Posts tagged ‘Paris’

Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish, Quarter Pounder, French Fries, Icy Coke, Milkshakes, Sundaes and Apple Pie!

Ciao Bloggisti!

I was about to go to bed but decided to go on Dlisted for one last dose of dirty gossip. BIG MISTAKE! Now I’m going to have nightmares of Pharrell Williams dancing inside a Paris McDonald’s, begging for apple pie at six in the morning. And no, I’m not on drugs. But thanks for asking!

If you don’t believe me, have a look for yourself:

Now, I love Pharrell but that song & dance number was a superfail. And unimpressive. I mean, this is a man who’s worked with Madonna and all he got was “just breakfast”.

Poor guy! Who can blame a traveller for craving a taste of home while in a foreign country. Us expats can relate to Pharrell’s predicament. I once cheated on my beloved Tim  Horton and ate a stale Burger King donut in Milan because I was just that desperate.

I’d love to hear the bizarre cravings you’ve had on holiday or while abroad.  Have you ever sung for your supper?

Oh, and if you’re interested in “just breakfast” take a look at my friend Pickle Pea’s blog. I want that toast now!

 

One more thing before I forget, I just wanted to announce the winner of the giveaway. It’s NYC/Caribbean Ragazza! Congrats and I hope you enjoy the book!!

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26 March 2009 at 1:00 am 5 comments

Paris – May Day, May Day!

Thursday, May 1

Ah, how nice it is to wake up to the sound of sirens instead of screaming kids. No joke. Despite our late omelette dinner, I was ravenous. We made it just in time for breakfast. Nothing special but the croissants and pain au chocolat were good. I also enjoyed people watching. There was one curious couple, consisting of a homely-looking man in his 40s and a tall Asian woman dressed as if she were on her way to a photo shoot. Sky high, chocolate-coloured platform heels, flouncy back-baring mini-dress, sunglasses. We were in the Breakfast Room at the Holiday Inn Express, for goodness sake! Believe me, Karl Lagerfeld was not about to walk through that door. Anyway, she definitely looked odd, and more so after I got a better look at her. Very masculine features and a voice to match. Hmmm…

After breakfast, Mimmo and I rushed to get to the Musée d’Orsay at a decent hour, hopefully avoiding the hoards of tourists. We decided the RER would be the fastest way to go. We’re both pretty confident at using the Paris Métro and RER systems and easily found our way to the right platform. Or so we thought. When the nice customer service assistant at the Gare d’Austerlitz came up to us and asked if we yokels needed help finding the right train we immediately said “Non!”. Then in a split second of self-doubt I told her we were going to the museum. Thank god I did because the assistant kindly informed us that we were on the wrong platform. Yup, yokels indeed!

We finally made it to the Musée d’Orsay and were thrilled to find that there weren’t too many people around. In fact, there was hardly anyone. My spidey senses started to tingle. Then I realized that the doors and ticket kiosks were closed. Arrrggh!! The museum was fermé for the May 1st holiday! I knew that it was a national holiday but I was sure that in culture-friendly France, they’d keep museums open for tourists. Boy was I wrong! We walked to the nearby Louvre just to check and that was closed too. It was almost heartbreaking to see the people wandering aimlessly around the courtyard, not knowing where to go or what to do. Some tourists sat on nearby benches, hoping that the powers that be would change their minds. They wouldn’t.

So, the hubster and I decided to go for a romantic stroll through the Jardin des Tuileries.

It was so romantic that we ran into Jean-Marie Le Pen and his crew. Well, not really but there was a Front National rally on a street just off the park. Le Pen was blathering about something but I was too bored to listen so we watched a mime perform instead. Well, not really but I’m sure that would have been waaay more interesting.

Now I don’t know if it was a coincidence but right after watching that rally the clouds turned an awful shade of grey. With a storm fast approaching and both museums and shops closed, what were a couple of stranded tourists to do? Well, we headed to the wonderful world of the Bateaux Mouches, the excursion boats that travel along the Seine. Yes, it’s a bit cheesy considering we weren’t first-timers to Paris but the romantic in me always appreciates the sights AND it was a covered boat. Let the storm clouds come!

Mimmo wasn’t as impressed as I was with the tour and fell asleep half-way through. I was sitting beside a yappy dog who tried to eat my hat. After we got off the boat I took some quick snaps of the Alma Tunnel, you know, the one where Princess Diana had her accident. I couldn’t help myself. I was a big Royal Family buff when I was a kid. Anyway, I felt strangely emotional standing there.

The hubster was exhausted after all that excitement and wanted to go back to the hotel for a nap. Nap?!? I was worried. When that man naps you need a choir of Yoko Onos screaming in his ear to get him up again. We had reservations for Chez Michel that evening. Would we ever be able to make it on time?????

Tune in to the next post to find out…….

12 May 2008 at 8:28 pm 7 comments

Paris – Day One

Reverie…

 

I can still see my feet walking down the Rue de Lancry, about to discover the bridges, bars and leafy walkways of the Canal St. Martin. I can still smell that distinctive odour of boiled rice emanating from the labyrinthine Métro corridors. The other smells are best left forgotten. The sound of exuberant schoolchildren playing soccer on a dirt pitch bounces off the remnants of a 12th century fortress bordering the field. Even under ominous storm clouds, the Seine is magnificent, proudly reflecting the city’s glory in its leaden waters.

 

 

Sorry for that unbearably poetic rant. Feel free to vomit now. But I just can’t help it. Every single time I visit, Paris does something to me. It turns this sarcastic bitter old broad into a mushy pâté. I’m feeling more than a little nostalgic this week. I had a wonderful weekend and while my body is back home, my spirit is still wandering around the arrondissments. Ok, now I sound like a freaky French ghost. What I meant to say was that my on-again off-again love affair with the City of Light is back on with a vengeance. Oh oui!!

 

But let’s start with the facts:

We arrived late Wednesday night at Charles De Gaulle airport and when we finally managed to get a train ticket (not easy if you don’t have a French credit card), we took the RER down to the city. It may not be glam but it is by far the fastest and cheapest way to get to Paris from the airport.  By the time we dragged our sorry suitcases and selves to our hotel in Place d’Italie, it was past midnight. But I didn’t want to miss one minute of eating Parisian food so I forced my exhausted hubster to take me to the nearest café (a place called O’ Jules). Despite the late hour, there were quite a few people having dinner, including a table full of boisterous Spaniards. Mimmo and I both had omelettes: mine with potatoes, his with ham and cheese.  Not the best I’ve ever had but more than satisfying after our tiring journey. And get this, our waiter was actually pleasant to us. He even smiled once in a while. Un miracle

So with our stomachs full, we made our way back to the hotel, dodging the occasional stream of pee or pan-handling drunk. One of them wanted to get a lift in a taxi and was flatly refused. Monsieur le Drunk couldn’t understand why: “Mais pourquoi tu ne me veux pas? Pourquoi!?!”  Despite those episodes, I was so happy to be back in Paris. I went to bed with visions of tiny sugar plum Sarkozys and Carla Brunis dancing in my head.

8 May 2008 at 5:20 pm 4 comments

Paris, tu me manques

Salut bloggisti!

 

Got back the other day from our long weekend in Paris. Except for a few minor hitches, It was soooo nice! The sights, the food, the smell of rancid clochard pee in the Metro.  Sigh! It’s hard to come back to reality. I’m snowed under with work, kids stuff, dirty dishes and laundry so I don’t have much time to blog today. Sorry! But I have lots to tell you about the trip. We went to some pretty amazing restaurants (and one unexpected favourite), ran into some quirky characters, visited my old haunts and discovered new neighbourhoods. And get this, we even met NICE French people. Oh mon dieu! 

 

courtesy of www.freefoto.com 

 

But keep checking the blog for new Paris posts and pictures. So much to tell, so little time. And I promise, I will tell. And of course there will be restaurant reviews. To whet your appetite, my good friends Brenda and Donna have kindly accepted to share their thoughts on a Parisian restaurant they tried recently. Bon appétit!

 

 

6 May 2008 at 5:20 pm 7 comments


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