i woke up this morning w/ the eiffel tower in my window as usual, and while caryn took the frigid shower of doom, i went out to go hunt for breakfast armed w/ my usual handul of french words. it was so fun! first i went to the local boulangerie and bought some piping hot crunchy bread. next i went (after much searching) to a local fromagerie (cheese shop). it was really hard for me to decipher what kind of cheese they had here since i barely know french, but i ended up w/ some camambert and a mystery cheese nicely wrapped. next i went to
a local flower shop to buy some flowers for caryn, followed by a small market to buy fresh tomatoes and orange juice.
yeah, i know, shoppping isn’t some crazy wild adventure, but i really really enjoyed this morning. it was really nice to get food from all the local shops, it was cool that each thing was sold separately by people who specialize in it, and it was fun to try to convey what i wanted in my broken french. i hope to have many more such breakfasts. btw, the breakfast, other than the mystery cheese which was bland, was really delicious!
after breakfast, caryn and i went to go up the eiffel tower. we got a bit worried when, halfway though the line, we were told that the top of the tower was closed, but luckily, they re-opened it before we got out of line. so, the eiffel tower is tall… really tall… 1052 feet tall which is over 2 times as tall as the london eye. and i’m afraid of heights. yikes! but i had a good time anyways, and enjoyed the views. did you know that eiffel actually had an apartment on top of the tower where he would entertain famous guests? could you imagine?? what a dope place to have an apartment.
after the tower, caryn and i wandered past a few more things (hotel invalides, ecole militaire, grande palais) and then went to go get dinner. we went to this place that we found in the guide book that was a bit on the pricier side (50$ for the two of us), but we wanted to try some good french cuisine. once we got inside and opened the menus, i realized that not only do i know very little french, but i really really dont know any of the words for food. uh-oh. most of the stuff listed on the menu, i had no clue what it was. so here we were, at a fancy restaurant, and staring at these undecipherable menus. there were a couple things we could kind of make out, so we decided to go w/ those. then it turned out that they did have english menus, but we decided to stick w/ the food from before.
dude, the food was sooooo good!! did i mention i love france?? so, i started w/ fois gras on toast. it was insanely good and came w/ a mystery sauce that complimented it really well. my main course was beef tartare. i had expected it to be thinly sliced, but it turned out to be a large steak sized raw patty
of ground beef. to be honest, i was a bit intimidated by it at first, but once i tried it, i realized that it was damn delicious.
for dessert we had creme brulee w/ coffee. the coffee came w/ cubed sugar, and it took me back to when i was a little kid: when we were younger, my dad banked at this bank that had coffee for its customers while they waited. the coffee had cubed sugar, and i was always really excited to go w/ my dad to the bank because of that. whenever he went to the bank, i would really hope that he’d take me along, and i’d go and crunch on sugar cubes while he waited. i guess i’ve always been easily amused…
anyways, the whole dinner experience was so nice. great food, the ambience was nice, and the service was good w/ them pouring our wine for us etc. since we’re saving $$ on an apt, i guess we can afford to eat like this fairly often while wer’re here!
i’m enjoying paris so much, and i’m really glad that we have a whole week here. we *might* take a side trip somewhere else, but it could be nice to just spend the whole week here.
other notes on paris:
it’s interesting how different the fashion is here form london. so many sweaters!
it’s definitely cheaper than london. not super cheap by any means, but not as expensive as last week! but, the internet is crazy expensive here. about 5$ an hour!!
they’re using the euro now which is really cool. when we go on to spain, we wont have to change all of our money!
it’s interesting just how cheap it is to go from here (or london) to other countries in europe. from london to amsterdam, it’s only like 60$!! i wonder if that’s a big reason why people in america are so isolationist and dont understand other cultures. people here can so easily jump from one country to another, and probably witness life in other countries form a very early age, but if you’re form the us, the only countries nearby are mexico and canada (which is similar to the us anyways). i’ve seen stats that say that like 55% of americans dont even own a passport!!