Obamas Take Paris: Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and a Food Taster
The Paris tourist industry just got a huge boost from some seriously high-profile visitors: The Obama family.
Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha arrived in the city Friday night. First stop? The city's iconic Eiffel Tower. The next morning, the president and first lady attended the ceremony for D-Day's 65th anniversary in Normandy, then went back to Paris for some sightseeing with the girls at Notre Dame Cathedral, where they listened to a children's choir.
Later that night the couple left their daughters at the U.S. Embassy, where the family is staying, and headed out for a romantic dinner at La Fontaine de Mars, a traditional bistro that opened in 1908 and is best known for classic food from France's southwest region. The Obamas ordered foie gras, lamb, steak with shallots and table wine. A waiter told reporters that the Secret Service placed a food taster in the kitchen. "It wasn't very pleasant for the cooks at first, but the person was very nice and was relaxed, so it all went well," said Gabriel de Carvalho. (The restaurant confirmed the report; the Secret Service had no comment.)
This morning, the family toured the Pompidou Center to see the modern art, then the president flew back to Washington. "I would love nothing more than to have a leisurely week in Paris, stroll down the Seine, take my wife out to a nice meal, have a picnic in Luxembourg Gardens," he said yesterday. "Those days are over, for the moment."
But the first lady and girls get to stay for a few more days. This afternoon, they went to Elysee palace for a casual lunch with French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla, then indulged in one of the great pleasures of Paris: shopping. The group was spotted at children's store Bonpoint.
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