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We returned to “home” this week, that is, a new neighbourhood of Paris, which is very exciting for us, since having left the 7th three weeks ago for an English holiday. (THAT was great too!)

Clarisse and company outside her restaurant on rue Surcouf.

The 7th is a lovely neighbourhood and we’ll miss it dearly. There was a fancy restaurant called “Le Clarisse” on our street that we’ll some day dine at, when my Clarisse is more socialized at the table. And the charming La rue Dominique that had everything interesting: shops, patisseries, an old fountain; it led you to the Eiffel Tower, met up with rue Cler, or passed by the Hotel des Invalides, which is a stately complex of buildings that contains things associated with the French military.

Attention!! Tanks rumbling down the street after the parade.

On Bastille Day (July 14th, National Day), we had the unexpected opportunity to view soldiers of all types as they were parked along Quai D’Orsay, having come from their parade march down the Champs-Elysees that morning. Some drove their army tanks down the street while others were parked in front of Les Invalides. The esplanade or grassy area in front were planted with helicopters, tanks, firetrucks and other heroic vehicles that required young, uniformed individuals to operate them. It was also recruitment day. Go figure…

Fancy machines to entice new recruits.

We were again treated to a spectacle when parachutists fell out of the sky to land on the grassy esplanade.

More military spectacle: parachutists landing at Les Invalides.

Inside the courtyard of L’hotel des Invalides (with lots of canons to ride on).

Since Les Invalides was free that day, I had the chance to show my kids lots of canons, armor and nasty weapons housed in the Musee de l’Armee, and actually visit Napoleon’s Tomb inside the wondrous Chapel of Saint-Louis-des-Invalides, with its magnificent dome.

Eglise du Dome: snacking at the nearby garden.

Napoleon’s sarcophagus: very big for a man who was shorter than daddy.

William and Clarisse enjoyed walking around the tomb, climbing up and down the different levels and looking up at the fantastic monuments of marble and gild to Napoleon and his colleagues.  BTW, there are little play parks on either side of Les Invalides, hidden in the “Squares” of gardens. You gotta like that…