Second email I wrote to my family while vacationing solo in Paris back in Spring 2018.
Je suis très désolée for not writing yesterday, but I was absolutely pooped. Started the day (since I skipped the morning snoozin' til 10AM - oops!) having a pique-nique dejeuner on the Esplanade des Invalides. Bought a French Vogue magazine, which came with a free lipstick(!), and ate a lil baguette sammich. Speaking of sammich, I've only seen a few performers on the Metro, but the one I saw Friday morning was out of control. I saw him from a distance in his bedazzled tankini and Britney Spears-era headset mic, practicing his moves in the reflection of the Jourdain Metro station snack machine. Luckily he got on my train, but performed behind where I was sitting. I couldn't see the final performance, but I heard everything. I made eye contact with the people sitting across from me who had the full view and we all had to stifle laughter. The guy was probably normal enough, just a little delusional in his dreams to be l'icône pop, but still you never want to engage one of the Metro weirdos. But to bring 'sammich' full circle, the singer/dancer chose the "wiggle" song by Jason Derulo, but obviously didn't speak English, so for that one part in the song he mumbled the lyrics and then yelled "yo head yo yam smammich". It was funny. Had to be there. Anywho, Elizabeth and I had baguette sammiches in the park and walked along the Seine to the Musee d'Orsay, which I know I've seen before, but it's my favorite! We then tried to find a resting spot in the Jardin de Tuileries before going to the Musee de l'Orangerie because my dogs were BARKING. Y'all I brought comfortable walking shoes, but SHOO! Luckily the wine helps. and I have yet to have a bad glass of wine here. Bad wine is unacceptable to the French, which sounds so obvious, but like, I would never order a $3.50 red wine at home, ya know? But after we stopped to rest and wine up for an hour or so we admired Monet's Nymphéas
at the l'Orangerié for probably an hour. Got right up in those paintings. He was such a genius. I need to go to a bookstore (or probably back to the museum gift shop since the bookstores I popped in today were completely in French) and read more about his life. Because how much can you truly know about someone from their work alone? What do my EY workpapers say about me and my genius? (Side note, I officially accepted the offer and passed the drug screening for Covenant - I start July 9! SHHH!) But with all the Monet and French architecture and pretty skies/gardens and nicely dressed people I realized that my EYES WERE HAPPY. Fromage alert, but it's true! After the museums we met up with Elizabeth's high school friends James, Kaley and Rodney - who is a real BROADWAY STAR! He's played Raoul in Phantom of the Opera for over a year and was Aladdin's understudy at one point. The American high school that they all went to was having this reunion/new building assembly thing and guess what Rodney was going to sing at the presentation - CORNER OF THE SKY! I demanded a recording, so hopefully I'll get my hands on it soon. Did I mention you girlz are now TWO degrees of separation from Lin-Manuel Miranda?! They know each other! and now I know him! After dinner I calmed down and we walked around Elizabeth's old neighborhood, which is a few blocks away from the Arc de Triomphe. Such a gorgeous area! We sat at a bar/restaurant terrace by a round-about and watched the French roll by with our aperol spritzeseses. Then I rode the Metro back all the way back across town (it's so easy!!) to my still wonderful airbnb. This morning I woke up at a more reasonable hour and headed over to a cafe I spotted nearby on my first day. Had a cafe créme and attempted to read the Vogue I bought the day before (it's where I learned the word "'l'icône pop"). Afterwards I started walking towards the Père Lachaise Cemeterie (where Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, and Oscar Wilde are buried, along with 2-3 million other people) and it looks like Sundays are when pop-up flea markets crowd up the streets in La Banane. It was very romantique for about 5 vendors before I realized that junk is junk no matter where you are. So I eventually made my way through what felt like miles of little yard sales to the Cemeterie. This wasn't the top of my list of things to see, what with it being full of human remains and all, but it was in my neighborhood so I thought why not? It was so beautiful! So peaceful! I even found a 'Avenue Rachel' and a tomb with 'RACHEL' on it. Which isn't particularly beautiful or peaceful, but it wasn't planned - so weird! I walked the paths for a few hours until again, my dogs were howling. Tried to find a little place for lunch, but the bistros and brasseries were crowded out into the streets with World Cup viewers screaming for their lives. (Don't get me started on the whole professional sports thing, but do remind me later to give you a copy of 'New Philosopher' - Mom, I gave you a copy of this magazine once. Remember, it was about travel? Had quotes and articles about how travel changes you. Well this one is about playing sports/games/you name it. Really good publication, but I digress..) After lunch I wandered into a few librairies (bookstores, not libraries) and clothing shops - I got a precious circular weaved shopping basket I'll have to show you - and then came back for a lil nap. I decided to go to an Indian place for dinner to compare against "'Americanized' Indian food. Turns out it's exactly the same, so I kind of wasted one meal opportunity. but there were a ton of cute little French families eating there. There were two little girls creating a secret handshake and one of them added in a clever little bit about a big poot - LOL! I walked dinner off by going to the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, which I do believe is the loviest park there could possibly be. Not worth explaining, honestly, I'll just have to show you pictures. So that was yesterday and today. It's about 11pm now. Elizabeth invited me to meet up with the high school gang, but I may just crash again. So exhausting to do such lovely things all day 😊 I hope all is well at home. Love y'all!Rae
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