Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Honeymoon in Paris

It used to be when I came back from a grand vacation that I would write a daily e-mail to Kate in which I told her everything I did on each day of the trip. It took a long time, but it was worth it. Aside from telling her everything I did, it also gave me a pretty great travel journal that I could look back on for years. Long after I forgot the name of the restaurant where I had spatzel with cheese in Berlin, I could look it up. But it's hard to do that, and when I came back from my honeymoon, I went straight back to work and school and had very little time for writing.

Kate suggested that when I had the time, I should blog about my trip and include pictures. So here goes.

We left for France on August 8th, two days after our completely amazing wedding. Of course, in typical Megs fashion, the flight was delayed. But we didn't know that till we got on the plane, taxied out to the runway and then sat on the tarmac for two hours because of technical problems. Ultimately, we deplaned and had to wait for a new plane to come. Sucky. But we arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport and flew through passport control. Seriously, the passport guy didn't even look up from the passport to see if the photo matched the person standing in front of him. We hopped in a cab and got to our hotel quickly. Our hotel, Le Littre, was in the St. Germain neighborhood, in the 6th Arrondisement. The room was quite big - much bigger than anything you'd get in New York. And we had a wonderful surprise from Jeeves' brother and sister-in-law when we arrived - champagne and strawberries!

We decided to go out for a walk to a bakery Jeeves had heard was good.

Now, this is the part where I should mention that August is a busy tourist time in Paris, but all the locals head out of town for a couple of weeks. As a result, a lot of stores and restaurants can be closed. But not Poilane! Poilane is open and with my broken high school French and some pointing, we leave with a pain chocolat and an apple tart. The apple tart was amazing. Sadly, I ate it too quickly to take a picture.

We then go to St. Germain des Pres - the oldest church in Paris (which is saying something). Then we meander through the beautiful streets to St. Sulpice. We stop at Cafe de la Mairire where we sit outside and have a glass of wine. The fountain in front of St. Sulpice is above.

We walked back to the hotel, both quite exhausted and jet lagged.

For dinner, we headed out to Chez Dumonez/Josephine - a very old and famous traditional French restaurant in our neighborhood. We had a wonderful bottle of Corbiere - wine in France is crazy cheap and amazingly delicious. I never appreciated French wine before this trip and now it's practically all I want to drink.

That was my appetizer - mushrooms stuffed with foie gras. Yummy. Jeeves had a pate de campagne - also fantastic. I then had the foie gras entree, and Jeeves had the boeuf bourguignon. My foie gras was not the best. First off, they didn't devein it, which... was... gross. Also, the sauce that came with it was so heavy, that later on in the evening I felt quite ill. Jeeves' boeuf, however, was the best I've ever had.

For dessert, we had a traditional souffle and some champagne that was complementary because there was a very long wait between our appetizer and entree. I think Jeeves and I were annoyed about it at the time, but honestly, dinner takes about 3 hours in France, so you get used to it and you stop being such a rushed American about everything.

One of the funniest things about this dinner was that there are three rooms at Chez Dumonez - the front and back rooms were all French speakers, and the middle room was all English speakers (primarily Americans) because there was only one waiter in the place who speaks English. The Americans were mortifying. I mean, every negative stereotype - these people managed to hit. My favorite was the table where the man demanded shrimp (not on the menu) and asked the waiter to "just make me some surf and turf" and then asked for a rum and diet coke. He was extremely annoyed to learn that they did not have rum. The woman at the table asked for a glass of ice and proceeded to dump it into her white wine. Yikes.

It was very cool in Paris, and we were cold walking home. But it felt great to be there. Tune in for the next post to find out what we did on August 10th!

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