What to Buy

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We purchase items in Paris for various reasons:

Items we can’t carry on an airplane:

Things we always buy:
Stamps for Post Cards
Le Louvre Calendar
Louvre Page a Day Calendar

French Things (that we can’t buy at home)

Things that we bring from home
Instant Coffee

And we buy
Small Loafs of Apricot Fruit Bread (Naturalia)
Dijon Mustard (it comes in a glass like Jelly used-to come in a collectible (Flinstones) glass

Things that taste incredible (“incroyable”)


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semi-soft cows’ milk cheese of France
central line of edible white ash much like

Milk source: Dairy cattle
Country of origin: France
Region of origin: Franche-Comté
Aging: 1-3 months
Cheese type: Stinky
Pasteurized: Depends on variety

Morbier: Cheese with a Dash of Ash
(The Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club)
Traditionally, a half wheel of Morbier would be propped up by the fire. As it started to melt, the cheese would be scraped on to crusty bread or hot potatoes

Humboldt Fog

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soft-ripened goat cheese ($28.98 per pound)

Humbolt Fog

Humboldt Fog (Cypress Grove) GOAT

Producer: Cypress Grove Chevre
Milk source: Goat
Country of origin: United States of America
State of origin: California
Rind: Bloomy
Texture: Soft

mold-ripened cheese
central line of edible white ash much like Morbier

The cheese ripens starting with the bloomy mold exterior, resulting in a core of fresh goat cheese surrounded by a runny shell.
As the cheese matures, more of the originally crumbly core is converted to a soft-ripened texture.
The bloomy mold and ash rind are edible but fairly tasteless.
The cheese is creamy, light, and mildly acidic with a stronger flavor near the rind.

12 Days of Cheese

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12 Days of Cheese Whole Foods
starts friday, december 8th, 2017

Humboldt Fog (Cypress Grove) GOAT

Epoisse (Herve Mons)

Bonne Bouche (Vermont Creamery)

Montgomery’s Cheddar(Neal’s Yard Dairy)

Organic Enraptured Blue (Rogue Creamery)

Herve Mons Gabietou,
Mons Gabietou

Emmi Roth Organic Grand Cru Reserve

Rapin Le Marechal, Cellars at Jasper Hill Hartwell,

Cellars at Jasper Hill Hartwell

Ubriaco del Piave

Uplands Cheese Pleasant Ridge Reserve

Dutch Cheese Makers Truffle Gouda Klare Melk.

Le Comte Ory (Rossini)

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Le Comto Ory
Le comte Ory
Opéra by Gioachino Rossini
Théâtre national de l’Opéra-Comique

Synopsis The Metropolitan Opera

Rossini: Le Comte Ory – Glyndebourne Festival Opera
Warner Classics TV


Standing in Line

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often we discover that the person who was behind us in line, is now in front of us

There is much to be gained by exposure to a different (often multiple) cultures
and as a tourist, you will be exposed to lines of people in many situations.

There is no shortage of lines:
there are good line and there are bad lines

Bad Lines:
Lines for concerts and the opera
Lines boarding the plane
Lines at Le Louvre
Lines buying tickets

More civil lines:
Lines at customs
Sometimes a line at check-in
Lines at the Boulangerie
Lines at Notre Dame

Frequently we find that the concept of an orderly line does not exist in many situations in Paris. And, often discover that the person who was behind us in line, is now in front of us. You have to be vigilent, or better yet, you have to let go (and not care if that couple find a way to get in front of you)

Nous aimons

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What we like “ce que nous aimons”

What we like may be colored by ignorance and inexperience
We are often wrong
But occasionally, we get it right
(and have visited Paris each year, since 2011)

We like to go to Paris, maybe the most popular tourist city in the world and avoid the tourists (which is a conundrum)

There is a reason that Paris is popular – it is Spectacular!
(i.e. just because the Grand Canyon might be so popular, doesn’t mean it is not worth seeing or should be avoided)

We especially like the History of Paris
the Museums, the Cemeteries and Churches
the layout of the city and the architecture

We like moving around the city like a Parisian
riding the Metro and Vélib’ (bike sharing)

We like Eating like a Parisian
shopping at grocery stores, boulangeries and health food stores
(our favorites: Naturalia and Le Grenier à Pain)
We seldom find a full scale grocery
and go to the Chain-Convenience Grocery Stores (Franprix and 8 A HUIT)
(avoid the “Mom-and-Pop” tiny expensive stores)

We usually stay Outside of Central Paris
(and choose Montmartre, Bercy, Versaille and La Defense)
We stay at premium chain hotels (Sofitel, Pullman, Mercury, Novotel)
They may all owned by a conglomerate, but they are predictably clean, comfortable, luxurious and feel safe
(when we have explored other affordable options the rooms were cramped, the showers claustophobic and there were sanitation issues)

We like to shop for souvenirs at Museums and Churches
Office Supply shops often have interesting blank books
Groceries often have “different” toiletries (avoid expensive pharmacies)

When my sunglasses broke last spring
they were able to fit me with new frames
(and it was very reasonable surprise!)

We like to Run in Paris
There are Meet Up Groups which you can run with
We recommend running the Gardens of Versailles when the gates open at 7:00am
Some hotels (Soffitel La Defense) provide a small pocket card with various running routes

When you are buying Things to Eat, you should NOT avoid the crowds
Do not shop at the Fromagerie, Wine Shop or Drug Store which is empty and expensive

For Coffee, we go to the nearest McDonalds for a cafe allonge (espresso diluted with hot water)
We don’t understand the politics of cafes, the waiting, the bar vs tables, etc
In our opinion, the worst cafe in Paris is at le Louvre
(no concept of service, efficiency or expediency)
and it is terribly expensive (I saw a couple with kids spend their mortgage)

We seldom “eat-out”
Were unimpressed with street crepes
Almost didn’t have enough money for a lunch, when they required cash
But we can recommend: Bouillon Chartier, L’As du Fallafel, Taverne Henry IV and La Tour Montlhéry – Chez Denise (as does every tourist guide – no surprise)

But it is important to remember . . .
We are often wrong