Bonjour! (An email to my mom from Paris 2018)

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May 6th 2022
Published: May 7th 2022
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This post is a little different. Instead of writing for a general audience, here is an email I wrote to ma mere while traveling solo to Paris back in late Spring 2018.


Hi Mom 😊
I know you don't follow my Instagram, so I figured I'd write a little blog-type post for you instead - You told me to 'make good choices' - gurl. I just had the loveliest of all meals. Less than 5 minutes away from my Airbnb is a seafood tapas restaurant called Le Jourdain (after the Metro station, I think). I can just imagine all the 'so-good-you-make-a-grossed-out-noise' noises you would make - you would LOVE it there! I went in around 8:30/9pm and sat at the little corner bar area (like at home 😊) and people-watched the French eating their dinner. The dining room is only about as big as your kitchen/dining area at home, if that. There were maybe 10 tables of 4 with only 2 wait staff - the quaintest space you ever did see! I think they appreciated my attempts at French and got to practice a little English as well. The bartender (who I think is the owner based on Yelp reviews) explained the entire menu du jour to me. He was so confused trying to think of the English word for 'meringue' - LOL! I ordered three items: the carrot soup w/ paprika (very similar to your butternut squash), cod ceviche (mmmmm!!!), and a shrimp and ricotta ravioli. Gurl, the French know how to cook seafood and in perfect proportions. I texted Sarah and told her I was about to cry it was so good. Washed it down with two glasses of Chablis and the lovely couple next to me bought me a sip of eau de vie (per wikipedia - 'cause I had to look it up - eau de vie is French for spirits, literally "water of life" and is a clear, colourless fruit brandy that is produced by means of fermentation and double distillation.) How sweet is that?! At first I thought they were annoyed by me since I made it kind of crowded at the bar, but I think they overheard me speaking half-assed French to the wait staff and were intrigued by the fact that I was an American by myself. Turns out they loved that I was traveling not only by myself, but in a lesser known part of Paris. After they left the waitress also told me I was 'very cool' and she said I had a good French accent. I think the key is just to do as ridiculous of an impression as you can LOL! That being said, I think you, Bear, and I would have had such a lovely time there together. We come back? Or hop on a plane now, gurl, its not that far! Did I mention that I got that entire meal, at a MICHELIN STAR restaurant (as I just found out through Yelp), for only 36 Euro - and you don't have to tip!!!!!!! I know it's only been two days, but tonight's been my favorite French experience so far. The thing is, I was actually a little anxious to go out to dinner on my own (I had dinner with Chloe and Elizabeth last night at a super fancy brasserie last night), but I'm so glad I did. Sometimes I have to sing "what good is sitting all alone in your room? come hear the music play! life is a caba-Rae ole chum, come to the caba-RAE!". But yeah, I almost stayed in my room and turned in early. This morning was exhausting. We went shopping at the galeries de Lafayatte. There's SO MUCH WEALTH it was kind of hard to comprehend. Like, I feel out of place in the nice section in the Nashville Nordstrom. I did buy a nice umbrella, though. It reminded me of the huge SOLO/Times Square shopping centers in Hong Kong. The building was similar in size, but with French decor, and there were Chinese people EVERYWHERE - more than I saw in Chinatown, which is right down the street. We then had le dejuener at a place called 'de Marquis' and had cafe creme, l'ouefs mimosa (deviled eggs, but ELEVATED!!), and couscous. The mayonnaise is different here. Like, I love the mayonnaise back home, but good lord it can get even better, if you can believe it. But it's now midnight, or minuit as they say, so I'm about to read a little bit and turn in for the night. I hope you enjoy reading this; I enjoyed writing it 😊 Love you!Rae


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