Published: November 29th 2012November 28th 2012
"Wherever you go, go with all your heart".
Well I tried to obey "Confucius" and come to Paris with all of my heart, but I do miss my girls & Al. Who wouldn't miss them, they are cool people to be around. (And Kelsey too!)
Allan is managing the fort at home, with one kid sick, winter boots to buy for the girls, lunches, dinners, extra-curricular activities, homework...well my hat's off to him. And he keeps sending me upbeat emails to enjoy myself & not worry about things at home. I am running out now to get a plaque engraved, "Husband & Father of the Year". (And thanks to nana for coming down to help out a sick girl)l
But that aside, this is an AMAZING city to visit. Majestic buildings, elegant boulevards, boutiques, cafes, cathedrals, you name it. The Notre Dame Cathethral, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe were amazing to see. But even if you don't go to the suggested tourists spots, you can see so much in your every day travels.
Marth left early Weds. morning as she had to be at her conference about integration of immigrants and their children. This is all
over the CNN news, Marth is a rock star!! She will do a few presentations (followed by her dancing lemon seeds & Pellegrino show - see previous blogs if you don't know that story)!
So off I went on my own tour, nervous that I'd get lost. A required "map reading" course should be taken before coming to Paris; and you must pass! These maps are crammed with such detail, that they are really hard to read. You only have to look around & see on any street corner, some poor schmuck standing with map in hand, looking around perplexed. (That's me!)
I headed off to Monoprix, a French department store & it's busy; you'd better go with the flow or you'll go on the floor! Once out of there, walking along rue du L'Opera there's store after store of chocolates. When did they start to put gold in chocolate? It is SO expensive here for chocolate. Paris is now the chocolate capital of the world; when Belgium & the Swiss weren't looking, Paris stole the title. So if you get a box of chocolates from me, it means I REALLY like you, or, I've done something really
bad & I need to make it up to you, because chocolate here is equal to a car payment!!
I stopped at a little bistro and had a nice lunch & I have to say, I thought my French was shaky until this lady sat down and said to the waitress, "Polly-vu-Englass"! Yippee I won that round.
While looking for a little cafe, I came off a street into this beautiful town square called Place Vendome in the 1st arrondisdement which is in the design of an octagon. It was designed to pay respect to the armies of Louis XIV and I expect they felt honored. There is this huge dome or column in the middle of the square called "Vendome Column" and it was made out of a cannon by Napoleon to celebrate the Victory of Austerlitz (where France crushed the Third Coalition). It is a beautiful square, and it's in the very ritzy section of Paris, with luxury hotels, boutiques that you cannot even afford to glance at, and surrounded by opulence. They have huge cranes erecting lit twinkling branches & glittering Christmas stars. I brought Marth back to see it before dinner & she was
all agog over it.
Before meeting Marth, I stopped by our meeting place, La Bombe. They are so much fun there, red candles on the tables, lots of jazzy music and great service. I've been chatting it up with one waiter and when I went in today, he was ready with the door open. Now isn't that service? I had the happy hour drink, the mojito, which the server said was on the house! OK dokey Parisn- your wish is my command!
While waiting for Marth, this lady caught her purse on my chair so I moved my chair to accommodate her. So I go back to typing and the next thing you know something licks my leg under the table. OMG; it's a wonder I didn't shriek. Turns out that wasn't a bag that caught on my chair, it was a dog leash...with a dog attached. A dog in a jazz bar? Surely there's a joke for that, "like a dog walked into a bar"...Any of you....got a joke?
Thursday Marth will be off to work again, and am working out my plan of things to do. I am keen to see the Louvre, but I'm
not sure if it will work out, and whether I really want to go alone. With over 35,000 pieces of art to see, I read that it would take something like 13 straight days (24 hours each) to see them all, if I dedicated 30 seconds to each. I wonder if Marth might start to miss me if I didn't return to our hotel after 13 days? (Probably not). So unless Usain Bolt (the fastest runner in the world) wants to piggyback me through the Louvre, then I'm out of luck to see it all!
We took a bus tour past the Eiffel Tower at night, but what I'd really like to do, is have dinner IN the Eiffel Tower, at the world famous Le Jules Verne Restaurant (Jules Verne of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea). You go up 125 metres high to dine, and it's supposed to be spectacular with unique views of Paris & you get to eat food by the famous "Michelin Star" award winning Chef, Alain Ducasse. Getting a Michelin star is like winning an Olympic Gold. One star is considered high praise, but to get three stars is phenomenal. The Michelin judges work like
secret agents; they don't reveal their work to family and friends, and never give their real name for bookings, so that their judging remains fair. Canada has a AAA-5 diamond system, and I believe Signatures Restaurant (at the Cordon Bleu cooking school) in Ottawa has the only 5 star award. Al & I watch so many cooking shows it should be illegal!
So before I left for Paris, I tried to make a reservation online as it can take months to get one. A seating time was available & I was about to attach my credit card and then it occurred to me...Marth has a fear of heights. AHHHHHHHHHHHH.
So short of putting a sedative in her corn flakes (thought of it), and putting her in a straight jacket to get her up the elevator (thought of it), then I'm plum out of luck. Although she says, "I'll go if you really want to do this", it just sounds a little risky to me. What if we start going up and she has some sort of attack? Then the only solution would be to find a balcony to give her a push off...well someone would have to silence
her!! (For those of you new to this blog, I am joking! Well kind of.)
Marth and I go back a long time, & I will say, despite many differences, we do have a great friendship. She can drive me around the bend farther than anyone I know, and I can give her "whats-for" and she takes it in stride. At the end of the day, despite the predicaments we get into, she's a wonderful giving friend & we've got each other's back. Kind of like a big brother that beats you up; they alone reserve that privilege but god forbid anyone else wants to beat you up, they'd protect you. Well I'd do the same for her. (She just asked what I was typing, and I said, "something nice about you", so she smiled and paid my dinner bill!!!)
Well I will close off for now. Despite my wanting to run to that boot place where the lady ticked me off yesterday, I decided I would rise above it. The annoying thing is that I really liked those boots I saw. So I think I will send Marth with a walkie-talkie, tell her which ones they are
(while I hide out of sight) & she can buy them for me so I don't meet that deranged salesperson again. Somehow I can see this going downhill again?!
PS my camera is acting up. So pictures are taking a long time to download, so there's a few to offer for now!
Well putting the laptop down for now; see you soon!
The end of another sweet day in Paris ;)