It’s strange to come back to Paris. It’s strange because for the majority of my time in France I live - more or less - in the suburbs. And like most suburbs, things are more casual. Less rushed. Less…fancy. And let’s face it: if you’re going to talk about fancy cities, Paris is pretty much it. People are really into being fancy in Paris. They dress all sophisticated and walk around looking equal parts clean, chic and immaculately groomed. I’m not really sure how they do it. But that’s probably because I’m American and from California which, by nature, causes me to be utterly unable to pinpoint the French je ne sais quoi.
Coming back to Paris is like being thrust back into some person’s dream of France, with all it’s glittery hustle bustle, and I’m quite glad to be able to get on the Métro and head (more confidently, now that I know the way) to Emiglia’s apartment, which is homey and unglittery but still French in a more down-to-earth way.
Sunday is a quiet day in Paris. It’s the kind of day where you hang out, have friends over casually and maybe just watch TV. At least that’s how it is in the apartment where I stay. Sunday this time consisted of watching the France versus New Zealand rugby World Cup final and lounging. Later, we went for a walk around the neighborhood. Good.
I can’t really tell you about my trip to Paris without telling you about the Salon du Chocolat. Yes, the Salon du Chocolat. Without going into strenuous details, the Salon du Chocolat is an exposition hall committed entirely to chocolate. The main area is for stalls with patissiers, chocolatiers and chocolate confectionary sellers of all kinds hawking their wares. And giving free samples. The lower level is for professional chocolatiers and from what I understand, is home to a very serious chocolate competition. I love it. I’ve wanted to go to this for as long as I knew it existed. And it just happened to be going on right when I was there. Hello. Meant. To. Be.
While we didn’t have access to the professional area, we did spend a fair amount of time sampling and ogling all things chocolate. It was great. And delicious. And let’s face it, I could go on, but the pictures really tell a better story.
While in Paris, we also went to a very French birthday party, located in the world’s smallest apartment (ok, maybe not the world’s smallest, but it was still pretty darn small). We ate an amazing savory puffed pastry tart thing that, despite having asked Emiglia at least three times what was in it, I still can’t remember what it was made of. I know there was gruyere and remember distinctly that the secret ingredient was mustard. But, even now, I’m at a loss.
I also had a chance to walk around near Les Invalides and the Grand and Petit Palais. I touristed and took photos.
I’m sure there’s more. There probably is. I know we watched The Sound of Music (which, thankyouverymuch, never gets old). There was probably a trip to Monoprix (the Target of France). I’m certain there was apéro frequently. But it’s not that important. What was important was that it was vacation. And a very good start to it, indeed.