Another weekend! Another day trip option!
One of the best things about being abroad is the flexibility to travel to so many places at the drop of a hat. Cheap plane and train tickets are easy to get but only if you plan in advance. If you’re like me though, that can be a bit difficult. But does that mean compromise on a quick trip? No way! There’s several day trips outside of Paris and they’re actually free if you go on a weekend and have a Navigo! So far we’ve been to Fontainebleu to see the Chateau and this weekend was a trip to Chantilly!
Chantilly is about 45 minutes outside of Paris and so so easy to get to with a 9 euro train ticket on the RER D from Chatelet Les Halles.
When you get there the chateau is about a 35 minute walk from the train station. Just follow the signs or the large groups of people!
Then have a picnic! Beatles music optional.
The Chateau is GORGEOUS!! Inside is one of the largest art collections (aside from the Louvre of course) in France!
We made our way into the gardens, which are massive! And French. And Beautiful! haha But there was a maze too with a huge chess board in a clearing, a children’s play area with… sheep!! and a couple of restaurants. The gardens turn from prime, proper, “I’m going to trim this into an exact cone!” to swan chasing, lazy rivers and forests.
A little wander through the town’s market… tehehe
Did you know that you don’t say “Happy Bastille Day” in France? We found this out after a funny conversation with an older French couple at the parade. I might have been swaying and slightly crosseyed after getting home at 3am from the Ball de Pompeii and waking up at 7am to walk to a parade that err didn’t merit getting 3-4 hours of sleep. darn! But the fireworks that night…. WOW.
The night before le 14 Juillet is the Ball de Pompeii, or the Fireman’s Ball. All the fire stations across the city open up to have a huge party. It helps raise funds for the Pompeii and whoever came up with it is genius!! Who doesn’t want to hang around some hunky French Firemen, drink beer or champagne, and dance the night away?!
yup- and that is the only picture I can show from the night. ;-) or my friend’s might just kill me.
Actual Bastille Day, involved climbing a tree..
Because well the entire walkway looked like this..
We were soon dismounted from the trees because the police were concerned for our safety and the possible concussions that might occur. So we moved up a bit, away from the metro, and happened to find a spot where we could see!! woohoo!!
And what did we see? 4,823 marching military personal in various uniforms…
241 horses.. now that was cool!
265 military vehicles… yay? ok the tanks were cool.
How about some better pics of close up soldiers and tanks! ya! French military! We ran into these boys on the way home.
ok now what you need to say is “Formidable!” In a French accent. haha
ooo Pretty Eiffel! Love the flag!
Now what you absolutely HAVE to do on Bastille Day is go to the Fireworks at the Eiffel Tower!!
Plan for next year: Sleeping in, having a massive/super long picnic at the Champs de Mars and laying back and watching the fireworks.
Viva la France!
Here’s a video of the entire firework show this year! Incredible!!
- Go to the Ball de Pompeii! It’s for all ages. We saw kids up to grand parents getting some dancing in. It’s the night before and the day of Bastille Day.
- If you are going to the parade, bribe a resident that has a balcony facing the Champs Elysees. Just kidding. Or am I?
- Get to the Parade super early! We got there at 8:30am, and it was packed even though it starts at 10:20!
- Set a meeting place for the parade that is away from a metro stop. Everyone will be taking the metro so there will be a ton of people around that area hankering for a spot. Also be warned that a lot of streets and metro stops will be blocked off close to the parade.
- Don’t want to stand for several hours to watch military people walk by? Go to one of the many meet and greet areas after the parade to take a look at the vehicles and soldiers.
- Bring snacks to the parade and chairs- not to sit on, but to stand on! This might not go over so well for the people behind you but it’s worth a shot.
- Know that the metro is going to be INSANE after the parade. Walking home will get you there faster than attempting to train it back.
- For the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower, get there early in the afternoon if you want a spot on the grass. In the middle, but further away is better than on the sides because once the fireworks start people will push in making you and your lovely picnic mates not all that happy. Bring lots of food, an umbrella, and sunscreen. Alcohol isn’t allowed!
I thought about doing something French/American themed for the Fourth of July here- maybe a tart with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and a tasty pastry cream. But then I thought, I should be going all the way American! duh! We celebrated on the Fourth by going to the American Church in Paris for a BBQ and sparklers, the next day the celebrations continue with a themed picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower! What better for a picnic than Apple Pie! on a stick?
Lillibet and Emily on the way to the picnic! aka Amazing Paris house guests of the week!
We found a sweeet red car along the way that totally completed my Fourth of July outfit! haha
There aren’t too many options for celebrating the Fourth in Paris. Wish a Frenchman a Happy Fourth and what do you get? bah oui! why yes it is the fourth of july! But! The American Church in Paris put on an amazing celebration- complete with sparklers!!
oooo I didn’t get a picture of the food! Hotdogs, BBQ Lays, and a Chocolate Chip cookie!! What awesomeness! And the hotdog was mighty tasty! Not those scary almost white looking hotdogs they sell in the park.
Happy Fourth of July!!!
Two days ago a post of Facebook caught my eye as I was about to head out for the evening:
What’s up with the hordes of people dressed in white and carrying lawn chairs around the Louvre ??
Two seconds later and there was a link to an article about Diner en Blanc, the world’s largest secret dinner club!
A quick text to Nick and a slight wardrobe change later and bam!
So cool! Super blurry iPhone pic. yay!
The rules of the game are that 1. you have to be on the guest list or a friend of a guest to dine (darn! next year?). 2. Each guest brings a table for two, two white chairs, a white table cloth and an delicious feast (we actually saw a chef preparing food on a hot plate..). 3. Dress elegantly and all in white. The location isn’t announced until an hour before and is usually in a public spot.