Thursday, September 27, 2012

We arrived in Paris via train from London. It was quite an easy ride and then taxi took us right to our hotel. We stayed at the beautiful St. Germain area, and the first picture was the view looking out from our hotel window. 

Our hotel room was tiny but very comfortable and well designed. Other than the queen bed, there was about two feet wide of space between the wall and the bed, opposite the bed was a thin slice of vanity table with a mirror on the wall, and a pretty tiny bathroom. Cabinets are hidden from sight but offered a decent storage, we quickly stored our clothes away, but in order to open doors we still have to move our luggage to a different place and move it back when we are done. The room was covered with beautiful upholstery, something I've wanted to do for our house but the price of custom upholstery stops me. Here is what I see so often in Paris, that there's always a little something extra you get besides the obvious. The room was perfectly designed, a sound prove door between the bathroom and the bedroom, and organic lotion and shampoo for extra comfort, etc., etc. If I could use one word to describe our hotel experience, it was delightful! To me having a tiny but beautiful hotel room was part of my Parisian experience.

After we settled down we went down for a bite to eat. The street has all the hustle and bustle of a lively neighborhood. Oysters bars right on the street with freshly shacked oysters, cafes with small tables out on the sidewalk, grocers selling fresh produce, bakers with a dazzling array of delicate cakes and macaroons, and there  are of course, people. At this part of Paris I saw people of all ages, young people, seniors, parents with kids getting a afternoon snack from one of the shops, it was a beautiful scene. Here dogs are not excluded from restaurants and shops, the pet owners so often walked into the restaurant with their pets on leash.

People say that the French are famously grumpy, but from what I saw, it was not true at all. At least the French we met were the friendliest people on earth. Our first meal was at a cafe right down the street from our hotel. We got seated right away and since we spoke not a word of French, the waiters always accommodated us by speaking English. I ordered steak while my husband pointed to a dish called Andouilette on the menu, the waiter explained that it was a type of sausage. My husband said oh, that's great, I'd like to have that. The waiter for lacking for the correct word in English, instead had a big smile on his face and a funny tweak in his eyes and rubbed his belly and said," oh oh oh?" So my husband replied in definite conviction that he would LOVE to have some sausage. When the food came out and we both had a bite to taste it, it turned out to be sausage made of pig intestines, and while I've never had pig intestine sausage before, it tasted just about how you would imagine a pig intestine would taste like.

Of course we saw the touristy sites like the Palace of Versailles, which, btw, very much felt like a tourist meat market jam packed with people. We also visited the Louvre and other historical places, but my personal favorite thing to do in Paris was wondering around the city randomly and see where it took us. One time, we walked along a small alley, check out some neighborhood court yards just to fill our curiosity and found a random hat shop with a lady selling handmade hats, and we found shops with all sorts of strange curiosities. At night my husband and I would have a appetizers in one place, get up and search for a oyster bar, then have some crepes at another cafe, stop to listen some top notch music whenever there are street musicians performing... I suspect that they are the best in the world! And just like that, time drifted away and before we knew it, our time in Paris was over. I have to say I was not ready to leave when we left, but it's safe enough to say that we will be back, and very soon!

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