Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Deuxieme Journee (Day Two)

This vacation has lived up to everything I imagined and then some - & I'm only on Day 2! 
Our exploration began with the Chapel of our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.  It was said that the nun, Catherine Laboure's body lies in a glass coffin on display at 140 Rue de Bac.  (Catherine Laboure's body was exhumed in 1933, and the church judged it incorrupt.)  We didn't know what to expect so we entered the chapel and walked to the front, where the coffin was located.  She was tiny!  Of course, they had a wax mask on her face and some believe that it is not truly her, but just the thought of her body lying there...whoa.  Here is a picture from Wikipedia. It looks a bit different than what we saw, but I wasn't about to take my camera out with dozens of people around me!  (I really think she was wearing a different outfit.)

Catherine Leboure's body
On to  Le Bon Marche for some fabulous French shopping (something I tend to do best).  I found a great "personalized gift" for my parents, as well as a gorgeous infinity scarf by a Paris artist (; and a super cute headband with a leather bow.  Princess Tam Tam is a lingerie company that is not sold in the US - and one that I wish truly was!  (They don't even ship to the US!)
Le Bon Marche...Paris's Barneys :)
We stopped for a quick snack at the Bon Marche cafe' where we ate some delicious grilled vegetables and a quesadilla filled with cheese and veggies.  A perfect meal to fill us until dinner.  Le Bon Marche' also has an exquisite food market across the street and we had to visit!  Here is where I picked up some of the mini versions of my sons' favorite lollipops (I tasted them to make sure they were acceptable LOL). 

I had  inquired, when I arrived, of the brands of handbags that were manufactured exclusively in Paris and Anouk introduced me to Lancel.  Once entering the store, we were offered a glass of champagne (nice touch) and off I went in search of the perfect bag from Paris.  The first bag I chose was a brown bag and was told the bag was no longer available in the color and size I initially wanted - so I looked around some more.  I loved the shape of the initial bag of my dreams and kept going back to it, so I just had to determine the best color.  Gray won!  Here is a picture of the style of bag...the gray is so new, it is not on their site yet!

I also stopped into an undisclosed store to purchase my husband a super fabulous gift (to be revealed at a later when he opens the box!)

The Christmas lights in each of the areas we have visited have been so festive, especially in this arrondissement.  
Lights outside of Cartier 

On to the first ever Christmas Market for me at Saint Germaine!  Anouk introduced me to mulled (hot) wine while we browsed the vendors' fares. 
Hot wine and shopping!

Happy camper!
Hotel de Ville, in the 4th arrondissement, is Paris' city hall.  It was lit up beautifully with sparkling lights across the rooftop.  We watched the workers build an ice rink and noted yet another carousel nearby.  
Hotel de ville
On to Marais, in the 3rd arrondissement, to a highly anticipated dinner!  Anouk has been speaking of this one restaurant in particular for weeks.  She described it as a hole in the wall, but somewhere that we needed to go.  (Please note that 99% of the time, the hole in the wall restaurants are the BEST.)  On a previous visit to this restaurant, Anouk learned that reservations were a MUST.   Reservations were promptly made for
Le Felteau, ensuring us a table.  When we arrived on time for our reservation, the gentleman that greeted us at the door blurted, "Did you call?".  (Thankfully we did!)  We were seated at a table alongside the wall, so as to accommodate my shopping bags. :)

We started out with a goat cheese salad and meat platter - I wish my dad was here to try the delicious meats (it reminds me of the times my mom and dad bring over dried sausage as an appetizer when they come over for dinner.  This would be heaven for them.)  My entree was a succulent steak with potatoes Au gratin and the most flavorful carrots I've had in a long while.  Dessert was definitely a NO tonight as we ate so much I felt as if we needed to roll home. 

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