Wednesday, March 01, 2006

"Tell Us about Paris!" Day Two (Thursday)

Thursday, February 15, 2006.

The day began by me waking and asking KT whether we were to call my uncle or if they were going to call us. (See, this is why when I have phone conversations while I'm half-asleep I have to relay what they were about to other people.)

It was also the morning we discovered not to leave anything on the bathroom floor or really anywhere in the bathroom when one was having a shower.

After meeting down in the lobby, we—KT, Lyle, Jim, and I—ventured outside and down the street in search of breakfast—and more importantly, coffee. Coffee is the lifeblood of Paris, if you ask me. One expects it to be good and plentiful. (For the most part, it was.)

One street over from our hotel was Demoulin Patisserie. The second best Quiche Laurene in Paris—from our experience—and delicious pastries like pain au chocolat, chocolat tarte, and the cutest little cakes. But they didn't make coffee, so we continued our search. Which led us to a smoky little pub down the street, where—at 10:00 am—people were already drinking beer. Pretty good coffee.

Then we shopped our way towards our destination. The street we took, which may have been the other Temple, seemed to be composed of camera shops, motorcycle shops, and musical instrument stores.

I was looking for boots, and at Garrice I found a beautiful pair of chocolate brown leather for 90,00 euroes. They're hot, and they make me feel so tall. (I relish feeling tall, it doesn't happen very often.) The reason we got such a good deal on them was because all of Paris seemed to be having a sale, and they were the last pair.

Paris is the city of doors. All the streets have these huge doors that open up and lead into courtyards off the street of business, homes, and sometimes... libraries. Really beautiful ones. The doorknockers are elaborate and romanesque.

Once we arrived in the Marais, near where the Marriage Freres tea shop is located, we had lunch at the delicious and very cool Cafe de Philosophes. How cool is it? Stainless steel toliet cool. Well, maybe "cold" is the more accurate description. Oh, baby, were they ever.

Shopping around the Marais, we passed by Hotel de Ville again. This time we discovered they had created an ice skating rink in front of the building. You rented your skates from an igloo. There was also a little constructed "sledding" hill, but alas, no tobbogans. (That must be just a French-Canadian thing.)

We travelled across the bridge to Ille-de-la-citie, the oldest district of Paris. It's where the city was originally settled. Everything else just grew out from it (or towards it, I suppose.) Our destintation was Notre Dame.

Last time I was in Paris, the top part of the cathedral was closed. This time it was open, so we all paid our 7,00 euroes and waited in line to hike up a windy staircase to the the little walkway between the two bell towers. It was an amazing view, framed by the famous stoned gargoyes. Notre Dame has always impressed me with its sheer artistic wonder. Since the populace was illiterate, the facades of Notre Dame were crafted to illustrate/educate various stories from the Bible. It's really amazing to see, and I'll upload some of the shots we have later.

After Notre Dame, we ventured towards Les Fruits du Temps, my favorite accessory shop. Farther down the same street is where the best Mille Fuelle in Paris is said to be located, yet down the street we found a place that was even better. It had the best quiche lauren as well, and baguettes for only 0,80 euroes that were like a meter long. We saw people come in and buy three at a time. (Real baguettes, not these sourdough things that Americans try to pass off as baguettes.)

Back in the Marais, I tried to force KT to try on expensive overcoats. She refused, and thus, I didn't get photos of her in Dolce & Gabbana. (What, I thought it would have been funny to show her parents....)

After all of that, we headed back towards the hotel, getting caught in the rain. That's when we discovered where the only umbrella I knew to work in the house had gone. I proceeded to try and sheltered KT from the rain, but only managed to keep poking her in the eye/head. In the end she informed us all she was a strong English woman who did not fear this water that fell from the sky. (Her internet doesn't shut down when it rains.)

Oh, by-the-by? I was carrying the boots I bought with me the entire time. Panicking that they were going to get ruined in the rain.

We returned to our room to rest up, bemoaning our poor, poor feet and aching calves from all those stairs. Okay, maybe I was the only one moaning. I think I whimpered, too. No, I'm sure I whimpered. Then I tried to put the fear of Sacre Coeur in KT as I had flashbacks to all those stairs, which we'd be climbing the next morning. No one seemed to know what was happening for dinner, so we found ourselves down in the mod pink funky bar drinking. Coffee for me, tea for her. Caffiene is our drug of choice.

My uncles came down, joined us, and then decided we were going to take a walk to find somewhere to eat. Strolling by a canal, we found ourselves at Au Chenizot. I don't recall what I ordered, but KT says it was duck. I do recall Lyle made me eat a mushroom and I still don't like them. (It's the texture, not the flavour, that bothers me.) I also recall having tiramisu for dessert and then not being able to sleep until like 3:30 am. So I kept KT up, because I'm a horrible person, discussing secrety-spoiler plot points of the second book.


KT said...

The Philosopher Cafe bathrooms were awesome. Cause they had the glass case of libraryness, and the glowying philosophy quotes in the mirrors.

c.rooney said...

Ahh, right, the infinite library. I wish we'd gotten a picture of that.

Rachel Vincent said...

Oh, I wanna go to Paris! And you should know I'm thinking that in a really whiny thought-voice.

I studied so many of those places in French class in highschool, but I've only ever seen pictures of them.

And I hate mushrooms too. Because they're slimy. At least, they feel slimy to me. When I was four, one slid down my throat before I had a chance to chew it, and it triggered my horribly gag reflex. I haven't had once since.

c.rooney said...

Once all the text is done, Rachel, I am planning to put up some photos. But if there's certain requests you have, email me and I'll let you know whether or not we have shots of them.

You can go to Paris to celebrate your book deals! It would be an amazing vacation for you and your #1 fan. :)

Go in the spring, it's so beautiful.