Discoveries (2018)

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We have a certain routine of where to go, which days, what we like and what we avoid
So, we look for new things, things we haven’t done before, maybe we will discover something.

In 2018 we discovered:

The Market known as Les Puces de Saint-Ouen

Suite at Novetel East
We repeatedly stay at the Novetel East, but never rented the Suite
Oo-La-La
(this hotel is located on the outskirts of Paris, a high rise which looks over a tangle of expressways, you are not looking out of the Paris skyline, but even in Montmartre the Eiffel Tower is hardly a flashing light in the distance)
So a Suite at this remote, but large hotel is not only affordable, but it is huge.
Two Rooms and Two Televisions, the problem was that when we changed the channel of one television, it would change the channel on the other television – if that is a problem
Most important was the Bathtub. We never take baths at home, but Paris seems to bring out the Amphibian in us. And the Bathtub at the Suite was huge. We could totally submerge without the water splashing out onto the bathroom floor.

Tour de Notre Dame
Many years have passed without a visit to the Bell Tower of Notre Dame. They have changed the reservations process to an app, the admission is included with the Paris Museum Pass. The actual tour did not disappoint. Major Climb, Rustic Tower and Catwalks, Plenty of Gargoyles and even access into the Bell Tower (might not justify an annual visit, but this is a discovery which we can recommend)

Montparnasse
We have been down to Montparnasse to look at the long line at the Catacombs
It is more residential, there is a great street marche and lower community grocery store
We stayed on the Boulevard Raspail, which is now one of our favorite streets, extending down to the Montparnasse Cemetery, but also into Paris, the Rue de Bac near Musee D’Orsay
When you rent an expensive hotel room here, it is an expensive phone booth where you keep bumping into yourself. When you take a shower, you feel like you should be talking on a payphone.

Louvre Calendar
Each year, a moment of joy occurs when I purchase the annual Louvre Wall Calendar. After years of this routine almost religious event, I finally realized that the same twelve month images of art repeat each year. I tear fell down my cheek, part of the child in me died. I think of all the pieces of art, in one of the world’s largest museums, which I have not explored anywhere close to completely over 10 years of visits . . . I was truly disappointed

New Years Day
Due to cancelled flights, my schedule changed, was actually extended to 10 nights in Paris. The reason for failures, problems and disappointments is that these are opportunities for discover. We discovered New Year Day in Paris. Some things closed, but always something open. The Musee D’Orsay was open with this great Julian Schnabel exhibit. Travel back to Chicago was easier the day-after New Years Day

Versailles, the Back Door
We traveled to Versailles on Christmas day, when the Palace is closed and there were concerns of Yellow Vest demonstrations. WOW! But this turned-out to be one of the memorable moments of the trip. When you can be a true traveler and reach down deep, think on your feet and work it out. (and this is a satisfying, memorable moment)

Vino (which is greek, the French call it Vin)
Instead of Drinking a variety of Cote du Rhone, we opted for Sparkling Wines this year
Our Favorite was a Muscat (Demi-Sec) or a Muscador (one of clearly better
(we realize this is of no help)

Fromage (Cheese)
One day I found a piece of Mobier on sale
It was getting into trouble, becoming soft and ripe, with only a limited shelf life
It was clearly the most fantastic cheese that we had this year

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