Despite jet lag we awoke on time to start our day. Our morning began with croissants, coffee, and jam provided by our B&B owner, Jean Luc. He informed us that the croissants were ranked second best in Paris as of last year…they were certainly delicious.
Ever since I visited the Musee Marmottan Monet in March with my art history class, I had been looking forward to returning with my parents. The museum is located in the 16th arrondisement: a very chic and quietly residential area of Paris. After the hustle bustle of city life in the neighborhoods we visited yesterday, it felt like a quiet retreat and authentically Parisian neighborhood. The walk to the museum took us through a beautiful park, allowing us to enjoy the bright sunshine.
Musee Marmottan Monet is housed in beautiful mansion which used to be privately owned. It feels as if you are at a friends house with an exquisite art collection. The rooms are never overcrowded, the scale of the museum allows you to appreciate each piece and take it at your own pace, and the interior of the house is just as exquisite as the pieces themselves. While the Musee d’ Orsay is spectacular and boasts a larger collection, at the Musee Marmottan Monet one can view Manet, Morisot, Caillebotte, Renoir, and of course…Monet in a far more intimate setting. It is one of my favorite Paris discoveries and I was glad my parents enjoyed it as well.
After our museum visit, it was time to introduce my parents to one of my other favorite Parisian discoveries: Tartines. I first visited Cuisine de Bar when Grace visited; it was such a hit that we went twice! I knew it would be the perfect lunch spot. We took advantage of their excellent “Formule Midi” which includes a salad, tartine, glass of wine, and coffee. There are so many delicious options it took us awhile to decide what to get! I am happy to report that each person enjoyed their tartine (and bites of each other’s).
Sunshine has been a rare commodity this spring so we decided to take full advantage! We headed to the Monoprix (a grocery store chain) to pick up some bottles of wine to drink in the Luxembourg Gardens. We had a lovely walk along the Seine past the Notre Dame, through the St. Michel and St.Germaine de Pres areas, finally reaching the park. The gardens were full of people walking about and enjoying the sunshine. We managed to snag a bench in the sun to sit down and enjoy our wine. One of my dad’s favorite places in Paris is the Medici Fountain.
The Luxembourg Palace was built by the queen of France, Catherine de Medici, who wanted to create a palace that reminded her of her home in Florence. This explains the Italian influence on the architecture and sculptures throughout the gardens. After saying “Oh, how beautiful” or “oh wow, look at that!” upwards of 1,000 times, we came to the conclusion that the entire city is like a postcard.
Following our garden walk, we headed over to the Saint Sulpice. We found the hotel that Grace and my mom stayed at on their mother daughter trip 13 years ago.
Continuing our walk down hotel memory lane, we found the hotel my parents stayed in during their trip to Paris 20 years ago:
It looked as cute as ever! My mom was determined to have another Pierre Herme macaron. Thankfully, there was a store located just around the corner! I am never one to say no to Pierre Herme so we each picked up a macaron to enjoy after dinner.
Speaking of dinner, it was time that we start making our way over to the restaurant, located about 40 minutes away. Getting there was an adventure to say the least! I had visited the restaurant only once before and had taken the metro to get there. It is located on a teeny tiny street in the second arrondisement. Anyone who knows me well knows that my sense of direction is virtually non-existent to we got a tad turned around. After an hour of walking we FINALLY made it to Chez Janou. Despite being late for our reservation, they managed to squeeze us in (after I did some pleading in French). It was worth it! Our meal was delicious and indulgent so the walk probably did us some good.
We made our way back to our bed and breakfast (without getting lost). All of us were rather tired from a full day of walking and sight-seeing so we settled into bed.