A Christmas season in Paris

Lucky Duck visits The Mona Lisa at The Louvre

Lucky Duck gets up close and personal with Mona Lisa.

Lucky Duck joined Mike for a trip out to Paris back in September, and this Christmas, I was very lucky to be able to join Mike in The City of Love. We had a wonderful time. Paris is a very special place, and my first visit was better than I ever could have imagined.

Jays, our boutique hotel

We stayed at Jays Paris, a beautiful boutique hotel that’s ranked the #1 hotel in Paris on Trip Advisor. It’s in a great location by the Arc de Triomphe and has a wonderful staff.

We got the Arc Deco room Jays provides Hermes and Clairins products
Jays grand staircase Jays lobby

Row 1: Our art deco room, Hermes and Clairins toiletries are provided

Row 2: The top of the staircase, the bottom of the staircase

All the famous landmarks

I wanted to get the most out of our 4.5 day Paris stay, so I bought a book and a map beforehand, and I mapped out our route.  There are definitely parts of Paris that I missed (it’s a huge place!), but I’m thrilled to have seen these famous landmarks below. Nothing disappointed. Everything was truly magnificent.

The Eiffel Tower The Arc de Triomphe The Moulin Rouge
The Louvre The Notre Dame The Sacre Coeur

Row 1: The Eiffel Tower, The Arc de Triomphe, The Moulin Rouge

Row 2: The Louvre, The Notre Dame, The Sacre Coeur

Famous art at The Louvre

The Louvre is enormous, and I knew that I couldn’t see everything. I picked out a few choice areas, grabbed a map, and went for it.

View from Le Jules Verne Winged Victory Venus de Milo Egyptian wing

Pictured: The Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo, the Egyptian wing

Best meal

When I landed at 8:30 a.m., Mike was waiting for me at baggage claim. All of our bags made it, and we brought them out to a black Mercedes for a ride to our hotel. We checked in, ate a little breakfast and scooted out the door to see The Eiffel Tower.

We had a lunch reservation at Le Jules Verne at 1:00. Le Jules Verne sits on the level of the observation deck, and if you have a reservation, you don’t have to wait in line to go up The Eiffel Tower. The views from the dining room are beautiful, and you can go out on the observation deck too.

View from Le Jules Verne DSC00033 View from Le Jules Verne

Pictured: View from inside Le Jules Verne, same, view from observation deck

The food is top notch and pricy, and it was my favorite meal in Paris. We actually bought a very nice bottle of rose champagne, which was amazing.

Soup at Le Jules Verne Lobster at Le Jules Verne Dessert at Le Jules Verne


Row 1 (Mike’s side of the table): COOKPOT de pommes de terre fondantes et truffe noire
(Cookpot of tender potatoes and black truffle), TOURNEDOS DE BOEUF et foie gras de canard, pommes dauphine, sauce Périgueux (Pan-seared beef tournedos,fresh duck foie gras, dauphine potatoes, Périgueux sauce), L’ÉCROU AU CHOCOLAT et praliné croustillant, glace noisette (Tower bolt, dark chocolate praliné, hazelnut ice cream)

Row 2 (My side of the table): Bouillon léger de LENTILLES VERTES aiguillettes de poule faisane (Light green lentils soup, thinly-sliced fillet of hen pheasant), HOMARD de nos côtes en carapace, macaronis truffés, sucs de cuisson au Sauternes (Roasted brittany lobster, truffled macaroni pasta, cooking jus with Sauternes), SAINT-HONORÉ contemporain (Vanilla/caramel contemporary Saint-Honoré)

Best snack

After checking out The Louvre and The Notre Dame, we crossed the Seine river and found Café de Flore, a hot spot that Hawthorne and other intellectuals post-war would do some of their best work. We ordered a trio of frommages, a baguette, and champagne, and we sat outside on the sidewalk. I contemplated smoking my first cigarette but chickened out.

The Seine The Seine
Cafe de Flore Cafe de Flore
Cafe de Flore Cafe de Flore

Row 1: Walking along The Seine, Posing sur la pont

Row 2: Café de Flore sidewalk table, frommage and champagne arrive

Row 3: Cheers!, I love Mike!

Shopping high end

It goes without saying that Paris is famous for its shopping. Hermes, Chanel, and Christian Louboutin all call France home. I had a great time popping into stores like Au Printemps and Galleries Lafayette. The crowds were unbearable, but these are the two “Grand Magasins” worth checking out for their history and architecture. Oddly, while I was in Paris, the famous dome on Galleries Lafayette was on the Bing homepage

The dome at Galleries Lafayette The dome at Galleries Lafayette The dome at Galleries Lafayette is on Bing.com

Pictured: The tree in the dome at Galleries Lafayette, looking up at the dome at Galleries Lafayette, Galleries Lafayette on bing.com.

Just off The Champs Elysees is Avenue Montaigne, Paris’ answer to Rodeo Drive. Mike took me into Chanel to pick out a beautiful pair of classic “C” earrings for Christmas.

Chanel Chanel earrings Chanel earrings

Pictured: Chanel storefront, Chanel gift boxed up, my Chanel gift has been opened

Shopping Christmas markets is a blast

But honestly, my favorite shopping was in the outdoor Christmas markets sprinkled throughout Paris. Mike and I enjoyed several, at: The Eiffel Tower, The Champs Elysees, Montmartre, Notre Dame, and The Sacre Coeur. We’d drink chocolat chaud and chaud vin, eat crepes, and buy pretty things to keep and gift. Mike bought me a few really sweet things, like a bar of french soap carved into the shape of a rubber duck, matching pink wooden bangles for my sister and me, and the furry earmuffs & hat that I’m wearing in most all of my pictures.

Champs Elysee Christmas Market Monmartre Christmas Market Duck soap

Pictured: The white tents of the Christmas market on The Champs Elysees, Mike buying our moms polish pottery at the Montmartre Christmas market, French duck soap purchased at The Champs Elysee Christmas market

Lucky Duck made some good friends at the market in Montmartre, right after Mike bought the polish pottery.

Pick a duck at Montmartre Christmas market Massage ducks in the window of a sex shop Massage ducks at a normal store in Monmartre

Pictured: Carnival ducks at the Monmartre Christmas market, massage ducks in the window of a sex shop, massage ducks in a normal Montmartre store

The City of Lights

It was romantic to walk around The Eiffel Tower at night. Close by, we strolled outdoor food markets, where locals would buy fish, poultry, vegetables, and bread. Christmas lights hung overhead. And The Eiffel Tower looked truly magnificent all lit up. Also, starting at 6:00 each night, the tower sparkles every half hour for five minutes. It’s truly a sight to see.

City of Lights City of Lights

Pictured: Market selling fish, market selling meats

The Eiffel Tower at night The Eiffel Tower at night The Eiffel Tower sparkles at night

Pictured: The Eiffel Tower at night, the Eiffel Tower at night with the Christmas market, the Eiffel Tower sparkles at night

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