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  • Jennifer

All (French) roads lead to Paris!

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

After four days in Bourgogne, we took the road to Paris, arriving in a city of cars, traffic and one way streets that made finding a gas station quite a challenge. A little different than the small towns we'd just left! We are still waiting for the tickets to arrive in the mail for all the traffic laws we broke looking for that damn gas station. When we finally dropped our rental car off in the never-ending parking garage of Gare du Nord, we were off to get ourselves the illusive pass sanitaire. This is a QR code that allows you to enter restaurants (both indoor and outdoor), bars, venues, museums, and tourist attractions.

We'd applied on-line for the pass before leaving the US, but apparently the French system was so overwhelmed it just went into a black hole. No pharmacies we visited in Bourgogne had any clue they could issue a pass to a non-French citizen so we eventually gave up.

While we managed to just show our US-issued vaccination cards in Bourgogne to get seated and served at restaurants, we really wanted the QR code to facilitate our Paris visit (and since we'd be in Italy and France again less than a month later, we wanted to make our future visits easier as well).

Fortunately, we managed to find a pharmacy capable of issuing us passes in Paris and were QR code-equipped and feeling invincible! We celebrated with lunch and dessert beside the Seine.

Our first day we walked and walked and walked, visiting the Rodin museum and Luxembourg Garden (two places we hadn't been before), and settling down for a few cocktails at lovely sidewalk cafes.

But the real treat was our second day, when we had a private food tour of the Marais. We met our guide and the deliciousness began - croissants and cheese and meats and desserts.

The absolute coolest thing, however, was a visit to a store that specialized in jam, La Chambre aux in the ONLY thing they sold was jam: Pear & Vanilla, Raspberry & Passion Fruit, Mango, Coconut & White Chocolate... just the most amazing flavors.

We did a blind tasting and had to guess what we were eating. I'd say we were right about...20% of the time? Joe was way better at this than I was.

We ended up purchasing a jar of Cassis & Violette (black currant and violet), and, man, it is sooooo amazing. That is one store I wish we had in the US and we will be going back every time we are in Paris - highly recommend you find this spot and go!

We continued on and tasted cheeses and meats (washed down with wine), and were even introduced to Brittany style crepes, which were very unique, paired with artisanal apple cider at Breizh Cafe.

If I'd known that chocolate tasting was a thing I would have done this years ago! Once again, we performed blind taste tests, this time at Edwart Chocolatier.

I never realized how many different types of chocolate there are and the regional characteristics that make each chocolate different. We walked away with a big box of dark chocolate to take home. It didn't last long!

After our tour was complete, we wandered around the city until it was time for our dinner cruise down the Seine, a perfect conclusion to our few days in the city of lights, and the end of this trip to France.

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