Lions & Tigers & Macarons – Oh My!

We’re actually in New York this week, catching up with some friends and family on our way back to Seattle. I’ll post as much as I can, but we have a little less downtime than we’ve had in the past 5 months, so bear with me! It’s also taken a few days to adjust to the time difference, but the jet lag is far easier coming back than it was going over.

In the meantime, I’ll wrap up our last days in Paris.

Some of the best days we had in Paris (and really, on the whole trip) were ones where we wandered around and saw different neighborhoods. It’s also great because these days are usually super easy on the budget, and that’s always nice. There were quite a few things that I still wanted to see and to show Jared in Paris, so I mapped out a walking plan and we set out.

We started at the Arc de Triomphe, and then walked down the Champs Élysées, through Saint-Germain-des-Prés and ended up in Le Marais. Ambitious, maybe, but we are walkers.

Bonjour!

Jared doing his best Mr. Footlong impression

One activity that we did that I didn’t blog about was our visit to the Musée D’Orsay during our first week in town. It’s my favorite museum in Paris, by far. They don’t allow photos, which is why I didn’t blog about it, but it’s a must see for any visit to Paris. The building itself is a work of art – a beautiful converted train station – and the museum houses the largest collection of Impressionist works in the world.

Musée D'Orsay

The reason I dragged Jared to Saint-Germain-des-Prés was that I was dying to visit Deyrolle, a fantastical shop full of taxidermy animals. I wish I could have taken pictures in this place – do yourself a favor and check out the pictures on their website. The shop was badly damaged by fire in 2008 but has since been restored to it’s original glory. I know it’s a bit weird, and everyone may not have the stomach for stuffed dead animals, but it was also infinitely interesting. When we were there, they had one room of animals all posed around an enormous dinner table, like something out of Alice in Wonderland (complete with birds and bats flying above); definitely something you don’t see every day.

me and a snowcat

We had originally wanted to hit up a Pierre Hermé, since we had it on good authority that they had the best macarons in town (and we were in Paris, we HAD to get some), but somehow missed the one we were trying to find. Luckily, we stumbled upon Ladurée whilst wandering St. Germain, so we settled for those instead (the Pierre Hermé vs. Ladurée debate sounds similar to the “who has the best slice of pizza” debate in NYC). They were pretty tasty, and had some cool combos. My favorite was cassis-violet, but we also liked vanilla-grapefruit.

We wandered around a bit more and then headed across the river to the Marais. We stopped for a moment to admire the sunset view of the Seine, the Hôtel de Ville (mayor’s office), and even spy another Space Invader and some political commentary.

Space Invader!

Hôtel de Ville

outside the Hôtel de Ville

We decided that since we were out so late, we should just grab dinner in the Marais, so we checked out a few quaint streets and the Place des Vosges, and then tucked into the best felafel we’ve ever had. There are a lot of felafel places in one strip, so we picked the one with the longest line of people waiting for takeout and were handsomely rewarded.

Marais

Place des Vosges

Place des Vosges

It was another great day of exploring a beautiful city on foot. Then on the way home, we saw two more Fred Le Chevaliers!

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