We promised our niece Britney we would take her overseas (first time), to a city of her choosing (just like we did for her little sister Maddie, two years ago). Britney picked London and Jay and I added Paris since we wanted to ride the Eurostar train that travels across the English Channel. Looking back I wish we would have stayed a little longer in London, but that gives a a reason to visit again.
As you can imagine, we went a lot of places and took a lot of pictures, so I will only give you a highlight or two of what we saw and did. Hopefully I won't bore you to death.
We also met up with the lovely Brenda Brown for hot chocolate at the Windsor Starbucks. I have known Brenda from The Vintage Journey blog for at least a couple years, so we thought we would meet in person since I was going to be so close to her home. What a nice surprise to find that she is just as lovely in person, as she is in blog world.
This is one of my favorite pictures of the trip. We had just walked in and she was staring at the beautiful glass ceiling. No staging here...just joy.
Worth every single penny.
The studio had everything from the Great Hall, to the sorting hat, Dumbledore's office, the Covered Bridge and the Knight Bus...really, every significant prop including all the wands and the Horcruxes seen below. Absolutely fascinating stuff if you like the book series.
Diagon Alley...talk about attention to detail.
What a great way to end our London portion of the trip!
Now on to Paris...first stop, the Eiffel Tower of course!
We took in Musee d'Orsay
I was happy to see "The Floor Scrappers" by Gustave Caillebotte hanging on the wall again. It was out on loan when I was in Paris 2 years ago. Something about this painting I find fascinating. I think it has to do with the light coming from the window and how I shines onto the floor and the backs of the men laboring. I know Caillebotte has much more famous paintings of Paris street scenes, but I still like this one best.Opera Garnier. I have been here before, but our guide was so knowledgeable that it was worth another visit to learn more details. We were even lucky enough to see the grand hall with hardly anyone even there.
They have created a glass barrier or wall so you can look right down the center of the tower.
"58 Tour Eiffel" - it was 10 minutes to opening so we waited and went in. You can order from the menu or get a "combo" (that is my word, not theirs - the French would never serve a combo anything)
main + dessert = 22.50 Euros
starter + main + desert = 27 Euros
I thought the price was quite reasonable because we all know you could easily spend that much on lunch at Disneyland.
I ordered the salmon with polenta and broad beans. Seriously the best polenta I have ever eaten (I am quite sure it had a pint of heavy cream added, lol). Dessert was panna cotta with Passion Fruit puree on top, miss b had chocolate mousse and Jay had creme brulee. All were wonderful.
I keep talking about the food and have not even mentioned the view. From the picture above it looks like there is an open wall, but it's really glass and all enclosed. You cannot fall over the side or throw food down to the people in line, but it would make for a great story!
Sainte-Chapelle, my favorite church in Paris.
Chartres Cathredral (about an hour outside of Paris) to see the monumental screen that surrounds the choir stalls.
We ended our trip back at the Eiffel Tower to see it sparkle.
now carry on,