Charming is My Middle Name

Trip Start May 17, 2010
Trip End Jul 17, 2010

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Saturday, July 3, 2010

Actually, it's Simone, but you didn't hear that from me.

Galeries Lafayette/Tour Montparnasse

Allo from Paris again everyone! Yesterday when I left off I said that I would go to Galleries Lafayette. Well, I did. I ended up spending a pretty penny there too. Les soldes just call to me. I can't even walk past a store without wondering what's inside and if I should buy it. After I left GL, I went directly behind it to Tour Montparnasse: a 56 floor tower that boasts panoramic views of Paris. I walked in the building to the rez de chausse where I was greeted by a smiling man in a suit who was checking bags. He greeted me and joked that he was so touched that I had bought him a gift at GL. I laughed and we had a brief exchange which involved me asking how to get to the top of the tower. He then stops here to go out of the way to say "T'es très très charmante." before pointing me in the direction of the elevator entrance. Smiling, I thanked him and he waved me goodbye.

After paying 8 euros for my ticket, I took a super fast elevator to the top and walked out onto the viewing floor. Paris is beautiful, everyone. I could pick out the Centre Pompidou with it's colourful exterior and the Eiffel tower with ease. Being up so high was dizzying! I looked around at the view once more before deciding to head back to my hotel room.

I rested up and decided to go out for dinner. Luckily, my new hotel is in a GREAT location so I didn't have to go far to find a tasty looking restaurant. About 15 steps from the entrance of my hotel, I chose the Montparnasse 1900 and was shown to my table. The restaurant had a very formal vibe and the waiters and staff were all clad in suits. The decor was Rococo in style and very luxurious. My waiter took my apéritif order, a glass of rosé, and returned with it promptly. I hadn't eaten at all that day so I was starving. With a basket of bread, a cup of butter, and a dish of some unidentified meat mush (probably fancy paté), I chowed down. When he returned to take my order, I chose the duck. Yes, I ate a duck (Erin you can take your Sing-Sing jokes and squash 'em). In short, my meal was a delicious that I cannot describe, so I'll let my photos suffice. My only problem? 

I was all alone.

Surrounded by groups of people around me and a young American couple in front of me, I felt the loneliest I've felt since I arrived in France. I'll save you guys the weepy lonely rant and leave it at that.

La Tour Eiffel
Après avoir dîné, I was feeling adventurous so I bought a carnet of metro tickets and hopped a line to the Eiffel tower. Having been now 3 times in my life, I can safely say that NOTHING has changed. From the Africans outside selling Eiffel tower keychains and other do-dads to the carousel and crêpe vendor right across the street, I felt a strong nostalgia being back at the tower. I snapped tons of pictures and a video but somehow felt it was unnecessary; I have the same exact pictures from years ago. Either way, I thought about going to the tippy top until I saw the line for tickets and was reminded of my harrowing experience in Canada. Instead, I snapped more pictures and eventually headed home.

Today, I woke up somewhat early to see the 7 sights I had written in my Petit Nicolas notepad. Out of those 7, today I saw 6. Not bad for a day's work. I don't want to be lengthy so I'll list them in bullet form:

Centre Pompidou

I got lost looking for it and found a cathedral, an interesting sculpture, and dozens of stores luring me with their SOLDES sign in the window. I went into a French Starbucks and almost bought a pastry. I also entertained the idea of getting my belly button pierced (for the 100th time). But instead of that, I found Centre Pompidou and it's fountain and snapped some pics before leaving to take a metro to...

Notre Dame

I found the cathedral with a little help from my neighbourhood flic (police officer) and snapped some pictures. I also took pictures of the ridiculously long line to get inside. Having been inside twice, I didn't see the hour long wait as necessary so I went on my way to find...

Musée de Louvre

But of course I got lost and ended up walking miles away from it in the OPPOSITE direction. I stopped to ask a couple where it was and they told me it was back toward Notre Dame. My legs and feet were killing me so I had to force myself to walk miles back the way I came. After awhile I found a metro station so I decided to cheat and take the last few blocks to the museum. I arrived in minutes and took my standard pictures before leaving to find my next destination. I'm not 18 or under anymore so I can't get in free so I didn't go inside... but that was alright with me too. Been there, done that. On to...

Champs-Élysées/Arc de Triomphe (Ladurée)

At the opposite end of the Arc de Triomphe, I set my focus on one place and one place only. I HAD to find Ladurée. Yes, I know you are wondering what Ladurée is and what's the big deal about it. Well, Ladurée is a world renowned patisserie that specialises in its famous macaron. Yes, macaron, not macaroon. If you've ever seen the movie Marie Antoinette, there's a scene where she's eating all sorts of yummy pastries and macarons. Well, Ladurée was commissioned especially for the movie. I HAD to find this place and taste one of their macarons! I walked around aimlessly searching one half of the CE before asking a weird lady where to find it. She seemed unsure and pointed me BACK down toward where I had come and told me it would be on my left on the other side. I thanked her, but secretly questioned if she had any idea of what she was talking about. Tired and sore, I was really not in the mood for bad directions. I went back anyway and crossed the CE and asked another woman who informed me it would be right up the road on my left. I thanked her and cursed the hag lady who had advised me to walk all the way back when I could have just crossed from where I was. I walked past all sorts of restaurants, designer stores, both McDo and Quick, and even the same Häagen-Dazs that I had been to half a decade ago. But I would not be deterred. Then all of a sudden, there it was. The mint green and gold entrance of Ladurée! My wait was over! Actually, I'm lying. As soon as I walked into the door, I was greeted with a long line. I resigned to the wait and after 15 minutes or so, it was finally my turn to order. I bought two tiny boxes of chocolates for a souvenir, and two really, really nice boxes of macarons. I chose vanille, chocolat, caramel, and rose as my flavours. The lady helping me asked if I had a favourite and I shook my head no, that this was my first time here. With a smile, she offered me a rose flavoured one to sample. I was blown away by her kindness (macarons here are 1,70 euros each) and bit into the little macaron. Let me just say that I haven't even tried the other flavours yet, but I know for sure that rose is my favourite and that I LOVE macarons. The texture of the macaron is light and airy with a creamy and rich buttercrème filling sandwiched between the two halves. The taste? I can't quite explain how "rose" tastes... it seems like it would be weird, but it is DELICIOUS! Anyway, I paid a small fortune for my tasty treasures and left feeling totally rejuvenated by my sample.

From here I left and headed toward Arc de Triomphe where I almost got hit by a bus taking pictures in the middle of the CE with the other tourists. I then hopped back on the metro and back to my cozy hotel. Here I am now, writing about today's adventure and wondering where I'm going to have a three course meal tonight. Tomorrow, my train leaves at 3pm so I'm going to visit Galleries Lafayette once more for last minute souvenirs after checking out, and unfortunately, I'll have to go back to Quimper.

I've got only 2 weeks left in France and I'm feeling sad and happy at the same time for various reasons. This also means that my travel blog will be coming to a close so I feel inclined to thank everyone for reading about my journey. I'll have the pictures for this and yesterday's entry up soon.

Alright, off to enjoy my last night in Paris!


p.s. - If you actually read this WHOLE entry, I think you deserve a box of those Ladurée chocolates ;)
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erinhollen on

I READ THE WHOLE POST! (wink wink)

I'm being reminded of Paris, Je T'aime and Chocolat at the same time, since you're in Paris!

I can't wait to see your photos!

I kind of know what "rose" flavor tastes like...I had rose wine sorbet in Alaska...maybe it's close?

You know you probably ate Sing-Sing's French cousin, right?


nicieg1 on

The more I read your blog the more I think you should be writing. I could see myself going to Barnes & Nobles and buying my friends book that also happens to be on the best sellers list! And I also can't help but feel a little jealous lol... I've got to make sure I have my own adventure but it will deinitely be somewhere english speaking :) Oh... and thanks for my gift from GL lol jkjk

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