First I need to tell you that Pere Noel is a pretty wise old dude.  While I intend to update you on our taste-test of the Beaujolais Nouveau, as I promised in my post last week, I would be amiss if I didn't point out that Mr. Kringle somehow manages to be in Paris every year when the Beaujolais Nouveau is released.  While all the world believes he is working like a mad elf to meet his deadline, he is in fact decompressing in Paris and getting sloshed.  
     Before I talk about Santa I will tell you that my partners and I have tasted it and given it a big thumbs-up.  After last week's post, one of my friends decided to beat me to the punch and have a couple of bottles ready for me when I visited.  Now that's a good friend!  Not only did she read our blog and buy the wine for me, but she had it waiting for me at her own birthday party.  Let me use this forum to say thanks again, and to tell her that I know what higher-order thinking skills are (inside joke) and she has proven once again that she has them.  Looks like she is in good company with Santa except that he goes to Paris to get his bottles fresh from the vineyard. 

     Speaking of Santa...
I can't blame him for being in Paris for new wines and holiday lights, but this you've gotta see:

Pere Noel at CineAqua, the Paris Aquarium. (www.cineaqua.com)
     Cute, huh?  One of the coolest things to do in Paris, especially if you have children, is to go to the Paris Aquarium.  Not only is it in an amazing location, but it's also as secretively hidden as something from the DaVinci Code.  It's located amongst the best real estate in Paris, and occupies a historic site where you might never know it existed if you weren't told.  The aquarium is called CineAqua and is in, or actually under the trocadero. 
     If you've visited Paris, you probably stood on the great white esplanade of the Palais Chaillot, with Rue Benjamin Franklin and Avenue du President Wilson behind you as you looked beyond the Trocadero gardens, across Avenue de New York and over the Seine at the best view in Paris of the Eiffel Tower.  I'm willing to bet, that of the millions of people who have stood and taken photographs of the tower from that vantage point, only a tiny percent knew that they were standing on top of a 1200 seat theater and the Paris Aquarium.
     The aquarium was actually built within old subterranean quarries and the foundations of a previous palace which had been built for the Paris Exposition of 1867.  The old palace was unpopular and was eventually demolished to make way for the Palais Chaillot, built in advance of the return of the World's Fair in 1937.   The aquarium is modern and beautiful, but it's not new.  There was an aquarium there for decades.  In fact, the old aquarium, which had been built to showcase the river creatures of France, was renovated after construction of the Palais Chaillot and eventually the new aquarium replaced it in 2006, after several years of construction.  The new aquarium features sea life rather than just the native fish of France.
     One of the coolest things about the aquarium is suggested by its name - CineAqua.  It's not just an aquarium, but a cinema complex as well.  There is a large stage with a massive aquarium as its backdrop. Performances can be held with the ocean as their setting.  There are 25 screens in the complex and the theater is the home to classic French film.   At all times, you can visit CineAqua to enjoy the silver screen of France.  So, beyond the forty-something aquariums, the interactive learning center, and the numerous aquarium shows at CineAqua each year, there are plenty of movies, and if you have a sense of humor, you'll love the sushi restaurant inside the complex.  Strange, but true.
     Let's not forget Santa.  From November till the end of December, you can find him doing one of the shows at CineAqua.  Hey,  I warned you that he was getting sloshed.  You seriously didn't think he was a wino, did you?  Can you say 'naughty list' ?  I'm sure the wine is just to settle his nerves after swimming with the sharks.   M.

Visit the Aquarium de Paris CineAqua


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