Monday, April 9, 2012

Paris 2, 3, et 4

Paris Food Diary

Day 2:
4 cafe cremes, 2 croissants, 3 Pierre Herme macarons, Paul saucisson sandwich, 1 biere blanche, jus d'orange, leftover paella, chunk of gruyere, baguette hot dog.

Day 3: 3 cafe cremes, 1 croissant and tartine, 1 biere blanche, 2 Pierre Herme macarons, 1 Maison Larnicol macaron, organic cheese and mushroom crepe from Champs stand (lesson learned, crepes shouldn't be organic), horrid panini sandwich (threw majority in garbage) dried salami bites, wedge of brie, chocolate Easter eggs (more like Easter egg truffles, divine).

Day 4: 3 cafe cremes, package of alligator Haribo candies (Chris bought them for me from the vending machine at Versailles RER station), onion soup, warm goat cheese salad, carmelized French toast with vanilla ice cream (dessert), biere blanche, vin rose, chunk of gruyere, 2 Pierre Herme macarons.

What I Wore in Paris

Day 2: pink tulle ballerina skirt, black cashmere sweater (again - it's cold!), leather jacket, black scarf (borrowed from Chris).
Day 3: started day in cute, striped a-line skirt and black cashmere sweater (seriously, it's really cold here for April) with a light grey cardigan layered over it and had to change into jeans halfway through morning, leather jacket and Chris' black scarf.

Day 4: black v-neck jersey dress with long sleeve shirt layered underneath, black and white striped cardigan, leather jacket and Chris' black scarf.

What I Bought in Paris

Day 2:
Red platform high heels from Eden (on sale!) with a faux snakeskin finish. Seriously they are much better and much classier than I am describing them. Pictures to follow.

Day 3: Chris bought me 2 long sleeved shirts from H & M because I was cold and stupidly packed a bunch of cute sleevless shirts and spring blazers, black fleece Thinsulate gloves (may be the most depressingly unfashionable item that I have ever bought in Paris but at least they will have a second life at the barn when I get back to Victoria).

Day 4: Nothing!

Americans Who Thought I Was French: 1

French Girls Who Made Me Feel Ugly: 1. There was a girl, she couldn't have been more than 15 years old, in the WC at Publicis on the Champs. She was more confident, more self-possessed, more put together than I will ever be. A 15 year old girl wearing large diamond studs, skinny black jeans, red patent Repetto flats with matching Chanel red lips and nails, carrying a classic black Chanel quilted bag. No big deal, just your normal French 15 year old girl. I wanted the floor to swallow me up.

New Best Use for Rick Steeves Guide to Paris: For some reason our apartment fridge is quite noisy and Chris discovered a good way of deafening the noise - stick a left behind copy of Rick Steeve's Paris under the bottom. Ha!

Total Hours Walked in 3 Days: About 25, no blisters.
I have to wonder if Chris and I really do anything in Paris that is interesting to read about. Walk, eat, shop and repeat. Sometimes I observe the packs of frantic tourists and I wonder if we are missing out on what we are supposed to be doing in Paris. Other times I look at these same packs and I feel sorry for them. I want to stop them, tell them to relax and enjoy Paris at a slower pace.

I can't lie though, it's still very hard for me to relax. Especially the first few days. My personality wants to plan, wants to walk fast, and sometimes it kind of wants to stand in a musuem line to look at paintings I know I am supposed to appreciate but really don't.

Anyway, it's nearly the end of day 4 and I can finally start to feel myself properly relax. Le sigh.

Chris and I have had a wonderful 3 days, enjoying our first Easter in Paris despite the less than spring weather. One of the things we wanted to do most on Easter Sunday was visit Notre Dame. Apparently so did everyone else in Paris and despite getting there by 9:30 am, the line was already spilling out over the square. Notre Dame suddenly didn't feel that special or sacred and we quickly headed in a different direction.

What I didn't know about Notre Dame on Sundays was that there is a marche d'oiseaux (bird market!). My friends know that I have a strange affection and fascination with birds and I enjoyed seeing all the different varieties and their very proud, very French owners. I have already told Chris that we are going back next Sunday for further observation. You can buy a yellow canary for 20 euros.

So what to do on Easter Sunday night in Paris? Obviously the Louis Vuitton Marc Jacobs exhibit at Les Arts Decoratifs. FINALLY, an exhibit I can truly get excited about! As a devoted LV lover, it was so interesting to learn about the history and progression of the brand. I now want a vintage trunk more than ever. The Marc Jacobs part of the exhibit was pure eye candy and spectacle. A wall of over 50 bags displays some of his most iconic designs. The best part was the two young British girls standing before the wall saying, "I want #3. And #9." I already can't wait to see it again in September.

Not sure what possessed me but I suggested to Chris that we try to find Easter dinner in Les Halles. I had some sort of exotic or fun takeaway in mind but the actual result was a nasty panini sandwich that we both threw in the garbage. Oh well at least it was an inexpensive mistake. We came back to our apartment and ate a lot of macarons. Much better.

However Les Halles on Easter Sunday night had an unexpected suprise. Saint Eustache. Chris and I always make a trip to this beautiful church on every trip and Easter Sunday was an exceptional experience.
Typically Saint Eustache is empty when we walk through it but on Easter Sunday night it was of tourists and Parisians. We walked in to the end of an organ concert that was so powerful, so loud and so thrilling that I felt all the airs on my body stand up. Chilling. The organist was given a standing ovation. Farther down in the church a priest was giving an Easter mass. At one point, he moved to a smaller organ and started playing and singing. Again, more chills. There was so much warmth and feeling in the church. Chris and I were also able to light candles for our missed loved ones, a tradition we really wanted to honour on Easter.

Easter Monday is another stat in Paris so we decided to try and do something completely out of our comfort zone - Versailles! We have stubbornly avoided Versailles for 4 previous trips and the only reason we went today is because le chateau is closed on Mondays, meaning only the garden is open so far less tourists make the journey.
We were wrong about Versailles. Well the garden anyway. It was overwhelming in size and beauty and is one of the those things that has to be seen in order to fully appreciate it. I knew it would be large but had no idea how large it would be. There is a statue, an orangerie, an orchard, a maze, a pond, a lake, etc. everwhere you look and it just goes on forever and forever. After exploring the grounds on foot, we decided to rent an electric golf cart and drive around the grounds. For 30 euros, you can explore the grounds in the comfort of a golf court, pulling over wherever you like and seriously having a very good time. If you get lost, go off the wrong track, the golf cart disables itself, tells you off in a very polite British accent and demands that you reverse to the proper track. Amazing. The same polite voice provides commentary complete with classical music.

So yes we will go back to Versailles. At least to the gardens.

The other highlight of today was going back to Korner Cafe, a restaurant on the corner of Avenue Kleber and rue Cimarosa, near where our first Cobblestay apartment was. It looks like nothing but it is full of French people eating real food so you know it is good. And it was. We both had onion soup, goat cheese salads (the goat cheese was breaded - a new way to love cheese), and split a piece of French toast coated with caramel sauce for dessert. Mon dieu. Food-gasm.

It's time for my nightly macaron consumption. A demain.

No comments: