Sunday, October 5, 2014

Another Last Day in Para(Paris)dice

Golly my last day in Paris and I was lazy again after the pace of the first part of the trip. 
I think I am just pooped.  the Kids get up and out fairly early and we have time laying in time.  I packed my box, and then we took it to ship,
I found the lady at the Bruleerie   Duval open, and the place is just as ratty as ever, but she had my tea I. One of four or five boxes sitting on the floor,  at least I knew if was fresh from the company!  So I have some Paul and Virginie tea to last until we meet again.  Funny, I lucked it out because it looked like a word I use at work a lot and ended up loving it!
Then we entered the Metro at the Bastille and went towards the Eiffel Tower via my formerly favorite market.  
It is a mess,  no longer under the Metro platform,but all along the street in a haphazard manner.  I felt dejected.  Hungry, looking for a sandwich and wanting some peace, we headed towers the Champs Du Mars, only to find it all crapped up too!  We eventually found a snack bar, got some food and a reasonable view of my girlfriend.  
But the background notice of the workers was distracting. 
I knitted some, Jodi and I took photos, and we just lingered.  
It was a beautiful warm fall afternoon.  
I had a hair appointment for 5PM and it was an adventure.  I think I have the vocabulary down and then have a hard time with it,  but the young lady who cut my hair was cute,and I really like my cut.  
Not terribly different, but enough so I feel freshened up and not a little sassy!
Jodi hung out in the Place du Voges while I was getting my hair cut and we both talked about the demonstrations we had experienced.
Jodi was feeling my pain in our immanent departure.
There was a cute little clothing store under our apartment and I had been meaning to stop in all week, so we did and to my great surprise the prices were good, and the tops fit!  Jodi talked, yet it is ALL her fault, me into three tops and tried for a fourth, but even I............
For dinner we went to Le Caveau en l'Isle. I thought everyone could find something and it worked out pretty well, even though the fondant was a molleux and not fondant.  
My duck was o.k., 
And Jodi had a vegetables plate.  
Dean had his 15th steak but said it was good.  I talked m into getting Bernaise sauce on the side and at least tasting it. It was BAD!  So not a find, really.  

Friday, October 3, 2014

Shopping and the Moulin Rouge

Today was another lazy morning, we left and bought a box,
then walked toward BHV looking for perfume for me and Gwen, I got lucky and she did not.  I had saved my BD money and so I will come home smelling French!!!!

i eyeballed a purse, but I did not like the color available and we moved on.  I have been looking and looking for a french waiter wallet to no avail, but did get lucky later and found a cheapie with touristy stuff on it that will make me happy for a while to come!  
Then on to G Detour, with a stop for lunch on the way.  
I decided to try a little place that looked like they were just starting out. There was no sign on the building or awning like most, only  a name written on the window.  I ordered potage d'ongion and Fois Gras,  Jodi a milleflois.  We got our food, or rather I got my soup and Jodi her dessert.  My soup was just like you get it in the states, so thick with bread that is was hard to really call a coup and so lacking in cheese that it was difficult to discern.  Jodi's dessert, well let's say had a few presents some apples that looked like from a can. The crust was so puffy that you would have thought it was so e different dessert but not a millifois.  We waited and waited on my fois gras, I finally asked that if it had not been prepared as of yet, I really didn't need it.  To which I was told it was already preparedm but I heard the waiter on the phone asking someone where it was.   So clearly there was none in the house.  On some level, I can appreciate quick purchases to ensure freshness, I can not appreciate that he lied to me.  
When it arrived at last it was swimming in a pool of brown purred  stuff that tasted like puréed kidney beans.  Still in the spirit of assisting a fellow cooking type persons suggested to the waiter that maybe some tension between the flavors might be more interesting,  to which he just acted offended.  He informed me that everyone loved it.  O.K., but where is everyone, we we're one of 2 tables taken in the place.  NO good deed goes unpunished!  
Then we went to G Detou for some vanilla and chocolate perles, dextrose, well.........  I had a list.  But I only got the vanilla and the chocolate perles.  I  HOPE I can order the dextrose online because it only came in a kilo package.  
Now I am beginning to be loaded down.  But on we went to the 5th where I had seen a touristy purse and wallet that needed to come home with me.  I have been looking for months for some new bathroom accessories.  I just have not found anything that this my hot button, until we were in another little souvenir shop and there they has just what I have been looking for! Along with all the other necessary other presents for home, we were really weighted down now, and decided to spend some time in the park behind Notre Dame.  
There was a daddy with his son there:  they played soccer, swang, and talked to other families present.  He was so tender with his son.  
I tried to ge the little chap to play with me, but he was too shy.
Jodi wasnt too shy to play though!  
Eventually we had to wander home and we decided to walk.  
I had a chocolate ice cream for dinner as we are going to the Moulin Rouge tonight.  
I went to a show who I was a kid with grandma, part of our "tour".  But have not been in the years since,and Jodi was not so excited. I told her to get ready to enjoy some T & A because we had the tickets and they were not cheap.  
I did not know anything about arriving, so we left an hour early. Got to the taxi stand and there was a long line.  Worried to pieces that they would not seat us if we were late I internally fusses and fussed. At last a cab appeared with a green light on top and we got in.  The first words out of his mouth were it is three euro extra for a fourth person, I said do I need to leave someone behind?  Seriously, What is one going to  do about it?  Pick one person to leave behind?  Our time together does not start well.  Then he asked where we were going and I tell him, mind you this would to have been on my list of things to do tone begin with.  This arrogant ass laughs and says "tourists",  now he has made me so angry that I am unable to speak.  I am sure the anger radiated off me me I was so furious,  those tourists make up a huge part of the Parisian economy. I finally relaxed enough to face forward again and when we got there I told him. I would like to see him make a living without tourists!
The Moulin Rouge was interesting and as much as a glimpse of LauTrecs era might be nice, I was glad for the AC and no smoking rules.  
My favorite segments we're a ventriloquist  with a little white dog ( it was precious) and the can-can!
Oh and the champagne that came with,  enough said.    
Everything became very funny and we had a great cabbie on the way home, patient with my hysterical French.

Cookin again

We had a lazy morning followed by trip to Cookin With Class.  The cooking school is in a new location, not the best part of town, but the new space is awesomme.  

I was disappointed to find I had a new teacher, but Alex was funny and I learned a lot from him today.
 We made a millefois, chocolate tarte, chocolate icecream, and caramels.  The class is about 4 hours long, and the new school does not have stools which made it hard to stand that long.  Otherwise the class was delightful.   
 The Kids were home when we got back, and we decided to eat at a place I had found that was just up the street.  I don't know if I said wrong or someone heard wrong, but there was not a restaurant at the address I had in my notebook so we just hit up what was close and it was bad.  I ordered steak tartare and it was insipid, I added tobacco, then wurtze, then I even tried balsamic vinegar to no avail.  
When we got home we found that the restaurant was a block further up the st, and probably open.  Cest la vie.
Dessert was the fruit of my labor.

Breathing it all in

This morning Kathy, Dean and I went to the market, but we just got there and I looked around and The Kids were gone.  They are big kids so I thought they would be o.k.  
I gloried in the tangy smells of fresh cheese, the salty odor of the fish, and the flowers piled up for sale.  
I flirted with the sellers, one man giving me a cadeau of an extra figue and another giving me a taste of sweet juicy mango.  Mango, which, i usually hate but was so tender and sweet that i had to go back and buy one for breakfast.  I enjoyed hearing my "Un Euro" man holler out his song and the sound of French all around me.  
The sights are darker, not so spring / summer, but the lovely dark shades of teal, brown and dark rose. I bought grapes, cheese, ham and croissants for breakfast.  When I was ready I had still not ran across The Kids and piddled until i bought some finger puppets for the girls.  Still no Kids, and at last Dean came running up, they had gone back to the apartment and found me not there.  

After a foofey breakfast of fruit, cheese, ham, and bread, we headed for Notre Dame.  One of the themes of this trip feels like "CHANGE".  The service used to be partly in English, French, Italian and Spanish, and while the bulletin is translated for folks can follow, it is all in French now.  I was able to follow MOST of it, not being Catholic makes it a little hard, because I don't know all the ropes.  
After we walked to Le Fleur en Isle for a goodie, but no one really seemed to appreciate it but me.  O had my yummy hot chocolate that comes: milk in a pot, melted chocolate in a pot, and not with a meringue.  It was fabulous!  
Jodi agreed to share a millefeuille with me but after we had ordered I noticed that they had a Apple and Pear Gratin!  
Oh Joy, oh bliss, it was a reincarnation of their old Pear Gratin that was my bliss!  Jodi's millefeuille came with raspberry sauce and I dipped my meringue in it.  with the Cocoa, the meringue and my gratin, I was just in lingual heaven.  
This young couple getting it just right.
Jodi and I went back to the room and messed around a bit, straightened, showered, and so on.
Now we are sitting in Luxembourg Garden, music playing in the background, the song of water playing closer, birds, children and people speaking a plethora of languages all around.  IT is evening, the air is cool and it is very pleasant.  MIght we see this young couple at Notre Dame next time we are here?
For dinner we went to Bistrot d'Henri and I was not disappointed in what was to be one of the best meals of the trip. Jodi had a green bean salad and I had pate de fois gras,  both were excellent, followed by ravioli for Jodi and duck breast in honey sauce for me.  
I am thrilled to be redundant and say that this was excellent too!

Bragging Rights

I am now the possessor of bragging rights!  I drove through downtown Paris, around the Arch d'Triumph, dropped off The Kids at the apartment and returned the car to the Gare Du Lyon.  
The morning started out peacefully with more of the best yogurt I have ever eaten, accompanied by good coffee, a croissant fruit and cheese. 

I really liked the Manior du Quesnay.  This place definitely would be an awesome place to go for a week of R & R!  It was peaceful lovely and the hosts were very kind and attentive without  being intrusive.  
And the drive into town was peaceful, well sort of.  We stopped at an Autoroute for lunch and Kathy decided to do the cafeteria thing. 
The rest of us went to Paul. Quiche for me. Pizza for Dean and a croissant for Jodi.  As we were laying Kathy approached with her tray and the young thing at the register started laughing at Kathy and telling her something.  Kathy did not understand, and I became irritated with the little twit as she just turned into a donkey, braying and talking louder.  I finally said, you can be that way all you wish, but she will not understand, now what it the problem? So she told me that Kathy HAD to eat in the cafeteria dining room.  I pray for the twit that when she is about 56, she gets to go to America and she innocently does something wrong, and some little snot laughs at her.  grrrrr.

I can not begin to describe the utter chaos of driving around the Arc de Triomphe.  But Alex, the owner of the B&B and Siri both indicated I shoud shoot straight through town, so with a very large gulp, We did.  

The apartment is lovely, the steps not overwhelming, and the living room area is large. 
 The layout is odd, sort of loop around a tiny courtyard.  
Also this apartment is definitely to for children, the disabled,or infirm.  
We got stuff put away and The Kids choose to stay close to the apartment.  I was aching to get out in the streets of the city I love!  
So we went for Pizza at Del Arte.  And we strolled some.  

It is funny, I know the Metro so well and there is just enough time I between visits that I have to get my bearings again.  Ahhhh, it is good to be here again.