I shared earlier this week the sheer awesomeness that was the MyBrownBaby summer vacation to Paris with the girlpies, Mari and Lila, and our son, Mazi. Simply put, we had a blast. And when I wasn't leaving my Nikon D-50 laying around creperies and subway station seats across Paris (thank goodness Mazi was more mindful of my equipment than I!), I was snapping away. Here, I present some shots of our most memorable moments in Paris. Super good times!
|An outdoor club settled between the foot of the Eiffel Tower and the River Seine.|
|A beautiful Merry Go 'Round near the River Seine|
|Mari, Lila, and Mazi chillin' on a nighttime ride down the River Seine|
We took an amazing Black History Tour of Paris with the fabulous Ricki Stevenson of Black Paris Tours. Ms. Ricki took us all around the city, nourishing our minds with stories about African Americans who found solace in Paris and pointing out all the landmarks of significance to our history there. If you ever find yourself in Paris, this tour is a MUST!
|Our tour guide, Ricki Stevenson, breaking it down so it'll forever be broke|
|Parc Monceau, the elegant park where African Americans, barred from parks in the U.S., strolled, including Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, Mary McLeod Bethune, Katherine Dunham and many more.|
|This obelisk was donated to France in 1831 by the Viceroy of Egypt; it's the oldest monument in Paris—3,300 years old. It's also home to the guillotine, where 1,300 people lost their heads, including Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette|
|The Theatre des Champs Elysees, where the 369th Harlem Hellfighters band was honored with a post-war command performance, and where Josephine Baker made her Paris debut in the musical "La Revue Negre."|
|Place de la Madeleine, the church where Josephine Baker's funeral was held, four days after she made a triumphant return to the French stage at age 68. She received a state funeral, attended by an estimated 100,000 people.|
|That's me and the girls up top, and Nick below, hanging in Little Africa.|
Of course, the food in Paris is divine, as are the desserts, especially here at La Duree, an ornate pastry shop and tea room that's been serving up its world-famous coconut-less macaroons since 1862. We had champagne and cookies for dessert back in this stunningly elegant champagne room. (Don't worry: Mari and Lila had milkshakes!)
Of course, we couldn't do Paris without taking a day trip to Versailles, home to Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette. Opulent doesn't even begin to describe this place. The fountain-filled gardens, the golden gates and staircases, the marble, the art, the sheer size of the place? Yeah, let's just say that if I was starving and I knew my king and queen spent all the tax money on this madness, I would have chopped off the heiffa's head, too. #justsayin
|The golden entry gate to Versailles|
|Mari getting her giggle on in a maze of hedges in the gardens of Versailles|
|One of the many houses gracing Marie Antoinette's chalet|
|The gardens are even more amazing when the fountains are running|
The Centre Pompidou is an ultra-hip modern museum with lots of amazing and super weird art. Of course, when there's a mirror around, the Chiles girls are going to pose. Take note of Lila, who can't ever be still, even when the camera is clicking!
|The Stravinsky Fountain, in the square outside the Centre Pompidou|
The Arch de Triomphe is just as amazing inside as it is on the outside—and good God, you have to climb more than 230 steps to get to the top. Nobody warned me. I barely made it up. Clearly, I need more people. And exercise.
And what would a visit to Paris be without a stop at the world-famous Louvre? Mona Lisa smiled at us, and Mari and Lila took their beauty star turn in front of the Venus de Milo.
We really enjoyed our lunch at Cafe Marley, a delightful restaurant just off the Louvre's square. And there goes Lila, twirling again. And for the record? Panna Cotta topped with fresh raspberries is officially my favorite dessert, like, ever. I'm on a mission to find a good recipe for this.
Notre Dame. 'Nuff said.
We spent our last night at Publicis Drugstore, a delightful restaurant in a "mall" type building with shops, book stores, and magazine stands. The food was delicious and the desserts, especially the generously proportioned ice cream sundaes and the pistachio creme brulee, were nuts.
|Nick getting a good laugh at something Lila was doing, no doubt. She's a riot. All day, er'day.|
|My Lila, the goofbucket.|
|Mari, handling her strawberry shortcake ice cream sundae. She barely put a dent in it!|
|The Arch de Triomphe, just steps away from the restaurant, at night. Our last view of Paris...|