1 Apr 2009

Paris Report

It was wonderful.

We left the children in the capable hands of their grandparents and headed off to the airport. As soon as we left home, I was on holiday, off duty. Marvellous.

Our flight was perfectly pleasant, we landed in the afternoon and took a train into Paris, changing once to get to the station near the Arc de Triomphe from where we walked for 15 minutes or so to our hotel. Just before we made it indoors, the rain started, soon followed by some very rubbish hail.

The hotel we'd picked was nice enough, small and friendly. The room wasn't anything special, but there was a bed and all the other stuff you need from a hotel room so it did us grand.

We were keen to get out and see around so we dandered off in the opposite direction to how we'd arrived and soon ended up by the Palais des Congrès, an arts venue and shopping centre. We had coffees inside and then spent some time wandering the supermarket, feeling utterly jealous of the French approach to food production, supply and preparation. There was such a wonderful selection of great food and though we'd reservations for dinner later that night, we couldn't resist buying a small selection to take back to our room.

We returned to the hotel for some chilling time and sampled just a tiny bit of the irresistible food we'd bought. I was getting well into some TV documentary about early humans and their struggle for survival. It was far more explicit than what would be shown on UK or Irish channels in the afternoon, and all the better for it.

But I had to tear myself away from the box to get dolled up as best I could. A reservation had made at Senderens, a hugely posh restaurant. We had to take a taxi as I was wearing stupid shoes, not my usual practical and sensible gear. And the restaurant, wow - other worldly. It was very attractive inside and the food was like something prepared by angels to torture our fallible and flawed human forms with perfection that we will never be able to attain. Not unless we shell out for another top rated, pricey Parisian restaurant anyway. It was so very good.

Next morning we had the rest of our supermarket procured food in our room, and a fine start to the day it was too. Then we went out and walked for miles, down to the Trocadero area where we very obviously took photos of each other in front of the Eiffel Tower. It was dry but fairly cold and I was glad I'd packed gloves and a scarf. We headed east along the river, following the south bank for a while then switching north and passing Place de la Concorde and on to Ile de la Cité all the while marvelling at the beauty and grandeur of the city. It's so very different from Belfast!

So we dandered up to the Centre Pompidou and walked the streets for a bit looking for somewhere to eat. Before long we spotted exactly what we wanted, a cafe set over a bakery, with such an array of bread and pastries downstairs that we knew we'd be well set if we ate upstairs. So we had brunch, and it was as fine a meal as what we'd had the night before. The bread and croissants were the best we've ever eaten, the coffee was good and the atmosphere was fantastic.

Now we embarked on our quest to enjoy some more trashy culture and we took a train out to Disneyland Paris. We've been before, but wanted to ride the faster, scarier rides without having to worry about who would look after the children. We had such a blast, and managed to go on 4 roller coasters and the Tower of Terror.

Next morning we just had time to have another great breakfast and do a bit of shopping before getting a bus back to the airport and flying back to Belfast. The children had all been fine and had enjoyed their time with Granda and G. and as ever, it was great to be home.


Grannymar said...

It did sound wonderful. Glad you had a good time.

Elfinamsterdam said...

Great Stuff!

Sounds perfect, Culture and History, Tack and Screaming!

Glad to have you back and bet you got some cool swag for the kids! :)


Sharon McDaid said...

Thanks Grannymar. It's such an amazing place.

Elfinamsterdam, it was our kind of holiday all right. One of my university lecturers once berated one of his researchers for going to Disneyland on a trip to Paris when he should have been indulging in "real" culture. Pompous ass.

I got Lady a beret, as requested. It's raspberry pink, queue Prince! For Thomas I got an apron and chef's hat emblazoned with Paris touristy images (he likes to cook!) and for Duncan, chocolate bunnies.
The Grandparents got liquid gifts!

AnnB said...

Delighted to hear you had a well deserved great time. Aren't weekends away just the best invention? Hope the buzz sustains you for many weeks to come.

Jax said...

I love Paris, but it's been ages since I've made it there. Sounds like a fab short break.

Casdok said...

Lovely to hear you had such a wonderful time.

Ed said...

Sounds like a great vacation. So glad you had a chance to get away and enjoy yourselves.

The Hangar Queen said...

Formidable!! Well done the pair of ye for making the time for each other and bloody well enjoying yourselves.

steph said...

Short breaks are the best!

I've just picked up a great deal on flights for the hubby and I to visit a friend in southern France, for 2 nights in May. Can't wait now. I think the anticipation is almost as good as the break itself.

Delighted to hear you enjoyed a great escape!

Manuel said...

so you liked the restaurant then......phew.....but isn't it just so bloody lovely......it was better than Ramsay's for me.....

Anonymous said...

I plan to go to Paris at some point in my life, especially Disney Land. Sounds like you had a great time, very memorable. A well deserved break, minus kids!

CJ xx

Clive said...

Loved your report on Paris. We just came across your blog on the IAA blog. We were in Paris/Disneyland last month also with our 10 year old son who happens to be autistic but more importantly happens to think he is Mr Bean and we had a fantastic time. His face when he saw the Eiffel Tower and actually realised this was 'Paris' was brillant. We are up in Belfast next week for the Easter week - hoping he will appreciate the Giant's Causeway and maybe even some shopping!!

With appreciative woofs
Clive and gang

The Biologista said...

Paris! I think it's tied with Venice for my favourite city. Glad to hear you had a good break.

I've had to promise my girlfriend that we'll go back to Paris together soon so we can do the Musée d'Orsay (last time I went the whole Impressionist section was closed!) and Disneyland.

Last time, I took in the Louvre, Georges Pompidou centre, the best steak ever, a Nine Inch Nails gig, Eiffel tower and too many pastries. Wonderful, wonderful place.

tracey (aka rainbowmummy) said...

Sounds wonderful. So gald you had a wonderful time. I keep telling Eggs Dad that if we get married I want my honeymoon in NewYork ;) I want to shop, drink coffee and cocktails and have huge slices of pizza. I am not interested in lying by a pool, I want a holiday I can really enjoy. Plus if I get him drunk enough I am sure he'll put on a tutu and act out the opening titles of Sex and the City, lmao

Sharon McDaid said...

@AnnB, the buzz hasn't worn off totally yet! Have you had any time away recently?

@Jax, I hope you get back someday soon. It's such a great city.

@Casdok, thanks!

@Ed, we really did enjoy it.

@Devin, a bit of bloody enjoyment is what we need now and then.

@Steph, hiya! Oh I hope you have a great break yourself. It'll no doubt be warmer than when and where we went.

@Manuel, yeah, good job it was so nice or there's have been strongly worded tweets heading your way.

@Crystal Jigsaw, it's well worth visiting Paris some time. And the children would love Disney Land, which is pretty good at accommodating disabled visitors.

@Blogdog, I'm cracking up at the idea of a 10 year old Mr Bean wannabe! Glad to hear you enjoyed Disney Land. My boy loved it too. Hope you enjoy Belfast and we all get some good weather.

@Biologista, oh I'd like to go to Venice some day too. I think though that if we can get away again, we'll go to Germany next.

Sounds like you were busy in Paris but there's always more. We never even scratched the surface of what's available, but mostly I just wanted a break and that we definitely got.

@Rainbowmummy, hell yes, do what you enjoy for your honeymoon or any holiday. I hope you'll have a camera for the tutu scene! I would love to go to New York too some time.