has been studying medieval times all year in school.

I've been asked why we didn't include our names. Perhaps we are being overly cautious, but since this blog is open to ANYONE in the world to see (and evidently at least one person not known to us has read it and left a comment!) we don't want it to be possible for someone to track us down in real life, especially the younger one among us. Online I suppose first names are usually considered to be OK, but we decided to be extra careful! CB chose our "handles"-- they are the initials of our hebrew names!

By the way, the chocolate here is amazing - we've had pain au chocolate, chocolate chaud, chocolate mousse, very fancy chocolate ducks from the shop across the street, and we've only just begun. Don't worry, we'll bring some home for everyone (if we can stop ourselves from eating it before we get there.)

A special note to CZH: we miss you too, and hope you can come back to Paris soon now that you're old enough to remember it!

And a very special note to LS: We think about you every minute and can't wait to come home and snuggle with you!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Parks and Playgrounds

Today was all about Miss CB... we went where she wanted, when she wanted. So we went to the Jardin Luxembourg, where we found a carousel and trampolines... went UNDER the Louvre and past the place where SI stayed last year... the chocolate shop was alas closed but the Jardin du Luxembourg was not so we found another carousel and a large playground. Everywhere we went we found American children to play with and American moms to chat with about this and that. It was chilly and rainy but nothing a hot dog and hot chocolate couldn't cure. A quick bus ride home past the Museum of the Middle Ages reminded us that there are other things to do here besides run around and play. Though perhaps not quite as much fun for a 7 year old.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Our friend in Paris

This is Abbey and Michel on our nighttime walk to see the Eiffel Tower. He has been so kind to us today in so many ways! -SI

This is the Eiffel Tower at night,and a bridge under it.It is a very old bridge.I love Paris.-CB

The Tower was all lit up and sparkly when we first saw it but the sparkles only last for the first ten minutes of every hour - by the time we got close enough to take this picture the sparkles were over. -- SI

Mommy in the kitchen.

CB took this shot of me in our little kitchen. There is a clothes dryer under the counter, a little fridge in the closet, and a tiny little table. The apartment is on the top floor and flooded with light in every room. Posted by Picasa

We've arrived in Paris!

The ride was very long there was 1 tv for every person.That was how I kept myself busy. -- CB

It's amazing to finally be here after all these months looking forward to it. The trip was endless... we left the house at 11:30 am and arrived here at the apartment at about 8am Paris time, or 2am CT time. But we're wide awake, despite having an hour or two of sleep at most! The apartment is charming - it's on the seventh floor (a walk-up!!) in the 3e, a block from Beaubourg. Everything was closed when we arrived, but we'll go out walking in a little while. Our friend Michel was kind enough to meet us at the airport and help us find our way (and carry our heavy suitcase up all seven flights too.) He's left us for now so we can rest, but he's going to show us around the neighborhood in a little while. (He lives in another apartment downstairs.) --SI

When we go out we are going to get crepes. --CB

Friday, March 10, 2006

The one left behind

Poor Little Sister is so angry not to be invited on our trip! We've promised to bring her chocolates, a fan, a france plate and fork, and all kinds of other treats! And to take her next time. We promise! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

CB on skis

We are filling the time before we go (11 days and counting!) - I went withCB on her last day of skiing with her school program. She is so comfortable and confident on the slopes, it's a joy to see. I hung out in the lodge eating french fries and playing with the new cell phone I got for the trip - it's quad band so it can work anywhere. But it has lots of fun features, none of which I've been able to make work yet (except the camera, which works when you don't want it to since the button to turn it on is in a spot where I keep pressing it by mistake. This picture was NOT taken with my camera phone. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Our first photo (not from Paris!)

Just to find out how easy it is to post pictures, here's one of CB at Nana's house! Posted by Picasa

Welcome to Our Blog about Paris!

CB and SI are spending 8 days in Paris (the initials we are using are completely unrelated to our real names - but we chose them for a reason!) We want our friends and family to be able to keep up with our adventures, so we will post pictures and more here!