Sunday, November 10, 2013

Oui Oui Pari

My mom and I had just a day and a half left in Paris and decided to make the most of it. We started with the usual croissant for breakfast and then headed out to see the Notre Dame. It is a very beautiful church and is so impressive construction-wise.

After the quick tour, we headed out for the Champs Élysées - the high fashion street. We walked through the stores that we can't afford and browsed around. A keychain at the flagship Louis Vitton is a whopping 200 euros. Insane. Good thing we found something we could afford...macarons. My friend Sabrina recommended Laradee and when we saw it, we had to go in. Look at these gems. My mom got a caramel and I got a chocolate and they were absolutely perfect.

It was raining pretty bad so we decided to brave the subway system and explore Montmartre. This is an artsy part of Paris that is up on a hill and offers a view of the city. There is a church on the hill that was pretty spectacular and the view was amazing.

After Montmartre, we headed back to the city and it was just getting dark. There is a bridge along the Seine river that lovers attach to signify love lasting forever. My mom and I obviously had to partake so wandered around the souvenir shops to find the perfect locks and markers (mine ended up looking like a 3 year old did it...typical). Now, it's official, Colin and I and my mom and dad will now be together forever! Yay!


With this being our last night in Paris, we decided we would splurge and try out a nicer we found on tripadviser. I'd like to note that as an avid yelp user, trip adviser has been amazing at finding small, unique, and delicious restaurants - thanks trip adviser! 

I read about a place on TA and decided it was our restaurant. We had a bit of trouble finding this place, Le Petit Casimir, and the when we got there, the door was locked. Luckily, a very friendly Parisian man greeted us and asked if we had reservations. Of course not. However, he accommodated us and sat us next to two young, good looking French men that would soon be our new friends. The entire menu was written in French and I could see the fear in my moms eyes. Gerard, the friendly owner that let us in, explained everything in English for us and it was perfect. The starters we chose were squid for me and pumpkin soup for my mom. I wish I had a picture of my beautiful, tender and perfectly seasoned squid because they were my favorite thing I have eaten so far (and I'm writing this in the Rome airport). I used almost an entire bread bowl to 'spaccapiata' or clean my plate as my dad would say. Gerard offered us an appertif to begin with that was like a champagne flavored with currants. It was quite tasty. For our main courses, I ordered a grilled swordfish at the suggestion of the chef and my mom ordered roasted beef with potatoes and carrots. Gerard helped us pick wine to pair and it was delicious - I got a Pinot and my mom ordered some sort of sweet red wine. The French guys next to us, Pierre and Sebastian (do they get any more French) were so fun. They chatted with us about our trip and even took notes about things to do in San Francisco, if they ever visit. Our meal ended with the original creme brûlée - using a hot metal plate to burn the sugar. We met a German man who bought us a glass of this stuff that translates to old prunes and it is quite interesting. This was my favorite meal in Paris because of the atmosphere. My mom didn't love the food, but I think she can agree that we were made to feel like family and enjoyed some new things that were locally sourced and made with love. 

Our final day in Paris we took the train to Versailles and saw the chateau there. It was from a distance because we had to catch the train to the airport. This was quite an adventure. Before I left for Europe I went to this new store in SF called Uniqlo. It's a little Asian store that has all this light weight heat clothing that is supposed to keep you warm. In an average situation, I'm just fine - not too hot, not too cold. However, when I am in any situation where I begin to sweat, the Japan heat technology clothing transforms your sweat into balls of fire. On this particular day, we were attempting to catch the train to the airport, seemed simple. There is one train change and that was it. We go down to the platform and look at the monitor for our train. It was a B train and only C trains were listed. I run back up to the gates where more information is listed and the same trains I was just looking at now had Bs listed. WTF. I come back down and my mom knew we weren't on the correct platform either, but couldn't really offer any suggestions. Slowly, I begin to sweat and balls of fire start forming under my sweater and I nearly lose it. All the signs are in French and no one is offering help. Finally, I see a sign that directs us to our train and we make it just fine. And, looking back we had allowed plenty of time to get on the flight, but in that moment, with the combination of panic and Japan technology sweat fire balls, I wanted to strip down to my underwear so I could think straight. Please be warned. 

Au revior

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