Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hooray For The Marais!

After 11 hours of sleep, some yogurt and muesli and a heavy application of sunscreen we headed out this morning to take another meandering journey through Paris.

The day started off great when, a mere few doors down from our hotel, we saw a shop that was selling this horse lamp. I took a few pictures but none of them came out great. In case you can't tell from the photo, it's a lamp that is the exact same size and shape as a horse with a lamp shade on its head. It's like a horse that got drunk at his office party.

I then saw another one of those Smart Cars. This one had a wicker pattern on it! How quaint, if not waterproof!

I still haven't gotten any souvenirs of Paris. I hadn't found anything that really struck me. That was until I encountered this tasty little gem I found at a stand along the Seine. I will think of Paris every time I look at this postcard. Or the picture Jen took of me with this postcard since I didn't actually end up buying it.

After that amazing honeymoon event we continued onward. As Jen shuffled through her purse a piece of paper blew away. I ran after it through the streets while she yelled, "It's not important, just let it go!"

I was determined to save the paper and I caught it just after it landed in a puddle. When I brought it back to her I said, "What was that paper anyway?"

"Oh, that's just the list you made the other day of all the places you wanted to see in Paris."

Now I see what this whole marriage thing is really about.

We then made our way to St. Eustache, not to be confused with St. Mustache. For years Jen has been telling me about the statue of a head out in front of the church. She claims that I look like this head when I'm asleep. I beg to differ.

We then traveled to Forum Des Halles where we wandered around for a bit. We found a series of books in the Fnac with my name on them! The other day we found Les Mystérieuses Cités D'or on DVD which was very exciting. Unfortunately it was in French only with no English subtitles so I did not purchase it.

We then made our way to Le Marais for lunch. We saw this advertisement for Diet Coke. My French is a little rusty but I think it translates as: "Diet Coke, it may give you the gout but it has no calories." Funny that this is more glossed over in the American advertisements. It's a trade-off I suppose.

We had lunch at L'Étoile Manquante which was very nice. I started off by ordering a Bière Picon (having no idea what it was) which turned out to be a very tasty (but a little too sweet) beer with orange flavor. I thought it tasted like muscat wine and upon I had to look it up on Wikipedia to actually find out what it was. We also had some nice toasts, mine with smoked salmon, Jen's with warmed goat cheese. We finished it off with some coffees which tasted a lot more like Dunkin' Donuts coffees than I had anticipated.

We then went over to relax in Place de Vosges in the grass. We felt comforted knowing that Louis XIII was looking after us on horseback. Apparently his stern gaze was not enough to stop some little kid from dumping a bunch of sand on his little sister's head.

After our rest we walked up Beaumarchais where Jen saw a restaurant with her name. After getting photo ops with both our names I felt like we had had an extremely successful trip so far. This was the fourth day in a row where they predicted rain and today it rained the hardest of all the days, which is to say it rained about 20 droplets an hour for about two hours. It wouldn't have even been worth bringing our umbrellas for the rain we had today.

We approached Sacré Coeur after about an hour of walking. We climbed the steep steps and went inside whereby we were instructed to remain absolutely silent and not take any pictures. I felt that it was bogus that we had to remain silent. Jen told me it was because it was a holy place. I was curious as to why, if it was so holy, there were two gift shops inside. Jen said they were "libraries." I asked if they were the type of "libraries" that sold souvenirs. Jen remained silent. I win!

After our brief tour of Sacré Coeur we wandered around Montmartre and got a chocolate beignet and a coffee-flavored macaron. Then we wandered around to watch all the artists at work. There was a guy there selling some pretty nice paintings of Paris but I really couldn't justify spending 150€ on a painting. A Keanu Reeves postcard maybe, but not a painting.

We took the subway home from Montmartre. I was impressed by the fact that you can open the doors on the subway before the subway stops. It's not safe but it's pretty cool. I was not impressed, however, with the lack of air conditioning on the subway.

Right by our hotel is a store that sells only foie gras and truffle products. It's a pretty amazing store. We went inside and spent a little too much money on foie gras-related products. The woman in the store was very helpful and she was the third or forth person to be very impressed with how well Jen speaks French. She was kind enough to not comment on me crudely uttering "merci" and "bonjour" only when prompted.

After a quick rest we finished up the evening with dinner at Thoumieux on Rue St-Dominique on the recommendation of a book Jen was reading. It was pretty incredible. We had smoked herring, shrimp and avocado salad, lamb chops, cassoulet, fruit tart and an apricot tart (that was poorly described on the menu). This brings my percentage of getting entrecôte for dinner down to 50%. For the record, my percentage of actually asking for entrecôte still stays steady at 0%.

We're pretty exhausted after another day with a tremendous amount of walking. I'm sad that today is our last full day in Paris but we will make the most of it. They're predicting rain all day, just like every other day we've been here. We'll see how that goes. I'm not terribly worried.


Lauren.Story said...

You guys look like you are having so much fun!!! It almost makes me want to go back to Paris, almost. Your blog is becoming the highlight of my internet time :)

Sandy said...

The blog is becoming the highlight of the day for many of us. Aunt Deb said she can't wait to read it each day and neither can I. Some friends also read it and love it. You guys should become travel writers!

Unknown said...

Anyone interested in financing our travel writing career knows where to send the checks. We eagerly await them via USPS.

uberlours said...

Jen's Dad says that the good citizens of paris should appreciate her abilities to speak in their language. It cost a King's ransom!

Amanda said...

I want to party with that horse.