We had been delayed out of Dallas waiting for the inbound flight which had been delayed out of Paris because of the weather. This caused us to arrive at our layover hotel about 4 hours late, which meant that there would be no time for sleep if we wanted to get out and enjoy the afternoon and evening in the city. After a quick change of clothing my friends and I were on the Metro and on our way to Rue de Rivoli.
I was still in search of my Longchamp "le pliage" bag. This is a very popular, sturdy, zippered, foldable bag which I have been coveting for a long time. I had unsucessfully attempted to find a less expensive bag or a copy that I would like as much as this one. I was now resigned to finding the best price I could on the original bag I wanted. Don't bother with this link if you aren't passionate about handbags. http://www.longchamp.com/en/eshopping/women/lines/le-pliage/e-shopping-showroom-425.html
I found the duty free store Benelux near the Palais Royale metro and obtained the exact size and color in the bag I wanted. It was not cheap, but it was the best price I had seen all month.
Our original plan was to sit outside at the cafe L'Avenue on Rue Montaigne for cocktails, but again the freezing temperatures caused us to opt for a warmer choice. We briefly considered having dinner near the Place de la Concorde (pictured), but really our hearts were set on strolling a bit in St Germain des Pres and having dinner in one of the lovely cafes there.
We chose a beautiful art nouveau cafe called Le Petit Zinc. The interior of this cafe is enchanting no matter what time of year it is, but it felt almost magical with the decorative Christmas lights surrounding us. The food was excellent and the service was prompt and attentive. http://www.petit-zinc.com/index_en.html
Le Petit Zinc is on the corner by the beautiful church of St Germain des Pres, the oldest church in Paris.
There was a manger scene set up outside the church and also a lovely Christmas market. After dinner we walked through the stalls in the market, and stepped inside the church where a service was about to start.
The interior of the church is definitely worth seeing.
I would have been tempted to stay for the service if we were not all badly in need of sleep. Our layover had already been cut short, so we headed back to our hotel and to bed. This is my last trip to Paris this month, and I don't know when I will be back. I hope it is soon.