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13 September to 7 October

13 to 15 September

Now that we have some time we are trying to get back into a little bit of a routine. Getting the house back in order, getting all of our laundry done, and now that we have found out that we have visitors coming for short periods this weekend, trying to get things planned to do with them.

16 September

Today my Manager, Tom, was in Paris for the day meeting with the client. He was in Europe already on another client and since he had not been to Paris he decided to come for the day. Funny enough another one of my co-workers that works with Tom was in town on vacation as well. So the 4 of us plus the tax director and his wife, that we all know from the Philly office that lives here in Paris as well, got together for dinner.

Since we moved to our flat there is a place not far down the street from us called La Gare that we have wanted to try, but it is a nicer place and a place we wanted to take people to. Perfect opportunity to do it with colleagues in town. La Gare used to be an old train station (hence “gare”). So the upstairs has a bar which has a terrace as well in the nicer months, and downstairs opens up into a huge room with high ceilings because that is where the tracks would have come in and where the platforms would have been to load onto the trains. Not only was the vibe of the whole place cool, but the food was excellent. We sante’d to everyone being in town and had a great meal.

After dinner we wanted to take Tom to Frog XVI, which is slowly becoming our favorite local pub. Tom is a big fan of beer and since Frog makes their own we wanted to let him try it (and there are only a few micro-breweries in Paris). Since it isn’t very far we all took a nice walk through our area of town (even stopped by to get a picture with our favorite lady) and made our way to Frog. Funny enough we also had another surprise visitor coming into town tonight in Carrie!

Carrie was in London for business and was able to fly to Paris to visit us for the weekend (well at least a short part of it). A little after midnight she was able to join us at Frog where we ended up having a nice large group of around 9 people before the night was over. Of course in typical American fashion we closed the bar this evening!

17 September

After a long evening and of course a lot of travel for Carrie we got a nice relaxing morning this morning. After filling up on some breakfast and getting ourselves together we headed off to explore the city. Our first stop was Montmartre where we walked around the famed Cimetiere de Montmartre, then down along Boulevard de Clichy passing Moulin Rouge and eventually making our way up the hill to Sacre-Coeur. After a lot of huffing and puffing we relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful view of the city from up high.

At this point we were getting hungry so we stopped at Picolla Strada. Just a random restaurant that we liked the menu and how it looked not to far from Sacre-Coeur. We certainly made the right choice on this place. We had a great Italian meal that hit the spot just right after all the walking, and some good wine to complete the meal which of course is necessary here in Paris.

After lunch we decided to do a little shopping and make our way to Galeries Lafayette Haussmann to show Carrie one of our favorite spots in the city to take people. As discussed when Laurie was here there is always the beautiful stained glass dome on the inside, but what most people don’t know is there is a great rooftop where you can go up and get a pretty cool view of the city. Plus it overlooks the Opera which you can get a beautiful view of. After we headed back to the flat to drop some stuff off and get ready for dinner.

For dinner we decided to take Carrie to one of our favorite wine and tapas bars, Freddy’s. It can be hard to get a seat here at certain times, but if you can it is worth the wait. We sat at the bar tonight and were able to enjoy a few glasses of great wine, and some great different tapas dishes. They are always changing the menu and none of it is “normal” tapas dishes as they make their own flare to everything.

Once we were done with dinner we made our way back to the flat so that Carrie could get ready to head back to the US tomorrow and we could get a good night sleep.

Step Count: 23,909, 17.7 km

18 September – Our 6th Wedding Anniversary

This morning we bid a bientot to Carrie. We got some stuff done around the house and then we met up with friends at a bar to watch some american football.

But today is also our 6th wedding anniversary. Just crazy. But boy, are we lucky.

Thanks to my mom, she sent us this picture from the end of the night of our wedding day:

We settled into our normal routine of work, dinner, sleep. Nothing crazy but looking forward to next weekend. Here are a few cool things that happened over the next weeks.

23 September

Tonight we went out for dinner for our anniversary. We went to a restaurant close to our place, La Causerie. In small business style, the restaurant is only open Tuesday to Friday from 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Also, there is no menu given to you, the menu is written each night on a chalk board which was then explained to us in franglish. Needless to say, the food was fresh, delicious and very French. We will definitely be back!

24 September

Today we went out to enjoy the nice weather in Paris, after our normal Saturday morning supermarket stop of course. We walked all around the city and ended up at BHV. We noticed that along the Seine next to Hotel de Ville, there was a parade of sorts with LOUD music. I mean LOUD. 

Jer and I wondered over and realized we were watching the techno parade. There were literally multiple tractor trailers hooked up with massive speakers and with a DJ on top of each one. There were people following the trucks through the parade route dancing and singing along. You can see the craziness for yourself:

25 September

Today was another nice day that we were able to relax and enjoy. This evening we continued our American Football Sundays with friends. However this time instead of being at the bar all night we went over to a friends house. It was a much nicer more relaxed atmosphere and her brother and fiance were also in town so we all hung out had some beers and snacks while enjoying the games. I think this is going to be how we end up watching American Football most of the time from now on.

26 September

Today really wasn’t much of a day to write about, however I could not resist mentioning that we FINALLY now have our health insurance (carte vitale)!!!!! Jer took a picture and sent it to our contact here in Paris and when I got that email I was very excited. Now to figure out how to use it…

1 October 

Well it’s Saturday so I am guessing by now you can figure out what we did this morning? If you said supermarket run, you are correct! After coming back to the apartment and watching a little Ryder Cup golf (of course Jer is going to want to watch) we decided that we wanted to do a little shopping. Oh and of note while watching the Ryder Cup Jer stopped and said wait was that Jeff? So he rewinded (which was possible since we were watching online) and sure enough Jeff and his father in law were on TV so Jer of course took a picture and sent it.

There were two reasons we wanted to go shopping. First Jer needed some workout stuff from Decathlon, and second we for the first time used one of the metro advertisements to our benefit. Jer needed a waterproof lighter jacket and we had seen the many advertisements for one at Uniqlo. For the first time we went out to the mall at La Defense to see what that was all about because it had both stores. Of course we ended up in many other stores since this mall is huge.

At the beginning of October each year, Paris has Nuit Blanche. Nuit Blanche is an modern artistic event that takes over Paris from 7pm to 7am. There are art installations all over the city, from Hotel de Ville, to items literally in the Seine to the Louvre and to small spaces throughout the city, both outside and inside. 

We met up with some friends and walked around the city through the different installations. We started at Hotel de Ville which had a slow motion video display on the windows.

While walking around, we decided to sit down along the Seine, have a snack and some wine by Point Neuf. We then packed up and kept walking around. We ended up walking towards the Eiffel tower along the Seine. We stopped again to have a snack and some wine.

We then continued on to see more art installations throughout the city. One of my favorite at the end of the night was people strategically stacking rocks/boulders. It was insane. You can see a few of them yourself. We will definitely make a point to go out for Nuit Blanche in 2017.

Changing faces in the windows of Hotel de Ville.
Installation inside Eglise Saint-Merry
Pont des Arts
Rock stacking

Step Count: 19,710, 14.1km

2 to 7 October

After our 4 am return home from Nuit Blanche you would think our Sunday would not much of anything besides relaxing and getting ready for the week ahead. Well instead we decided that we would host American Football Sunday this week. I had made a chili recently and Jer loved it so I decided to make it again today. Since games start in the afternoon US time basically you have the entire day here before they start. People started coming over around 6 and we enjoyed a fun time. Was a nice reminder of some Sunday’s back in the US.

The week was much more of the same normality of work and laundry. Although this time we had a little travel to get excited and ready for coming up on Saturday (this gets its own blog post next so stayed tuned).

The one big thing that we did this week is on Friday we officially voted, well turned in our absentee ballots anyway. What is nice about here is that after you figure out all the information you need you can print it out from their website online and if you place it in the proper envelopes it can be taken to the US Embassy here in Paris and then goes via diplomatic mail and is free. Jer figured out exactly where to go and what to do and it was nice to be able to vote even though we were thousands of miles away.

– Kasey and Jer

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