Paris, je t’aime!

We spent a week in Paris to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary. We had a great time and can’t wait to plan another trip to France. We stayed in a great neighborhood between the Eiffel Tower and the Hotel des Invalides in the heart of the city.

Historic Paris
During our first couple of days, we saw the most historic parts of Paris, including Notre Dame Cathedral, Ile St. Louis, and the Latin Quarter. We visited the Louvre and took a long walk from the Tuileries gardens, up Champs Elysees, to the Arc de Triomphe. Back on the left bank, we relaxed in the Luxembourg garden and then enjoyed a concert of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in the Sainte Chapelle.

Beaune and Burgundy Bike Tour
We took a day trip to Beaune, near Dijon, about two hours southeast of Paris. It is the capital of the Burgundy region. We visited the hospices of Beaune, a hospital founded in the 1400s for the poor, that is known for its ornate rooftops. Then we spent the afternoon on a bike tour through vineyards and visiting a winery in Pommard. We happened to be there during the grape harvest, and watched a small wine producer’s team sort the grapes.

Marais and Tour Montparnasse
We spent a morning exploring the Marais neighborhood, including the Picasso Museum, the Jewish Quarter, and Place Stravinsky outside the Pompidou Center (modern art museum). In the afternoon, we strolled through the Jardins des Plantes (botanical garden), had tea at the cafe at Paris’s largest mosque, stumbled upon a lively shopping street called Rue Mouffetard, and watched the sun set over the city from the top of the Montparnasse Tower.

Rodin Museum and Montmartre
Although most of the Rodin Museum was closed for renovation, we enjoyed the sculptor’s most famous works outside in the garden.

In Montmartre, we climbed up to the Sacre-Coeur Basilica and explored the narrow streets that many artists such as Dali, Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh called home at some point.

Tour Eiffel
Back on Rue Cler around the corner from our hotel, we assembled a feast from various shops and enjoyed a picnic by the Eiffel Tower and watched it light up after dark.

The Eiffel Tower is one of those sites that does not disappoint. We spent a morning walking up the steps to the second story and riding the elevator to the very top and enjoying the views. Then we went back in the evening for a view of the Tower from Trocadero Square with music and dancing.

We spent our last day on a bike tour in Versailles. After a short train ride, we rode through the town and assembled another picnic feast at the market before riding through the gardens of the chateau, stopping to see Marie Antoinette’s hamlet, where the queen escaped the royal court and played at being a peasant. We continued around the cross-shaped basin, which is a mile-long from the Chateau to the other end where we enjoyed our lunch. Back in the town of Versailles, we turned in our bikes and toured the main rooms of the Chateau and the more manicured gardens and fountains.

Back At Home
Natalie and Sam were lovingly cared for by Grandma Judy and Great Aunt Donna.

Bluebonnets and Easter

We are past due on posting photos, so here are a few from recent adventures hunting for bluebonnets, hunting for Easter eggs, and creating bubbles. Happy spring!

Crazy, Crazy Summer

It’s been quite a summer! Here’s a glimpse at what we’ve been up to . . .

May is for Birthdays

The start of summer is unofficially here, time for fun outings like strawberry picking and strolls in the botanical gardens. May is also birthday month here, and Natalie had been asking for a strawberry cupcake for weeks. We bought a bike trailer as a birthday gift for both kids, and we hope they will enjoy rides around town, although Sam still needs to grow into his helmet. We had a fun time at Eastwoods Park celebrating their birthdays with friends at the splashpad, and more cake.