Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mon Cheri, Paris

I’ve been super excited for this weekend for a while now- my dad completely surprised me when he said he was thinking of bringing my sister with him to Paris the weekend I was going. I honestly didn’t think the plan would actually follow through until I finally saw him this Friday. We got to Paris Thursday around 1pm, after waking up bright and early to leave at 8am. The girls and I made our way to our hostel which ended up being on the outskirts of town, but it was at least in a safe area. To be honest it reminded me a lot of Chinatown in New York, because every other restaurant was Asian, but it wasn’t dirty or sketch like Chinatown can be. Anyway after checking in (to the weirdest rooms ever- the end of my bed was literally right next to my toilet which was across from my 1x1ft shower) we decided to get ready for that night even though it was only 3 (so that we didn’t have to take the metro 20 minutes back to change later). Soon we were out the door and riding the Paris subway with ease (it’s so simple, I can’t even imagine how we made our NY subway so damn difficult). I had emailed my dad earlier to see if we could meet at the Arc De Triumph. I told the group to look for “a bald guy and skinny-legged, really loud girl” but after 30 minutes of circling the island, I gave up figuring Leah had gotten hungry (as she does every 28 minutes) and Dad had taken her somewhere to eat. As a group we all went down the Champs Elysees but decided to go back to one of the guys’ hotels and get dinner around there.
            We found a pretty well priced menu at a little French café around the corner from the hotel. I ordered escargot because I needed to break some of the girls’ snail-eating virginity and I was excited to have some again. For dinner Steph, Claire, Char and I tried to order the vegetarian salad (lettuce, tomatoes, haricot vert [green beans for all you nonfoodies], carrots, corn, red cabbage and oddly enough sliced, fried potatoes) with grilled salmon on top. The waiter said it would be 3 euros, which we all agreed to, and later came out with 2 giant salads topped with a nice, fishy smelling smoked salmon being its slimy self. Sorry, I’m the last person in the world to be called picky but I’m just not a fan of smoked salmon- and I especially hate when I don’t get what I pictured when I ordered. I guess it’s one of my pet peeves…along with long finger or toenails, guys with ponytails, and people with B.O. Which is funny now that I think about it because I just described 80% of the French.
            Anywho back to Paris- after dinner that night we spent happy hour at an Irish pub, bought some wine at a convenience store (quite convenient) and spent the night watching the Eiffel tower light up (quite romantic). And, even though we clearly already had a sufficient supply of wine, every 5 seconds we were interrupted by annoying merchants saying something along the lines of “wine, champagne 10 euro 10 euro” (which obviously gave me another flashback to Chinatown).
            The next day I met up with my Dad at his hotel by the Arc Du Triumph.  By the end of the weekend I made this trip so many times I can literally say I know the Paris metro system better than I know the roads in my hometown. Since they had already seen the Eiffel tower the day before, we decided to go see the Sacre Cour. After getting off at a really sketch metro stop and climbing really steep, non-tourist roads while clutching my purse for dear life (don’t wanna have those 10 euros stolen -_-) we made it to the church and the beautiful lookout of the city. Before I left for the study abroad I went through my old Paris/Barcelona goodies and found a business card from a restaurant I fell in love with at the bottom of the stairs from the Sacre Cour. I got so excited when I found it again that I told my Dad we had to eat there- he’d love it! I remembered Lori getting an insanely delicious Quiche Lorraine so my dad ordered that, I got my goat cheese salad that I had ordered 2 years ago and loved, and my sister got gazpacho (a cold, vegetable soup that my dad always makes in the summer).


 Best quiche of my life

coconut, lemon and caramel macaroons (started eating them before i thought to take the pictures, oops)

grapefruit, orange and feta salad

proscuitto, tomato, mozzerella, arugula 

lemon and raspberry sorbet, lavender gelato

            That night I met up with the group back by the hostel and we went out to happy hour at the Irish Pub again. We were trying to figure out how to get one of the Seine boat cruises for at least an hour before we actually found one at 11pm. Luckily, we got lost on our way because we found an awesome Australian club that we stayed out till just before the metro closed at 1am.
            Saturday I spent the day with the family again. We went to the Musee Rodin and witnessed “The Thinker” in person. We ate lunch there and it was actually really good. I had a citrus salad of grapefruit, orange and feta cheese with a light vinaigrette, and my sister split a prosciutto, mozzerella and tomato baguette sandwich with my dad. Then we went to the Pompidou, which I always enjoy and thankfully the fam enjoyed it too. For dinner that night we got sushi at a little place off the Champs Elysees. It didn’t look expensive until we got our portions- instead of the normal 8 piece rolls they were only 4 pieces. It was still a good last meal but I was a little upset I didn’t get to show my sister how to eat escargot. My dad had been wanting to try Coq au Vin and Beef Burgundy too but somehow we never ended up at little French cafes (even when they are every 5 feet around here). 

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