Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day 1 - Paris

Bonjour de Paris! We pulled into the gate around 7:30 local time, which is 1:30 AM to our internal clocks. Amanda slept more on the plane than I did, which was good for her. I got a couple of hours, but they were not great hours of sleep.

We got settled into our hotel around 10:30 and then began exploring the city. We started with croissants and cappuccino at a local boulangerie. We then began navigating the Metro to get our real lunch. The only snag we found with the Paris Metro is that you have to manually choose which doors open. Otherwise, it was smooth sailing all day.

We had an incredible meal for lunch. For starters Amanda had pate de foie gras and I had a tort made with a variety of veggies. Both were excellent. In fact, the pate was one of the few foods where you feel like your life won't ever be quite the same after eating it. For our main dishes Amanda had lamb and I had duck. Both were also excellent. If you are heading to Paris please let us know and we will set you up with this place.

After lunch we started sightseeing. We started with waiting in a long line for the Eiffel Tower and then a long climb up the stairs. It wasn't that hard, though it did take a toll on our legs. After that we walked to another Metro station where we caught the train to get to the Arc de Triomphe. I always wanted to see it and I'm glad I did, but I didn't want to see it enough to wait in line. I just took photos from the sidewalk across the street from it.

We walked up and down the Champs Elysees a bit, which was fun. Amanda thought about looking at necklaces at Cartier and I thought about looking at pens at Mont Blanc. Neither of us was very serious about this, of course. We then went to the Mariage Freres tea store, which was kind of overwhelming given how tired we were. We did pick up a couple of tins that we look forward to enjoying.

From there we took a relatively short walk to Notre Dame. We were there just as Mass was starting. The pipe organ does add a certain gravitas to the proceedings for sure. They even do incense for just a regular Saturday evening Mass.

From there we walked across the river to our side of it and got a fairly simple dinner of quiche. We both got desserts that we really enjoyed and now Amanda is soaking her aching legs in the tub. I am tentatively planning on taking a job around the Jardin du Luxembourg tomorrow, but we will see how it goes. I do think that I got a good sense of what the city is all about. It is certainly fun, but I think that I prefer Rome.