I skyped Kevin and the kids tonight and they could see the Eiffel Tower from my window! Hannah lost another tooth and I teased that she won’t be able to try all the chocolate I’m bringing home until they all grow back in. Kevin and his mom seemed a little tired, but now that I’m here and having so much fun with the girls, they’re just going to have to manage on their own –ha!.

Because we’ve all been stuffing ourselves and have no intention of stopping. There are so many things to do in Paris that we signed up for a sight seeing tour, which took us through all the attractions on the right bank of the River Seine.  We walked everywhere. There are SO many places to visit here, from the Arc de Triomphe  and Sacré Coeur to the Paris Opera House and the Orsay museum (It’s on the left bank but looks amazing. I can’t wait to see all my favorite impressionist paintings for real).

Our tour guide, Marie, was just as I pictured a French woman: knee-high black leather boots, black skirt, and a drop dead gorgeous navy trench coat with wide lapels and decorative trim around the border. She was older than we were but looked like she had just stepped out of a magazine. She snapped our picture with the Arc de Triomphe in the background, and I know I wasn’t the only one wishing I had a coat like hers.

(Thank goodness Donna convinced me to buy that shawl in Madrid! While we’re here, I’m going to spend some more time on my make-up in the morning and maybe even try to find a place to get my hair done).

Shopping

After we finished with Marie, we walked up the Champs-Elysees, “la plus belle avenue du monde,” which is French for “the most beautiful avenue in the world.” I didn’t know whether to stare at all the famous stores or the people walking all around me. ALL the women are so stylish! We felt frumpy even though we had tried to up our game that morning. We just window shopped as we strolled through Cartier and Louis Vuitton and although Donna eyed an adorable pink Bridgette Bardot wallet from Lancel, the cost was too high even for her. Lisa led us to the Adidas store, apparently the largest in the world. They had every kind of tennis shoe I’ve ever seen and all I kept thinking was, “I am so glad the kids aren’t here.” Otherwise I’d have walked out with ten pairs of tennis shoes!

Although we didn’t shop on the Champs-Elysees, I’m definitely looking forward to checking out some of the vintage shops later on. I love French country style and have told everyone to keep their eyes open for a cheese board or tray for summer entertaining. With four of us looking, we’re bound to see something!

Wine and Chocolate

We all realized at about the same time how hungry we were so we found a place Marie had recommended a few streets over from the Champs-Elysees. It’s a really good thing I’d walked so much! We ate around 2 p.m. and the meal was heavenly. One thing we couldn’t believe is that you’re allowed to bring your dog into the restaurant! This little poodle next to us looked as haughty as her owner with her little jeweled collar and we just took turns turning and giggling.  We all tasted each other’s dishes when we could and split a bottle of red wine. I had the foie gras and the cassoulet plus chocolat fondant, which is basically a lava cake but better. And the bread. Oh my. I swear I could just eat the bread and be happy.

Upcoming Adventures

Tomorrow we are going to the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Orsay Museum and I can’t wait! I’ve wanted to see the Cathedral ever since I was a little girl and saw the hunchback of Notre Dame fighting for Desdemona.  After that, we’re going to hit some of the shops we’ve heard so much about and then I might go back and tour Sacré Coeur even if the others aren’t interested. The good thing about being with such close friends is that we don’t feel pressured to stick together because we know we each have our thing. Lisa finds time for yoga wherever we are, just like I’m always looking for places of worship. Donna’s got the shopping bug bad and Carla’s just Carla. She loves it all.

Next: Carla: Luxembourg Gardens and a Chocolate Tour