I have been craving another cup of coffee for the last hour but along with my coffee I was also craving some Speculoos/Biscoff cookies.  You can get them here (and I love them) but I brought two packs back from France and there are only 4 of them left and I didn't want to share them with Nicky.  How awful am I???  In my defense, they are PERFECT dunked in coffee.  Just perfect in a way a 2 year old can't appreciate.  So now he's sleeping and my coffee is brewing and it is SO close.  ahhhhhh.

Anyways, how is your day going?  Along with Speculoos and coffee, I am craving bundt cake.  The old school kind with a tunnel of coconut in the center.  The recipes online all call for SIX eggs and I couldn't find a box mix at the store this morning.  What's a girl to do?  Stop eating carbs, that's what.

Day 6, part 2

Now where were we?  Oh yes, free of the Louvre.

After my sweet release from the iron grip of the Louvre, I headed over to the Marais section of Paris to join another Discover Walk.  I got there early and wandered down the street a bit to see what I could find.  To my delight, I found a whole store full of the darling toys I had fallen in love with earlier in the week.  The brand is Moulin Roty and quite a few of them are actually available on Amazon.  Anyways, it was so fun to browse around and see more of their line.  I found little treats for my nieces & nephews as well as for Ruby.  I could have bought it all.

 I left to meet my tour group and spotted the guide standing there alone in his bright pink vest.  I spied on him from across the street for a few minutes, waiting to see if anyone else would show up.  No one did.  What to do?!  Did I want to make this kid give up 60-90 minutes of his day for one tip?  Would he even do it?  What the hell, I thought, and went over.  He was so nice and if he was put out, he didn't show it.  As we started walking he asked me lots of questions about myself and when I told him about ebay he was so excited to bring me to the some of the many vintage stores in the area.  I didn't have the heart to tell him vintage wasn't really my thing...cheap was.  :)  I had also mentioned that I was having a hard time finding James a proper souvenir so he kept trying to spot things that a 9 year old boy might like.  Very sweet.

We ended up walking for about 2 hours and I had a very nice time.  My favorite part was all the little parks and "secret" gardens that he showed me along with giving me a lot of history about the area.  He was a good guide and it turns out he is one of the original founders of the company.  I tipped him well and it was very much worth it.

 After our walk I was freezing and hungry.  I spotted a little creperie not far from the Centre Pompidou (which I didn't visit.  It's a modern art museum.  non merci.) but it was busy and the menu (posted outside) looked good so I decided to try it.

So delicious.  They served savory buckwheat crepes, called galettes, that were phenomonal.  So light and crisp and buttery and nutty...just perfect.
 Most days during lunch I wrote about the previous days' activities.  All of those notes are still in my bag...I will have to dig them out eventually and add on anything I might have missed in writing these posts.  :)
 This is the outside of that museum with a neat little sculpture garden.  I read (in The Expats) that there is a nice cafe on the top floor with a great view, if you're ever in the area.
 After walking around a while longer I headed back to the hotel for my break.

Once rested and wanting to kill some evening hours, I set out again for a chain store I had read about called Carrefour.  Another large store like a Super Target, it sounded like a neat place to shop and if it's good enough for Gabby, it's good enough for me.  :)  Sadly, once off the Metro I wandered out into the only place that felt creepy to me from my whole week there.  It was dark out and unlike every other place I had been, there was practically no one around.  No bustling streets, no boulangeries on every corner.  This was the northern part of the city and didn't feel quite as friendly.  My directions showed the store just around the corner from the Metro stop but I just turned around and waited for the next train home.

Safely back at the hotel, I realized I was hungry.  I suddenly had a craving for cereal and MILK.  I hadn't had milk all week so I went to the little corner grocer in search of some.  I pulled a box of what looked like honey puffed rice and brought it to the counter with a container of milk.  What followed is one of my favorite Paris memories:

S:  Parlez vous anglais?
Clerk:  Yes, a little.  Where are you from?
S:  US
C:  Oh!  New York?! (he said excitedly)
S:  (smiles) No, Wisconsin.
C:  Oh! Near Los Angeles?  (he said excitedly)
S:  um, no.  It's in the middle of the US.
C:  (looked confused)
S:  um...(grabbed a pack of gum and set it down)...if this is Los Angeles (pointed to one edge of gum pack) and this over here is New York (pointed to other edge) than Wisconsin is right here. (pointing to the middle of the gum pack.)
C:  OHHHHHHH!  (big smiles, looks at me for a second then grabs my cereal and walks around the counter to the cereal aisle.)
C:  Do you like Corn Flakes?
S:  Um...sure?!
C:  Ok!  Then get these, that other (the cereal I had selected) is old.  See?  (shows me expiration date of sometime in 2012.)
S:  (laughing)  Merci beaucoup!

Oh man, that cracked me up.  He was so cute.  I loved that exchange and the little geography lesson was well worth the fresh cereal I received.

Back at the hotel I asked the desk clerk for a spoon and he seemed a little bothered but agreed to give me one ONLY if I would bring it right down when I was done.  They needed it for morning service, you see!  Um, okay....

After Patrick got home and I told him the cereal & spoon story he said he was going to go back down and ask for a spoon, too.  heeheehee.  That night clerk was so uptight and proper.  I took to calling him Dieter...it just fit.  



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