09 November 2010

A Trip to Paris

Paris! One of the greatest cities in the world! Where do I even begin?
How about with the vending machine at the airport.

Elusive White Twix

Le WHITE TWIX. We are walking around in a just-landed-in-a-foreign-country daze and I go over to study the delightfully exotic vending machine offerings at the airport and spy this edition limitee Twix White. I didn't have any euro coins yet. No problem, we'll get it later!
I looked in every vending machine we saw in Paris. EVERY VENDING MACHINE. The albino Twix was nowhere to be found. At least I got a picture of it so I know I am not totally insane. Oh who am I kidding. Totally Insane.

Guess what else I scoured Paris for? I stopped at dozens of magazine stands in pursuit of Vogue a la Francais.  I couldn't tell if it was sold out or if it didn't exist or if my Scottish French* wasn't clear. We found Italian Vogue, Spanish Vogue, British Vogue, American Vogue. Do French women not read Vogue? Seriously? What kind of hypocrisy are they selling the world?! And then, at the airport waiting to go home, I come out of the bathroom and there's Brent, casually reading French Vogue.

*Before my trip I listened to "Coffee Break French" podcasts, which were taught by Scottish people.

In order to adequately canvas the city's magazine stands and vending machines, I did go see some sites. The first day, we walked to the Eiffel Tower. We were following the conventional wisdom that you must stay up the day of your arrival to avoid jetlag.

Funny headline the next day in the paper:
American Zombie Tourists Lurch Towards Tower Moaning for Brains or Actually Anything Costing Less Than 20 Euros

Eiffel Tower

See? "BRAaaINS!"

At the Eiffel Tower

My pictures of the Eiffel Tower are pretty hilariously bad. I only brought my fixed 50mm lens, so it was like, do you want the tippy top, the upper half of the middle, the lower half of the middle, or one leg? Which is also why you can't see the Eiffel Tower in the picture of us AT THE FREAKING EIFFEL TOWER.

I did see this moss. Which fit into my lens. And which looks kind of like brains. But more importantly, MOSS!

Moss delivery

We went on a beautiful walk back from the Tower to our hotel in the opera district. We were going to take a boat ride but I stroked out at the price. Same thing happened to me in Venice with those gondolier guys. SIXTY BUCKS? I'LL WALK! I'm a class act overseas, let me tell you.

Paris Window

Glad to see these particular Parisians haven't switched to CF bulbs. (Notre Dame has and it looks weird)

Champs Elysees

We just happened upon these guys laying cobblestone pavers. What a dying art that probably is.

Laying the stones

Here's our hotel.

Le Grand Hotel


Pretty fancy! We enjoyed our stay there, especially the French speaking elevators and the breakfast, which had approximately 14 different kinds of bread.

I was really wanting some wifi access that afternoon, to send the grandparents an email, so we ended up at McDonald's. I know. Foreign country for 6 hours and we're at McDonald's. But look, we got French stuff! McEspressos and McMacarons!

Snack at McDonald's

Macarons! How come I didn't know about these before? In the fancy stores they are displayed on a tree. I don't know why. I was excited to find out they were delicious since I was already signed up for a Making Macarons class on Wednesday.

Laduree's Macarons

That picture was taken at Printemps, the department store where I found a perfect beret. It's black and cashmere and cost a fortune and I got it in Paris. I think I will wear it for the rest of my life.

Later that day, we (my new friend Chrys and I) found a store with a felt mushroom sewing kit in the window. Which I immediately bought. So that was awesome.

Now we continue with our moss tour. Here is moss behind Notre Dame.

Moss behind Notre Dame

Brent, me, and Chrys went to Ile de Cite on Sunday to see the flower market.

Flower Market

Flower Market

Here I am in a French flower market, wearing my French beret. FRENCH FANTASY OVERLOAD!

Flower Market

Look what else they have at the Flower Market. Bunjour!


T-oui-t t-oui-t!

Sunday Bird Market

Another memorable experience--a visit to Anick Goutal, a perfumer. Where I was perfumed! Ooo la la! Reeking American Tourists! The clerk gave me a little sample of the perfume that she picked for me. I wore it the next day and when I came back to the fancypants hotel, it was gone. And that talking elevator wasn't saying a word.

Annick Goutal

Luxemburg Gardens. What can I say! Look at this.


Kids. Sailing. Boats!! SO PARISIAN!!

Crepe Stand

Crepe Stand! Are you dying yet? SO PARISIAN!!


The Rodin Museum was another highlight. We only went to the garden. Which is all I wanted to see anyway.

Look, moss!

Moss in Musee Rodin

And moss with my super cute shoes!

Shoes on moss

Catacombs. No moss. And very hard to take pictures without a flash! But otherwise I thought these were very cool.


Our post-catacombs lunch. Hiking through bones makes you hungry.

Gail eats lunch


And finally, my macarons class. I am so glad I did it. I was fulfilling my Sabrina fantasies. "A woman happy in love, she burns the souffle!"

Macarons out of the oven

When I came out of the class, the sun was setting over Ile de Cite. I watched it until it was almost dark. My last sunset in Paris! We had a wonderful last evening, we went out for Indian food with great company.

Then it was home to the girls. A sight for sore eyes! Look at them in their new berets. I was so glad to be home.

Ooo la la!

What a trip. I can't quite believe it was real!


  1. So fun to see your pix after hearing all about your adventures!!!!

  2. Hi
    I enjoyed reading about Parisian moss very much! It made me think of the time I spent greeting everyone in Paris with .."jour bon"...my literal translation of "good day" with the adjective and noun switched because that is French. Huge facepalm DUH moment when my hysterically laughing boyfriend at the time managed to catch his breath long enough to say to me " I think bonjour is the word you are after". And then to add insult to injury, a few days later he suggested I switch to "bon soir" in the evening. I am so NOT bilingual.

  3. Jour Bon! That cracks me up! :) Foreign languages are so tricky.