Bonjour! Today was an incredibly ACTIVE day for me considering that yesterday I was barely able to function! But no need to worry, I have acclimated to the time change and I am ready for whatever France has to throw at me!
I have to say...last night I was a bit horrified when I realized that I published my blog post with "Bonjour!" misspelled! I will be honest...I was so tired last night that I didn't even proof my post before I hit the publish button. Sheesh...I was like the walking dead. Not long after I made the post I crawled into bed and passed out. I didn't even hear Michael come to bed, or my brother call...btw...why did my brother call? Maybe it was my niece? Who knows. And furthermore, why am I talking to you all about that? I digress!
Like I said, today was an incredibly active day for us. I rolled out of bed around 6:10 AM, and was excited to get ready and head out to the boulangerie to get some things for breakfast. But I was quick to find out that Paris doesn't wake up until around 8 AM. I walked quite a distance to the Rue du Commerce before I found one that was open. It was quite chilly out this morning as well. If you follow me on my RHOSC Facebook page (click here to go there) you can see the daily videos that I post. This morning it was taken on my walk to the boulangerie. It was a short video because my fingers were cold! HAHA :)
On the way back to our flat I was taking in how quiet the streets were at this time of the morning. In most cities, people are already flooding the streets heading to work. It was quite refreshing to walk down the streets and not bumping into people, and not having anyone see when I tried to spit but it just dribbled out of my mouth and onto my Paris jacket. Embarrassing!
But I made it back to our flat, and up the three flights of stairs, that oddly smell of urine. Okay, I'm not going to lie, while our flat is incredibly cute and fabulously close to things does have the one downside of the hallways and stairwells smelling of urine. Why? Well we aren't sure...we haven't **seen** anyone urinating in them...and who knows...maybe after a few hundred years the smell of urine just doesn't come out. LOL. But I digress. The good thing...the flat itself does NOT smell of urine...and we are paying just a little over $110/night to stay here. We couldn't afford a hotel room in this area, so this is an amazing find. So urine aside...we are quite pleased! :)
Well back to breakfast. After my brisk walk I made us each a fried egg -- over easy, a fresh croissant from the boulangerie and 1/2 a grapefruit each. I had a brief fight with the induction cook-top because it insisted on beeping at me and giving me numbers that I had no clue what they meant. LOL But I managed to get the eggs cooked perfectly and we sat down to enjoy the first meal of the day. I then pulled out one of the baguettes that I purchased and ate about 3/4 of it. I was nice and gave Michael a little bit. That used up my politeness for the day. ;)
After breakfast we got ready and made our way to the Musée d'Orsay. We decided to walk up to the Sienne and walk along it instead of cutting through the Champ de Mars and through the streets. The walk was cold, but it was so wonderful to see all the boats that are for dinner cruises, as well as the people out running. We managed to get there right at the same time a large bus full of students arrived. I may or may not have ran to the door to make it in before them. ;-) I can neither confirm, nor deny the previous actions. But we made it in and bought our tickets, and went to go in and Michael said, "Um...I can't find my ticket." This was honestly about 45 seconds after I gave it to him. We stood there for the next 5 minutes while he searched all his pockets, handing me his scarf, gloves, hat, ear warmers and all that. He finally started pulling things out of his wallet and there it was! He was like...when did I put it in there? Some days with Michael is like being with a little kid. Lord knows that most days being with ME is like being with a child so it's nice when it's him for a change! HA!
We made our way in and sadly there are signs everywhere saying no cameras. But come on, I have loyal readers and FaceBook fans that want to see all this. So I did what any rude American would do...I made Michael stand between me and the employees and I sneakily took a few pictures. I know...I'm a rebel. But you're welcome!
It was so beautiful inside, and honestly museums don't really excite me that much. Don't get me wrong it's great to see the original Monets, Van Goughs and the like...but I am more excited by the architecture of the buildings. The stair cases, the windows and everything else. I wish I could have taken better pictures, because the ones I did snap with my phone don't do it any justice.
On that note, I am not even using my camera. The last time we were here I used that for everything. I find now, with my iPhone, I never pull the actual camera out. How times have changed! So I hope that the pictures come through alright! :)
We made our way through the Musée d'Orsay and I said to Michael...where do you want to eat lunch? He laughed because after we ate breakfast and were figuring out what to do with our day I said, "I can't wait to see what we eat for lunch." I reminded him that for the entire month of November I ate like a damn bird so I could fit into my Paris Jacket and eat like a pig while here. I mean...I ate healthily so I could lose the weight my doctor told me to...yea that's right. :) But back to lunch. We decided to head to MontMarte to go to Sacré-Cœur, and just get lunch up there.
After traversing the undergrounds of Paris...by that I mean trying to figure out how in the hell to walk from the Opera Metro station to Saint-Lazare station...we finally made it. We boarded our train and made our way up to Abesses and we had to walk up this seemingly never ending spiral staircase to get above ground. We kept laughing as we reached each landing only to see more stairs. My legs were burning, and the only thing keeping me going was the thought of food. It truly is amazing how food driven I am, I have always known that but rarely have I publicly admitted it.
We found a cafe, and had a waiter that saw us and immediately started speaking English. LOL We settled in for a wonderful lunch. I had roasted chicken and fries and Michael had a trio of fish, salmon, white fish and bass over Choucroute (Sauerkraut) of all things! He said he never thought of pairing them, but it was actually quite good. We enjoyed a glass of wine then made our way up the streets of MontMarte to Sacré-Cœur. Michael called MonteMarte the "San Francisco of France" because of the hills. HAHA. I don't know if I'd go that far...but the hills were big but the streets were beautiful stone streets. I honestly can't get over the architecture in Europe. Everything is so interesting. From the top of Sacré-Cœur I told Michael that the roof lines of all the buildings are so much nicer to look at than those in the U.S. They are beautifully shaped instead of flat roofs that you see in so many large cities.
We came to a plaza just below the Basilica where there were artists painting and selling their work. Michael was wanting some coffee so he decided to make his way into this quaint little shop.
That's right folks...in a city of cafes my husband went to Starbucks. **shakes head** LOL. But he says it's because none of the cafes do coffee to go. Well he got his coffee and we continued along. But I managed to snap some pictures while in MontMarte walking up to the Basilica.
We got up to the Basilica and took some pictures from the outside before making our way in. Today was a pretty overcast day in Paris, so we couldn't see to much. Sacré-Cœur sits atop a large hill so it has beautiful views of the city when it's clear out. While making our way down the steps in front to get a better picture of the entire thing a group of runners was making their way up. (More on that later) I've learned over the years that when I want a picture of myself in front of something I need to take a picture of Michael and then tell him to replicate it with me instead of him in it. LOL Otherwise I get cranes through my head or close ups of my face with a wall behind me instead of a building at Alcatraz with me in bottom corner. But I digress.
So I took a picture of him, and he did of me as well. If you make the picture bigger, you can see at the top of the stairs is that group of runners...they happened to be all men, of our age, in their running pants/shorts and all that. On the way up I asked Mike if he would mind if I took another picture. It took him a minute to see what I was talking about, but he just shook his head. I didn't take the picture...but I'm telling you it would have made a GREAT Christmas card. I'm just saying.
So after I was told I couldn't take that picture we made our way into Sacré-Cœur to see signs saying no pictures. This is so disappointing because it's absolutely beautiful in there. We made our way around and again I told Michael not to move. He kept backing up and I kept telling him to hold still. I really need to train him how to help me sneak pictures LOL. We were totally out of sync when it came to that. But I managed to take a few pictures inside. I know that God was totally shaking His head at my disobedience...but I realized later that others had done worse, so I felt a little better.
After walking through the inside we decided to do the tours of the crypts and the dome. We were the only people in both places, so the crypts were a bit eerie. It's funny that we were there alone but when we spoke to each other it was always in a whisper. I feel like even when visiting the places of worship of a faith differing than yours, you always tour while being respectful. Well, unless you are trying to take a picture...but I digress. We made our way through the crypts where they had several chapels.
Now it was time to make our way to the dome! There are 300 steps, and most of these are in narrow spiral stone staircases. This is not for the large or out of shape...and I say that without being rude...honestly. But the climb to the top was totally worth it. Now earlier I was talking about God shaking His head at me for taking the pictures...but it was on the climb to the top and being up in the dome that I realized that what I did wasn't nearly as disrespectful as what many had done. It seems to be popular to write/carve your name into the walls of the dome. Michael put it perfectly, "It's gotta be some bad ju-ju to graffiti a church." So I think I'm okay. ;-) Isn't it great how I can justify my actions by pointing out the bad actions of others...LOL. Boy oh boy...I'm a really great person!
But as I was saying, the climb to the top was worth it. It's such a beautiful view of the city from up there, and I can only imagine how lovely it would be on a clear day.
I'm always amazed whenever we go into a cathedral or basilica on our travels. Michael also commented on how amazing it is to think that these amazing architectural marvels were sometimes built in places where everyone around them was poor, yet they are so ornate. Sad that in most cases the money used to build and upkeep them didn't go to the community who worshiped there. But that's a whole different blog post.
After our trip to MontMarte we made our way back to our flat, stopping by the grocery store and boulangerie one more time. We decided to take a nap today at around 4 PM. I woke up at around 6:30...and guess who was hungry again. Yep, ME! So I woke Michael up and we got dressed and headed to this Italian restaurant down the street. I know, I know...we come to Paris and eat Italian food. LOL. At least we didn't go to Pizza Hut or something like that! But we each had wonderful pizzas. Michael's had mushrooms, sauce and smoked salmon on it. The salmon was in large, thin slices that covered the entire pizza. But in the center, under the salmon was a large dollop of crème fraîche. My pizza had sauce, pepperoni, peppers, with an over easy egg in the center. Neither of us thought to ever do this, putting something rather runny in the center of a pizza. But it worked! It was wonderful cutting a slice and for Michael getting some crème fraîche with each bite, and for me getting some of the wonderfully runny egg yolk. I can't wait to make these at home!
After this wonderful day it's nice to sit here in our flat and relax. I apologize for the length of this post, but there is just so much to share from each day. I will try to not post so many pictures next time (unless you LIKE all the pictures), but at the end of our trip I will create another album on my SmugMug page with all the photos from the trip. (Click here to see the pictures from our last trip to Europe)
Well it's time to go to bed. I hope you all have had a wonderful day!
Until next time...Keep Cookin'!