Friday, March 9, 2018

Paris beckons for fabulous fun in springtime, summer, winter, fall.....

The Louvre Museum stands proud into the centuries, photographed from the Seine on a recent trip. And don't  
miss our favorite Musee d"orsay nearby.  Housed in the former Gare d'Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station
built between 1898 and 1900, it houses many well known works of a more contemporary vein. 

The Pont Alexandre is one of the world's most lavish
bridges, and a much photographed Paris icon.

“There is but one Paris......the French air clears the brain and does a world of good.”Vincent van Gogh


IF YOU HAVE never been to Paris, you must make at least one pilgrimage.
Even into March, Paris can be brisk, so Keller
bundles up for a stroll with Notre Dame behind him.
If you have been, it's likely you've returned -- or plan to make an encore call.
For Paris casts a spell on the visitor, more than any of the  wonderful cities we've visited.
Paris is as intoxicating as a cocktail on an empty stomach.
It's as bawdy as a brothel on a Saturday night, as sophisticated as the best-dressed dandy at 
opera's opening night.  It assails the senses like no other city, beckoning one to sip of the elixir, stay a while and let Paris cast its spell.
The intricate detail of many of the famous Paris buildings draws repeat
examinations -- favorites of these travelers are Opera Garnier, also known
as the Academie National de Musique, Paris Opera and other names. 

The Arc de Triomphe is one of the world's most photographed monuments
to the fallen.  We recommend a full or half-day city tour to get started.

Keller surveys the street from a doorway of one of the fine
specialty food shops he and Cookie frequented each day.
 COLE PORTER was smitten by Paris and even lived there for a time during World War I. He wrote a musical, "Paris," which debuted on Broadway in 1928 and was his first huge hit.  Porter's fondness for Paris embraced all 12 months of the year:  "I love Paris in the spring time, I love Paris in the fall, I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles, I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles...." He called it a "timeless town" and it truly is.
Take a cue from Cookie and Keller
for at least one night on the town.

Even on a recent drizzly grey rainy day,
Paris is lovely.  Here the Eiffel Tower.
There's something for every taste in Paris -- world class museums, the planet's finest restaurants, jazz clubs, a lively night life, opera, fashionably dressed folks walking  nicely groomed doggies, dapper old gents with canes, lovers, quiet little cafes, parks and graveyards to contemplate the wonders.

wander into a cemetery and find monuments to Molière, Delacroix, Bizet, Chopin, Balzac and Proust. You might come across the graves of Georges Seurat, Oscar Wilde, Sarah Bernhardt, Isadora Duncan, Colette, Edith Piaf or Marcel Marceau. Ex-pat writers Gertrude Stein and Richard Wright made Paris their final stop, too.
You can shop for souvenirs of all kinds -- whether a box of
fine chocolates or something more adventuresome. 
 Take in the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile,  commissioned by Napoleon in 1805. It stands at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle.  
Between museums, take in a show at either
the famed Moulin Rouge or Folies Bergere.
HITLER surveyed the Eiffel Tower and  Arc de Triomphe after the city fell in June of 1940, but the clever French cut the lift cables to the Tower as he arrived in the city. Troops climbed the tower to hoist their swastika flag -- so large it blew away and was replaced by a smaller version. Our guide proudly told us this story, adding, "The elevators magically began to work after the city was liberated on Aug. 25, 1944. The next day, General de Gaulle led a joyous liberation march down the Champs d'Elysees to the Arc."
EVEN FOR multi-time return visitors, we recommend a city tour.  We bought the Paris '"Hop On, Hop Off" package this last trip and thoroughly enjoyed meandering the city with a lively narrative and an international complement of fellow travelers. Once you've tasted of the delights of Paris, you'll be back for more.
Actors Lisa Gorell-Getz and Kevin Hafso Koppman
are part of a terrific ensemble in North Coast Rep's
thoughtful current production, "This Random World."

BEST BETS: A new feature this week is our
bet for a  fabulous outing -- perhaps a hike,
restaurant, boat trip or, as we offer today, a
play you won't want to miss. North Coast
Repertory Theatre's "This Random World"
wittily examines the ways in which our lives intersect, parallel and misconnect. Play-wright Steven Dietz examines the notion of co-incidence, and apparently "random" ways in which we meet people, form associations, make decisions. Masterfully acted, this funny, fast-
paced, touching play features David Ellenstein's nuanced direction. Catch it through March 18 in Solana Beach.
A visit to Dublin's Temple Bar was on Ellen Cosgriffe's bucket list.
NEXT UP:  A memorable trip to
Ireland with her late mother makes Cookie glad she and her mum followed their dreams. When her flamboyant mother expressed interest in a trip to Ireland -- and a desire to play piano in a Dublin pub -- Cookie helped make that happen. The moral of this St. Patrick's Day story is "carpe diem." At Dublin's famous Temple Bar, both Cookie and her mother Ellen played piano. Remember to explore, learn and live -- and catch us Fridays for a fresh look at travel, nature and the arts.


  1. Oh la this. Great top photo of the Louvre and fun commentary.

  2. Israeli FrancophilesMarch 10, 2018 at 10:49 AM

    Enjoyable return to a favorite city. Thanks for he memories.

  3. Scottish SojournersMarch 10, 2018 at 11:32 AM

    So happy to find your lively blog. Hope we meet again on the road.

  4. Michiganders Making MemoriesMarch 14, 2018 at 4:21 PM

    Oh, how we loved the Paris memoir and look forward to the St. Patrick's Day piece featuring the Irish trip. What fun you have. May it continue thus.

  5. Gorgeous photo of my favorite opera house. Prefer it even to La Scale. Joyous piece. Merci beaucoups.