31 May, 2013

Paris (19 May)

Our flat in Paris is a one room studio with a bathroom - one double bed, one double futon, a fold up table, two chairs and three stools, and a tiny kitchenette (basically two hot plate burners, a sink and a broken washer/dryer). It's a little crowded! And one corner of the ceiling has pieces falling down on us periodically. 

But there is hot water and we are so close to everything in the city - the bus stop is a five minute walk from our flat and there is an electric train station really close, too. The only thing we are missing is a good-sized super market. There are two smaller ones that we are able to get our basics (like toilet paper since there wasn't any in the flat). But we pass an absolutely delectable bakery to get to our bus stop and the ever important laundromat.

The one thing that we notice the most, our landlord has given us the wrong password for the WiFi. Courtney is working hard to get everything sorted, but our landlord is a bit flighty. Not exactly a slumlord, but not really up on the details either.

We headed out to the the largest market that we knew off which was about a 15 minute walk. It was time to pick up dinner and food for the next day. In the market we ran into the nice lady who helped us find our way to our apartment. While I was perusing items guess who walked around the corner right by us? A clown in full dress - red nose, big shoes and all. He stopped and talked with Chayton who was so excited that he forgot how to talk, which is something. (If Chayton has a question or wants something, nothing stops him now). But shortly the clown had Chayton talking back to him. Too bad he was all out of balloons; that did make Chayton a little sad. But it was cute to see Chayton talking to a clown inside a little grocery market. Too bad I didn't think about taking a photo. :-(

Our first venture out into the city took us from our bus stop to the Opéra de Paris. Our plan was to take the English tour of the Opera at 11:30am. When we got past security and to the ticket booth, the 11:30am and the 2:00pm tours were filled. I used our Paris Pass and collected our tickets for the next day's English tour. We loved the London Pass so much we purchased the Paris one. It's a very good deal if you want to see lots of sights. I have a feeling Paris will be like London and we will only see a smattering of all the opportunities that the pass gives us.

Off it was to the Paris Story - which is an hour long movie all about Paris. The movie starts way back when Paris was just a small settlement of Roman Gauls and moves all the way through to today. A whole bunch of interesting facts given in a very overwhelming way. It was a movie shown on three cinema screens. Not too bad, but the dialog was in French and we had headphones to translate. Which that wasn't even the hardest part to concentrate on. It was the fact that the movie went faster than the French that was spoken on-screen and then the English would follow. It took a lot of attention just to keep up with it; not to mention trying to retain all the wonderful history and make sense of it all. Now that I've complained about it, I will add that it is a nice introduction into Paris and all of her glory.

By now it was time for lunch. Back to the Opera house to sit on the steps to enjoy the sun and our live entertainment from a guitar playing, singing artist with a song list that included Tracey Chapman, the Indigo Girls and the Eagles while we ate our sandwiches. (Again, no photos. I guess the photographer needed a day off.)

After lunch we ventured over to the Fragonard Parfume Musée. Which ended up just being a really stinky store after walking through a tiny museum. There were some cool old perfume containers from Roman times through to today. But it wasn't what I had expected.  Add to the fact that Chayton put something on his hands and then rubbed his face - instantaneous red marks/welts on his face. I think it was the cinnamon or maybe the Lilly of the Valley. Between washing hands/face, our trusty first aid kit and fresh air, the welts soon went away. Phew. And thank goodness it was Chayton. He tends to have the least amount of drama over things like this. Nazeriah was all worried and upset for the next half hour. 

Kaija had the best idea to get Chayton's mind off his welts - Le Musée Gourmand du Chocolaté or Choco-Story! Yum. While we picked up our tickets we were offered chocolate.  At the chocolate demonstration we were offered chocolate. And at the end when the children turned in their activity sheets, they were offered chocolate. Triple yum! It's only about an hour excursion but well with it. And did I say it was yummy? I picked up a couple of wonderful and exotic hot chocolate recipe ideas. Can't wait to try them!

By now we were all a little tired and hungry, plus it had started raining. Time to find the bus and head home.