Signs of the holiday season were all over Paris in the days before Christmas. Laura was particularly delighted with these “recycled” trees made with Sprite (green), Badoit (red), and Coke (clear) bottles, just behind Hôtel de Ville, which is near our apartment.
We needed our own tree, of course, and we found a tiny one in an odd little discount shop in Le Marais. There were larger (and much more expensive) trees at the Monoprix, which is something like Target. The Monoprix is your one stop shop for groceries (alimentation, in the basement), sundries, household items, and clothing.
We woke up on Christmas morning and found cadeaux under our tree. Voilà! Santa came to Paris!
Our plan was to take a walk, which turned out to be a trek spanning many an arrondissement, and then spend a quiet day at home. We started our journey by hoofing it along rue de Rivoli to the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel just outside of the Louvre.
We strolled about and took some photos in le Jardin des Tuileries, which is located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde.
After some sky gazing at Tuilieries, we headed over to Place Vendome to check out the holiday decorations and whatnot over there. We also walked into a fancy hotel there and feigned guest-like expressions in order to use the, ahem, facilities located across the lobby and opposite the main doors. Place Vendome is beautiful even by day, and I imagine it would be quite spectacular when lit up at night.
We stopped to rest our feet and have some hot chocolate. I love this picture of Laura and a random French woman sitting on either side of the café window. Laura is immersed in her thoughts and game inside, contrasted by the woman immersed in her thoughts and cigarette outside.
Here we paused for a photo in front of the Christmas tree outside of Notre Dame.
Thinking that everything in Paris would be closed for the holiday, we laid in a few simple supplies for our Christmas dinner. Much to our surprise, however, when we were out walking we found many cafés and shops open for business. Once home we had a meal of quiche (Lorraine for Tom and me, fromage for Laura), fingerling potatoes roasted in butter and salt, a simple lettuce and tomato salad, and a crusty baguette, of course. For dessert we heated individual chocolate souffles that we had purchased on Christmas Eve from a local patisserie, which we ate with a boule de glace chocolat (scoop of chocolate ice cream) on the side. Christmas in Paris will always hold a special place in our hearts for many reasons, not the least of which is because we topped it off with French chocolate.