From here I made my way to Notre Dame. See it?
Maybe my hunger had something to do with it, but I left after a while and searched out some lunch. I decided on a nearby cafe and had my second icky lunch of the trip. (I hadn't yet learned to avoid restaurants right by major attractions, obvs.) The food wasn't cold but it just wasn't very good and I left feeling kind of bummed out. Also, Berthilion was right across the river but it was so chilly out I wasn't in the mood for ice cream. I did walk past it and managed to have a scoop at a creperie a couple of days later. It was good but I'm sure it's much better fresh from the source. Next time. :)
After wandering around a bit more, and getting stopped for directions from a french speaking couple (!!) (although they were obviously tourists), I headed back to the hotel for my afternoon break. I ended up doing this nearly every day because I 1) always needed to use the bathroom and got sick of searching out places to do so 2) had stuff to drop off and 3) might lay down and read for a while and check my email. On this afternoon, I was weary. I later laughed with Patrick and told him I was sick of my clothes, sick of wearing scarves, sick of saying "Bonjour", sick of ham and cheese and sick of the grey skies. I also missed real books as I only brought "books" on my kindle app and it just isn't the same. I know wah, wah, wah. :) But I was missing my real life a little that day. I took a ten minute power nap and woke up with an idea. I googled "english book stores in Paris" and was on my way again a few minutes later. :)
The closest to our hotel was "Tea & Tattered Pages" and sadly, there was a FOR SALE sign on the door with a note saying the owner had died this past summer and if anyone was interested in buying it, call her daughter. :(
I got on the Metro and found WH Smith with no trouble at all. I spotted a huge garden which turned out to be the Jardin des Tuileries. As it was getting dark, I decided to walk through the garden first and then visit the bookstore. It was mucky and grey but I could imagine how beautiful it would be in the spring/summer/fall.
side note: I did not see very many runners in Paris. Maybe 2 dozen the entire week?
You know, just some of our best offerings. ;)
I walked down the stairs and had to step around this beautiful woman sitting on the stairs, sipping champagne and sporting a large bird on the back of her cape. They were setting up a book signing for Cameron Silver's new book, Decades. Here is a picture of her in line to buy her book: (I have no shame)
I was happy to be home (the hotel) and reading a real book. I got The Expats which is set in Luxembourg and Paris and centers around a woman who is a mother by day and CIA agent by night. It made me really wonder about my friend Ann who just moved to Luxembourg recently. :) (Ann also sent me lots of very tips about Paris that really came in handy. I will share a list later. Thanks Ann!)
(I'm almost done, don't worry)
That night for dinner we went to Restaurant L'Authentique and it was so delicious. It was a small, homey place and the owner was so nice. He brought the chalkboard menu right to our table and translated the basics of every dish we didn't understand, which was most of them. :) I chose a poultry dish (like a small turkey, he said) with risotto and morel mushrooms. OH MY GOSH. I cannot describe how delicous it was and packed with morels. He also selected a fabulous bottle of wine for us that I neglected to note the name of. Patrick selected foie gras as an appetizer which kind of grossed me out but I just went with it. It was flavorful and the lentil dipping sauce that came with it was fantastic. I did wake up in the middle of the night with the thought, "I ate duck liver" and my stomach rolled a bit but I fell right back to sleep. :)
Then we teetered home and passed out.
*for the first few days in Paris, Spanish words kept popping into my head. I think because that is the only other language I know, my brain kept defaulting to it when it knew English was a no go. I even answered "Si" to a question one day, confusing the sales clerk. "So you speak Spanish?" she said? HAHAHAHA. "Oui, madamoiselle," I answered, "Frances, Espagnol et Anglais." hahahahhaha. ;)