Paris Adventure Journal


Whoohooo! As I am reviewing my daily notes, my mind is in Paris again……

Although January might not be the best time to visit Paris weather-wise, I still cherish the 2 weeks I have spent there.

Day 1

This is the first time I’ve rented a vacation apartment on my overseas trip. Due to our extended stay, our Parisian friend suggested vacation rentals for additional living space and comfort, we obliged. As a result, we brought along travel sized items such as tooth paste, hair shampoo, fabric softening sheet, clothing detergent, and garbage bags; items that we won’t necessarily bring if we were staying in hotels. The process for renting vacation apartments was easier than we imagined, simply select the area (district) of interest and price range, and review customer comments/pictures to pick the best feeling apartment. And of course we had help from our Parisian friend in avoiding the unsafe areas. The website we used was

We arrived at Paris on a rainy day. When we got to the apartment, the owner was waiting for us at a corner Café. When he saw us get off the taxi with our luggage and heading toward the apartment, he promptly walked toward us and greeted us. It turned out he also just got back from an overseas trip to Brazil.

Our rental apartment was at a very convenient location with grocery stores and restaurants close-by. A Metro mass transit station is right around the corner. Cafes, Bakery stores, boutique stores, and the Pompidou Museum are also within walking distance. Every morning at 8am we would hear the tower bell ring from Notre Dame Cathedral.

Although the weather was rainy and damp, the excellent view out the windows at the apartment more than made up for the depressing weather. The apartment was splendid as we could feel the care and effort that went into decorating the place. The owner placed red wines, tea bags, and French branded coffee capsules in the kitchen cabinet to compliment our stay. With such a comfortable apartment, an extended stay is an excellent experience in fine Parisian living and culture.

p.s. in Paris, a majority of apartment buildings do not have elevators. With the narrow spiraling stairs, dragging heavy luggage up and down the floors is not an easy task. When picking Parisian apartment rentals, don’t forget to make sure an elevator is available.

Day 2

Everyday day in Paris, we try to slow down our pace by relaxing at a Café, enjoy a cup of latte or tea, then proceed to our next destination. Today we explored the Madeleine Square area, which is full of high-end luxury good stores, artisan retail stores such as Fauchon and Mariage, and representative French clothing brand stores such as Saint James. There are also luxury tableware retailers such as Villeroy & Boch.

Day 3

Today, we found an excellent local bakery store close to our apartment, the store is Pain de sucre (

In Paris, the pastry/bakery business is extremely competitive because French pastry skills are among the world’s best. Neighborhood bakeries and dessert stores are abundant. During our trip, we try to visit different pastry stores, but there is one in particular that I want to visit everyday, which is Pain de sucre. Their pastry creations are unique, delicious, and of such high quality that it’s difficult to describe in words. The next time we are in Paris, for sure we will be visiting this pastry store again.

For the first few days in Paris, having a great croissant was essential to start off a brand new day. French desserts in general contain less butter and sugar than the ones I am accustomed to in America. For all the desserts and pastries I’ve consumed, I was afraid to get on the weight scale. I tell myself I will work off the weight when I get back to San Francisco because French pastries/desserts are so delicious, and of course, the Cannele is very tasty too, ha ha!

Day 4

Many thanks to our French friend for taking us on an extended walking tour among the different Parisian neighborhoods, such as the park in St. Germain du pre and the local farmer’s market. Today, we visited places where local Parisians would visit, we learned about local culture and tasted local foods. We also had a great afternoon tea session at Café Jacquemart-Andre, which is inside a small museum that is not popular with tourists. We try to experience what it’s like to live like a local Parisian. It was an unforgettable experience. Traveling is not simply about eating great food and having fun, it’s also about learning the local culture.

Day 5

Today I took a class at the world famous Le Cordon Bleu.

A majority of students attending the academy are from U.S., China, and Taiwan. There were also students from Russia, Kazakhstan, and other nations. All Cordon Bleu classes have English translators, so I was told. Within another year, Cordon Bleu will relocate to a bigger building from the current location.

The 6 hour course I have taken was attended by students from Brazil, Ireland, France, and America. There were 13 students, with 5 to 6 baking assistants in addition to the instructor. The instructor is an elderly French pastry master chef. He had a grandfatherly demeanor, was very friendly, talkative, and patient at answering students’ questions via an English translator. Overall, it was an excellent learning experience.

One of the pictures posted above show pastries I worked on along with my baking group partners for the day.

There is so much to share, until next time then…………..

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