Thursday, June 28, 2012


Paris, France

Today, we set out on our own, Dylan now in Rome, and Casey at work. Chip is still fighting the pain from having his tooth pulled, but he's a trooper.

He had his first French crêpe, although technically it was a galette, which is a crêpe made with buckwheat. So delicious.

In the Passy neighborhood, we peered at Balzac's house, which was closed for renovation.

What is that skinny tower is in the distance? (looking southwest from Passy)
Apparently old Balzac had a lot of debt and went to great lengths to dodge his creditors. First he tried to thwart them by renting this house under the name of his housekeeper, then when they found him anyway and came to the front door, he would ditch out the back. Wily character.

Balzac's place was just 'round the corner from our destination: the quaint Musée du Vin, housed in an old limestone quarry.

The museum itself is in the tunnels and, in a bizarre twist, combines wine artifacts with wax figures. What is the French fascination with wax figures? They're so creepy.

I very nearly screamed when I rounded a corner and saw this:

Oddly enough, that was a wax image of Balzac escaping those creditors ....

The tunnels had beautiful displays of tools, winemaking paraphernalia, glasses, carafes, corkscrews, and our favorite, a trick wine glass.

That's it on the right. They were a little sketchy about how it worked (a national secret, perhaps?), but the theory is you put your fingers over certain holes, turn it a certain way, and the wine comes out one of the little holes in the rim, apparently flowing inside the pottery. Yeah, sketchy, but tr es, tres cool.

Antique tap handles.

Vintage glassware.

The world's first sippy-cup.
Decanter with a stable base crafted especially for use on ships.
It was a delightful little museum with an audio tour that was pretty meh. It was particularly confounding that the items in the display cases were helpfully numbered yet the numbering was completely random -- or perhaps another national secret? Audio: Notice items 17, 1, 4 and 22, blah, blah.... We would totally miss what they said while trying to find number 17:

Numbers. Maybe there's a way to put them in order?
We gave it a single thumbs up, but the wine tasting at the end of the tour was a nice touch. I wonder if the Louvre will offer a free tasting at the end?

The beautiful, beautiful Passy neighborhood.


  1. Outside of Madison, Wisconsin there is a museum dedicated to mustard. It bills itself as the nation's largest condiment museum. They have a tastings. Guess where I'd rather be.

    Tell Chip we hope he feels better. Tooth pain is the worst.

  2. OMG, Ean! I think today, a broken arm is the worst! Bless your hearts.

    Stay tuned. I'll be writing about the mustard store soon... ;-)