scout paris 
 
When I entered the Grand Palais, the kaleidoscope of colors immediately overwhelmed me. But, this was a good thing. I love color and how it can illuminate a space. The Monumenta Project at the Grand Palais by artist Daniel Buren gave visitors an opportunity to wander through the circles of tinted glass. It also offered a unique perspective of the beautiful Art Nouveau space. I love architecture and what I liked about the installation was the fact that it gave the Grand Palais an opportunity to shine. I have been there for other events and it is never about the space itself. So, it was a pleasure to walk through and explore how a space feels when color is infused with natural light. Daniel Buren's exhibit is just 5 Euros to enter; Avenue Winston-Churchill.

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A view of the colorful ceiling
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A view from the grand staircase
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Standing on the circular mirrors made you feel as if you could fall into the glass.
 
 
I am a true city girl, but I get excited when the peonies arrive in the spring or when I pass by a florist's window to find the most exquisite bouquets in the window. I also enjoy spending the day in a park in the city or in the country...it depends on my mood.

I am seduced by flowers--roses, tulips, sunflowers, daisies. During the fall season, the vibrant colors of red, green, yellow, and pink are replaced with orange, gold, and brown. I love the changing of the leaves, but I am more inspired by a beautiful rose garden or a mesmerizing bouquet of tulips.

This upcoming winter makes me dream of my carefree days in the summer reading in the Rodin museum's sculpture garden or visiting Monet's house in Giverny. So, I do what any girl with a blog would do and post some pics. Monet and Rodin shared my passion for florals. These are my two favorite places--one in the city and one in the country--where the most beautiful blooms can be found.
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Monet's Water Lilies
Unfortunately, Monet's Giverny is closed during the winter months. But, you can visit the Musee de l'Orangerie to see some of the masterpieces that were inspired by his surroundings in Giverny. You can also visit the Musee Marmottan, which is a museum in Paris entirely devoted to Monet's paintings. Then, when spring arrives book a tour to visit the real thing.

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Rodin's sculpture garden in Paris
The rose garden at the Musee Rodin is open daily (closed on Monday) until 5 PM and costs 1 Euro to enter the grounds. The roses may not be currently in bloom, but the grounds are still worth visiting because it has on display many of Rodin's masterpieces. Plan to visit the museum itself, which houses one of the largest collections of Auguste Rodin. There is an extra fee to enter the museum.
 
 
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For those of you who haven't been keeping up with the museum scene in Paris, some of the fabulous galleries in the Musee d'Orsay have been under construction for the past two years.

Well, there is now something new to celebrate. By the end of the month, the renovations of all of the galleries will be complete and open to the public. Bravo!

The American Friends of the Musee d'Orsay (AMFO) will host a gala event on November 12.

Guests of the gala will be given a private tour of the new galleries, mingle with other art lovers, and get a sneak peak of the redesigned Café de l'Horloge--the café is situated within a birds eye view of the iconic clock. The AMFO is planning to infuse a little Americana into the event by bringing in a New Orleans jazz trio. How fun!

I have always loved the museum's collection of Impressionists paintings and the actual building itself, which used to be an old train station. The Musee d'Orsay should be on everyone's lists of art visits when they come to Paris.

If you are interested in attending the gala, here are the details: Tickets: $125 for members and $200 for non-members. You must rsvp. The gala is limited to 300 guests, which I think is quite nice because it offers a personal and intimate evening inside the museum. The museum is located at 1, rue de la Légion d'Honneur in the 7eme.

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Inside the Musee d'Orsay
 
 
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Preview for the Pavillon des Arts & Design in the Tuileries
The preview party for the Pavilion of Art & Design was the hot ticket on Tuesday night where art and design enthusiasts mingled over Champagne and enjoyed the show's festivities.

The show features more than 70 premiere exhibitors who are the best in modern home decor, designer jewelry, and art. I found their booths to be quite imaginative, especially the artist showcases.

The Pavilion of Art & Design opens today through April 3. The show is located in the Tuileries at Esplanade des Feuillants. It faces 234, rue de Rivoli, across rue de Castiglion. Metro: Tuileries or Concorde. Admission: 20 Euros; Students: 10 Euros.

Highlights from the Show

 
 
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Georges is located at Place Georges Pompidou. Metro: Rambuteau
For a fabulous lunch in a stylish setting along with the best panoramic views of Paris, book a table at Restaurant Georges at the Centre Pompidou.

The sleek design and colorful surroundings is something you must experience in person. And, it's a great way to spend the afternoon.

Choose to sit inside in the super modern dining room or on the expansive deck. Either way, you are in for a treat.

The modern art museum's sixth floor restaurant has a delicious selection of salads, sandwiches, and main dishes including salmon, pastas, and steak. Popular dishes include the crab salad (30 Euros), club sandwich (19 Euros), and spring rolls (19 Euros).

Georges is a bit pricey with main dishes ranging from 19 to 40 euros. Come anyway! Share some dishes with your table or sit in the bar area and order a drink. It's definitely worth the splurge.

The museum itself is time well spent because it has an incredible collection of modern art. The Centre Pompidou also features a library and a moderately priced cafe.

The building is located at Place Georges Pompidou. The museum is free for adults under 26 (starting April 4). And, the museum is free on the first Sunday of every month. If you plan on only going to lunch at Georges, there is no entrance fee. Closed Tuesdays and May 1. Metro: Rambuteau or Hotel de Ville.

Inside Restaurant Georges

 
 
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Les Arts Decoratifs, 107 rue de Rivoli. Metro: Palais-Royal.
It was the 1990s. It was the age of the supermodel when Christy Turlington, Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer, and Naomi Campbell became huge stars. It was also the time when the artistic directors of luxury fashion houses took center stage and crafted the most exquisite pieces of couture art.

Les Arts Decoratifs
explores an exciting time in fashion's history--the 1990s through the 2000s--with an exhibit of 150 couture pieces by Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel), Tom Ford (Gucci), Helmut Lang, Vivienne Westwood, Christian Lacroix, Alber Elbaz (Lanvin), Nicolas Ghesquiere (Balenciaga), and more.

Visitors will not only view these amazing pieces in person, but they can also watch the original runway shows that feature the collection via flat panel screens. This exhibit is an intimate look at a pivotal moment in modern fashion design and its evolution.

Les Annees 1990 & 2000 is on-view through May 8. Admission: 9 Euros (about $12). Free for students under 26. The museum is located at 107 rue de Rivoli. Closed on Mondays. Metro: Palais-Royal.
 
 
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Laduree at Versailles
I love period films. So, I was in heaven when I arrived at Versailles on an early Saturday morning. It was my chance to spend the day exploring the grand chateau and serene surroundings.

I was first introduced to the beauty of Versailles in the classic 2006 Sofia Coppola film Marie Antoinette. The movie was beautifully shot at Versailles and I couldn't wait to see firsthand the magical Hall of Mirrors, the King and Queen's apartments, and the pretty gardens.

The Cityrama tour guided us through Versailles, the Trianon palaces, Marie Antoinette's village, and expansive grounds. Even during a dreary winter's day, Versailles is absolutely breathtaking.

We took a break for lunch at a restaurant on the grounds. We were served a few glasses of red wine, along with a three-course meal, which included salad, a generous entree, and a decadent chocolate tart.

If you visit the chateau, stop by the Laduree shop where pastel confections and small gift items are in abundance--perfect souvenirs to take away after an idyllic day away from Paris.

Even if you only have a short time in Paris, a day trip to Versailles is worth it. And, if you don't like tours, Versailles is easy to access via the RER train. You can also purchase your Versailles admission tickets online.

A Tour of Versailles...

 
 
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Inside the Petit Palais. Metro: Champs-Elysées Clémenceau
Everyone talks about the awe-inspiring Grand Palais, but the Petit Palais--located directly across the street--is the palais to visit.

Not only is it free, but visitors will marvel at what's inside--paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and furniture.

Take a walk inside the interior courtyard where the garden offers an escape from the noisy streets of Paris.

Have lunch at the moderately-priced cafe and enjoy the richness of the architecture and design of the Petit Palais.

I was able to catch the last viewing of the Reporters sans Frontières exhibit of 100 photos by Pierre & Alexandra Boulat. I was enamored with the intensity and raw images of war, fashion, and women.

The photos were so personal, I felt like I was actually present when they shot some of the images. At times, I felt the need to pause and reflect on what I was seeing. 

It's not an overwhelming museum, but the perfect cultural experience for those who want to spend an hour or two surrounded by beautiful art and architecture.

The museum is located on Avenue Winston Churchill. Metro: Champs-Elysées Clémenceau. Entrance to the museum and special exhibits are free.



 
 
Christopher DelMonaco's inspiring designs are pretty, whimsical, and delicate. I thought it is the perfect way to send my Christmas love to everyone. Have a wonderful Holiday and Happy New Year! 
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A view of Chateau de Chenonceau
I went with a couple of friends on a day trip to the Loire region. It was nice to get out of the city for the afternoon and enjoy the fresh air.

The Cityrama tour brought us to visit Chateau Cheverny, Chateau Chambord, and Chateau de Chenonceau.

The grounds, architecture, and interiors were absolutely breathtaking. They were also decorated for the holidays, which was a real treat. 

The tour was amazing. It was well-organized, the guide was interesting and informative, and I never felt rushed. We also had a lovely lunch that was included in the price of the tour.

I suggest this day trip to anyone who wants to see another part of France, but doesn't want to commit to a whole weekend away from Paris.


The Cityrama tour company just posted a fun video of the trip!