Saturday, September 27, 2008

Nous Sommes Ici!

We're here!

Right now I'm in the Frog & Rosbif, where there's good beer and wifi and I'm on the phone via skype with Gerry. Yay! Life is good! The internets aren't as fast as I'd like, so I'll upload photos referenced in this post later...

I just took some lovely photos of my knit designs on Amy, Elle & Hannah (devious sub-plot of trip) and we had a magnificent brunch. Now Amy is very kindly taking the girls for a little stroll to give me an hour to answer emails, blog and get some work done. And call Gerry. He's fine, by the way... Thank heaven for Skype!

The hotel is quite wonderful! It's not the Ritz, of course, but for the cost (55 euros/night) it's lovely and clean, the folks are kind and it's centrally located. Thank you, French Girl, for the advice to stay at the Hotel Tiquetonne!

After dropping our bags we walked around, had some cafe (chocolat for the girls) and croissants, then walked some more. A visit to Sephora allowed me to get one of my favorite things, the 4-sided maincure buff, so now my nails are beautiful - stunning - with absolutely NO gummy polish. Here's a before and after of my ugly ridged nail and my lovely new smooth nail!

We mostly passed the time until we could return at noon when our rooms would be ready. We shopped on Rue Montorgueil for baguettes, a wonderful cheese plate and some fruit to have a nice lunch back in our room, then we crashed until 5:00pm. A well deserved nap!

I had read about Breizh Cafe in Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris, so we set out on a walk for some of the unsual crepes. Unfortunately, I got completely turned around and what should have been a 15 minute walk turned into an hour stroll (through beautiful streets at a lovely time of day, but still...)

I was JUST about ready to give up - I felt hopeless in the face of so many streets with changing names - streets with names longer than the street actually is! But as soon as I said, "Let's just give up..." there it was, in front of us!

We hadn't made a reservation - I didn't even think of it - but the hosts were SO gracious and kind! They had a table reserved in 45 minutes, did we think we could eat dinner in that time? I made her laugh when I said, Madame, nous somme American, n'est ce pas?

And the food was amazing. They do some unusual and quite delicious crepes, dinner crepes, dessert crepes, simple or complex. The folks next to us had a flambeau and I thanked them for "dinner and a show" Then spent 15 minutes explaining what I meant. Another neighbor killed an annoying fly and I said, "Formidable!" Which got a laugh - not because I sounded stupid, either!

My French has been holding up, folks have been very kind and we're making ourselves understood well. Many folks, of course, speak English - but it's clear that the small effort of trying to speak French makes a world of difference. It's the tiny things - the purchase of some hand sanitzer, understanding a price in verbal French, making change using coins, that make me feel all giggly inside.

I'm a little insufferable.

And today? With the photo shoot out of the way we're going to stroll down the Champs Elysee, then walk over to the Eiffel Tower and take the Metro home. That's the plan, which we are free to deviate from at any time! Tomorrow is the bike tour, and that's our only FIRM plan on this trip. At some point we'd love to get out to Versailles.

Elle got her hair cut at the shop across the street from the hotel, 3-D, and it looks SMASHING! She is so French! Of course, photos later...
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posted by Annie at


Blogger Nancy said...

I am SO jealous! Versailles was one of the best days of our trip - exhausting but fabulous!

September 27, 2008 7:37 AM  
Anonymous Mary Lou said...

Try your French--you can never go wrong. A breezy "bonne journee" as you take your leave of a shop or restaurant gets you points. Good ambassador, Annie. Montmartre for buttons, ribbons, and trims. I realized in retrospect that I had wandered into the fabric store that Tim had led his pack to while in Paris, for what it's woth. Eeek. I can't remember the name, sorry. Is the ferris wheel up?

September 27, 2008 8:35 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Annie, you sound SO HAPPY and excited! I'm glad, and look forward to enjoying more of Paris, vicariously, through your future posts.

September 27, 2008 10:29 AM  
Blogger noonie said...

ROTFL at description of traipsing round Paris hunting for a particular shop. Hubby and DD did the exact same thing when they went for a weekend. DD wanted to go see this designer shoe shop, they walked for miles to where she thought it was, only to find out it was right next to their hotel, if they had only turned right instead of left that morning. Beware those patisseries, I found the cheese does not fatten but the cakes do.

September 27, 2008 11:52 AM  
Blogger pdxknitterati said...

Sounds like you're having a wonderful time! Love that insufferable feeling; you feel like you can do anything. And maybe we can...

September 27, 2008 11:57 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Can't wait for the photos! So far this trips sounds FORMIDABLE!

September 27, 2008 5:30 PM  
Blogger ElleninParis said...

HI there,
I'm an American living in France, AND a knitter. On of our memebrs stumbled on your blog, and thought you might be interested in hearing about our weekly *mostly* anglophone knitting group. We've got a webpage with google groups and we're called Knitters in Paris. CHeck us out if you like, and maybe we'll see you...
Enjoy Paris!

September 27, 2008 5:50 PM  
Anonymous SylvChezPlum said...

Bonjour from a neighbour in Annecy ! I hope you'll have a fantastique time in France !

September 28, 2008 1:24 AM  
Blogger london said...

sounds like a wonderful time. have a lovely pastry for me!

September 28, 2008 9:04 AM  
Blogger DeltaDawn said...

Merveilleux - ah to be in Paris.... I wish you the very best trip ever - sounds like you're off to a terrific start. I'm jealous - it's one of my top three places on the planet - enjoy enjoy enjoy!!!

September 28, 2008 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Sarah ( said...

When I studied abroad in Paris last fall I used to meet with a couple of expats at various places for a little knitting group. I contacted one of the ladies, Ellen and she said that they've been meeting in a new tea house. The tea house is called L'Oisivithˇ and is on rue Butte Aaux Cailles in the Butte aux Cailles neighborhood in the 13th. They meet Wednesdays starting around 7 pm.

Hope this helps you!

September 28, 2008 3:44 PM  

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