I was finally on my way to Paris! The flight went pretty well, I didn’t sleep much on the plane…I guess I was too excited. I had a short layover in Dublin and then arrived in Paris later that morning on May 15th. Andrew and our friend, Ian, picked me up from the airport and we took a taxi to the hotel (Andrew and I were allowed to stay in the hotel until the end of June). That afternoon, I mostly slept since I didn’t sleep any on the plane.
Since I have already been in Paris now for the last 2 ½ months, I am going to summarize all that we have done over that time (so I can get caught up to the present) – be patient with me on this because not everything I’m going to post will be in chronological order.
That first Friday that I was there, after Andrew got off work we walked down to the Eiffel Tower after midnight. We waited until 1am for the lights to blink on the tower. It was a really pretty sight. This picture is actually from a few weeks later, but isn’t it stunning?
We also ate at a Lebanese restaurant with Ian one night. The food was a little expensive, but good. We had five different appetizers which included sheep brain and chicken livers.
One day we took the metro to visit She’s Cake (she supplies the cheesecake served at FRAME).
Afterwards we walked back to the hotel along the Seine. We’ve spent most of our time walking around the city. As of right now, the Seine is one of my favorite places to walk. There always seems to be something going on down there and it’s an interesting place to people watch. Here are a few pics from my/our walks along the Seine.
I love this chalkboard!
Live music and other shows occur sometimes.
On Sunday, May 25th, we met up with France (a friend of Maureen whom we met in Orange County – Maureen gave us a few French lessons before we left). Maureen had sent me with a gift to give France. France met us that day outside of our hotel. We saw her coming down the hill from the metro station and we started to wave at her. She waved, but then looked confused. When she got closer, I asked her if her name was France. She shook her head and said no and then started to walk away. But then she popped back over and asked us if we were Andrew and Jessica and laughed a bit. I liked her ornery personality :). The three of us took the metro down to Rue Mouffetard and walked down to where they were had live music and dancing. France introduced us to Tiffany. Tiffany is from Sacramento and loves dancing. Her and her husband split their time between Paris and Sacramento. She got me out on the dance floor – I was reluctant at first, but it was a lot of fun. I hadn’t danced for a while. Then after watching for a bit, Andrew decided that we should both join in on the fun and he pulled me out for a dance.
After the music and dancing was over, France headed away for a bit and returned with wine, a baguette, and cheese. We headed to a nearby park to enjoy the treats she brought back. I have to admit, this was a pretty cool day – we danced and had wine, cheese, and baguette in a park. What is more like Paris than that?
We walked through the streets toward Notre Dame Cathedral.
They had live music outside and bunch of people showing their artwork.
The three of us listened to the music for a while and after having a quick coffee at one of the cafes, said our goodbyes. Andrew and I walked down the Seine back towards the hotel. As we were walking, Andrew says, “That looks a lot like Woody Harrelson.” We walked over there and it was him for sure. He was with Owen Wilson and some other guy. They were biking along the river and had stopped to watch the skateboarding. We were too shy to ask for a picture (so we snapped this creepy one from a distance). Andrew did go up and say hello to them though. That was pretty cool. We are pretty big fans of both actors.
My birthday was on May 28th. It was a pretty relaxed day, just the way I wanted it. Andrew surprised me with breakfast in the room – which I loved. We viewed an apartment that day and then he had to work for a few hours. That night we walked around for a bit and then had wine up on the 10th floor of the hotel and watched the lights on the Eiffel Tower.
Click this link to see my video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy6UV4TMc6I&feature=youtu.be
We have gone to a few museums/exhibitions since we have been here. We went to Musée du Quai Branly the first Sunday in June. You can get in for free to a lot of the museums on the first Sunday of the month. We thought these masks were interesting.
We also saw that they were having an exhibition of Alex Ross’ art work (he drew a lot of superhero characters) at the Mona Bismarck American Center of Art and Culture. We had to check it out since Andrew is a big fan, plus it was his birthday week. It was pretty cool.
The open air markets are pretty cool – here are a few pictures.
More pictures of the Eiffel Tower – which one is your favorite?
One of the funniest things I have seen so far during my walks was a dog leading another dog. I wish I would have gotten a picture of this because it was hysterical! It all happened so fast though. By the time I realized what was going on, they were too far past me.
There are a few really big parks in Paris. We decided to visit Bois de Boulogne. We walked around for a few hours. We wanted a snack so we tried some of the ice cream at one of the shops. That was a bad idea, the ice cream tasted terrible and the cone was like cardboard! I believe there is good ice cream in Paris, just maybe not at the parks…at least that park ha ha. We didn’t get through most of the park so we will have to go back one day, but we liked what we saw.
We do love crêpes 🙂
Random statues, doors, and other things around Paris.
We took the metro up to the 19th arrondissement one day to walk along the canals.
We stumbled upon the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie – we didn’t go inside the main building, but did snap a few photos of the area.
However, we did tour the Argonaute submarine. It was pretty neat!
Our adventure that day took us to Parc des Buttes Chaumont. It was a neat park, but packed with several people sunbathing and/or having a picnic on the grasses.
I had been craving Mexican food, so we set out to try to find a good place. We ended up at El Guacamole because I had heard good things about it on a blog. The food was just okay, we will have to continue our search!
We also have been craving good coffee – we were so spoiled by Kéan Coffee and Stumptown. So far we have tried La Caféothèque
Both coffees had a good flavor and environment, but are really expensive for what you get…I guess we are in Paris though.
A major holiday in France is Bastille Day. This day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790 (info taken from Wikipedia). I was invited by Tiffany (whom we met dancing at Mouffetard) to join her and some friends at FRAME for dinner and to view the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. The fireworks were amazing and I got to see Andrew!
I met a girl through one of my meetups and she is a performer in Paris. She invited us to see one of her shows so we decided to go. It was called Jazz Club and was showing at Theatre Ranelagh. I’m really glad we went!
During our time in the hotel, I met a girl that works there from Pennsylvania. She mentioned that I should give conversationexhange.com a try, so I did. I have met up with a couple people so far and am still meeting up with one of them regularly. She is originally from Moscow and her name is Katia. We meet up and do different things throughout the city. One day we had coffee and walked through a park (Bois de Vincennes) and another day we had tea at her place and then watched Jersey Boys. After the movie we played on the kid’s playground equipment in one of the small parks.
Katia and I also visited Musée Rodin.
One of the rooms at Musée Rodin with photography mostly had a lot of nude, sexual photographs. And then there was this kitten…I thought it was really funny that this photograph was thrown in with all of the others. But then I realized how it might fit in…I will let you draw your own conclusion.
We then walked through the city stopping for ice cream at Berthillon (this was better than the park’s ice cream we had awhile back).
Another day we visited Le Jardin du Luxembourg (aka Luxembourg Garden) and played badminton.
I accidentally hit the birdie up in the tree; don’t worry though because I figured out a way to get it down 🙂
During our most recent rendezvous, we went and saw “How to become Parisian in one hour?” – it was a pretty funny show. The guy was definitely ripping on all the stereotypes.
I mentioned apartments earlier in my post; I had started my apartment hunting pretty much as soon as I had arrived. I looked at several apartments. It was fun seeing all of the different types in each district. I always walked to each apartment viewing as well, that way I could see more of the city and familiarize myself with the area (Karen would be proud of how many steps I have logged!). We eventually settled on an apartment in the 15th arrondissement and locked in our request early June. It would only be a 22 minute walk for Andrew to work and the neighborhood seemed pretty good. It is a very small apartment, but we know we can make it home. We moved into our place on July 1st! That was a fun and exhausting day. Andrew had to work, so I ended up lugging all of the suitcases and bags over the 2.1 mile trek to our apartment (I think I had to make 3 trips). I was definitely worn out at the end of the day. Here are a few pictures of our apartment.
On one trip to the grocery store we discovered horse milk. Yes, you heard right. I said horse milk. Yes, we bought it and tried it. It was sweet with hints of watermelon and also crazy expensive to buy. I am glad that we tried it, but I don’t think we will buy it again. I prefer cow milk.
We finally found time to go out and celebrate Andrew’s birthday with dinner at Spring in Paris. This is Daniel Rose’s restaurant – he is another American chef in Paris. The dinner and service was very good. It was an excellent experience and we didn’t leave hungry.
We had our first picnic at Parc de Sceaux with friends (Lili and Geoff). I failed and didn’t take any pictures though. It was a lot of fun though. Here is a picture of Andrew preparing some of the picnic items 🙂
I think that’s a pretty good summary of the events that took place from the middle of May to the end of July. I am positive that I left a few things out, but I think we will all survive. Here’s to posting the new adventures in real time!