lundi 3 avril 2006

I'm back! And surprisingly, not terribly jetlagged, though I am using it as an excuse to not unpack nor to deal with my email.

A view of the Eiffel Tower from the métro

So the trip, while starting out on a high note (and pretty much continuing for the rest of the week in the same way), did hit somewhat of a blip before I even got onto the plane. Kristin, who I was meeting in Paris, was supposed to leave Friday night from Boston, arriving Saturday morning in time to pick up the apartment key from the rental agency. When I received a phone call an hour after she (and Fake Boyfriend, who was on the same flight) was supposed to have been on the plane, I knew that things had gone a little astray. For, you see, her plane had been delayed. Really delayed. Delayed to the point that the airline didn't know when they were going to be able to take off - and therefore, who knew when she was going to arrive in Paris, and pick up the apartment key (the rental agency was closed on Sundays). Do you see the dilemma?

It's okay. It was all solved. I talked to Fake Boyfriend, who told me to call his father (who was in Boston) to get FB's mother's number (who was in Paris). Then I had to say up until midnight my time in order to call her at a reasonable time. Luckily, she was a saint and said that she would gladly pick up the keys for us and give them to Kristin or Mike (a friend who is currently living in Paris). When I was waiting for the shuttle, FB's mother called me at 4AM (please note the lack of sleep I got) to tell me she had the keys, then FB called me (from Reykjavik, on his first of many layovers) to tell me to call Mike to give FB's mother a message regarding the keys and that Kristin would get in at 6PM and FB in at midnight and that Kristin would call when she arrived.

Yes, it was just as confusing then as it is now in my rewriting it. And yes, it could've been made a Whole Lot Simpler, say, if FB had just called Mike and told him to pick up the keys in the first place, but it's amusing how 4 Ivy League degrees and 3 graduate degrees like to complicate matters.

By the time I got to Paris Sunday morning (by the way, international first class ROCKS. Your seat reclines almost all of the way down, which is only inconvenient when you are squirmy like me and need to constantly get stuff out of her carryon to entertain her, thereby having to make the seat go up then down then up then down), everything had luckily been figured out. Good thing too, because otherwise someone would not have been a happy camper.

That little drama aside...

I forgot how much I missed Paris. Really really missed it. If I could figure out a way where I could live there the spring of every year, I would be beyond ecstatic. Especially if someone gave me a fancy dancy apartment in the middle of the Marais and unlimited spending money. And a little white stupid dog.

From left to right: Our street; View from the living room; View from my bedroom

Did I mention what a lovely location we had, in the heart of the Marais? It's the part of Paris I know best, and it's surprising how after four years I still know that area like the back of my hand.

Since I had all the standard monument-and-other-famous-crap pictures, I decided to take pictures of other stuff instead. And it turns out, as shouldn't be surprising, that I largely have oodles of pictures of food (and other random stuff). It's like I wasn't even in Paris at all. Except that everything's in French.

I appear to have been especially taken with chandeliers.

I am also really mature and make everyone pose like statues.

We did see all the big sites - Kristin hadn't been before, so we made the rounds, grèves and manifestations and all. The big museums, some smaller ones, a smattering of churches (not to mention all the ones we walked by), a few monuments (again, walking by a ton more), a big house, so on, and so forth. Amber (from Jen's trip) also joined us for a couple of days, which was just terrific fun.

Okay, maybe snack was an underexaggeration.

Our days were lovely. We woke up, had some baguettes and cheese, then walked around a lot, ate lunch, walked around some more, returned to our apartment for a midafternoon snack, slept, woke up in time for dinner, ate some more, and then drank.

But food, we'll come to in another post. In the meantime, I leave you with this sign, taken outside the Palais de la Justice.

We've been puzzling it out, trying to decipher what it means, but can't come to a definite conclusion. The only guess that we can hazard is that it means to not hold your child's hand while you cross the street, which somehow just doesn't seem quite right.