Saturday, May 05, 2012

For all of May, MELBOURNE OUR HOME is in recess while we are in France for the month of May.

A Paris scene.
Thursday 10.30 am and we stroll across the road from home to the airport shuttle bus stop - sounds early for a 3.45 pm flight doesn't it? It's raining so I drive Sue to the the pickup point with the bags, drive back and with umbrella in hand start running back as a gust of wind turns it inside out. Panic sets in as I see the bus arrive and the bags being loaded. I'm at the traffic lights that seem to be endlessly on red. I had visions of Sue lying in front of the bus in a puddle of water yelling - no, not without my husband but no need as the bus was early anyway.

We have to be at Melbourne airport 3 hours before the flight and the shuttle bus takes around 1.5 hours to get to there. So!!!! That's about 5 hours from our front door before we leave Melbourne soil.
They had better have some great movies.

That was Thursday in Melbourne and now it is Friday after something like 36 hours door to door, we are finally in Paris and start our "FRANCE in MAY" holiday. We met up with the girls, Carly (my daughter) and Sharn at the Singapore airport bar for drinks before boarding the 17 hour 2nd leg to Paris. This is an horrendous experience but there's no other way.

The shuttle bus driver at Charles de Gaulle was waiting for us with my name written on a piece of cardboard. He took us to the  Hotel du College de France in the Sorbonne on the Left Bank, recommended to us by fellow bloggers Ken and Walt.
Because it was still mid-morning we left our bags and decided on a walk to show the girls some of the area around the hotel.

The doorway to our hotel for two nights. Hotel du College de France.
Inside the foyer is Jean d'Arc lighting our way to our rooms and hopefully  four wonderful weeks  in France.
From our hotel balcony we have this view - maybe if the weather turns to sunny, we can enjoy a glass of wine here overlooking the comings and goings of the locals.

Our first trip to Paris was in 2006 and we stayed in Rue Gay Lussac near the Luxembourg Gardens so we walked firstly to Place Sorbonne where we had a petit dejeuner at a particular cafe/tabac we have been to in 2006. Would you believe the same waiter served us today six years on from that first time. The owner has had the Cafe/Tabac for 20 years he told us.

We then wandered on to Luxembourg Gardens for a bit of "serenity". I don't think you can ever spend too much time here. It's a place to get away from the hustle bustle of the Paris traffic and crowds. With spring, the gardens are showing it colours. There's the floral colours of pink and mauve tulips against the greens of the trees and grass. May is a good time on this side of the globe. Then spring in most places is!

We join the locals for breakfast at Place de la Sorbonne.
A pigeon with no respect vids a place to rest on the head of this statue.
As rain clouds were looming, we left the Luxembourg Gardens for the Pantheon. We skirted to the left and down a narrow cobbled street to discover a scene from "Midnight in Paris", the Woody Allen directed movie. It was the scene where the main character met Scott Fitzgerald in an old 30s vehicle heading up the hill. The car stops and Fitzgerald invites him to come along and meet his friends including Earnest Hemingway.

The tulips bloom in Jardin Luxembourg.
The colours of spring with mauve tulips and green leafy trees .
Spring is certainly in the air.
Looking from Jardin Luxembourg towards the Pantheon - turnaround  and there's glimpses of the Eiffel Tower.
We decided to stop several steps down the street for an early lunch of generously laden ham, cheese, tomato with mayonnaise rolls (sandwiches) which was washed down with a glass of wine. Opposite was a small restaurant that we promised each other that we would return for our night meal.

We all agreed that this was the location of that magic scene when the church bells  rang at midnight and Scott Fitzgerald opens the door of the vintage Rolls and invites the hero of Woody Allen's movie "Midnight in Paris" on an a life changing venture. If you haven't seen the movie yet, you must soon.
I can't resist chucking in a picture of a car or bicycle. This is what I call "clever  graffiti".
Especially if its a Citroen.
And another Citroen of the D Series variety.
Feeling the effects of a 36 hour journey from Australia we went back to the hotel with the hope that they would now be ready for us. As we walked in to the lobby, Andrew our son and his girlfriend Ashley were waiting for us. Being tired and slightly grubby, we cleaned up with showers and some rest - that is until the girls knocked on the door for me to take them for a walk. First stop, Shakespeare and Company book shop, then Notre Dame on I'sle de Cite an then I'sle St. Louis for a Gelato, Hotel Sens and then to discover the many shops in Village Saint Paul in the Marais.
As we left the Marais, the heavens opened so we rushed into a cafe/bar where the girls enjoyed a hot chocolate and me - well I thought a glass of Bordeaux more to my liking.

Carly and Sharn emerge from Shakespeare and Company thrilled with their first trip to Paris.
Oh My God - we are really in Paris.
Locks of love on the Pont behind Notre Dame.
I wonder what the Voters will say this weekend!!!
After a further kip it was time for dinner at the earlier discovered Restaurant, La Methode (2 Rue Descartes. Well worth the visit in our opinion as they had Confit de Canard on the menu, something of a tradition on past first nights in Paris.

As I post this, I can hardly keep my eyes open and its time for bed. I wonder what the next four weeks will have in store for us. We certainly packed a lot into our first day.

Saturday June 5
15 degrees in Paris with 70% chance of rain as we awake on Sue's Birthday - 


  1. Happy, Happy Birthday Sue may this not only be a big one, but a great one to remember. Glad that you are here and all is well. I hate the Ozz flight from Europe to Ozz, I have said I will never do it again unless I can afford the best seats on the plane! Still waiting for that lottery win!! Have a great time, hope the weather clears and see you soon. Diane

  2. How exciting.Can't believe you packed so much into one day. Sounds wonderful.

  3. Happy Birthday to Sue! I am amazed at the amount of energy you had after 36 hours of travelling.

  4. 9 hours time difference, but same day for a change. Happy birthday Sue!
    I hope you get over your jet lag very soon so you can all have a wonderful time.

  5. Woo hoo Sue! A birthday in Paris. Glad you've landed and living the life. Looking forward to reading all about your exploits. Have a rippa time guys! D&D

  6. Thanks everyone for your kind wishes. I had a wonderful birthday surrounded by family, laughter and of course, Paris. Mitch being there was the only thing that could have made it better. Today, off to Marseille, and hopefully, sunshine. Sue

  7. You've skipped a month with your date Leon..just shows how sleepy you were.

  8. Well ! you've arrived in beautiful Paris and looks like you've wasted no time in being out-and-about in Hemingway's territory ...yes! that's the place where the wonderful yellow Peugot car drives up to meet Gil Pender .... you done well to find it. I'm sure your Birthday celebrations will turn into a week of fabulous treats Sue ...enjoy every minute of it.


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