the paris pastry challenge

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Day 5 @ Rose Bakery

Oh là là!

Somewhere on vacation my friend challenged me to eat a pastry a day.

This is not a challenge one says no to. Especially not when in Paris with a pâtisserie on nearly every block.

And so we accepted. With gusto!

We went to the Ladurées, the Rose Bakeries, the Angelinas. We went to the hole in the walls. We went to the hidden gems down alleyways.

We treated ourselves – sometimes to near excess (day 5).

But mostly we enjoyed every single bite of every single pastry.

Day 1 & Day 2 (Angelina)

Day 3 (Rose Bakery) & Day 4 (Angelina @ Versailles)

Day 5 (Rose Bakery @ Bon Marché)

Days 6 – 8

le fin

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“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller


Today we depart France and mark the close of our Summer 2013 family vacation in Europe.

As I reflect on the past 19 days, the words I wrote on May 10 and all my reasons for taking these two young travelers on their second European trip, I’m reminded of Maya Angelou’s words:

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”

I sought to expand their view of this world, of the people on this planet. I sought to give them a glimpse into life outside suburban San Francisco. I sought to show them how others live. I sought to show them history. I sought to make our own history.

I sought to show them why this Californian has fallen in love with Paris, in love with traveling. I sought to show them they are the two most important people in my life.


“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” ~ Miriam Beard


If their world is just a little flatter,

If they are a little more tolerant,

If they are inspired to learn a new language,

If they are, simply, inspired,

If they seek to understand,

If they understand that the best route between two points isn’t always the quickest,

If they know that God’s treasures are always at the end a long (2km!) walk and sometimes it’s turquoise,

If they see turquoise and remember kayaking,

If they have a passion for writing and sharing their experiences,

If they wake up one day and realize they have friends who span the globe, who speak different languages and who have differing cultures,

If they hear “Mona Lisa” and are instantly transported to an afternoon at the Louvre,

If they see 100 year old buildings in San Francisco and are reminded of the 1000 year old buildings in Paris,

If they are forgiving when Dad has to stop to have (some more) gelato,

If they made memories,

If they had fun,

then this was a fantastic summer vacation.


“All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.” ~ Samuel Johnson


56 rue jacob

I missed the fourth of July and all the fireworks since I was at the beach in Corsica. So today my dad took me to 56 Rue Jacob, the spot where the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783.

The Treaty of Paris ended the American Revolutionary War between the United States of America and Great Britian.

Here I am standing where Benjamin Franklin and John Adams were 230 years ago!

Me, in front of 56 Rue Jacob (was Hotel d'York)

Me, in front of 56 Rue Jacob (was Hotel d’York)

montmartre

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“Two of the greatest gifts we can give our children are roots and wings.” ~ Hodding Carter


4 shoes in front of Sacré Cœur.

Montmartre. Sacré Cœur. Rue Foyatier.

Mountain of the martyr.

For two years this place has been on my “Paris To-Do” list.

For two years I’ve wanted to see where Salvador Dalí, Amedeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh worked. Where Le Chat Noir and Moulin Rouge were.

Monday I finally made it.

After a ridiculously fabulous breakfast at Ladurée and a Metro to Anvers, we walked up towards Sacré Cœur. It stood, at the top, beckoning in its travertine splendor.

Despite the overcast weather, the view from the top was incredible.

A view of Paris ~ a sea of buildings with Centre Georges Pompidou (mere meters from our apartment in Le Marais) in the distance on one side and La Tour Eiffel on the other.

William had this to say:

Eiffel Tower from Montmartre

Then we went to a church on a hill and went inside. It was much prettier than Notre Dame but still pretty dark [inside].

We ended the day with a stop at Mariage Frères for, perhaps, some of the best iced tea I’ve ever had. Violette French Summer Tea.

breakfast & locks

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(On the way to breakfast at Ladurée, Layli finally got to see my favorite bridge in Paris. ~ The Dad)


“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.” – Robert Frost


We went to this bridge that had a side with locks. You add them to the fence when you love somebody and you know you will never not love them.

This is  how it works:

  1. You buy a lock
  2. Write your names on it
  3. Put it somewhere nice
  4. “Lock up your love” by locking it on the fence
  5. Throw the key in the river so you never unlock your love

My mom and dad wanted to take pictures but I did not want to be in any of them at all.

William took a picture of my mom and dad. I was in the way of it and William took a picture of me with my face in my dad’s big belly! I did not like that one at all.

Would you like that picture if you were in it? I bet you would not like to be in a picture like that when you had your face in your dad’s big belly.

paris flea market

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On Sunday we went to the Paris flea market (Marché aux Puces).

There was really boring stuff like clothes (which are not fun to look at all) and purses and other stuff. While my mom and sister shopped, my dad and I listened to street performers playing guitar. He really liked it.

For lunch we had pizza. It rained like crazy and then suddenly stopped!

At dinner time we weren’t really hungry. Mom suggested we just have crêpes. We went to this place by our apartment. The guy who made crêpes was very interesting. He is from Turkey, lived in Scotland and now lives in Paris and makes crêpes!

le galeries lafayette

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My mom, my grandma and I  went to the Le Galeries Lafayette mall. There was a lot of people at the mall. That means I had to hold on to somebody’s hand.

We went to look at shoes. There was also one floor that only had kid stuff. So we went to that floor. Look at all the cute we looked at even though we did not buy anything!

le galeries lafayette