I haven’t written in a bit so I have a lot of ground (and Pictures) to cover:
2 May 2016
Today was a normal day, back to the grind. After work, as part of our normal routine, Jer and I met at the train station to headed to Monoprix to pick out what we wanted for dinner. Not a very exciting day.
Step Count: 4,900m 3.69 km
3 May 2016
Today was another normal day with one exception. Jer and I both had drinks with friends after work. I met up with 3 ladies from the US at Brasserie Barbes and Jer met with the 2 guys from the US (that also work at PwC) at The Freedom and Firkin. It was so nice to have a long conversation in Engilsh. For me, it was a beautiful night so we sat outside and sipped blush wine and ate cheese. Jer and the guys were more in Pub like setting and watched the second leg semifinal of the Champions League between Athletico Madrid and Bayern Munich. I got home at a semi-reasonable time and Jer followed shortly after.
Step Count: 6,514m 4.58 km
4 May 2016
Today was, yet again, a normal day. I met Jer after work at Monoprix. There was one difference though, today was the start to my first French holiday. We had wanted to go away for the long weekend but didn’t know about the holiday until about 2 weeks ago so were trying to plan last minute. Ultimately, we decided we wanted to go to Normandy but after hours of searching we could not find a hotel with open rooms. In retrospect, probably wasn’t the best idea to try to go to Normandy with VE day on Sunday. The other weird thing was booking hotel rooms. It was way different, or maybe it just was different because of where we were looking. Since the hotel’s were mom and pop shops. they don’t have a reservation service so you have to provide all your information upfront and then they will contact you to let you know if they have open rooms. What a pain in the rear. After submitting information for a few hotels and being told they were booked, we gave up. We will spend the long weekend in Paris.
Step Count: 8,795m 6.06 km
5 May 2016 – Ascension Day
Today was our first French holiday that fell on a weekday. May can be a sneaky month when it comes to holidays as there can be 4 different national holidays:
1) May 1st is Labor day
2) In May/June there is Ascension Day
3) May 8th is VE Day
4) In May/June there is Pentacost followed by Whit Monday
It can be tricky because you can basically have a holiday every week and depending on how they fall, people will ‘bridge’ the holiday to the weekend. For example, this year, with Ascension Day on a Thursday most people will also take Friday off, creating a 4 day weekend. It’s crazy.
So with our holiday, we went shopping. Jer had it with the coffee pot that came in the apartment. So we headed to BHV where we got an awesome deal on a Nespresso! The coffee is so much better!
After the coffee pot, we came home dropped it off then headed to do a little clothing shopping to look more french.
We came home then to search for a Mexican restaurant to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. We found a place on line called Anahuacalli but couldn’t figure out how to make a reservation (and didn’t want to call because we weren’t sure of the language barrier). So we rolled the dice and lost. There were no tables when we arrived, but is smelled soooooo good. We will be back. We ended up at The Long Hop which was basically a British Pub that had the Liverpool Villareal Europa League match on. It ended up working out well. After beers, some surprisingly good bruschetta, burgers, fries, we headed home.
Step Count: 19,199, 14.19 km
6 May 2016
Jer (with some help from Laurie) found a great activity to do in Paris. We went to Foire de Paris at the Paris expo center. We would describe this as a mixture of a food and wine festival, home show, innovation center and so much more. We spent all day there. We went to look for furniture for the terrace but we ended up getting bamboo pillows, nougat and drinking Leffe. One of the cooler things was that they had a food truck area set up. We ended up eating Chicken Naan sandwiches from an Indian food truck and they were out of this world!
After the Foire de Paris, we headed home to relax.
Step Count: 16,288, 12.06 km
7 May 2016
We started with our normal Saturday routine of going to the market to get our produce for the week. This is going to be one of my highlights every week we are here.
We then met some friends at the Le Jardin du Luxemburg to spend most of the afternoon drinking wine, eating bread and cheese and playing petanque. Speaking of petanque, I thought the boys were going to get a ticket. There was a cop that came over and starting talking to them while they were playing and then brought out a book. My heart dropped. Thankfully, the book was to show the boys were the petanque fields were in the park as play wasn’t allowed outside of the designated areas. The Jardin was also beautiful with fountains and green space. However, it seems that no one is allowed on the grass. O frenchies.
After we drank all the wine and beer, we headed with another couple to have drinks and tapas at Freddy’s. And you guessed it, the food was awesome! We had razor clams with a pesto sauce, lamb, chicken, olive tapenade and lots of mozzarella. We will be going back.
After we finished up at Freddy’s, we headed to the Frog to get one last drink. What’s cool about the Frog is that they make their own beer. I had a natural blonde and Jer had something really hoppy (as usual). After we all finished our beers, we headed home on the metro with ease.
Step Count: 9,894, 7.4 km
8 May 2016 – VE Day
Today was a nice relaxing day. We slept in and relaxed in the AM. Once we got our acts together, we headed out to explore the city on VE Day. We headed over to the Champs-Elysees, but even though we missed the military parade in honor of VE Day we were able to enjoy most of the Champs being closed to vehicles for 8 hours. We walked down the middle of the busy road with the Arc de Triumphe behind us and the Ferris Wheel at the start of the Jardin de Tuileries ahead. We were walking with thousands of our closest friends. Once the sun is out, everyone in out. Frenchies are sun worshipers, but without the sunkissed tan. I could get use to this.
We then decided to just walk since it was such a nice day (and I put on sunscreen). We walked past the Grand Palais and crossed over the Seine to the other side of the river. Also, the roads along the Seine are closed for pedestrians on the weekends. So we took a nice leisurely stroll back from the Grand Palais area toward the Eiffel tower then re-crossed the Seine at the Trocadero to head home. So basically, we walked for for 2 hours.
On the way home we stopped an Franprix (one of the only grocery stores open on Sunday’s) to pick up ice cream to cool down.
We spent some time on the phone with our Moms to wish them a happy Mothers day. Side note: Mother’s day in France is at the end of the month but Father’s day (I believe) is the same day as the US. So getting cards was hard because they didn’t come out until mid week this week.
Now were are watching some more Billions and getting ready for the work week ahead.
Step Count: 10,672, 7.6 km