Greetings from France! It’s been almost one week since I left home, and let me tell you, it has been interesting. I would be lying if I said everything was beautiful and hunky dory – in truth, it’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. Don’t get me wrong though, I do feel happy, but the happiness seems tinged with melancholy.
But enough of that! Let’s talk about what I did this Sunday.
Erik and I took the train into Paris with Hot Chocolate on our minds, but in order to get there, we took a walk across Île-de-la-cité. Seeing Notre Dame never gets old. There were a lot of people out and about today, and the weather was absolutely perfect, with a few clouds in the sky that cleared later in the day, and zero wind.
We searched the interwebs for the best hot chocolate in Paris, and Berthillon’s had made the list – not surprising, since I’ve loved their ice cream since I first came to Paris. This special drink is called an affogato au chocolat, and consists of a silver platter with all the ingredients needed to concoct your own personal hot coco mix, including an ice cream scoop of your choice and the best whipped cream ever. There was enough to make about two cups of it.
After we were heavy with sugar and hot milk, we took the bridge over the Seine, in the general direction of the Marais, known for its vintage shops, medieval streets, Jewish bakeries, and the best falafels in town (supposedly). On the way, we happened upon Thanksgiving, the American specialty store, stocking such things as root beer, Lucky Charms, mac n’ cheese, and beef jerky, things you generally can’t find elsewhere. A box of Lucky Charms was 12 euro!!! Needless to say, I got myself a root beer and called it good.
Next stop was Musée Carnavalet, a free museum dedicated to the history of Paris. The interior was charming, complete with aristocratic wallpaper and upholstered chaises. I loved the textures and the little hedge garden. We didn’t spend much time here, because honestly, I have no patience for reading labels.
We then made our way back down the Marais, which was buzzing with people, past l’Hotel de Ville, over some bridges, and stopped at a large café at Place Saint Michel. The café itself is alright, nothing special, but its location directly adjacent to the metro entrance makes it a fantastic spot to people-watch. Being one of the busiest and most central stations in Paris, this was prime people-watching real estate. There are a lot of crazy-looking people in Paris, and a lot of really stylish people. I saw one man with a floor-length fur coat, formidable top hat, and embroidered handbag. I mean, where else can you find such characters?
I had myself une assiète du saucisson sec, complete with baguette and little pickles. Erik indulged in a (very) cheesy croque monsieur.
Sunday was a good day, but I still didn’t feel completely like myself. I can visit paris and indulge in sweet treats as much as I want, but only time will ease the feeling of alienation I’ve been having. I can’t work legally until I apply for residency, and I can’t apply for residency until Erik and I have gotten hitched, so all I can do is wait. You’d think having oodles of free time in Paris would be a dream come true, but without any structure, I feel quite lost. I’ll have to work on finding peace with this situation, and try to live completely in the moment.
Berthillon: 31 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 75004
Thanksgiving: 20 Rue Saint-Paul, 75004
Musée Carnavalet: 23 Rue de Sévigné, 75003
Café le Départ Saint Michel: 1 Place Saint-Michel, 75005