Sunday, July 04, 2010

Tour Eiffel

The people from the first level.

Overall, I'm a terrible tourist. My hotel in Paris is about five blocks from the Eiffel Tower and I've never been.

I've seen the tower from the street. In the neighborhood, you can't miss it day or night. It towers and looms over the 7th and at night the tower is illuminated, and with the strobes looks absolutely magical. So close and yet I never took the time to visit.

It's one of those things that I would get around to doing. Someday. No worries. Maybe. How cool it would be to see Paris at night from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Someday.

Walking - what was I thinking?

Truth be told, I'm kinda happy with just seeing it from a distance. It's mysterious that way. Mythical even. If it weren't for Ana I might never have gone.

We're on a sort of quest to find a replacement folding fan for her Tia Cristy. Evidently, they have these fans at the Eiffel Tower gift shop when they were here last year. Thunderstorms had just rolled through the city and when we arrived at the Tower, the crowds were surprisingly small and the lines relatively short.

Sometimes I'm just not paying attention and I certainly wasn't when I spied the one entry portal that had no line.

La Defense in the distance.

Robert et Louise

Ana and the Cote du Boeuf pour 2 personnes.

There's one restaurant I've visited every time I've been to Paris and it's Robert et Louise. To be honest, I'm convinced that American Beef is superior to French Beef. Not that the French beef isn't good, because it is. I've just found American beef to be better in both texture and flavor, especially the pastured beef I buy locally back home.

But that doesn't stop me from continually exploring French Beef because, well, I could be wrong. And it certainly isn't that much of a hardship trying to prove myself wrong.

Angelique Bordeaux

This means we're back in the Marais visiting the hallowed Robert et Louise and their fireplace cooked Cote du Boeuf with blood sausage. Somehow, I can't get enough.

I could write more but I think the photos speak for themselves. The blood sausage is still some of the best I've had anywhere, the melon was super fresh and those golden potatoes were killer.

This is how we celebrated The Fourth of July.

Escargots les 6.

Boudin Noir

Sam and Sasha.

Rillettes d'Oie (80%)

Jambon et Melon

Preparing our salad.

Where the magic happens.

The Fat.


Pommes Sautees.


Paris Non-Stop

There is little doubt in my mind, the TGV is faster than the Thalys, but first class in Thalys is better than TGV. Both EuroStar and Thalys first class offer free food and beverage service, the French leave you to fend for themselves. But no train service seems to understand the meaning of "comfortably cool" because I found the entire train journey in Europe to be borderline uncomfortably hot.

Someday soon I'll have the time to sit down and post about the journey so far. London, Amsterdam, Avignon, Gordes, Paris - all amazing places. Some lessons: the British are not as hospitable as their reputation, the French are more friendly than their reputation, the Dutch have amazing amounts of marijuana and I've returned to my neighborhood hotel in Paris to find it "W"-fied with chic decor, colors, textures and seriously nice mattresses. With new decor, new staff and new beds, one wonders if it will be as memorable as ever - at least one of the front desk people remembers me and has given me another warm welcome. It's good to be home.