deux jours

Good morning!  Today is a snow day which surprised me initially but it is really coming down good out there.  It's so pretty and the snow crunches that perfect way under your feet.

I woke up this morning with one thought...croissant.  I googled a recipe and saw what a production it is, making those flaky crescents of goodness.  I'm definitely going to try it sometime, but not today.  Do you know it takes 2 or 3 days??  Crazy.  I went to the store thinking maybe I could score some frozen ones but no such luck.  Patrick woke up and reminded me that he works right next to Clausen's so there may be croissants tonight.  He understands this craving of mine.  He came home from the grocery store last night with goat cheese and eggs and made us a croque madame for dinner.  :)  (no ham.  we did seem to have enough ham for a while.)

Day 2 of our trip wasn't very photogenic, but it was an important day for me.  After breakfast at our hotel (a huge mound of beautiful croissants & baguettes was present every morning, along with dried & fresh fruits, yogurt, assorted cheeses, wedges of comte cheese (something else I am going to have to find), rolls of ham, individual packets of nutella & tiny jars of jam, coffee, tea and fruit juices...13 euro/day which is $17.60), Patrick went to work and I was on my own.  In Paris.  EEEEEEEK!  My eye was still twitching occasionally at this point, mainly when I had to speak to someone.  :)  I had Patrick's favorite little street map book of Paris (that he bought 8 years ago but was perfectly easy to understand and relevant today.  I don't think the streets have changed much in Paris in the last oh, 200 years or so.  ;)  ) and a list of interesting addresses relatively close to the hotel.  So, I set out!  (twitch, twitch, twitch)  We were staying in the 15th arrondissement, 15e on the map below, and the places I looked for on that first day were all in the 7th & 15th.  We weren't far from the Tour Monparnasse (Montparnasse Tower - hightest tower in Paris) which was helpful for navigation.) 

It was so exciting to be out on the streets during the day!  There were people everywhere, rushing across streets, smoking outside of cafes and going up and down Metro entrance stairs.  It was a gray day, as they almost all were, but not raining and fairly mild.  Perfect walking weather.  I think I walked an average of 4 miles a day, every day we were there.  (Thank goodness as I was no stranger to the patisseries, if you know what I mean.)

Patrick's little book was awesome.  It fit perfectly in my left coat pocket and stayed there the rest of the trip.  My camera was in my right.  I was ready.  :)  The book, like the city, is divided up by arrondissements so I could just flip to wherever I was and follow along as I walked. Instead of free standing street signs like we have, all Paris streets (rues) have their signs on the corner building/buildings of that intersection and show which arrondissement you are in as well. 

I was so happy to find my first address, a consignment store.  It was garbage day.  :)

I didn't buy anything there but it was so fun to have found it that I didn't care.  Plus, it was amazing to be walking around.  So much to look at...people and gorgeous old buildings everywhere you look.  Well, except in the photo below.  :)

There were actually a whole bunch of consignment stores along that stretch, all by the same company.  I bought nothing.  France is expensive, you guys.  The clothing was beautiful, name brand and pricey.  There was a children's store that had very cute clothes but 1) my kids didn't need any of that and 2) the darling european shoes were about $40 used.  For toddler shoes.  The toys they had were mainly the same as the crap we have here.  There are nicer toy stores, of course, more along the lines of Capitol Kids, and I did a bit of window shopping but it was all so much money....more along the lines of what I would spend for a large bday or Christmas gift...not a souvenir.

I did find one store that sucked me in but more on that later.

After wandering around this stretch (Rue du Cherche-Midi) and a creepy mall I found to use the restroom in, I found a Monoprix.

Monoprix is comparable to Target although it is, surprise, a bit more expensive.  Still, it was definitely in my price range and it was fun to know I would finally be buying something!  :)  I spent a lot of time looking at baby clothes because they were SO FREAKING CUTE.   This picture does not translate the cuteness.  French babies in general are so freaking cute and I saw them everywhere in darling strollers all bundled up against the elements in darling buntings and I just could have squeezed every one of them.  (but I didn't.)  I hope I'm getting across how perfect looking the french babies and their clothing is.  :)

 The one thing I found that is cheaper in France?  Bonne Maman jam.  These were jumbo sized jars and they were $3.81, with 25% off if you had a Monoprix card, practically double the jam for half the price you pay here.
 Also?  They are fond of Nutella and hazlenut butter in general.  I found Skippy on an endcap and it was very expensive.  Hazlenut butter is where it's at in Paris.  Also, lots of jam. 
 After shopping a bit and making my first purchases with only a couple of eye twitches, I had to order some food.  ACK!!  I was so nervous but so happy it went easily.  This was delicious and only $6.50.  The baguette had fresh greens, a type of salami, a soft cheese and some cornichons.  YUM.  I would like one right now.
After I paid I said, "Bonjour, madame" which is the customary greeting/exit line you say 5,000,000 times a day in Paris and she answered with an obvious "BonSOIR, madame."  Hmph.  Apparently I had missed the murky cut off when you switch from "good day" to "good evening."

I didn't care much, I had my sandwich.

I walked back to the hotel and dug in.  At first I got full and thought I wouldn't be able to finish.  I surprised myself a few minutes later by polishing that baby and the eclair off.  :)

It was late afternoon at this point, nearly dark, so I rested for a bit, checked my email and read some magazines.  As it got darker outside I became bored but was nervous to leave the hotel by myself even though I had read how most of Paris is very safe.  So I waited until Patrick got home and then we went across the street for another delicious dinner at Cafe Pasteur.  I had a salad with ham, shaved Parmesan cheese, rocket greens, toasted goat cheese croutons and a fried egg.  Delicious.  Patrick had a version of what I had had the night before. 

We popped some Tylenol PM and had a better night but still lots of tossing and turning for me even though our bed was very comfortable.

The next day was a big one.  It was the day I became BFFs with the Metro.



Popular Posts