Girls Trip to Europe Day 4 - Flea Market, Shopping, Ari's Birthday
Saturday morning we woke early to celebrate Ari's birthday at the flea market. Part of our research led us to believe that we should leave all valuables in our hotel since the flea market was not in the best areas. Armed with thirty euro each and NO CAMERA, we took the metro to the Porte de Vanves Flea Market.
The photo opportunities we missed still haunt me in my sleep. Tables of treasures, boxes of paintings, stacks of maps, books and illustrations...Steamy hot cups of hand warming beverages and toasty croissants held by people huddled around the warmth of the food truck. Piles of vintage clothing, hats and shoes, ....and furniture. Oh the endless possibilities in parisian flea market furniture. I would have brought home rooms full of chairs if I had the space in my suitcase. Leaving such treasures behind would have been slightly easier had we been able to at least capture their beauty with photography. Ari and I did buy a small handful of treasures.
Letter press blocks XO, and DURRER, vintage brass keys, a 1960's dress bought from a beautiful lady with an adams apple, moldy smelling trendy jacket from the one euro pile, a blue number two, and an old fisherman's compass.
Shortly after cleaning up back at our hotel, our day continued with the usual deux cafe au laits.
How fantastic is this lady. The kitty "stroller" is just one of those market bags on wheels. I actually have one of these at home but somehow I don't think I could pull it off with out looking like a crazy cat lady. She looks so fashionable and chic it almost makes me want to try.
We spent most of our day shopping. I should specify that it was mostly window shopping except the flea market. I really didn't see anything worth spending too much money, however we had fun.
Just like every other day in Paris, we probably walked anywhere between 8 and 15 miles. No joke. We stayed awake late and woke up early, walking our little legs off but noticed we still somehow had more energy then we do at home surrounded by our energy leaching children. (No offense my little loves.)
Lunch was only a block from our hotel at Oree Des Champs. Smoked salmon, pesto pasta and beef tartare. Once again we ate family style, sharing both dishes. In terms of splitting our finances through out our trip, this made things easier. It didn't matter who paid for meals because we kept a tally of the total price listed under who foot the bill so we could figure it out later. I highly recommend this method.
We waited in line for about 15 minutes to get inside Louis Vuitton. Right before we were admitted, about 8 people tried to get in with the two people in front of us "holding their place." Uh....no. Ari and I are a match made in heaven because she spoke up and nearly got applause from the people in line behind us.
Apparently this is the mother ship of all Louis Vuitton stores. Honestly I'm not one to appreciate fine hand bags but I will tell you that the chairs were uber comfortable, the wifi (pronounced wee fee) connection was super fast and the bathrooms were nice and clean. It was also amusing for both of us when Ari tried on a pair of flip flops that were only 250 Euro. What a steal. She decided to leave them at the store for others to enjoy (so thoughtful of her) and purchase a super awesome pair of Dr. Scholls at the Pharmacy.
Lunch dessert was at Boulangerie Patisserie. The rows of sweets had our mouths watering and our minds tortured over the impending decision. "Are you going to just look or are you going to order something?" asks the annoyed French lady behind the counter. She scowled and walked away, cueing her employee to help us. Apparently only their baked goods are award winning. I still recommend it.
Photo Opp! How could we pass up this sign!!! I literally cried getting this photo. I am squatting here, which after our multiple days of marathon walking was a quite a task. Ari had to get it "just right" and I'm laughing from the burning pain in my legs while watching the crowd form behind her to laugh at the crazy Americans.
During our walk back to our hotel, we discovered the Hotel Salomon de Rothschild. The grounds are available to the public for sitting and walking. It was beautiful and centrally located among apartments. We strolled through a couple of it's paths before returning to our hotel to prepare for our evening birthday celebration.
During our previous three days in Paris, Ari had been checking out restaurant possibilities for her birthday dinner. She decided upon Chez Clement, a cute restaurant with creatively upcycled accessories...how appropriate!
Ari ordered a glass of wine, I ordered a "Vodka Tonic." The waiter looked at me like I had a boogie and brought me a glass of vodka and an unopened bottle of Indian Tonic. This was funny before I had any of it to drink. Then it just became funnier. So did the framed pair of shorts over the mantel that was so random I really meant to have taken a photo. But after my French Vodka Tonic I totally forgot. Another reason to return.
Sardine pate, Beef tartine, flank steak, roasted duck, creme brulee...our dinner was fabulous and we even had our waiter sing Happy Birthday to Ari.
We took the metro to the Eiffel Tower after dinner to see it light up the night. Arriving at 9:50 we watched it twinkle and then turn to a solid light at 10:00. There were a couple thousand more people then when we did our photo shoot but it was still breathtaking. Good night Paris.
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