• Paris Bucket List 2016

    May 27, 2016

    Here’s to our sixth summer in France and our bucket list of things to do this summer! Can’t wait to get started crossing them off!


    Ferris Wheel at Place de la Concorde
    Paris Carousels
    Ménagerie du Jardin des plantes and Parc Zoologique de Paris
    Cruise on the Seine or Canal Saint Martin
    Parisian Parks
    Cité Des Enfants at Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie (Museum of Science and Industry)
    Atelier des Enfants at Pompidou Centre
    Jardin d’Acclimatation
    Disneyland Paris
    The House for Children at Le Centquatre
    Les Baby Z’ateliers at Le Musee En Herbe
    Story Hour at American Library in Paris
    L’Aquarium de Paris
    Coulée verte René-Dumont
    Paris Food/Wine Tour
    Day Trip Outside Paris
    Eat and/or have drinks at these restaurants (Le Perchoir Marais, L’Avant Comptoir De La Mer, Passerini Restaurant & Co, East Mama, Septime, Le Chateaubriand, Hero, Au passage, Clamato, Ellsworth, Yard, Martin, Le Mary Celeste, L’ami Jean, Clown Bar, La Bocca Della Verita, Gout de Brioche par Guy Savoy, Le Dauphine)

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  • Back to Blogging

    May 26, 2016

    It’s almost been a year since I’ve last blogged and it’s time I get back at it! Here’s to the beginning of a whole bunch of catching up! Currently this is what we’re up to these days!


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  • Clamato {Round Two}

    June 11, 2015


    Here are pictures from our most recent trip to Clamato just a few weeks ago. Again, I was so impressed by how fresh and creative everything was. This summer my favorite dish was the bulots (sea snails). Just like the pouce pieds from last summer, it’s something I’ve never had (or probably seen) in the states. Also another favorite was the maple syrup tart! Dusty and I don’t usually order dessert because we’d rather order another first or second course but this time I’m so glad we saved room.  It reminded me of a caramel tart, so rich and with the whipped cream it was perfect!

    Chef Bertrand Grébaut and Théo Pourriat are smart men. Clamato has a sister restaurant Septime, located right next door. And then right across the street is their wine bar serving beautiful wines and snacks. Septime is a reservation only place (that books up well in advance), serving modern french with seasonal ingredients. I’ve seen Septime on a lot of “must eat in Paris” lists. And this is why having these three places within a few blocks is so smart. As we sat in Calmato we saw many dinners go to Septime, realize they can’t get in, come to Calmato, get on the waitlist and then walk over to Septime Cave for a few drinks. These three places stay busy!

    clamato_009BULOTS, MAYO CURRY







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  • lejardin_001

    We didn’t just go to Reims for champagne but also some good food. In Reims there is a group of restaurants of Chateau des Crayeres. The main Chateau is a two Michelin starred affair, classic and French. However, they also have a sister restaurant, Brasserie Le Jardin, nestled in the garden of the Chateau through the woods. It’s more down to earth and relaxed in style but the food is still amazing. We had a three-course meal and each tried something different. If I remember everything from a year ago, our first course included gazpacho, tartare and sardines. Our main course included duck fish, and fish. And then of course there was dessert! It was a gorgeous day so we sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful view! The last picture is of the chateau, which was amazing as well.

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  • Reims-Day-Trip

    Reims, pronounced like “raans” is 45 minutes from Paris by high-speed train or about an hour and a half by car. Last summer Paris, in typical fashion, was having a train strike right at the same time we had made plans to take a day trip to the champagne region. We had already bought train tickets and made reservations to all kinds of fun places so we  were crossing our fingers for days that it would end before our trip but no such luck. The night before we were frantically searching the internet for rental cars. Dusty is amazing and some how navigated through the city of Paris with a rental car, picking Allison and I up at our front door, ready for our trip!

    We spent the day touring champagne houses (Mumm, Veuve Clicquot, Martel), eating a fabulous lunch, and visiting Reims cathedral. Reims is charming and the buildings look aged, but much of the town was destroyed in the World War I, with additional damage taken in World War II.


    First, about the champagne! Only bubbly from this region can be called “champagne.” The rest is ‘sparkling wine.’ Champagne is made from the chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier grapes. The aging and bottling process is very unique and different then how wine is made. I was absolutely amazed! “Riddling” is a process to remove the yeast from the aging champagne. The bottle is placed at a 75 degree angle and must be turned an eighth of a turn each day. This forces the dead yeast into the neck of the bottle to form a plug, which is frozen and popped out through a process called “disgorging.” Here is a general overview of the Champagne tours and caves we visited.

    Mumm: Very informative tour about how champagne is made!
    Veuve Clicquot: Award for best tasting room and great story about the founding woman behind the empire!
    Martel: Best “bang for your buck”!

    Reims_001 Reims_002 Reims_003 Reims_004 Reims_005 Reims_006 Reims_007 Reims_008 Reims_009 Reims_010

    After we made our rounds to the champagne houses and stuffed our bellies at lunch, we went to the Reims Cathedral, which was absolutely magnificent. It’s over 800 years old! This cathedral is a great example of gothic architecture and is historically significant as the “Coronation Cathedral,” where most of the kings of France held their coronation ceremonies.

    Reims_011 Reims_012 Reims_013 Reims_014

    Tips: Ricks Steve’s France Guide does an excellent job of overviewing the region! His book helped with planning our champagne cave tours, touring Reims cathedral and getting around town. After our third tour, I was a bit tired of hearing how champagne was made so think about just going straight to the tasting room if you’re going for more than a day and visiting several different places.

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  • clamato_002

    One of our recent favorite restaurants in Paris is Clamato. I’d add it to my Top 8 Places to Eat in Paris if you like fresh seafood and fish! We went last summer and loved it so much it was one of our first stops this year. It’s a small plates seafood and shellfish place by Bertrand Grébaut of Septime. Plates run 7-20 euros. The decor is understated yet warm including a brick bar with high stools. Wines are non-sulfite made by small producers and available for sale across the street at Septime Cave – a popular bar for drinks & nibbles. It’s a no reservations place. Arrive early, sevenish, to get a seat. We had dinner a couple weeks ago on a Wednesday night and got right in shortly after 7pm but by 7:45pm there was a 30 minute wait. The pictures are from our visit last summer in 2014! Our favorite dish last summer were the pouce pieds (aka barnacles). Something I’d never imagine could be good and they were delicious. Texture-wise they reminded me of clams or squid. I’ll post pictures from our most recent trip soon!


    clamato_003OUR VIEW FROM THE BAR

    clamato_004RAW OYSTERS & CLAMS





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  • MD119

    As you can imagine, we wanted to get pictures taken for Annabelle’s first birthday and thought at the same time we’d try to get some family photos. I’ve been meaning to post these for many many months! I wish I could post them all but here are a few highlights! We had Beth Ritchie take them for us and she did such a great job taking care of us and our very restless toddler!

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  • Paris Bucket List 2015

    June 3, 2015


    We’ve arrived in Paris (two weeks ago!). Right after we arrived I put together a bucket list with Dusty’s help of the things we want to do while we’re here (and I’m finally posting it). Here they are in no particular order.

    Picnic on the bank of the Seine
    L’Aquarium de Paris
    Paris Food/Wine Tour
    Disneyland Paris
    Day trip to Loire Valley
    Éclairs from L’Atelier de l’Éclair
    Ménagerie du Jardin des plantes and Parc Zoologique de Paris
    Picasso Museum
    Cruise on the Seine or Canal Saint Martin
    Spend some time playing at all the amazing parks in Paris
    Get Annabelle a scooter
    Eat and/or have drinks at these restaurants (Pierre Sang Boyer, Le 6 Paul Bert or Bistrot Paul Bert, Le Cinq, Ellsworth, Frenchie to Go, Hero, Miznon, Heimat, Spring, Chez L’Ami Jean, Bones, Le Perchoir, Clamato, Le Mary Celeste Cocktail Bar)

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  • Restaurant David Toutain

    I’m back at it, sharing some of the delicious food we’ve eaten in Paris. Last summer we went to Michelin 1 star Restaurant David Toutain for our anniversary. Given it’s been almost a year since we went, I can’t give lots of details but it was absolutely delicious. We went for lunch and had their tasting menu with wine pairings. The chef even came to our table to say hello before our meal was over. After we walked to the Camp de Mars (park near the Eiffel Tower) and relaxed before we had to get home to Annabelle.

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  • Merry Christmas!

    December 25, 2014


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