Tuesday, June 7, 2011
"Madame... you dropped your bananas"
We're wrapping up the end of our time in Paris and I finally have a few free moments to update you all on our adventures! So far it's been incredible and there are a lot of details to report so here it goes!
Our luggage is the bane of my existence. We both over packed. What's worse is that we didn't over pack clothes... we over packed everything else! This is after making mom unpack and repack 3 times in my apartment in NY just to make sure she absolutely needed everything she was bringing. I'm a bit guilty of this myself. There are some bathroom products that I just can't live without and though I know you can buy them here... they're more expensive then they'd be back home. Anyway, I'm sharing this because it's important for you to remember when I discuss dragging luggage with us throughout our journey.
First let's start with the plane. Wow! This plane was huge, quiet, the staff was efficient, chairs were relatively comfortable and they had a ton of movies to choose from while waiting for dinner. Shout out to James who told mom that their seats were lined with charcoal so if you farted it wouldn't smell. Now I'm a pretty gullible person... and this may or may not have been true. I wouldn't put it past him to have fibbed on that one. But alas... I tried it out... and viola! No smell! Granted I didn't exactly eat something that would make my normal brew more pungent than usual however it seemed to in fact work.
As we were landing in France I couldn't help but get very teary eyed. I had to hold back from crying several times at the airport. I've always wanted to go to Europe and have talked about it at length with the poeple in my life. Really being here is so unbelievable that I'm still pinching myself. Everything at the airport was fine until it came to shlepping our luggage. In the airport, to the train, to the metro, to the apartment and not to mention up and down several stair cases. I felt like a work horse. There was one point while we were walking that moms bananas fell from her bag and this man said to her "Pardon madame you dropped your bananas". He said it loud enough for everyone around us to stare at her as she unwillingly picked them up. I know sinking in a hole at that point would've been a good option for her. Her words... "I wanted to die". The bananas' fate was soon met in a nearby trash can.
The apartment we're staying in is lovely and is in the part of Paris called Marais. It's gorgeous here! They haven't invented words to adequately describe the beauty of this place. The buildings, the stores, the Seine is just 2 blocks away. It's perfect! Fighting the urge to crawl into bed we dropped off our things and went for a walk in the neighborhood looking for grocery stores and just taking it all in. We wound up walking across the Seine to Notre Dame where there was a full orchestra playing in the park in the back of the church. The weather was so perfect. We sat back and listened for a bit where they were inronically enough playing snippets from the score of Les Mis and then Gershwins an American in Paris.
Our first morning here we stumbled across a brasserie around the corner from our apartment and decided to go there for breakfast. With in the first few moments of being there we were approached by a waiter who spoke to me first... in all things... Spanish. Guess I can't get away from it. (There was a man at the airport who thought I was from Brazil--obviously a compliment... those women are so beautiful.) We learned quickly that he spoke fluent English and even more so was from Texas. Our mornings have been spent with Tex and the worlds best croissants and coffee.
The past few days have been spent doing all the typical touris things. Seeing the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomph, Champs Elysees, The Louvre, The Orsay, Rue Cler and the Latin Quarter. We actually took one of the double decker bus tours... you know the one I mean. The type of tour I wouldn't be caught dead in back home. But what the hell... we're in Paris!
A few facts about Paris I've observed:
-It kind of smells like a giant ash tray. (I don't think they've heard of lung cancer yet)
-The sun goes down at 10:00. (Still not used to that)
-The metro is incredibly efficient! SO much better then the NYC MTA.
-Language barrier is not a problem as long as you know the basics and aren't rude about it. Mom had a Miami moment in the Louve. She walked up to someone and said "Do you work here?" but in that pushy American way that I'm sure they all hate. We laugh about it now.. but since then I've been doing the majority of the talking. My french, though very limited, is better.
-The language kind of sounds like our version of baby talk. Think about it. When you talk to a baby you talk in nonsensical words... "a boo boo baby", "bee bee boo boo", "Merci beaucoup". I'm just sayin... it sounds pretty similar to me. Don't get me wrong... I actually think it's a beautiful language and would love to be fluent in it.
-Anyone who wouldn't want to up and move here from no matter where they are is crazy. I've already talked to mom about it. She's pretty adamant that I don't though. Upping and moving to NYC I think is enough for her. But... we'll see. :-)
-All the older heavier set men here remind me of Clogsworth from Beauty and the Beast.
-I've had a mash up of Les Poussons and Be our Guest running in my head since we arrived.
-The ice cream at Berthillon is seriously the best I've ever had.
-Not even the rain we've been through can dampen the cities obvious charm and beauty.
In a nutshell, we're having a wonderful time! It's been raining the past few days but that hasn't stopped us from going out and experiencing as much as we can. We'll be visiting Sacre Coeur tomorrow before getting on our over night train to Munich for our final destination (at least for the next few days) Fussen, Germany.
Au revoir for now...
PS-I saw this mural outside of Sacre Coeur and cracked up!