Paris, France- March 2015

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Paris in the spring time has always been my dream. Well I was a few weeks early, but I still really enjoyed this trip to Paris.

I had been complaining (shocker) about how I always travel alone and maybe it would be nice to travel with friends.  So an idea formed that a group trip would be fun and we started looking at cities that had direct flights and could be entertaining for a weekend. I have traveled extensively thru Europe so I was open to just about any location, my friend Whitney suggested Paris. To be honest, I had been to 3 times, previously and I was just not a fan, but I thought maybe it would be different with friends.  What started out as a large group of people going, ended up as a group of 4.  Whitney, flew up from Nashville and we traveled together to Paris. And then Katy and Russell flew down from Scotland to hang out with us.

When researching activities to do as a group, we can came across a parfum making class at L’Abc du Parfum and a cooking class at Le Foodist.

Given the original size of the group, we were able to secure a private lesson to make the parfum. It ended up just being Whitney and I, but we had a blast. Marina, the instructor was amazing. Her knowledge and explanation of the different scents was just fascinating.  She prepared a sample and explained the process to us. And then we were given the opportunity to make 3 scents of our own.

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The end product? Eau du Flo and Whitney No. 3.  I highly recommend this if you find yourself in Paris. It was an amazing experience.

After parfum making, Whitney had her first taste of the Paris Metro system and we head over to the Champs Elysee.  Where we did a typical Parisian tourist activity,  had a meal on the Champs Elysee and people watched.

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At this point we were tired. Our flight was delayed so we had to rush to our parfum class and we had plans to meet Katy and Russell that night at Moulin Rouge. So we decided to walk back to the hotel. Another rule of traveling with Flo, if I say it’s just up the street, I am probably lying.  My feet still hurt.  After a much-needed siesta, we headed out to meet Katy and Russell.

IMG_3844There were a lot of mixed reviews about Moulin Rouge. I am glad that we went. It was a lot of fun! Definitely an activity to do with friends. Our seats were practically on the stage. Poor Katy kept getting hit with skirts as the performer walked by. They had this amazing roller skating act, that was just wow. And one-act was a women swimming with snakes. Which was neat until one of the snakes tried to escape. And no it was not part of the show, the women’s face was priceless and well as the handlers that came rushing out to contain the snake.  Yes it’s touristy but so worth it.

The next day, we headed out early to go to the top of the Eiffel Tour. There are 3 lines, 2 for the elevator and another for the stairs. Of course we followed the pack into the longest line, until we realized there was no line across the way. We opted to go all the way to the top and it was just amazing.  And then it was time for Whitney’s first Parisian crepe.

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Properly sated, we head off on the tourist bus to check out the major sites. It was a beautiful day in Paris, so we sat upstairs on the double-decker. So we lasted until we hit the shopping area.  Looking back we probably should have stayed on the bus. I know my credit card would have appreciated that. Lucky for us the Euro was low against the Dollar. So when you took into consideration the Vat refund, it was almost a 1 for 1 situation. And buying French products in France just makes sense. I mean per Katy logic, you should always purchase items from country of origin. I completely agree.

That night we headed over to Cafe du Trocadero. It has amazing views of the Eiffel Tower, which does a light show on the hour in the evening for about 5 minutes. And then took a cruise along the Seine.

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Sunday morning we head out for our cooking class. It was suggested that we do it on Sunday, as smaller shops tend to be closed on Sundays.  Our research led up to Le Foodist. Fred, the chef, instructed us on how to make a starter, main dish and dessert.  We made Salmon Tartare on Soja infused Turnip, Coq au Vin and Poached Pear with vanilla ice cream and Chocolate sauce.

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I am the first one to admit that I can burn boiled water, so I was extremely surprised that the meal turned out with my involvement. We were a group of 8 working with Fred. And he was very detailed in his instruction. He shared interesting history about french cuisine.  I thoroughly enjoyed this class and highly recommend it to anyone looking for something fun to do in Paris.

We rounded out our Sunday afternoon with a little sightseeing. Including a hair-raising taxi ride to Sacré-Cœur. Lucky for us the taxi dropped us off a the top. I am not sure I could have handle the steps to the top.

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And then it was time to come home. We managed to pack a lot into 2 1/2 days in Paris. While it did not go down as it was originally planned, I believe it worked out exactly as it should have in the end.  With travel comes the need for flexibility, especially when traveling with a group. And who knew, I might have actually finally warmed up to Paris.

À bientôt, j’espère Paris

 

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