Known for it's magnificent gothic style cathedral that houses the garment worn by Mary when she gave birth to Jesus. A church has stood in this spot since 800AD and over the years had been built onto, torn down and rebuilt, at one time burned until now it's home to this incredible piece of architecture.
The stained glass windows are beautifully preserved and each one tells a story.
The town is south of Paris about 50 miles and well worth the trip.
It's so close to the train station that you can see it as you pull into the town and it's an easy walk to get to.
There is an Englishman there who has been giving tours for 50 years.
He's quite a character and so knowledgeable about the cathedral that he has written a number of books on it.
In addition to taking the tour (Mike opted to skip the tour and climb the bell tower instead - I only wish I had sent the camera up with him) we walked around the town a little and ate at a cute little pizzeria.
Mike, who never shies away from the local cuisine no matter how strange, ordered a duck gizzard and potato pizza. He didn't have to worry that Kate and I would try and steal it - that's for sure.
Due to the humidity in France and the rain, I finally gave up on my hair and let it go curly.
It made it much faster to get ready in the morning.
I picked up this coat at H&M for 40 Euros (I got the scarf at a cute little store up by Montemartre) and wore it almost every day for the last 2 weeks we were there.
Spencer, Andrew, Kate and I went to Easter Mass here.
Programs that had the chants and music on them were distributed so that we could participate in the singing. I've never heard Alleluias sound so grand.
Standing there and listening to the massive organ pipes as the organist played these powerful pieces, that was pretty amazing.
Just the beauty of the structure inside along with the ceremonial aspects of a mass were very powerful.
I must admit though, standing on those cold stone floors for the length of time you have to stand, that was tough.
The cathedral was packed with people, probably over 2000 inside the church alone and big lines outside.
Mike and McKean accidentally slept in that morning and McKean really wanted to see Notre Dame so Kelly took us back and spent some time telling McKean about the outside and what all the statues represented.
But the cathedral was closed that evening, so Jeanene met us there one beautiful sunny day and walked through it with us and explained about the inside.
If you ever make it to Paris, don't miss seeing this grand cathedral.
So here is my "cherry on top." My big find that we all got a little giddy over!
One of the things I wanted to pick up were some vintage cards and game pieces to use for collage, jewelry and decoration. I had come across this big game set several times but most of them were missing a lot of pieces or were selling the pieces individually and they were pricey. When I found two that had most of the pieces I was thrilled.
This is the one I didn't buy. It had dominos, which I had already bought individually.
Of course, as giddy as I was at having discovered these two intact, I knew it they would probably be around 150 - 200 euros or more each - so Rhonna and I were taking pictures like crazy just in case it was priced that high and I couldn't afford it.
You've never seen someone whip out money so fast and I did when she told me it was 70 euros. I didn't even dicker.
When we got it back to the apartment we discovered that it had 2 more layers under the boards that we hadn't discovered at the market. BONUS! I'll have to take a photo of what's in all the boxes plus all the boards and the lead race horses that were in the bottom.
Jeanene's BIL, Guy, was such a sweetheart to schlep around all morning since we found it at one of the first stalls we went to. You're an angel Guy!
We went to 3 different flea markets in Paris - and my favorite one, at Porte Vanves we went to twice. We also did Porte Clingnancourt which has the permanent stalls and another flea that was a special Easter flea market.
Porte Vanves is big and varies between booths that have awnings and tables to spaces were someone just backed up their car, laid down a blanket and threw everything out on top of it.
Porte Clingnancourt is a mix of old and new. The 1st part is touristy stuff...clothes, tshirts, jewelry, incense, knick knacks and it's all new. Farther down there is a maze of alleys with small permanent shops that have garage doors that open up onto the narrow alleys. The prices here are higher but there is also lots more furniture and higher end antiques.
The only things I bought at Porte Clingnancourt was this round Pariseinne metal sign and a couple of keys.
I found these great wood & bone dominos - perfect for jewelry making and collage. Also a rhinestone crown belt bucket & vintage lotto cards & dice and dice cup.
Oh, also at Porte Clingnancourt, in the new section I found these cars made out of soda cans.
I bought a big folder of vintage receipts from the 1800's, other vintage documents, handwritten papers old newspapers (1908) and a notebook of a lady who choreographed ballet.
I found an old box (brownie type) camera made by the 1st French camera company, several old travel books, a newer but still old - kodak camera and a set of vintage metal number stencils.
This is a metal metro sign that has that line we would take from our friends apt to our hotel and another vintage travel leather bound book.
I bought linen covered buttons, some tins and some books that had textural covers.
I picked up a german book and a bunch of chandelier crystals.
After I saw the cool vintage jewelry that Rhonna bought, I found this brooch and couldn't pass it up.
One of my favorite finds was this pocket camera from WWII.
I also bought a couple of house # porcelain and metal signs and a bunch of pen nibs to use in collage as well as some cool boxes, more keys and a tiny pocket watch.
The day before we left for Paris, Mike's ortho doctor read his MRI and told him he had a stress fracture of his right tibia just above the ankle.
He hadn't been able to run or put much weight on his ankle for about a month before we left but he was determined to run this marathon so the doctor set him up with an inflatable cast, refused to give him pain meds and told him that if it hurt enough to make him limp, he should stop running.
None of us thought he would make it.
We had all these contingencies in place so that we could get to him when he had to drop out.
Kelly ran with him and carried a cell phone to call us when it got too painful.
At 10km I called Kelly and asked how he was doing and Kelly told me it didn't look good.
At 20km I called Kelly and he said the same thing.
At 30km I called Kelly and he repeated that again.
And although his time was not pretty and he looked like a dancing monkey (Mike's description of himself) crossing the finish line, he crossed it.
I'm pretty proud of him.
And thanks Kelly, he couldn't have done it without you!
Here are some other shots of the marathon.
Breakfast: since Mike is lactose intolerant, he had pasta for breakfast.
The runners lined up in front of the Arc de Triomphe
The were 4 man urinals up and down the route - something these guys got really excited about.
A show of solidarity before the race. Brad, Kelly's BIL also from Utah, came over to run it too.
Megan, one of the BYU students, who had only trained for a month and the most she had ever run before was 8 miles, finished the marathon ahead of all the men.
There were 35,000 runners - and 150,000 spectators. The crowds were unbelieveable! Bands all over the place and so many runners in costumes who ran the entire race in their costumes.
And trash! The streets were lined with water bottles and GU wrappers. Along the route you had to be watching or you'd get beaned in the head by a flying water bottle.
Yesterday I got a chance to read Shimelle & Rhonna's blogs and check out their pictures which are, of course, AMAZING!
Shimelle was teaching in Paris, so she came and stayed one night at the same hotel that Rhonna and I stayed at. We spent an afternoon out on the town, enjoying each other's company, shooting pictures and eating some of the local faire.
I really like this shot that Rhonna took of me.
We helped Shimelle get to the train station the next day so she could head back to London. That's where we met up with the infamous gypsy pickpocket.
It was so fun to spend a day with all 3 of us together. Shimelle is delightful!
The last week or so in Paris, I switched over from Pain au chocolat (croissant like pastry with dark chocolate in it) to croissants with jam for breakfast. So yummy.
First off - have to say I LOVE LOVE LOVE that direct flight from Paris to Salt Lake City.
It is so easy! Which is what we needed since we had 7 suitcases and 7 carryons for the 4 of us.
Leaving the hotel, I'm sure the staff were just rolling their eyes at the excess American lugguge!
The morning after a trip abroad is when the REGRETS are the strongest.
I wish I had taken more pictures.
I wish I had bought more at the flea markets.
I wish I had stayed longer.
I wish I had gone to more museums.
I wish I had packed up our friends and brought them home with us. :o)
The Pattersons, or very best friends, are staying for another 5 weeks in a little town a few hours south of Paris. Our original plan a couple of years ago was for the boys and I to rent a house/apt nearby them and spend this time there with them. But, alas, it's Spencer's junior year and he has all his AP & IB tests to take next month and we didn't want to damage his collegiate future by not being here for him to take them.
I already miss the Pattersons. They are such amazing people! Quite a few members of Jeanene's extended family were in Paris while we were there and I loved getting to know them better. I am going to miss our daily group excursions very much.
BUT...I can say, being back in Utah - hooray for this state's good hair climate! Nice and dry.
I got up at 4AM and couldn't wait to shower and style my hair. Silly huh?
But I had AWFUL hair in Paris! Way too much humidity and my hair was FerREAKing out!
You'll see lots of bad hair pics over the next couple of weeks as I post shots from our trip.
Last night I had a cup of Chocalat Chaud - the deep dark hot chocolate - in my cute little chocolate glasses that I brought home and dunked my Petite Bureurre cookies in it - soooo delish!
Rhonna and I each bought a can of the chocolate flakes - mine is super dark with 70% cocoa.
So...while I'm trying to get back in the game, here are some shots from our last day in Paris when we went to the flea markets up at Clingnancourt.
Here they have all the new touristy stuff in a flea market style and just down the street are all the permanent flea market stalls which are a labyrinth of alley ways with tiny little shops that have garage doors. I don't like this flea market near as well as the other two that we went to and I only bought a couple of things down here.
This morning was our last day in Paris and we spent the morning at the flea market up at Porte Clingnancourt. It was very cold and very rainy but I still managed to find a couple of things. I picked up a round metal sign and some old keys.
I wish I had a way to ship furniture over because there was SO MUCH I would have loved to buy. Some really cool warehouse tables and old benches as well as stools and loads of french provential chairs. And the wardrobes - soooooo amazing.
I can't wait to post some the pictures from the 3 different flea markets that we went to. They were all very different. This last one is a labyrinth of little shops that have garage doors that open up. It was difficult with the weather and lack of light to get some really good pictures of the area.
Yesterday we spent the day at a chateau in the town of Chantilly. The horse stables look like they should be the castle, they are so grand. We also went to the horse show which was listed as "horse theatre scenes." It was very interesting with lots of great horsemanship and tricks. The chateau belonged to a Duke and Duchess and sits up with a moat and lake surrounding it.
Time to go pack up and see if all the stuff I bought will fit in our suitcases. Our goal is not to have to buy another suitcase.