Up at 5 this morning to accompany brother Thad to the station to catch the 6:01 train to Milan.  He returns to Ohio today.  We three siblings had a wonderful 2 weeks together and Carol and I were sorry to see him go. Returned to the apartment to finish packing as we were headed to Paris via Genoa that afternoon.  The scene at the Genoa airport was insane….stood in line for almost 2 hours to check in….but we made it to CDG and had a car waiting to take us to the hotel.  How wonderful for me to be back in my most favorite city….Paris!

We’re staying at a boutique hotel in le Marais, the historic neighborhood on the right bank I’ve written about numerous times.   After settling in at the hotel, we set out to explore, as this is Carol’s first visit to the Marais.  It’s MUCH cooler here than on the Italian Riviera…..temps in the mid-60’s and no sun, so we bundled up as best we could.  First stop, of course, was the beautiful Place des Vosges, just around the corner from our hotel.

Discovered that I left my phone on the kitchen table in Rapallo, so, though I’m using Carol’s phone to take pictures, not taking as many.

Stock image of Place des Vosges, taken on a much sunnier day…

We strolled around the Place, window shopping and checking out the cafes.  I took Carol to two of my favorite jewelry shops and, of course, we found a few baubles that just have to come home with us!  Walked down rue St. Paul and through St. Paul Village to the Seine, but it was too chilly and windy by the water, so turned back.

Love this flower shop on rue St. Antoine…

More gorgeous flowers….

As we’d been up since 5, we decided to have an early dinner.  Walked over to Pink Flamingo Pizza on rue Vielle du Temple, where Pat and I have eaten before.  It’s a tiny restaurant that makes excellent fire-roasted pizza….claim to fame is that they deliver.  We ate inside though heartier souls were huddled around the sidewalk tables.  It did not disappoint.

Carol at Pink Flamingo, wearing her new Ubu necklace

My pizza with arugula and shaved parmesan….

Walking over to the restaurant, we spotted this small vehicle which seemed to be enveloped in mylar balloons.  Quite a crowd gathered around it, so we moved closer to investigate.  A young woman, wearing a rather bad blond wig and very high red platform pumps, dressed in a very short white skirt and red top, was  inflating the balloons that parents were purchasing for their little girls.

Little Red Riding Hood selling her balloons

When we walked past her a couple hours later, she was still there and her balloons were selling like hotcakes.  We took a closer look at the image on the balloons and, well, you decide if this is something you would buy for YOUR little girl!

Little Red’s balloon….a bit bizarre….

As it was Saturday night, the neighborhood was hopping and we wandered for over an hour, just soaking up the Marais vibe….

Obviously a very popular cafe….

We happened upon rue des Rosiers, where they were lined up for crepes….

and falafel…..

Stopped at this cafe for coffee and people watching…

 our cappuccino….

Exhausted, we returned to our hotel and fell into bed.  Bon nuit…..a demain!