Les Invalides, Napoleon’s Tomb (L), Le Tour Eiffel and Rodin’s Le Penseur (R). Hôtel Biron, where A. Rodin lived and now a museum devoted to his work.

Six weeks in Paris. Alone. Studio. 3rd floor walk-up. No elevator.

Admit it, right now you’re thinking, shouldn’t she have done this 40 years ago?

But, here’s the thing. C’est dommage. I didn’t.

I joined others for a wine/cheese tasting at Galeries Lafayette led by Thierry Givone, Wine Tasting in Paris.

Galeries Lafayette is a magnificent department store in downtown Paris.

Now, three weeks into the journey, I am surprised by its so-far-so-good success. This trip was no whim but a dream which finally evolved into a now-or never-moment. I chose “now” with the caveat being a United Airlines return ticket in my backpack.

Paris-Brest, Brasserie Bofinger, 5-7 Rue de la Bastille. Four years ago my French Fridays with Dorie cooking group made the dessert pastry, Paris-Brest. I had no idea what it was or looked like at the time. So at lunch last week, I ordered it. And, ate the whole thing!

It was in February, 2014, that Paris-Brest was our recipe choice one week. This is what I made. I remember it being good enough to share.

For le plat principal, the main course at Bofinger’s, I had Scallops with creamy risotto in thick shellfish sauce.

At this point in my life I’m experiencing Paris through seasoned eyes and with layers of learning as baggage. I’m grateful for each moment here. It was satisfying, for me at least, to capture all together Rodin’s Le Penseur, Les Invalides and Le Tour Eiffel in my lens (photo above). Each of those images which represents three centuries of world history are something special to see.

Friday night I met my friends from Edinburgh, Araminta and Charles Ritchie. for dinner at the home of Susannah and Philippe Saint-Loubert. The Saint-Loubert’s were very gracious to include me.

Susannah is a wonderful cook. She made a variation of Coq Au Vin but it was her sauce that was truly authentic, delicious and red in color as it should be. Charles and Susannah

I understand that the dessert, Génoise roulée, was from a recipe of Araminta’s but baked by Susannah. With or without fruit, perfect.

With the hits, of course, have been misses. On Day 2 it took 45 minutes for me to find a boulongerie that was only three blocks away. I went the wrong way on the metro but turned myself around at the next stop. The graffiti defacing Paris’s beautiful buildings breaks my heart. And it’s obvious the French haven’t received the memo about cigarettes. If secondhand smoke kills you, I’m a dead woman!

Last week I spent a day each at Musée Louvre, d’Orsay and Rodin. At the d’Orsay there is an specific area reserved for students to work and draw.

There are always student groups at the museums. I realized I could understand what the guides were saying to the youngsters. Sometimes I hung out with the kids. No one seemed to mind.

The guides who talk to the kids keep it simple and entertaining.

This little guy resides in this pipe at the Hôtel Biron among Rodin’s art work, rent free. He’s a very cold french sparrow!

Every night I put together the next day’s plan but even so, there’s still uncertainty, a new address to find, a snafu here or there. Whether I’m deciphering a French menu, losing my way or figuring out the Paris metro system, I know it doesn’t matter how slowly I go, eventually I’ll get there. Sharing it with you makes it even better.

On Saturday at Georges Larnicol’s, a chocolatier on my street, they needed to deliver a large chocolate Easter sculpture. The delivery car was smaller than the sculpture.

There was lots and lots and lots of discussion while the girls held the heavy and fragile chocolate sculpture.

Then they tried to load it into the hatchback. Nope. Hopeless. The last I saw of them, they were taking the chocolate sculpture back into the shop.


  1. says

    Happy Easter! I’m loving experiencing your adventure vicariously! I can’t wait to see what you do next week. I had the same experience with my French comprehension (child-level). xo

  2. Ardyth Sohn says

    Omg—- the silver wine bottle holders on the chic dinner table—-we both need those…lol, but who are your hunky boyfriends in the earlier pic? Oooo la la. I think that bunny ate wayyyy too many carrots …..wonderful times you’re having !

  3. Ellen says

    Love Living Paris through you and your adventures! Great pics!
    Poor bunny might not make it to dinner in time! Guess they need a good ol’ American pick up truck and sit in the back bed with it! Enjoy the Louvre! Why are all the Cafe chairs the exact same style andcyou can’t hang your purse on them? Lol!
    I ageee with you on the 2nd hand smoke!

  4. Nancy Miller says

    What an experience you are having, Mary. Love your sense of adventure and it’s great living in Paris thru your trip!

  5. says

    Happy Easter, Mary!!! I love your updates—-such adventures! I love the glimpses of Paris you’re sharing with us all! xoxo

  6. Cathy And Fred says

    Those girls with the chocolate look like mimes! And are you sure that’s not a goldfinch in that pipe?

  7. Donna Grauer says

    You are having an epic trip and I agree you are tres ready for it. I am waiting excitedly for your museums post and hoping our mythology class will show up in your narrative.

  8. says

    So true what they say, a picture says a thousand words. Good Looking Dude at the Wine and Cheese Tasting too. LOL. I truly love the D’Orsay and for many years I had a small stack of postcards of favorite paintings there. Lovely days and experiences you’ve shared on this wonderful trip. I’m so happy to feel transported to the journey.

  9. says

    I’m so enjoying your adventures in Paris! My great-aunt travelled the world in her sixties and seventies, having a wonderful time and enjoying it all the more for her lifetime of experience. Any time in life is the right time to travel. I wouldn’t go back to youth hostel days, though I enjoyed them at that stage.

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