Category Archives: paris

Some lessons learned

Brenda again…

Now that I’ve had time to cogitate a bit on our travels, I’ve come to appreciate a few of the lessons we learned along the way. The first and most important is: Flexibility. A mom and two grown daughters, traveling around Europe with just backpacks, we were bound to encounter a few unexpected snags. But for the most part, we were willing to roll with the punches (not that there were many of them, really) and adapt to whatever fate threw our way. This ranged from Dawn brushing her teeth in the bidet in our convent room in Rome because Bethany was using the sink for laundry, to eating take-out Chinese our last night in Ireland because we waited too long to get to town and all the pubs had closed their kitchens. All part of the adventure!

Another lesson (and small triumph!): enough walking can more than make up for LOTS of ice cream (and fish & chips, and Guinness, and croissants…) I was delighted–and very surprised–to discover on my return that I hadn’t gained any weight at all, after two weeks of decadent eating. The walking is the only explanation, since I’m sure I must have been consuming roughly twice my normal quota of calories. In fact, I actually lost a pound (since rediscovered, alas).

Finally (for this post–I’ll post other lessons as I think of them), it really is possible for three women to get along for two weeks without killing each other, even when you’re talking two sisters and their mother and more than one case of PMS along the way. We committed to regular attitude adjustments, so if any one of us started getting cranky (this was most common if we made the mistake of getting hungry), at least one of us would speak up and say, “Hey, this is an adventure, remember? We’re in freaking EUROPE! To eat ICE CREAM!” Amazing how that reminder could turn a frown upside down.

Next: our picks for Top Three Ice Cream spots on this trip!

–Brenda 🙂


Oh yes, Berthillon’s!

I just read back over my last post and realized I never did report back on Paris’s famous Berthillon’s Ice Cream.  We all agreed their reputation is merited, at least if one goes to their actual store on the Ile de St. Louis as opposed to ordering it from a restaurant that carries their brand. It’s made fresh daily at their own store, and the texture of the chocolate there was perhaps the best we’ve found. Some of the Florence gelaterias had more intense flavor, but Berthillon’s holds its own when it comes to pure decadence. (Which is a good thing, since it’s on the expensive side!)  Do make a stop there if you ever do your own ice cream tour!

–Brenda 🙂

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Posted by on May 27, 2007 in food, ice cream, paris, travel


More from Paris

Again my time is limited, but I did promise to post again.  As I mentioned in a comment, Berthillon’s is closed today, but we discovered Amorino Gelateria Italiano just down the street and we’ve been told by a couple of locals that it’s even better. We certainly can’t argue! Their amarenada (cherry chocolate) is the best gelato flavor I’ve ever tried–in fact, we broke our own “rule” and went back twice!  Tomorrow we’ll try the very famous Berthillon before leaving for London on the chunnel train.

Today we walked all over Paris–Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle, the Champs Elysees, and a very French lunch in Marais of omelette and red wine. Ah, Paris! We just finished a lovely dinner of cheese fondue, onion soup, two kinds of fish and a nutella crepe for dessert. Now, after our brief time in the internet cafe, we’ll go sample ice cream on our way back to our hotel on the Ile de Saint Louis. We don’t catch the train for London until after noon, so my next installment may be delayed a bit. I’ll attempt tomorrow night.

Au revoir!

–Brenda 🙂

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Posted by on May 22, 2007 in food, ice cream, paris, travel