Shopping, Les Catacombes and Fancy Dinner Night

Paris Travel Blog

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Fancy dinner night in Paris!

Charles and I got up super early and went out to find him a formal shirt. After sleeping in Suse left that morning as well. Samantha and Jesse slept in and awaited our return so we could do some sightseeing if we had time. Taking up the guide books recommendation to have at least one break the bank meal while in Paris we had made reservations a few months ago at Taillevent (see review).

 

Charles’ white dress shirt was okay he thought it would be best if he could get a new one. Our search for this practical souvenir led us to what the guide book proclaimed to be a low budget department store, Au Bon Marche.

Dessert!
This is the oldest department store in Paris, dating from 1852. It supposedly can’t compete with Galeries Lafayette but that would have to wait until we had more time and money. The department store more or less turned out to be like a department store but for rich people. We thought we saw a Gap down the street and getting desperate on time we headed for it. On the way we walked by a little store selling only men’s suits and formal wear. Having struck gold we walked in to find the prices reasonable.

 

I should mention that before we left for Europe we had to go shopping for ‘heavy winter coats’ as we Californians don’t own anything for cold weather unless we are talking about snowboarding or skiing.

Charles wearing his new shirt, tie and fancy winter coat
Samantha and I had found something reasonable that was also fairly fashionable as we would have to wear these coats over our formal wear at dinner that evening. Jesse is from Oregon and had plenty of coats. Charles never found anything that fit so he just borrowed a coat for the trip. So in this fantastic shop Charles got a nice white shirt and also found a great formal looking heavy winter coat. The salesmen threw in a tie and we were set. On the way back we happened upon a small orchestra playing in the Metro. We stopped to listen and bought their CD.

 

Once everyone was together and ready we headed over to the Les Catacombes.  In the Middle Ages the catacombs were quarries.

Muah aah ahh ahhhhh!
They remained so until the end of the 18th century when Parisian cemeteries were so crowded as to cause public health issues. It was then that city officials decided to use the area as a burial ground for over 6 million ghoulishly arranged, skull-and-crossbones skeletons. First opening in 1810, visitors could explore the 2,986 ft. (910m) of “empire of the dead” tunnels, now illuminated with electric lights over its entire length. I thought it was pretty cool that during World War II this was the headquarters of the French Resistance. I wonder if they hold Halloween parties down there? Best party setting ever! As you go along you are not allowed to take flash photos as the flash would ruin others’ night vision. I used the really long shutter setting on my camera for most of my pictures. For a few I used the flashlight and there are also some with flash as I just waited until no one was around and took a quick shot.
The flashlight was fun to use as that's how I got my favorite "Muah aah ahh ahhhhh!" picture. I'm not sure if the place is usually crowded but it was fairly empty for us when we went Jan. 4th 2007. Pretty crazy when you realize all the neatly stacked and sometimes decoratively arranged skulls are completely real! It is also weird that you are pretty seriously underground. Even the Metro underground was a few stories above us.

 

We headed back and started to get ready for dinner. We forgot to take pictures of ourselves all dressed up so we did it after we got back. Taillevent is located just off the Champs Elysee near the Arc de Triomphe it would have been simple to take the metro but in our nice clothes we opted for taxi. Charles, Samantha and I all ordered the gourmet tasting menu and Jesse explained that he was vegetarian and just wanted cheese. The waiter was very accommodating and told Jesse that the chef could certainly prepare something with no meat. Jesse explained that he has come to their country for their cheese and so really that is all he wants. Oh and some wine. And maybe some fruit for dessert later on. We made sure to take quick pictures of every course along with the plates Jesse got. Everything was fantastic! When all was said and done we got a taxi and headed home to get some much needed rest!

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Fancy dinner night in Paris!
Fancy dinner night in Paris!
Dessert!
Dessert!
Charles wearing his new shirt, tie…
Charles wearing his new shirt, ti…
Muah aah ahh ahhhhh!
Muah aah ahh ahhhhh!
Paris Metro symphony!
Paris Metro symphony!
The catacombs of Paris!
The catacombs of Paris!
Oops one with the flash.. shh dont…
Oops one with the flash.. shh don…
Samantha at dinner
Samantha at dinner
Pate
Pate
The cheese board !
The cheese board !
The Brie!
The Brie!
Cheese!!!
Cheese!!!
Oops ate the frogs legs before I g…
Oops ate the frogs legs before I …
Charles Red Snapper
Charles' Red Snapper
My Red Snapper after the top piece…
My Red Snapper after the top piec…
Lamb
Lamb
Goat cheese
Goat cheese
Dessert!
Dessert!
Dessert!
Dessert!
Jesses fruit dessert with real go…
Jesse's fruit dessert with real g…
Jesse
Jesse
Samantha
Samantha
Samantha
Samantha
ME!
ME!
Jesse
Jesse
Charles and Sam in our living room
Charles and Sam in our living room
Jesse passes the time
Jesse passes the time
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In the Middle Ages the catacombs were quarries. They remained so until the end of the 18th century when Parisian cemeteries were so crowded as to caus… read entire review
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photo by: Sweetski