Are we in Paris yet? Whee!

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 à Paris /ah, Paris 

 

After just two days in Hungary, we left for Paris par avion. The avion in this case was Jet Blue, and it was, as they say in the vernacular, a trip quick.

 

Since we traveled intra-Europe, we carried somewhat small luggage, something we were thankful for when we arrived at the apartment on Ile Saint Louis and had to carry them up the 60 winding, wooden stairs. (Yes, we counted. Many times.)

We did a lot of “stairing.”

 

The apartment itself had three levels and an additional 20 steps. On the first floor of the flat, we had rooms for living, dining, and kitchening; on the second, we had two bedrooms and a bath; and on le tippy-top, another bedroom and bath. After we unpacked, we opened the windows, brazenly stared into the neighbor’s apartments across from us, wished we had cigarettes to casually flick as we pouted and looked insouciant, watched the people on the street below, and planned our first excursion: grocery shopping.

 

 Choco-chan the teddy bear lies exhausted on the suitcases. It’s hard being carried up all those stairs.

 

 

Our kitchen. Notice les flakes de la corn.

 

My brother’s leg insisted I take its picture. Here it is.

 

After a fabulous lunch at Les Fous de L’Ile restaurant, we went to the nearest shop for ice cream. Not just any ice cream, but Berthillon ice cream, the crème de la crème of ice. Every day, crowds of people line up at the Berthillon shop on the Ile Saint Louis for its ice cream and sorbet. Each scoop is made of only natural ingredients; the flavors vary with the season. Thankfully other shops sell it, too; otherwise, we would still be waiting to get to the counter. In order to please the locals and try to fit in, we ate some every day. (Word to the wise: fitting in with the locals and fitting into your clothes may at some point cause conflicts.)

 

 

In penance for eating not one but two scoops of Berthillon, we walked to the Louvre, a little over two miles away. At a decent clip, that would take about 40 minutes, but we were indecent, stopped every few minutes to take pictures, AND had a five-year-old with us who noticed every cat, dog, (Look grandma! A French poodle! Oh! A pet shop!), bug, and bird (Grandma! Pigeons! Pigeons! PIGEONS!)

 

At one point on the walk, my daughter grasped my arm and yelled, “Mom!” I couldn’t distinguish the main emotion in her voice – pain, astonishment, fear, indigestion– and panicked, thinking she had hurt herself, twisted her ankle, contracted rabies, or maybe had a root canal without anesthetic while I was taking pictures or admiring my five hundredth pigeon with the grandchild. “There,” my daughter pointed, trying to catch her breath, “there is the Eiffel Tower!” And sure enough, like a small keychain ornament, there it stood. (As you can see, both my daughter and grandchild use a lot of admiration marks. For the sake of my more delicate readers, I have omitted some of them. (You’re welcome. (However, I am now bracketed in by all of these parenthesis and need to break out. (They make me claustrophobic.) (Help!))))

 

This is what my daughter did on her first visit to the Louvre.

 

We couldn’t stay long at the Louvre; it was late, so we headed back to the apartment to eat and put the little one to bed. We ate a light dinner of Caprese salad, croissants, various French breads smeared with real butter, some fruit, some chocolate, and French wine until there was nothing light about the dinner or ourselves.

 

This became our favorite spot in the apartment.

Even the tomatoes are elegant in Paris.

 

As is my wont on vacations, I collapsed into bed, this time in my purple velvet head-boarded bed to dream of the next day’s adventures.

 

My room in Paris.

 

Next installment: Paris grows on me (Curses on you, Berthillon!)

41 thoughts on “Are we in Paris yet? Whee!

  1. Just yesterday I used “as is my wont” and was mercilessly mocked. So thank you, thank you, for some vindication – although I guess I just need to learn to not say things like that in Montana. Love, love your writing.

  2. Oh I”m lovin’ your trip! I feel like I”m eating everything that you eat and seeing all that you saw!! thanks so much for this wonderful post!!!

    • Thanks, Natalie. Even though I told myself I would take pictures of all the meals, I didn’t. But I’m definitely getting better. I use to just carry my camera around; now I actually take a picture now and then.

  3. Paris is one of the few places I’ve been that was better and more exciting than I expected and given that it was good old gay Paree, I was expecting a lot the first time I visited and it didn’t disappoint! Sounds like it didn’t disappoint you guys either. One time my sister and I stayed in a hotel room in quite a posh area that had a gazillion stairs and the door to the ensuite bathroom was actually a shower door instead of a room-type door. And it was still a cool place! (Though our standards are low I think they pull it off because they know they’re so cool)

    • You know how when you read a book and live someone else’s life vicariously – that’s how the trip was, as if I were living someone else’s life for a while. So much fun.

      • I know that feeling exactly! When I do travel, I try to remind myself to be there, completely. Inevitably, afterwards, it still has a dream-like quality. And you’ve travelled and lived other places quite a bit, right? That’s really interesting, YS!

  4. That apartment looks like a vacation in and of itself. My sister and niece, my daughter, daughter-in-law and I have been almost jokingly planning a trip to Paris for next year. I seriously want to know more about this apartment, and can’t wait for more of your photos. What a dream to vacation in Paris like this! I am vacationing vicariously….

    • When you consider the cost of staying in hotels, it’s really not a bad idea to consider renting a flat, especially if everyone goes in on the cost. We usually only ate out once a day, so we saved a lot of money that way. (If you want the information, I can send it.)

    • The last time we went to Paris, my brother put me up in a hotel room. I much preferred the flat. It’s really seems like a good way to go if you are planning to spend some time in a city.

  5. Carolyn

    Did the purple velvet encourage vivid yet restful dreams? How is Choco-chan coping? Has CC met any autre ours de Paris?

    • I only remember a few dreams during my trip and almost all of them were about aliens and other planets. Weird.

      Choco-chan enjoyed the trip but didn’t meet any other bears. Since he’s been back, the other stuffed animals, however, have been resentful. It’s sad.

  6. Ohhh nooo! It’s the attack of the killer pyramids! Somebody tell the Louvre, quick! I love your daughter’s funny photo. Seriously though, it looks like a delightful trip and thanks so much for sharing it with all of us.

  7. Truly a dream. A beautiful flat, fabulous food, scintillating city-going. I would be terribly envious if it weren’t that you take us along so wonderfully, always. Thanks!

  8. This apartment was sooo beautiful compared to the wee place where my children and I bunked in Paris! Now, am I to understand that your recent Ireland posts are from the same vacation or are you away again? I need to go back and track your comings and goings…lol. Such beautiful photographs and a wonderful narrative, as per usual. Love, love, love travel, don’t you? Whoot! Whoot!

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