Friday, July 1, 2011

Some Highlights of Our First Week in Paris

Oh my goodness gracious!  The bread!  The butter!  The wine!  Good that these three things are all The Husband and I are eating for dinners as everything is CRAZY expensive!  Gee dollar, thanks for being so weak.  Talk about sticker shock.  I thought I was paying through the nose at Whole Foods!

The day after we arrived the poor Girl got the pukes.  No fever, so probably just something she got on the plane.  It is so hard to tell her she can't have anything to eat or drink.  Luckily she was back to her lovely Bossy McBosserson self the next morning.

We checked out the Bois de Boulogne, the amazing park just a block away from where we're living.  Filled with lots and lots of kids.  (Man our kids look American.  We are going to have to seriously revamp their wardrobes.  Especially the Boy.)  The park even has it's own amusement park, the Jardin d'Acclimatation.  The Boy begged to go on the bumper cars, and we let him.  He got the hang of it pretty quickly, and I can see that we'll be spending many euros in this park!  He also loved the train.  And a big thanks goes to the train operator who let us ride without tickets.  Oops.  We thought we had bought tickets, which actually were just tickets to get INTO the park.  We did buy tickets after the fact, but he wouldn't accept him.  Thank you nice man.  Perhaps one of us should learn French?  You think?

The next few days were HOT.  90's in the big city kind of hot.  Thank goodness we have AC in the bedrooms.  We braved the heat and the crowds and did some shopping at Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.  We got a few little things at the Soldes (semi-annual sales) including a teeny tiny swimsuit for the Boy.  It's the rule here in France that men can't wear "board shorts" type swim suits at public pools.  Really?  The Husband is going to LOVE that rule.  (We got his suit in the states.  He wasn't going to risk having to buy a truly Speedo style suit and instead opted for the slightly more modest teeny shorts model.)  He made me sign an official document (in blood) that I am forbidden to take any pictures of him in his new swimsuit.  Sorry VA Poker Guys.  The bribes have been tempting, but it's not going to happen.

We had a nice lunch at Tabac Le Mondial in the 9th.  Our first restaurant foray into Paris.  We all got what we wanted!  Bravo Husband and Chief Orderer!  (I really need to learn French.)  The kids had Pellegrino and have deemed it a sufficient replacement for the Whole Foods and Trader Joe's brands of fizzy water they love.  However I've since found that Perrier's plastic bottles are much lighter to carry home from our local Casino grocery store.  Luckily they like it the same.  We also discovered that the steak in Paris is not quite up to the Boy's standards.  Having become accustomed to filet done perfectly medium rare from Fleming's, Morton's and Capital Grille, he's going to be disappointed in the thin rather tough and super rare marbled steaks that are the norm here.  Poor kid.

Our friends from the states invited us to a picnic at the Jardins du Ranelagh in the 16th.  After a sweaty bus ride and a few wrong turns we arrived to a lovely set up under a huge tree.  Now THIS is Parisienne living!  They had a fantastic spread of food and beverage, and we found out that the kids really love cocktail sausages.  Odd.  Even the Girl with her famous vegetarian leanings.  (Now to find them without nitrates.  Ug.  I'm sure I'll rant over the lack of organic (bio) food choices later.)  One of the Boy's new friends had a water gun, and the Boy managed to be soaked to the bone within minutes.  He spent the rest of the afternoon in his boxer briefs.  Hilarious.  We met some new friends, and sadly said goodbye to others.

It should be noted that we saw two random things on the way to the picnic.  First, because of the weather the locals were out sunbathing on a big hill in the middle of the Place de Colombie.  We're talking g-strings and topless sunbathing.  I did a double take before pointing this interesting piece of information to the Husband.  I think he almost ran into a tree.  The French have a very different view of nudity and sex than Americans.  We have no TV yet, but I do remember from a past trip to Paris that there was a topless woman hawking Yoplait yogurt.  Luckily we've been pretty open with the kids nudity wise, so it shouldn't phase them to see a few boobs here and there!  (The French also don't mind urinating in public.  That one is going to take me a while to get used to.)

The other random thing was that we walked right by quite the swinging party at the Embassy of Madagascar.  Everyone was waving flags, there was a really really loud band, and the food smelled amazing.  I just Googled the 26th of June and it turns out that it was the 51st Anniversary of Malagasi independence.  From France.  Interesting!


lbullach said...

Cocktail sausages without nitrates? Good luck! And if you find them, send some to VA. =)

StayingPositive said...

Doesn't Wellshire Farms have some at Whole Foods? I used to buy all their nitrate free meat. They make great turkey andouille and kielbasa sausage that I use in my jambalaya, and both their traditional and turkey bacon are top notch. Did I mention how much I miss Whole Foods?