Thursday, May 4, 2006

Where have we been for the last two days?

We finally left Nice at headed out to Paris. We were organized enough to book the reservation two days in advance, so we didn’t encounter any trouble at the train station.

The trip to Paris was uneventful, and we finally arrived in the afternoon, under a sunny and warm sky. We found our hotel with the help of a cab, and dropped our suitcases there. We then bought some passes for the metro, and went to the place Julee has been talking about for DAYS: Le Bon Marche! It was indeed an amazing food store, where there had severals aisles for chocolate, cheese, and saucisses! Where else could you find such an amazing assortment? A few hundred dollars later, we finally left the store, and came back to the hotel.

The next day, we woke up at a decent hour, and took the metro all the way to the Arc de Triomphe, where we walked down the Champs-elysees, crossed the river to the Eiffel tower, grabbed a sandwich for lunch, and continued on to Notre-Dames de Paris, via place de la Concorde, le Jardin des Tuileries, and le Louvre. By the time we were done with our tour, we had walked 6 hours! We were exhausted, especially that the sun has been omnipresent. We ended the day with some good cheese dishes at La Sorbonne neighborhood.



Oh, for all the people who were wondering about the Crepe person, and about his left hand? I’m not really sure what happened, but as you noticed, Julee was blushing. Any wild guess on what went on ;)?

Unfortunately, the trip is coming to an end, and so is the fun. We had a great time, and thanks to Julee for making the trip memorable. I guess it is true that we are walking disasters, as nobody else would have done the trip the same way!



That's all for the trip, and see you all on Monday!

Diep


The sights, sounds and food of Paris and the mysterious Bunny Sutra

As Diep tells in her part of the blog, we finally arrived in Paris. We got to Paris mid afternoon so there wasn’t much time to do any sighyseeing. We resigned ourselves to going shopping with plans to doing the touristy stuff on day 2. Yeay!! We both love to window shop in France – everything seems so different even though the products that are being sold are the same. I think it's all because of the European appreciation for individual style. Somewhere between the metro at Sevres-Babylone and Le Bon Marche, Diep picked up the Bunny Sutra. If you want to know what it is, you’ll have to ask her to demo it to you and then watch her face turn a bright shade of red!! I take no credit for her acquring the Bunny Sutra except to tell her that her other choice was pretty boring. You can, however, thank me for convincing her NOT to buy the dog shaped bag in Nice. It was kinda ugly. She can tell you the story.

On this trip, I also discovered that Diep is a very intense shopper who will check out every item on every shelf on every aisle in the store. Le Bon Marche is a huge grocery store and it took Diep nearly an hour to make it past the first three aisles. Fearing that the store would close before she had a chance to see it all, I dragged her to the other sections only to hear her cry of excitement (which in French sounds like “ooo”) at every sight of the foods she loves – in particular, the stinky cheeses. In fact, the stinkier, the better!

We have eaten like pigs this entire trip. We have breakfasted (is that a real word?), lunched, and dined on traditional Belgian (sorry, no Flemish food) and French cuisine - including croissants, escargot, tartiflette, sausissons, confit de canard, bifsteak, entrecot, frites, pate, French bread, ham and bacon, and cheese, cheese and more cheese. Last but not least, we enjoyed Belgian waffles, mousse. tartes, creme caramel and thanks to crepe boy, crepes and ice cream for desserts!! Contrary to the requests of some of our friends, there will not be a weigh in on our return to the office.

While we were in Paris, I had promised Diep that we would visit used book stores so we spent the afternoon of day 2 wandering the neighborhood around the Sorbonne which is littered with used book stores. With books as cheap as 2 Euros each, Diep bought a few to keep her busy for a while. Of course, she’s out of space in her suitcase so I’m lugging them back for her. What a nice friend, huh?

I could go on and on about our day and a half in Paris but Diep would like to get this posting up quickly so she can get a good night’s rest before our flight tomorrow. Neither of us can believe that our adventure is coming to an end. It has been a wonderful vacation and for all the fun that I poke at her, Diep turned out to be a great travel companion. (Many thanks to Bob for allowing her to go on this trip.) While it will be a bittersweet departure, I do look forward to going home and seeing my friends and family. I will bring with me memories (and a few incriminating photos) of a wonderful trip to France and Belgium.



Julee
p.s. For the record, nothing went on with crepe boy but because I was so nice to him, Diep and I got some free bars of chocolate. Now, that’s how you charm a Frenchman into giving you what you want ;-) Oo-la-la!!

p.p.s: Please, ask Julee about the new meaning of Dunkin Donuts : )