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Here's a brief summary of our favorite parts of our trip (Jan07) to The Golden State:

I HIGHLY recommend "Architecture Tours L.A." [http://www.architecturetoursla.com/]
Laura Massino offers brilliant and entertaining tours in: Downtown LA, Hollywood, Silverlake, Pasadena, West Hollywood/Beverly Hills, Hancock Park/Miracle Mile, and a special Frank Gehry Tour. We took the Hollywood Tour and it is worth every penny - I can't wait to go back to take
the others.

And then, there's Pasadena. It's another terrific place for architecture groupies. The Gamble House is the showplace, but you will see many other notable homes and buildings. Grab lunch at Russell's or Aux Delices and you'll feel like a native. The Norton Simon Museum is a little jewel - and we'll see the Huntington on our next trip.

Ahhhh, Riverside.
Just a sleepy town at the mid-point between LA & Palm Springs. I urge you to go because it is such a treat to stay at the Mission Inn (highly recommended by Beausoleil and her husband). Splurge on an expensive room - you will not be disappointed; it's a real treasure. [http://www.missioninn.com/]

Finally, the Living Desert.
It's in Indian Wells, about 20 minutes from Palm Springs. We met Beausoleil and her husband there and had an amazing time looking at all of the animals in their natural habitats - even the baby giraffe came out for a photo op!

This trip we started in LA, moved on to Pasadena, Riverside and Palm Springs; then back to LA.

Paris: What Could Be Better Than Paris?

Travel has taught me to have confidence in myself. Overcoming obstacles large and small when traveling have left me feeling triumphant. I have also learned that we pay way too much for wine at restaurants in this country!

I have been to Paris 10 times since 2001 - my last visit was June 2010. My next visit will be in January 2011

My mother always said "Patience is a Virtue" so - eventually - I will complete some bonafide Travel Pages & Albums. But until that happens I want to offer a few suggestions for my version of "Must Sees in Paris."

The List:

Place des Vosges - charming spot for lunch, either a picnic or at a café

Holocaust Memorial at the point of the Ile de la Cité behind Notre Dame

Sainte Chapelle - (make sure to go up the stairs to the 2nd floor - hopefully on a sunny day)

Any cemetery - they are fascinating and beautiful

Shopping streets - rue des Francs Bourgeois (boutiques) & rue Montorgueil (food)

Promenade Plantée & the Viaduct des Arts

Bird/Pet Market on Sundays on Ile de la Cité

Non-French Restaurants - Anahuacalli (Mexican), Il Barone (Italian), Le Grenier de Notre Dame (vegetarian)

Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums - Musée Nissim de Camondo, Musée des Arts et Métiers, Grande Galerie de l'Évolution

Teatime at Ladurée Bonaparte

Vanves Flea Market

And now a couple of in-depth comments...

Breathtaking Niki Sculpture

I adore cemeteries, and Cimetière du Montparnasse was the first one that I visited in Paris - and this grave took my breath away. I am determined to learn more about Jean-Jacques, the deceased; what I do know is that the sculpture is by Niki de Saint-Phalle.
Maps are available just inside the front gate. This grave is in the 18th division, on the west side of Avenue de l'Est, not too far from the intersection with avenue du "Boulevart." Have fun searching, you'll see, it is an extremely contemporary, large bird.

Have a Parisian Pique-Nique

Find picturesque displays like this at La Grande Epicerie at 22 rue de Sevres, behind Le Bon Marché. You'll want to dump your clothes and fill your suitcases with the yummy stuff that you discover here.
La Grande Epicerie

It is my pleasure to share my friend’s websites!

I feel very fortunate to know a handful of enterprising women who live in Paris. Feel free to explore their sites and if you contact them, please tell them that I said "Hi."

ParisTalks features a variety of saavy seminars covering a range of topics including: Seduction and the Art of the French Woman; Ca Va Autrement? - Doing Business With the French; and Getting the Most Out of Your Dining Experience in France. American-in-Paris Barbara Pasquet James offers her expertise.

Paris Photo Tours is a noteworthy service that is getting lots of press about their DaVinci Code Tour. One of the partners, Linda Mathieu, is a expat Texan married to a Parisian.

Expat Authors

Paris Reflections is a book written by Christiann Anderson and Monique Y. Wells. Its focus is African-Americans in Paris and it’s written using a walking-tour format.

Christiann and Monique also collaborated on a cookbook: Food for the Soul: A Texas Expatriate Nurtures Her Culinary Roots in Paris

Paris Top 5 Pages & Regular Posters

I bow down at the feet of these generous VTers - merci mille fois for all of the time that you devote to your pages. I love watching the list to see who has posted new stuff - I guess that I'm addicted, eh?
Of the 5, I have personally met BeatChick and she lives and breathes Paris - she's on target all of the time.
Although she does not have a Top 5 Paris Page, Beausoliel is a welcome sight on the Paris forum. She offers VERY practical advice about Paris, other parts of France AND she was our personal guru for our 2007 trip to California. Luckily I had the pleasure to meet her and Monsieur Beausoleil.
I am delighted with the wonderful friends that I have come to know via VT. I hope that everyone appreciates all of this stellar, 1st rate, FREE information. Please promote this site as much as I do.

  • Intro Updated Dec 1, 2010
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Comments (20)

  • kathymof's Profile Photo
    May 21, 2015 at 6:25 PM

    Have a wonderful birthday!

  • kahnjetta's Profile Photo
    May 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    Happy Birthday Mary! I hope you have a wonderful day.

  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo
    May 21, 2014 at 8:01 AM

    Hi Mary. Have a wonderful birthday. Thanks so much for the restaurant suggestions. We'll have a kir and drink to you. Happy Birthday!

  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo
    May 21, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    Happy Birthday, Mary, from another Parisophile (is that a word?). Have a great day.

    • MadAboutParis's Profile Photo
      Jun 29, 2013 at 8:58 AM

      Mais OUI..."Parisophile" is a word in my lexicon! I was lucky enough to be in Paris for my birthday this year AND last year...working for the airlines makes it very doable...and for that I'm grateful! When will you guys be there again?

  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo
    May 21, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    Happy Birthday Mary. I hope you're spending it in Paris! Wherever, have a great day.

    • MadAboutParis's Profile Photo
      Jun 29, 2013 at 8:52 AM

      It's been AGES since I've been on VT...thank you sooo much for the greeting, and yes, I was in Paris. Where are you and Ed going next?

    • Beausoleil's Profile Photo
      Jun 29, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      Hi Mary. I follow your adventures on Virginia's blog. We're headed to Ireland next. Next year we're spending a month in Paris for our 50th anniversary. It would be fun if we could get together during the month. Later next year we're headed to Provence with at least one of our daughters. Looking forward to both trips. So good to hear from you.

  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo
    May 22, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Hi Mary. Belated Happy Birthday. My computer is having the slows so I'm a bit behind. Hope you had a wonderful day. Any trips planned to Paris?

  • BeatChick's Profile Photo
    May 21, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Happy birthday, Mary!! :)

  • TrendsetterME's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Hey Mary, "Happy Birthday", with all my best wishes ... :)

  • ForestqueenNYC's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Happy birthday. Have a wonderful day.

  • kathymof's Profile Photo
    May 21, 2010 at 8:08 AM

    Have an absolutely perfect birthday. Hope you get the gift of travel. Kathy

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