"I Know What You're Going To Say" - France Sept 2019 - Update 12/8 RunDisney 5K & Illuminations

Dis_Yoda

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
After Hours at the Louvre

We met up with our group to head over by bus to the Louvre. Part of me thought this was extremely silly as the Louvre was at most a 10 minute walk away from the hotel…granted my ankle was happy for that but well, I could have managed. We parked in the bus parking under the Louvre and headed inside to meet with our guides from the Louvre. The museum was closing for the general public and the only people inside were Tauck guests - those from our tour group along with what looked like 3 groups of people from other Tauck tours but we didn’t really see them anywhere but near the Mona Lisa.






We headed towards the Sculptures first.















And then towards various periods of artwork.










And then the crown jewel of the Louvre where we had zero wait to see it and could take as many photos as we want or video. This is when I learned it was actually painted on wood and not canvas as well as my favorite guest whining about the Tomato lady making it that it has to be behind glass now. I rather it be humidity controlled as much as possible, lady.



We had about 2 hours at the Louvre with the tour guide. I wish we had more time or that we could have seen the ancient Egyptian or Asian art but I get why they kept us to the ancient sculptures and Italian and French painters as that is what most people care about anyway.​
 

Dis_Yoda

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Heavy Snacks at Hotel

After the Mona Lisa, we headed back towards the bus to go home. The sun was starting to set. I forgot how much later they have sunsets due to their location on Earth - I've lived in Florida for too long!





Due to the time back at the hotel, we had a heavy snack provided for us. We knew it was coming so we planned on that being dinner that evening and it was more than enough. It was the same dining room as the evening before but much less fancy and there was a lack of rocks in these dishes. It was more than enough to fill us up. My husband stole most of my fries so I stole the rest of his salad. I haven’t a clue what was in the finger sandwiches but I remember I only enjoyed half of them and the one of the others was the strangest flavors I’ve ever had and I couldn’t place what it was.


Finger Sandwiches


French Fries


Salad


Cookies & Shortbread

It was past 11pm by the time this was done so after our cookies, we went to bed! We abstained from alcohol as I remembered what our bill was from the night before.​
 
  • kastoney

    Disney foodie served with a side of sarcasm
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2010
    Just be rude to strangers and you won’t have that problem.
    So just me myself. Good plan :P

    he youngest person in the tour would be the one to fall....Luckily I did have my ankle brace on as I was wearing it when I knew there would be a lot of walking so it wasn’t as bad as it could be. Initially I think I was more embarrassed than hurt so I took photos and went on my way.
    Oh no! Hope it doesn't bother you too much. You've certainly had a time with that ankle.

    Hey, it's the Washington Monument :D

    You sure this is yours? :P

    he museum was closing for the general public and the only people inside were Tauck guests - those from our tour group along with what looked like 3 groups of people from other Tauck tours but we didn’t really see them anywhere but near the Mona Lisa.
    Wow, that is awesome that you had the place to yourselves even if it was for a short amount of time.

    Nice smile!

    Heavy Snacks at Hotel
    This made me laugh because for me snacks are never not heavy

    We abstained from alcohol as I remembered what our bill was from the night before.
    Good for your wallet, sad for your liver :D
     

    2xcited2sleep

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2008
    "Be rude to strangers" … travel advice noted. ;) How cool to get a private tour. I didn't realize the Mona Lisa was painted on wood vs. canvas. Any meal or snack involving French fries is good in my book!!
     

    Dis_Yoda

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2008
    So just me myself. Good plan :P
    I think you can handle that well!

    Oh no! Hope it doesn't bother you too much. You've certainly had a time with that ankle.
    Yeah - at this point its just funny and part of life. At least I was prepared with my athletic ankle brace.

    Hey, it's the Washington Monument :D
    Totally! Just a quick flight there and back!

    You sure this is yours? :P
    Nope! It was the table next to us. I never eat shrimp :)

    Wow, that is awesome that you had the place to yourselves even if it was for a short amount of time.
    Yes! It was awesome. We probably got a lot more seen in that short amount of time than if we were on our own.

    Nice smile!


    This made me laugh because for me snacks are never not heavy
    They are never not heavy for me either. I'm just glad it was enough for dinner since it was so late!

    Good for your wallet, sad for your liver :D
    My liver gets abused heavily the next day don't you worry ;)

    "Be rude to strangers" … travel advice noted. ;) How cool to get a private tour. I didn't realize the Mona Lisa was painted on wood vs. canvas. Any meal or snack involving French fries is good in my book!!
    Well, that travel advice is only for where you need to worry about pick pockets and such so those major places that everyone flocks to. The smaller areas not so much.

    I loved the private tour as it was one of the things that made Tauck special. We got similar treatment in Rome with the Vatican.

    My husband is a French Fry fiend so he was very happy with this snack. Still not sure I got the better part of the deal as he stole my fries for part of his salad. At least what I got was kinda healthy.
     

    Dis_Yoda

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2008
    Musee d’Orsay

    My husband and I went down for breakfast since our dinner was light and we figured we could skip having a real lunch as we had our farewell dinner this evening. Just look at all the food we were given...bread, more bread, tea, fruit and I had crepes and my husband had an omelet as well.






    We boarded our bus to head to the Musee d’Orsay and as we were a group, we were allowed in about 30 minutes before the general public was so it was nice to get through the initial main areas without the crowds.




    Our guide talked to us about how the Museum was originally a railway station that was built for the 1900 Paris World Fair but as the trains grew bigger and WWII happened, it wasn’t used as much and was going to be torn down and turned into a hotel. Luckily someone stopped that planned and put it on the list of Historic Monuments and the idea to turn it into a museum was born. It was to be an art museum between the traditional art in the Louvre and the National Museum of Modern Art.




    We began by looking at some of Manet’s work such as The Luncheon on the Grass and Olympia.

    We also were taken to Gustava Courvet’s Origin of the World where my husband and I got to laugh at some of our tourmates. If you don’t know this painting, just know it isn’t safe to research at work. But Mrs.. “never let your husband see you in face cream” was so offended by it I got the biggest grin. Then again, they were offended by some of the sculptures the night before as well like the beautiful woman that was really a man in the Greek section.









    We went around to other various painters and the ballroom that used to play music.

    Upstairs we saw works from Monet, van Gogh, Caillebotte, Gauguin and others.












    As time went on, it got more crowded and our guide kept reminding us to keep an eye out for pickpockets. One member of our group actually caught someone canvassing for easy pickings. We then had the rest of the time on our own to explore more or head elsewhere. We turned in our headsets to our guide that we’ve had for the past 12 days and went to the gift shop before figuring out our next moves. I picked up a Starry Night Fan & a Monet Puzzle as my Paris Souvenirs.​
     
  • Dis_Yoda

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2008
    Easy Afternoon

    Rather than wait for the group, we decided to take a stroll back to our hotel across the Seine. We walked one of the bridges and headed into the Tuileries Gardens. My husband paid attention to them as he figured it might be a good place to run later since it was across the street from our hotel.





    Near our hotel was the First English Bookshop established on the Continent so we explored that some and my husband picked up a book to read on his travels.




    Next door was Angelina’s which is apparently really famous hot chocolate. I had asked for extra whipped cream as my husband is obsessed with whipped cream but I ended up being really glad we did as that hot chocolate was super rich. I needed the whipped cream to help cut that richness and lighten it up. I’m glad we got a small one!



    Back at the hotel, we had the concierge pull the list of “VOFR” showings of “It: Chapter 2” for nearby movie theaters. That is the version that is shown in English but with French subtitles. One of the theaters playing that version wasn’t too far from the hotel so we headed in that direction after a quick break in the room. My husband stopped by Zara near the theater and got himself a new long sleeve pullover shirt and a button down as he wanted more grown up clothes.






    At the theatre, we got some snacks as our lunch for the day. Their popcorn was either salty or sweet and butter wasn’t an option. We went with a salt popcorn, Coke Zero and these Kit-Kats Balls. The movie theater itself had small seats so if you aren’t skinny - they may not be very comfortable at all for you but we made it work.

    We really enjoyed the movie and walked back to the hotel. Our room had cookies left for us that were wonderful as well.



    I took a nice long bath to help soak my ankle as it wasn’t happy and I still had Disneyland Paris to enjoy and two races to do. I make bad life choices. Don’t do what I do. I also got a very short nap in since it was vacation.​
     

    tammy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 31, 1999
    Love Paris. Looks like you guys are having a fabulous time. I'm super jelly!
     

    Dis_Yoda

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2008
    Farewell Seine River Cruise

    We got dressed up and headed to the bus for our final event of the Tauck Tour - a farewell Seine River Cruise. We got on the Mississippi River Boat (a name all of us were amused by) and they had an open bar along with some passed appetizers available. Let’s just say I had many many glasses of champagne. I also had many shrimps from the appetizers and I can’t remember what the other two were as I didn’t eat any. I’m sure one was a veggie option and the other was probably some type of meat.





    We hung out outside as we passed many of the sites along the river.






    We were eventually called to our table to eat. We sat with some of the people we enjoyed during the trip. So one of the solo travelers forgot to circle her appetizer selection and the server didn’t make any mention to her. My husband gave her his vegetables as he didn’t care about what he ate. This confused the waitress but in the end, he got his vegetables as well. My dish was odd. I couldn’t figure out if I liked it or didn’t. I probably should have gotten a different option. My husband did like the vegetables when he finally got his serving. (He believes in the females are served first in nice restaurants and to wait to eat until everyone is served)


    Poultry “Terrine” with Foie Gras Stuffing, Salads & Red Wine Marinated Onions


    Soft & Crunchy Vegetables

    We noticed we were passing Notre Dame so everyone at our table left to get a photo and then we got in trouble for holding up dinner. I like being a troublemaker!


    Notre Dame

    My husband and I went with the same option for our main. Luckily, there wasn’t a ton of mushrooms in the stuffing so I survived (@kastoney knows the feeling) but what really was the star of this dish was the zucchini cannelloni and when my husband didn’t touch his nor did another table mate - they both were stolen by me. That champagne had totally kicked in as all my manners were gone.


    Mushroom stuffed filet of chicken with zucchini cannelloni & black truffle sauce

    We all left our table again for pretty photos until we got the ‘look.’ by the wait staff.




    My husband and I both got the same dessert and it was awesome. What's not to love about chocolate or vanilla?


    Chocolate Crunch w/ Vanilla Flavored Dome

    After dessert, we all headed back out for photos. You can probably tell how much wine I had with the redness in our faces...


    We do exist!

    We got to see the Eiffel Tower Night Time show which was such an amazing way to end the journey.





    And with that, we ported and our Tauck trip was over. We got copies of the group photo along with contact information of everyone in the group if we wanted to contact them (to date, I’ve talked to no one other than sending copies of my Rouen photos to the North Carolina couple who had camera issues that day but I’m ok with that)

    We slept great that night thanks to the Champagne.​
     
  • Dis_Yoda

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2008
    Jardin des Plantes - Ménagerie & Labyrinth

    I went downstairs to breakfast alone and ended up sitting with a few people from the Tauck tour that hadn’t left yet for their travels home but I was quick with my eating as I wasn’t too hungry and just felt like having some french bread and pineapple. While I was enjoying breakfast, my husband went for a run in front of our hotel in the gardens and near the Louvre and got about 6 miles in. He was cleaned up by the time I was back. We know going into the catacombs was going to be out based off the condition of my ankle. Going down that many stairs would be a really stupid decision. This meant we had time we hadn’t planned on this day so I went searching in our guide book to see what trouble we could get into.

    We decided to head towards Jardin des Plantes which is the main botanical garden in France. It was established in 1635 as a medical herb garden for Louis XIII. In 1739, the labyrinth and maze were added and in 1792 the Royal Menagerie was moved there from Versailles. The Menagerie started because of the French Revolution where all the exotic animals in private hands were to be killed, stuffed or donated to scientists at the gardens so people couldn’t just show off their exotics in the streets anymore. Luckily, the scientist Jacques Hendri Bernadrdin de Saint-Pierre thought better of killing them off and set out to make a display of them. It is now the 2nd oldest zoo in the world. There is more sad history here as in 1870, many of the animals were killed and used to feed the population during the Prussian War. Now the emphasis is on the preservation of endangered species, a third of which are on the brink of extinction. Each of the animals shown have an arrow pointing to where they are along the extinction risk line. They mainly have small to medium animals as the enclosures are small. They also work towards reintroducing some of the animals to the wild if appropriate. All of the buildings are listed as historic and thus protected. It is in its original condition (outside of renovations)

    So no more history lesson. We screenshotted our google map instructions on how to get there with the Metro to make sure we got off at the right exit. It wasn’t bad at all! We opted to walk to a Metro station that was a little further away so we didn’t have to change trains.



    We had a bit of trouble figuring out where the entrance of the Menagerie was but that was on our confusion on the maps and the multiple entrances that exist. It was a bit misty/chilly this morning as well but I wasn’t carrying my DSLR after the Louvre and was just using my cell phone. (Mainly didn’t want to carry it when I was already limping) It cost us 11 Euros each to get in.

























    The paths were not the best designed and we did end up back tracking a lot throughout our journey. I loved seeing the Red Pandas, Monkeys and Snow Leopards. There were also many species I haven’t seen before which was different. Part of me was also sad here though knowing that there were very large animals that used to be housed in these very small enclosoures. The Menagerie being exposed to the elements also meant we saw a fair amount of rodents in some of the exhibits stealing the food of the animals on display. I mean, can’t blame the rodents for an easy meal but I haven’t seen it to that extent anywhere else.

    We spent about 2 hours exploring before heading over to the Labyrinth & the gazebo at the top. It provided a lovely view of the gardens.




     

    Dis_Yoda

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2008
    Shopping & Pastries




    On the way back to the Metro Station, we saw a French gaming store and my husband wanted to explore it. I think we end up making the guy laugh as my husband’s Star Wars tattoos were showing and he ended up paying for his French Boba Fett with his Darth Vadar credit card. It was very nerdy. At least my husband was happy that he finally found a French gaming store as it was on his to-do list.

    Our metro ride was uneventful to our station but I realized we were returning right before noon. At noon Cedric Godric’s pastry shop opens for the day and when they are sold out. They are sold out! I got in line and my husband laughed that this many people were waiting for a treat. I got two Saint Honors and a Hazelnut Pastry for us to enjoy as our ‘lunch’. They were excellent!









    We stopped by the tea store so I could get a present for my dog breeder for watching Gantu and Qi’ra. It was something unique enough to know I pay attention as her teenage daughter is obsessed with teas.



    Afterwards, I went to the concierge for two reasons - one for them to print out our RunDisney Race Waivers and to see if they could arrange getting something for me from their sister hotel in Paris - the Hotel Plaza Athenee. My best friend is obsessed with Sex in the City even after all these years and really just obsessed with fashion in general. I think I threw them off with that request but in the end, they came through for me as I got a red stuffed bear delivered to the room with the name of the hotel on it. Perfect!

     

    kastoney

    Disney foodie served with a side of sarcasm
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2010
    Just look at all the food we were given...bread, more bread, tea, fruit and I had crepes and my husband had an omelet as well.
    The french really know how to breakfast

    Let’s just say I had many many glasses of champagne. I also had many shrimps from the appetizers and I can’t remember what the other two were as I didn’t eat any.
    Sounds like you went out on the best of notes to me!

    He believes in the females are served first in nice restaurants and to wait to eat until everyone is served
    Good man


    Poultry “Terrine” with Foie Gras Stuffing, Salads & Red Wine Marinated Onions
    I can see why you were on the fence with this one. Looks and sounds good and weird all at the same time

    Luckily, there wasn’t a ton of mushrooms in the stuffing so I survived (@kastoney knows the feeling)
    :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: You're braver than me. No chance I would have gotten anywhere near it


    We do exist!
    I'd forgotten what you all look like :P You do look blissfully happy:drinking1

    We got to see the Eiffel Tower Night Time show which was such an amazing way to end the journey.

    Perfection! Great last night indeed

    I think we end up making the guy laugh as my husband’s Star Wars tattoos were showing and he ended up paying for his French Boba Fett with his Darth Vadar credit card. It was very nerdy.
    :rotfl2: That is some star wars obsession

    Gorgeous! Glad to hear they tasted as good as they look
     

    Dis_Yoda

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2008
    The french really know how to breakfast
    Do you see why I'm shocked I actually lost weight on this trip?

    Sounds like you went out on the best of notes to me!
    Just wish I had more actual notes rather than putting this back together by photos at this point of the trip. I was slacking the final week of the trip.

    For this yes. Still can't seem to throw away an empty 2-liter of sparkling water but he knows other table manners.

    I can see why you were on the fence with this one. Looks and sounds good and weird all at the same time
    That's a great way of putting it. At least I wasn't wanting for food or anything at all this trip.

    :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: You're braver than me. No chance I would have gotten anywhere near it
    Oh - you would have missed that amazing zucchini cannoli though and that would be really sad.

    I'd forgotten what you all look like :P You do look blissfully happy:drinking1
    I know - we don't do nearly enough photos of ourselves. I should fix that.

    Blissfully wine drunk!

    Perfection! Great last night indeed
    It was! I see why our guide says it's her favorite farewell out of all the tours she does.

    :rotfl2: That is some star wars obsession
    Yup - we's got it but he has it more than me.

    Gorgeous! Glad to hear they tasted as good as they look
    He definitely deserves the following he gets! The price points make me cry a bit but well, its vacation.
     

    Dis_Yoda

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2008
    Le Jules Verne Dinner

    My husband and I both had turned our cellphones back on in the late afternoon so that we would be able to use Uber/Lyft for tonight’s dinner and deal with some stuff back at home. We also wanted to be able to be contacted by the driver if needed the next day as we headed to Disneyland Paris (you know, the part of the trip this board really cares about) We got dressed up as we would be eating at the Le Jules Verne this evening. Our Uber arrived quickly but the journey there was interesting. My husband kept sending me text messages that he thinks the driver is trying to kill us but that’s just how the drive in Paris - super aggressive. I couldn’t do it and am glad that other people can do the driving for me! We arrived about 20 minutes early to our reservation so we hung out until the check-in podium was open. We did get our first real experience with the pickpockets trying to come up to us but well, my hand had a great grip on my tiny purse and my husband had his wallet well hidden so we were nice and rude and eventually they went to easier pickings. I just feel really bad that their children are part of the scam. I also helped an American family trying to figure out what entrance they needed to get to for climbing the tower and they just made it before that option closed for the day.

    Le Jules Verne is a one Michelin Star restaurant located on the 2nd Floor of the Eiffel Tower and has its own private entrance up onto the tower. The restaurant recently went through a renovation as its long time chef, Alain Ducasse wasn’t allowed to renew his lease and rather a new chef, Frederic Anton took the helm. Apparently there was some drama there and lawsuits but I just care that the food tastes good.

    We were hanging out near this entrance as the podium is located there. We were the second party to arrive for the opening but as everyone rushed the entrance upon opening, you wouldn’t know. I did get a smile that one of the really rude people had to stand aside and wait as not all their party had arrived and they weren’t going to partially seat anyone. We headed up on our private elevator with 2 other couples 410 feet in the air. My husband got a bit of vertigo though because of the elevator due to the views as you go up. I’m really glad we ended up declining an offer earlier in the week to take 2 extra tickets for the guided tour all the way to the top that two of the solos in our Tauck group had (they had members cancel travel last minute due to family medical issues so the sisters just went on their own) as I’m sure he would have gotten really ill then.







    Once we arrived on the 2nd Floor, we were sat at a two top with a wonderful view of the city and also a view of a very angry child. I ended up asking my waiter why we had an angry child looking at us and apparently it is part of a month long campaign to raise money for sick children.


    Place Setting


    Menu


    Angry Child

    Before our order was taken (which well, wasn’t much of an order taking experience as we could only do the 5 course menu as we were part of the 6PM seating), they came around with a Champagne cart and asked if we would like a glass. My husband let me pick which one we were going to have (and he was glad I picked the one I did as he told me there was no way the others weren’t at least 50 euros a glass) While we enjoyed our champagne, he looked over the wine menu to determine if there was a bottle appropriate for us to pick to enjoy with our meal but in the end we ended up going with the wine pairing. The wine pairing was mostly a great choice, but they were lazy as they ended up reusing the same wine for two of the courses. For a 5 course meal, they had to have something else that would have worked better, especially for the prices we were paying


    Champagne

    We were served their bread and I loved how we got formed butter (I miss the Epcot Balls and Mickey’s of Disney’s Past)


    Jules Verne Butter

    We started with our amuse bouche which was actually rather decently sized. It was a brioche stuffed with black truffle along with some type of flan that I can’t remember exactly what it was now. Shame on me for not taking notes!


    Amuse Bouche

    Our first course was a curried crab with a sweet granny smith apple foam on top. My husband and I both really enjoyed this as the curry gave the crab great flavor but they had enough restraint to not over do it. The tartness of the foam also went well with the spice to make it very balanced. This course and the next course were both served with the Sancerre which was a nice wine but still wish they would have switched it up.

    Crab - Granny Smith Zephyr, Flavoured with Curry


    Daniel Crochet Sancerre

    The second course was actually my husband’s favorite course which surprised me. The flan was perfectly light and the caviar it was served with had the right amount of brine to play with the sweetness of the leeks and cauliflower.


    Cauliflower - Dubarry Cream, Young Ile-de-France Leek Flan, Crisp Bread and Chervil

    Our third course lived up to the spicy listed in the description. It felt like it was the right place after the previous two courses to wake up our mouths. The cod could have used a little more salt but we just used more of the jus for each of our bites. The wine was robust enough for this course which pleased us.


    Cod - Simply Cooked, Courgette flowers, Spicy Jus


    Tibouren Cotes de Provence

    For the main course, we fell in love with this dish. The sauce was amazing and we had no problem cleaning our plate of everything on it (except for those pesky mushrooms) as there was a velvet texture to it that worked so well. I was very sad when the dish was gone and while I love chicken at home because of the ease to cook, I never have loved a chicken dish as much as this.


    Farmhouse Chicken - Prepared in a Bouillon with Foie Gras, Wild Mushroom, Albufera Sauce


    Marsannay En Ouzely

    Dessert was all chocolate along with a nice light coffee sorbet. We both enjoyed this but we liked the wine it was paired with more.


    Chocolate - Soft Biscuit, Bitter Chocolate Cream, Coffee Sorbet, Toasted Lapar Coffee Beans


    Clos Jebsal Pinot Gris

    We also ordered an espresso to enjoy with our after dinner treats of a marshmallow and truffle.


    Marshmallow


    Truffles


    Espresso

    Overall, this was a great experience. I kinda wished we had gotten a later reservation so we could have done the full menu but at the same time, my wallet is probably very happy we couldn’t do that. After settling the bill, we headed out through the private entrance onto the 2nd floor platform and I got photos from every side as my husband stayed near the door. It was cold and windy so I did this quickly.







    Once back inside, we took the elevator back to the ground and headed to the “taxi” loading area where I summoned an Uber. Our drive back to the hotel was less eventful and we didn’t think we were going to die multiple times so win!​
     

    ljcrochet

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 4, 2006
    That looks like a great dinner.

    I could not get over the driving in Paris. I was glad my husband did the driving and not me when we were there. Especially since we hadn't planned on renting a car but wound up having no choice.
     



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