Well, here we are, still in Paris! Not much longer, and I am telling you the absolute honest truth when I say that I have not yet determined where we are going after this. We have a return ticket home from a particular city on a particular date, but…I’ve not yet pinned anything down for in between now and then. Part of the reason is because I had a friend who said she would be joining us for some of that, and she didn’t buy her tickets until a couple of weeks ago. But, yes, that was - a couple of weeks ago – and I still haven’t committed.
Wow! You’re in Paris! It must be a non-stop gourmet feast over there!
Well, if by “gourmet feast,” you mean hamburgers and roast chicken, why yes, we are quite gourmet-ish these days. Around the clock.
Look. I like good food, I enjoy cooking, but you wouldn’t call me a gourmet or even a serious foodie. My tastes run more to rustic and highly flavored fare and, as I’ve discovered, French flavors don’t quite have the kick that really draws me in and keeps me sitting there.
So, my point? As a parent traveling alone with kids, conscious dining of any sort is really not on the daily itinerary. We are too scattered and unpredictable in our daily meanderings. Sit-down meals are not cheap here – even with only drinking a café d’eau (which is free), I would be spending at least $35, and considering the other two in my party would just be eating one more hamburger or poulet nuggets….no matter what I’m eating, it would still strike me as a bit of a waste.
So we’re mostly just eating at home – which is fine with everyone. I don’t have the time or desire to do any serious cooking, but I have made spaghetti and meatballs a couple of times! Plus hamburgers and some steak. Other than that, it’s roast chicken or pork from the local take out places, plus lots and lots of baguettes. Many baguettes.
We haven’t taken as many day trips from Paris as I had hoped. In fact, we have only taken one – to Chartres, with the Speeds. Hope to squeeze in another this week.
I will be doing a post on Paris parks at some point. We’ve hit many of them. This is the Jules Verne-themed carousel at Parc Monceau, not too far from the Arc de Triomphe. A carousel is a fixture of every Paris park, from large ones like Bois du Boulogne, to tiny squares. All are different, and charming.
There are many things that people will proclaim about the French and Parisians in particular, mostly as warnings to tourists. Mostly to American tourists, who stress out about fitting in. As in: “If you don’t want to look like a tourist, don’t ________________. The French never do that.”
Some of it is true – as in human beings older than 25 or so not wearing shorts as daily wear out and about town.
But some of it is just not true – for example, the assurance that one thing the French do not do, that clueless Americans are wont to do, is to eat while walking down the street. This is supposed to be something only obese, loud Americans are uncouth enough to attempt.
False. I am 100% certain that most of the professional-looking people I see walking about in my non-toursity Parisian neighborhood chomping on jambon-et-buerre baguettes are actual French people. Eating and walking at the same time. In public. Additionally, you are not surprised to know that at the end of the day, every other person on the street is carting home a baguette or two. Nor should you be surprised that just like anywhere else in the world where people buy fresh baguettes, the end of that baguette has somehow disappeared.
Speaking of tourists…
We had an odd experience on the Bateaux Mouche.
We sat on the top, open-air level, and we were surrounded, not surprisingly, by Japanese tour groups. (They are everywhere.) They took many, many photos. The women pose for each other in fetching ways for those photos. The man sitting next to me hummed very loudly through most of the cruise. I didn’t mind. It was a rather pleasant soundtrack. It was fine.
And then, near the end of the voyage, several women seated around us decided they needed photos of the boys. And it’s not as if they asked. They just started snapping photos of them by themselves, and then plopping themselves down next to one or both of them, pulling them in tight, laughing and pointing at the camera.
It was very strange – I might have expected it if we were, you know, in Japan – maybe. No, I wouldn’t have expected it, but I wouldn’t have been so taken aback, considered Jen Ambrose’s experiences in China with her children. Yeah, I know completely different country, but perhaps a similar dynamic going on.
And I might have not been surprised if these boys were little French children with nice haircuts in school uniforms walking down cobblestone streets with retro school satchels. But no – they were a couple of American kids in t-shirts on a boat in the Seine.
And in the weeks since, the boys remain just a bit skittish when they see Japanese women with camera pausing on the sidewalk.
Keep moving….they’ll hiss…and push me along…
No lines or crowds at the Post Office museum!
Just a helpful travel tip. I’m sure you were wondering whether or not you could fit it in….
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