It’s been a whirlwind! I’d forgotten how much I love this city. Glen and I have not returned since the few days we stayed here on our honeymoon in…1989!!! Guess what?! Paris hasn’t changed in any discernible ways…or not in any major ways. I’d say it’s actually cleaner and even more pleasant than I remember it.
We met up with Blair at our cool apartment. Sadly, she had to wait for us as our Eurostar train was an hour late. While getting keys proved to be a bit tricky, we had the best taxi driver who literally jumped out of the taxi and ran down the street to locate the City Locker where they were stored for me. When he started madly pointing at a building, I hopped out and ran down the street with my backpack on and managed the two locking systems to get the keys out of our box. Phew.
The first thing we all did was head to a very cool department store, the BHV-Marais to buy a blender for Glen. They have an interesting system here. You go to the store and make the purchase and then you walk a block away to a different location and sit and wait for your item to be brought in from who knows where. Blair and I thought it was a scam for a bit because we waited so long, but it all worked out and the blender does the trick for Glen so it’s all good! After Blair and I dropped off the blender at the apartment (thank goodness she was along to heft that thing the one mile walk back), the two of us dove into the city by heading out to find some supplies for Glen. It’s actually a great way to get acquainted with the neighborhood – in our case, The Marais. I think it’s the 3rd arrondissement, maybe the 2nd..
For those of you who are wondering, Glen has a condition related to his cancer treatment from 14 years ago that makes swallowing difficult. He gets his nutrition by eating smoothies (thus the need for a good blender) so he needs some food supplies that are not as easy to locate away from home. (Imagine being in Paris and not being able to enjoy the food?!?) Anyway, Blair and I went from store to store gathering what we could and then Glen ran out in search of ice and we were good to go for the evening.
Blair was pretty tired (jet lag) so she and I went to an Italian restaurant around the corner. The chef was an Argentinian by way of Los Angeles. He brought us a special hors d’oeuvres dish to celebrate our LA connection. Not sure exactly what it was…but it started with “lamb tongue paté” and ended with “eat it whole and dip it in the chili oil”. I thought it was delicious! And I was feeling proud of myself for being so brave on my first night in Paris. Blair was technically even braver and ate an even larger piece. She didn’t enjoy it, but she’s SO polite, she didn’t want to disrespect the chef! After dinner it was time to head home and rest up to make the most of our first full day in Paris!
Our first day was Blair’s 30th birthday! What a place to celebrate!
I know you don’t want a play-by-play of our time in Paris, but I will say that I always appreciate starting off with the TOURISTY hop on-hop off bus trip. It really helps to give a sense of the geography and highlights of the city. We also did a Seine river cruise that was just so-so; the best part was actually people-watching the tourists on board!
For dinner, we went to a sidewalk café we had spied in the morning and enjoyed some pizza in the warm evening surrounded by Parisians and a sprinkling of tourists from around the world (based on the languages we could hear).
Since that first day, we’ve mostly spent our days and nights hopping from café to café, window shopping, people-watching, searching for the best cappuccino and gelato and just absorbing what it means to experience Paris. We did go to the Picasso museum today which is conveniently right around the corner. He certainly was a captivating man.
A few café photos…
Scenes from the neighborhood…
More neighborhood shots…
Tomorrow – who knows! The world is our oyster! Or Paris is our oyster?