Written on July 31, 2014

(Disclaimer - written in a wi-fi free apartment with the intention of posting at some point in time.  This is that time!)  :)

What a whirlwind!  As I write this we have been in Paris for a full day already, however the wi-fi in our apartment doesn’t work so we are living in a google-free state circa 1995.

We left our house Wednesday around noon after spending the morning removing all of the furniture from the main floor of our house.  While we are away they are ripping out our carpet and tiles and putting in a beautiful thick-cut distressed hardwood; we are super excited to return home to the change but it sure added to the pre-vacation hustle and bustle!  I feel a lot less prepared for this trip than all of our other ones so as time goes by we will see if I’ve forgotten anything!

Our flights were great; we flew from Calgary to Montreal and then Montreal to Paris.  This made for a much easier transition into French than when we go through London and arrive with a blast of French after drinking tea and watching English movies.  We ate dinner in the Montreal airport where the waiter spoke to us in French, and then on our (very civilized) Air France flight there was minimal English spoken.  So, even with the jet lag we didn’t feel as confused as we usually do when we arrive.  We were so bold, in fact, that we thought we would take the train from the airport instead of a taxi.  This proved to be a long process, but we all remained in good spirits as we jostled around with our suitcases while hanging on next to a variety of interesting characters with questionable hygiene.

We are staying in an area very close to where we stayed 2 years ago and so we felt pretty confident with where we were going when we climbed up from the metro station.  After only referring to the map once we arrived at our apartment door and (with much anticipation) rang the bell for our contact lady.  We rang it again, and again, and after 5 minutes concluded that either she’d fallen and she couldn’t get up, or she wasn’t there.  Thankfully Jeff had activated his phone for a small European plan before we left Calgary, and so he was able to both email and call the lady from whom we rented the apartment.  It took a bit of phone tag, but after eating some lunch and sitting on our suitcases outside the door for half an hour a slightly frantic lady ran around the corner and started speaking rapid-fire French.  We had no idea what she was saying, but luckily there was a friendly lady sitting at a café beside the door who could translate for us.  It turns out she is originally from Quebec but has lived in Paris for 8 years – what luck!  I don’t need to go over the details of the confusion, just suffice it to say that eventually we got in to the apartment and happily changed our clothes and brushed our teeth. 

Our goal was to stay up until at least 8:30 pm and so we headed out in to the wilds of Paris.  It was a gorgeous day, but I forgot my camera in the apartment and was disappointed because the light was phenomenal.  We had a drink at a café with free wi-fi but I’d also left my phone in the apartment so I was doubly disappointed!  We sat next to an interesting couple from Australia who were on their first stop of a 3 month European tour; we had a great conversation and drank some delicious rosé wine from Provence.  Fearing that if we sat too long we’d fall asleep, we then drifted around aimlessly looking at random Parisian structures.  We found some dinner in a cute café and we knew the night was winding down when Jeff actually fell asleep sitting in his chair!  It was only for a few seconds but I witnessed it with my own eyes and it was quite the sight to behold.  We still had to walk home afterwards and happened upon the BEST gelato we have ever had.  And we have eaten a lot of gelato!!  All four of us had something different and they were all incredible.  My pick?  Salted caramel and pistachio.  Chloë had Violet and Rose!  Sounds gross but it was so, so good.  Mmm, what a fantastic way to end a very long day.

We went back to the apartment where we all went right to sleep. Zzzzz


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