Europe 2016

Heidi and I discussed where we should go for our autumn vacation.  I really wanted to get back to Europe since it had been two years.  Heidi agreed, but coming up with a good place to go in October/November took some negotiations.  Of course I wanted to go into the mountains, but the weather would have been predictably bad.  Too cold for the beaches.



We bought our tickets.  I called the CX season short.  We lost Lulu.  It was time to go.


10/27 to 10/28

4:45 am über to Sea-Tac


6:39 flight to DFW.


5 hour layover at the massive airport. 90 degrees outside and lame inside.

Brutal 9:15 hr flight. Arrived in Paris to cloudy/foggy. Long line for immigration.

Easy RER to Chatalet, then metro to Saint Paul. Easily got in our VRBO.


Beautiful place. Unpacked. Took showers, changed clothes. Went to King Falafel for lunch.  Back to apt for nap.



Got up and walked to Orange at Hotel de Ville for SIM cards. Also grocery shopping. Made pasta for an exhausted Heidi.I think that gave her some energy and she wanted to go out and get a drink.  So we walked to Le Saint-Régis on Ile Saint-Louis.


Heidi had a caipirinha and I had absinthe.  It was midnight.  Bedtime.


10/29. Friday.

Woke up early.  Didn’t leave the apartment until after 10:00.



Walked past the Pompidou Center, had breakfast at a great place, Le Pain Quotidien Victoires where I had Belgian Waffles and hot chocolate.  Heidi had a chocolate croissant and coffee.



Afterwards we walked through the Jardin du Palais Royal.  For a gray morning, it was beautiful.




Walked to Galleries Layfette. Shopped.

Back to our place.




Walked over near the Bastille.  It was slightly wet and cool.  Saw some amazing cheese shops.


Ate steak and ravioli at Chez Josephine.



Up relatively early.


Jewish bakery for cinnamon roll/coffee.

Walked north to the Enfants Rouge area and found the Enfants Rouge Market.




It was amazing.  We were slightly early and not hungry, but vowed to come back soon.  We kept going and continuously marvel at the architecture of Paris.  Just gorgeous, everywhere we went.


Kept walking…


Montmartre in the beautiful sun.



Got sandwiches and drinks and ate on the steps of Sacre Coeur. Watched a comedian in the street.  He was hilarious.  Then this super strong guy began performing.  Here he is climbing a light pole.  What an athlete!


Metro to Arc d’Triumphe.



Walked Champs d’Elysees.


Dinner at Chez Marianne (vegetarian middle eastern).



Metro to Eiffel Tower and ate breakfast at a street front seat restaurant.


Walked around the tower, across the river and to a metro.


Went to Gare Montparnasse and took the train to Gare de Montfort l’Amaury Mere. There, we took a 15 minute Über to the Thiory zoo. Eric had arranged free zoo tickets. He weather was warm and sunny.






Also toured the Chateau- built during the Renaissance. 1550?  Amazing


Über back to Monfort, train back to Montparnasse. Walked back to the Luxembourg Garden and had a beer. Walked through St. Germain. Metro back to Le Marais.

Ate dinner at Le Marche. It was just okay.


Rouge Enfants for coffee, brioche and raspberry/chocolate coissant.

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Ate Moroccan food at the market. It was actually pretty cold.  But the food was hot and good!

Heidi shopped.





Walked to Tulleries to meet Ariane Hohmann (Heidi’s cousin’s daughter) and her friend for lunch.  It was really great to see her.  We had a good time hanging out.

After, Heidi had a cold so we went back to the apt and I went grocery shopping and made pasta.


This is the door to our apartment.  Pretty neat and different than you would see in Seattle.


This was one of my favorite things I saw while we were in Paris.


Slept in until 10. Heidi was feeling pretty lousy with a cold. We ate some bread and Nutella and icy OJ for breakfast at our apartment.  The freezer door latch had broken and the fridge was a bit too cold.  But we love icy OJ.


We walked around the Marais, did some shoe shopping and ate crepes on our block.  SO GOOD!

We walked around Le BHV Marais for a few hours.  For a department store, it is pretty great.

We took the Metro to the 9th for Estampe Moderne etc Sportive, where the owner spent about two hours showing us some amazing posters.  Some day we are going to buy one.



We ate lunch at Pret A Manger (great, but not very adventurous). Did some clothes shopping. Dinner at Thai place down the street. Relaxed at home.


Slept horribly due to Heidi’s cold and some stress about the election.


Woke up late to beautiful sunshine. Had a yummy breakfast.

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Walked to Cemeterie Pete Lachaise. Beautiful.

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There were a few powerful grave sites, but this one was one of them.  He was an artist at Charie Hebdo and was known as Tignous.  It was pretty sad.  The other one was a young woman who was killed at Bataclan.  So tragic.


Two hours later we emerged, ate pizza and pasta at an Italian restaurant.


Metro to St. Germain and the left bank.


Stopped for a beer near the Luxembourg Gardens.  It was right after work hours and we watched thousands of people walk by on their way home.  I LOVE PARIS.

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Walked to the Ritz and drank at both the Ritz Bar and the Hemingway Bar. Took the Metro home.

TV, sandwich, bed.  What an amazing day.  One of the best!


Slept better. Up relatively early. Rain in the forecast.


Walked to Les Halles area for breakfast. It began raining, so we walked around in the rain.


Found a couple more passages.  These are really cool- great restaurants, art and clothing stores, etc.  They are out of the rain, but still cold when walking around.


Found a new arc de triumphe. Metro back to le Marais, bought sandwiches and ate lunch at the flat to dry out and warm up. 45 degrees and rain.


Took a short nap. Went back out in the rain to Galleries Layfette for shoe shopping, to no avail.


Sat in a brasserie and had a happy hour beer. Metro to Ille St Louis and had dinner. Bed by 10:00.

Saturday, 11/5

Woke up late, out of flat by 10:30.


Breakfast of coissants and coffee/hot chocolate.

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Walked past Notre Dame and through the Latin Quarter to Luxembourg Garden.

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Sat in sun by fountain.

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Walked to Les Deux Magots for lunch. Ate and drank outside in the sun. Croque Madame, green bean salad. Basked in the sun.

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Walked across the river and did a slow shopping walk along the Rue des Lombards and Rue de la Verrerie. Got felafels to go at Felafel King (new to us) and ate in at our apartment. Went to bed relatively early.

Sunday 11/6

Woke up and packed, walked a few blocks west and north and had a nice breakfast.


Metro to Gare du Nord and took the Eurostar to London.  It was amazing.  Over 200 mph.


Once at St. Pancras, we took the Tube to Charing Cross.


Here’s the building we stayed in.  It was great- centrally located and pretty dang nice.

Met our flat person and then walked to Coventry Garden.


Bought a coat and scarf at Ted Baker. Had a beer at Nag’s Head. Very crowded and loud and fun.


Walked back toward our flat and ate a quick meal at Itsu. Heidi loved it. Then we walked to SOHO and had another beer.  Got fish and chips as a snack.  Back to the flat for an early bed and long sleep.

Monday. 11/7

Woke up and had coffee and muffins at a small cafe just down the street. Walked across the river and took a ride on the Eye. Then walked up river (east side) to the Tate Modern. Ate lunch at Wagamama. Heidi went back to the Tate and I went to the Imperial War Museum. We both loved our sites. She walked and met me and we walked past Westminster and went to the Rapha store. Shopped and walked around the Carnaby area. Had a wine/beer at a pub. Had Thai food for dinner.

Tuesday 11/8.

Walked to Burroughs market and had coffee. I got a veggie pie, mashers and gravy. Tube ride to Harrods. Looked around for an hour, then walked to Dominique Ansel Bakery and had delicious November’s Croighnut and I had a huge cookie. Tuned home, took a nap and shower, then had an early dinner at Dishoon. So good!  Came home and chilled and I got hungry late and had some Herman ze German. Bed. Trump. Ugh.

Wednesday 11/9

Languished in the Trump disaster, walked to Covent Garden for a light breakfast. It was rainy and windy, so we went back to the flat for a short time. Then we wandered out and walked and talked. Ended up walking to Liberty London, checked out the amazing store, then had pizza and calzones for lunch. Walked back to the flat. Chilled.  Walked to a pub near Covent Garden and had a Guinness. Went to Ben Sherman and bought some shoes. Dinner at Wagamama local. Back to the flat for the last night in London.


Thursday, 11/10.

Woke up and packed and walked to a bakery for breakfast.  Then took the tube to Pancras Station, where we boarded the Eurostar at noon.  We arrived in Paris Gare du Nord around 1530 and made our way to the Hotel De Lutèce on Île Saint-Louis.  The room had been recommended by Gina and it was great.  Our room was tiny- the bed took up 50% of the room.  It was perfect.  Clean, warm and cozy.  Heidi walked down to La Chaumière en l’Isle for a drink while I figured out how to get our boarding passes for the next day.  I met her and had a drink.  By then it was raining pretty hard.  We walked across the Pont Saint-Louis and Pont de l’Archevêché bridges to the left bank.  We then walked along the Quai de Montebello and I took some photos of Notre Dame.  We ducked into the neighborhood looking for a restaurant.  It began raining hard.  We ducked under an overhang and I leaned against a building wall that had just been painted with a white oil based paint.  The entire back of my new coat was covered.  It didn’t matter.  It was raining and we were in Paris.  We walked to Cafe de Paris on Rue de Buci.  It was delicious.  I had Coq au vin.  Heidi had salmon with mashed potatoes.  The two together were amazing.

We walked back to our hotel across the Ile de la Cité.  The rain had stopped but it was cold.  Almost no one was on the island.  The city was golden and black.  We were tired and went back to our cozy room.


The next morning we got up, took the metro to the RER, which zipped us out to CDG.  We did some last minute shopping at the airport and had a great flight home.  The Uber ride home felt like we were floating through the air.  Getting back to our home felt great and going to bed at 7 pm was the best.  I always love returning from home from Europe.  We missed Lulu.