It's not even 8:00 am and tourists are already cruising around the Champs Elysees!

Paris, December 2012

The ride on the metro was fun. But, walking up the stairs to the surface we fouund ourselves facing a heavy rain, dark skys, afternoon commuters and trying to figure out where to get a taxis to take us to the hotel.

At least we knew where we were ( I knew where we were, I had a map from our last visit). We found a cab and off we went to the Hotel Lenox. By the time we got to the hotel the rain had stopped.

Joan at the hotel's entrance.

This is a familiar neighborhood for us. Ten years earlier we stayed at the Hotel Angleterre which is on the same street but which has a different name, two block east of here..

For you literary fans Hemingway lived at the Angleterre during his Paris years.

Joan's birthday, where do we go to celebrate? This little neighborhood has plenty of bistros and brasseries. Joan's big birthday was celebrated at the Cafe La Bonaparte.

The food was delicious, the wine was wonderful and the waiters were NOT snotty! Forget what you've heard from your "old fogey monolingual" relatives.

Parisiennes will and do speak English so go ahead and practise your high school French, they'll love it.

They will correct your French in English!

Many of the waiters and waitresses we talked to all spoke English. What a foreign concept!

Le Bonoparte is located on Rue Bonaparte which runs into the Seine River. Oh, how convenient. What, the Lourvre is just two blocks away?

Before dinner, however, we walked to the Seine to bring back memories from our previous trip to Paris.

It's Joan's Birthday and Christmas is just around the corner. What do you think the City of Lights would look like at Christmastime?

The streets are filled with shoppers, shops are decorated with lights and wreaths and each neighborhood has lights strung over the streets.

All the well known sites are always seen at night in the City of Lights:

The Eiffel Tower from Pont Neuf, Notre Dame Cathedral and a full moon from Institut de France.

During our week long stay we visited the following places.


The famed Les Puces de Saint-Ouen or simply the Paris Flea Market, the largest in the world in north Paris.


The Palace of Versailles

On Boxing Day (December 26th) we toured the fame palace.

Museums and other places

Museums, especially natural history museums, can have some very interesting origins. The British Museum was the result of someone's personal collection that was getting to big to keep at home. The wife said, "get rid of that stuff, it makes the castle, palace or mansion look trashy." Sir Hans Sloane donated his collection to the city of London. It opened in 1753 and has grown from Sloane's original collection to what it is today. We have his wife to thank for the spark that set the fire. The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History was initially an Oology musuem, the study of bird eggs. From its beginnings in the 1890s it has become one of the largest "small" museums in the country.

When people think of visiting Paris they top their "must do" list with the Louvre and the d'Orsey museums. While these are worth the visit, there are other museums, which are nothing more than colletions based on a theme or subject, which are worth visiting simply for the uniqueness of the collection.

Here are a few unusual museums we found to be very interesting and worth a trip to visit on this trip.


Le Musee de l'Armee and Napoleon's Tomb - what a concept!


The Natural History Museum of Paris and the Gallery of Comparative Anatomy and Paleontology


My Photo Gallery

My way of snoping around the city; some characters here and there, a play of lights and tone and using the zoom lens to create a scene.

Photos de Paris

Can't wait to go back!

To see some of our other trips go the the Travel page.

All images © 2012 Anthony Galván III
Any use REQUIRES written permission