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I know it sounds corny, but it does feel like coming to as second home, Karen arranged for a car and driver to pick up at the airport and before long we were driving down rue Bachaumont, a street in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, and arriving at "our" apartment. The street dates back to 1899 and named after the French writer, Louis Petite de Bachaumont.

We settle in "our" apartment, walk down the street and visit the many shops as we are going to have a Aperitif dinatoire - drinks and aperitifs with our friends Vannarith & Jacques as well as Mike and Margot Arbogast who have been travelling with us through Portugal and now in Paris. Group trips are fun!

This was the year of issues in Paris. There were reports of strikes, protests and the flooding. We were not sure what would be greeting us in Paris, but in the end it was fine. Paris takes much in stride.

We also had our friends Pat & Tegan, who used to be our neighbors, and now living in London, come over to Paris. We had a great lunch at the Restaurant Champeaux, this is a new restaurant that has opened under the grand "La Canopée of Les Halles and is one of restaurants by France's noted chef, Alain Ducasse. Great lunch, the restaurant is a contemporary brasserie. There was a large display board along one of the walls that is similar to what is seen in a railway station and it scrolls down menu items.

That was not our only lunch at a noted chef's restaurant. We also came across and had lunch at the Cafe Constant, a Michelin Bib Gourmand rated restaurant by chef Christian Constant.

Our trips to Paris are casual events. We have some traditional walks we take, but we basically just enjoy the scenes of the city.

We travelled out to the Trocadero and came across hip-hop dancer Selver Hicham and his friends who were filming a video with the Eiffel Tower as backdrop. Looked like quite the production with a series of eight or so cameras on a circular platform catching the scene. More of the dance scene are on website.

Despite the many trips to Paris we have never toured the Paris Opera house, Palais Garnier. Mike and Margo came back from their visit and said it was a must. We concur. Lavish detailed architecture.

We also travelled down a new street, Rue des Martyrs, that runs between the 9th and 18th arrondissement, Pigalle. Rue des Martyrs is a busy but pleasant street lined with shops and cafes - a scarf for Glenn was found! It was next to impossible to get good photos of the street because one of the strikes underway was a garbage strike so in front of every scene seemed to be a couple of large green trash containers.

This was the trip that Glenn acquired a Namiki fountain pen. Namiki fountain pens are made in Japan and are known for their workmanship and nibs. We regularly visit Brigitte Courson at Plumme & Bille, one of the pens stores that is a must visit for Glenn. When you buy a pen at Plumme et Bille, you usually write a note about the pen in a beautiful leather book. Returning to the store at the end of our visit Brigitte noted that we had just missed another customer who had come to store based on the review on She also selected a Namiki fountain pen and wrote a note to Glenn. Well in discussion with Brigitte I will post a note of the date of our next visit to Paris and we will see who meets up with Glenn at Plumme et Bille. Should be fun.

All trips must come to an end. It was a pleasant return non-stop flight to Vancouver on Air France.

Now, in August we leave for Italy.... updates following that trip.