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Friday, April 21, 2006 


Okay, I'm going to do a day by day recap, with photos, if available. To be honest, I was pretty lame about taking pictures. I did take some, but I got a digital video camera this past Christmas, and had never used it before (I was planning to sell it.) I ended up taking more videos than photos. So. Here we go:

Friday, April 7, 2006

Wow. I'd never flown Air France before. Not bad. I was sitting next to a woman from Brazil and her daughter, who is a teacher in Fremont. They were on their way to Rome. The mom was hilarious. She talked the whole time, and was stoked to find out that the alcoholic beverages were free! Finally, I had to take a xanax so I could sleep.

I was so happy to get off the plane. Paris. Finally. In keeping with the theme, I had been there in 2002 and 2004, so I was due back.

I made my way to the Place de la Bastille, and my hotel, the Lyon-Mulhouse.

I was really happy with it. I had a room on the top floor - and the hotel has an elevator! The room was facing bustling Boulevard Beaumarchais, which might have been a problem, had there not been good, double paned, insulated windows. Nice. As you can see, I had an awesome view, with La Tour Eiffel on the left, and the Centre Pompidou on the right:

I didn't give in to jet lag (though I wanted to!) Instead, I walked up Rue St. Antoine and Rue de Rivoli for a bit and bought a prepaid SIM card for my phone.

Later, I met up with expat artist Matthew Rose. I brought him some stuff from the States, and he repaid me in art!

I walked back toward the hotel from his place in Montparnasse, and realized that I was really hungry. I stopped by a little place and had the plat du jour which happened to be seafood risotto. Yum. It was so freaking good! I wanted to lick the plate, but, you know. I didn't. For dessert, I ordered the tarte aux pommes with biscuit ice cream. Check it:

After I'd eaten most of the tarte (I couldn't finish it all,) I went back to my room, took a quick shower and hit the sack.

April 8, 2006

I got up at around noon. I thought I'd fooled jet lag! I walked around a bit, and found my way to the fantastic Willy Ronis exhibit at the Hôtel de Ville.

I came to Paris with no coat, just a black hoodie sweatshirt, so I needed to find something a little heavier. I went across the street to BHV, but couldn't find a coat I liked. Oh well. I went over to Black Up - and frankly, that name never ceases to crack me up, and had a makeover. Fun! After I was sufficiently "Blacked Up," I had about an hour to kill before I was to meet up with Gabrielle for dinner in Montmartre. I decided to head into a bar where I could nurse a drink, and read my book until it was time to head to Sacre Cœur. A girl walks into a bar. I ordered a drink, and started to read. A guy asked me if the table next to mine was taken. I told him it wasn't, so he put his stuff on the table, and went to the bar to get himself a drink.

While he was gone, I noticed that he was reading the magazine The Week. When he got back I said "I really like that magazine. I particularly enjoy the real estate listings." "Oh," he said. "Have a look." He thumbed through the magazine, and as I was looking at the homes, I realized they were all UK listings.

"That's funny," I said. "I've only ever read the American version. I had no idea there was a UK edition of this magazine."

"I didn't know there was an American version."

So, just like that we started talking. I told him about my kid and her exchange program, and showed him photos of her on my phone. We talked about his job and where we were each from (he's Scottish) and our work (or my lack thereof!) He bought me another drink, and that was pretty much it. I needed to go. I thought he was nice enough, but, if I'm being honest, that was it. I gave him my phone number, though, because I was alone in the city and said maybe we could hang out before I left. That was it.

I met up with Gabrielle, and had a fabulous time, and a fabulous dinner! She's hilarious. After dinner she said we should go look at the Tour twinkle. Huh? I had no idea the Eiffel Tower twinkled every hour on the hour! We went up to her apartment greeted the (very sweet) cats, and went out on the balcony. She has a breathtaking view. You can see pretty much everything from up there. Then, at 10:00, the Tower lit up. It was amazing!

After a few more minutes with the kitties, it was time for me to head back to the hotel. I wanted to get to bed at a decent hour so I wouldn't sleep away the next morning.

To be continued...

Ok - that apple dessert is so my most favorite. P and I had that when we arrived in Switzerland last summer! The smell was just incredible..

And okay, you are just so cool to meet up with bloggers like we did too. And trade art, that's just ultra cool. And the twinkles, I was mesmerized with this in July of 2003.

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