Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Paris, Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday in Paris was by far my favorite of all the days.

Remember that little meltdown I had the previous day because the real Paris didn't match the Paris I had created in my mind?

Well, Thursday we found the Paris that fit the exact description of the one in my dreams.

We started out the day by heading to Montmartre. A district to the north of Notre Dame. It also just happens to be the fabric district (said in a sing songy voice) and the home of the Sacre Coeur which is a wonderfully semi-new (well in Paris standards), beautifully architectural church atop a little hill. The church is surrounded by cobble stone streets and quaint houses and shops.

I thought all of Paris was going to look this way. In my brain I had not expected Paris to be metropolized, which DUH! Of course it's going to have a more modern feels in the center of Paris, but I hadn't taken it into account. So the paved roads and the fast traffic really threw me.

But Montmartre is different.

Before we even made it up to Sacre Coeur we had to walk right through the heart of the fabric shops. These fabric shops aren't like ANYTHING in the states. It is literally wall to wall, floor to ceiling bolts of fabric.

This is how much space you had to walk between the isles

Most of the fabrics in Montmartre are apparel and home decor fabric. The other thing about the fabrics is they were expensive!

In Les Tissues I stumbled, quite literally, over a wonderful laminated fabric. It was 28 euros a meter so I thought I would get half a meter. Oh no. The shop owner would not allow it. "You get one meter.", he ordered me in a thick french accent. You really can't argue much with small, french men. So one meter it was.

I also got one meter of a wonderfully bright, gray, pink, and green fabric. (I really should take pictures....maybe another post)

Immediately next door to Les Tissues is another fabric store. And then beyond that one yet another one. Then if you turn the corner you hit a street that has no less than 5 fabric stores all right next door to one another. It was pretty fun.

Kevin was really good about letting me go in a take my time. Especially in Dreyfus-Marché St. Pierre, a multi-level store that is simply glorious. My favorite part of the store were the small mannequins (probably about 2 1/2 feet high) that had sample clothing that you could make with the fabric it was modeling above.
This mannequin was a bit bigger but I loved the skirt.

Fabric shopping makes you hungry. We bought a few sandwiches from a little shop and took them to eat on the steps of the church. 

This was our view during lunch if we looked in front of us

That's Notre Dame and the Pantheon. Our hotel was between the two.

This was our view if we turned around

Heavenly, No?

Wanting to explore the district a bit more we took a side street next to the church. Lucky us, we ran right into a bridal photo shoot. I fell in love with the dress

Plus can you even imagine having this location be your photo shoot?

Um, yes, excuse me. I'd like to fly my family out here for our next family picture thank you very much!

As it is, you will have to do with me
Oh those cobble stone streets! This is what MY Paris looks like.

Wandering the streets

we found a darling little painters market.

You can find original works of art all over Paris, but here, they were not mass produced like some others. Plus the location of the market was in a little plaza between some darling buildings. 
This was the building where Renault built the first French automobile.

 This place completely healed my soul from the day before. 

It was time to leave Montmartre, but I have things all planned out for the next time we visit Paris and you can bet Montmartre is high on the list.

Because the day before's drama we decided to try the Champs Elysees again. No luck with the clothes however, we did get a good laugh out of the whole thing. Just refer to my post It's better to hear it from me first .

After the mirror incident, and Kevin composed himself enough to walk straight, we went to the Pantheon which happened to be very close to our hotel. 

It was big and old and, unfortunately, because we were at the end of our trip it kind of blended in with all the other big and old buildings and I didn't get a single picture of it. 

I also did not get a picture of the Jardin du Luxembourg. It really is a very lovely garden on the estate of a castle/mansion. But again, by then we were both SO tired that we just sat by the beautiful pond and soaked in the scenery not even thinking to document the moment.

From there we went back to "our place" in the Latin Quarter one last time.

Our Favorite little crepe shop
The street of "Our Place" so we know just where to return
Trying to take full advantage of our last night in Paris we returned to Ile Saint-Louis for the best ice cream around and ate it on the river bank just across form Notre Dame. It was a perfect ending to an amazing vacation.

See how tired we look. Happy, but worn out!
Our view while eating ice cream on the banks of the Seine


my rebel took over said...

Loved reading about all your adventures. I'm living vicariously through you at this moment. We went to Germany three years ago, and made it into France (for business) for one day. We went to Metz. It was beautiful driving there, but it started pouring rain, so we didn't really get to enjoy it at all.

jillian said...

NOW i am wishing I could see all that fabric! So memorable! Love It!

April Weeks said...

I'm so glad it was what you had dreamed about. It sounds and looks fabulous.

Tobi said...

I love the happy twinkle in your eyes in today's pictures.

Chrissy said...

le sigh. I love all the picture of the bolts of fabric, and you should definitely post pictures of what you got. It's been so fun to hear all the details of your trip and see all the pictures. Thanks for sharing. :)