Taawd Talks French
Chef's widow has her trip to Paris. I have mine. I'm Todd from taawd's thoughts. I'm honored to be asked to guest blog while she's on holiday (that's how the Europeans say it, when in Paris...) Here's one of the days from my European trip that included a couple of day in Paris. There's a few extra nuggets added from the original post.
I went with one of my co-workers and we did Paris quickly. Our day started today around 11:00am.
First stop was the Jardin du Luxembourg. It was beautifully landscaped. The streets of Paris might be dirty but the French respect their landmarks. We heard kids laughing all over the place as they fed ducks in the ponds around the grounds. You couldn't help notice the Greek influence there. We did get lost trying to find it. We spent a great deal of time being lost. Make sure you prepare better than we did. Do not try to be spontaneous on a European vacation, that ain't happening.
I thought we needed to see the Sacred Coeur. That was easier said than found. We walked what seemed like miles upon miles, asking everyone who didn't speak good English how to get there. We finally stumbled upon it. Word of advice, take your hiking shoes because it is up on a hill and it is a steep one. The church is just as I'd thought it would be from seeing pictures but I did not know about the panoramic view of Paris you could get from that hill. It was something you couldn't stop looking at.
We really needed some lunch by this time. On our way up to the church, we got some jambon and fromage (ham and cheese) sandwiches from a bistro. When in France do as the French do, oui? We also used the side of the hill in front of the Sacred Coeur to relax our feet and eat. A sidewalk performer sang everything from Lionel Richie's "Stuck on You" to The Eagles' "Hotel California". We had to laugh because he kept putting the emphasis on the wrong syllable on the word "hotel", he didn't hit "ho" but "tel". It sounded funny.
We went inside the church and I don't want to keep describing things the same way but it was beautiful and very inspirational. I am not Catholic but you couldn't help feeling "un peu" closer to God.
Our next stop was some shopping. We decided to take the Metro instead of the RER this time. It was packed. Some fellow tried to get on without paying but the driver spotted him, parked the bus, yelled out a few lines in French and then threatened to call the police before the guy got off the bus. We made a couple of stops and even got to see the famed Moulin Rouge on the way. It was kind of like one of those things where you look up and say "oh look, that's the Moulin Rouge."
We ended near the Arc de Triomphe. It is mammoth. I was awed by how big it was. I thought almost as much of the drivers who whiz in circles on the roundabout surrounding the Arc. It was time for some shopping on the Champs Elysees. Wow, the throngs of people pumping lots of money into Paris' economy. I thought I saw a lot of people on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago but this was something much more. At this time, we were so tired from walking, it actually hurt.
One of the best parts of the trip to Paris was "Boeuf for deux". It cost 50 euro, about 75 bucks at the time. The worst part, we were in Paris so there is no way to take home a doggy bag. We didn't want to anyhow because the meat wasn't even extra rare. "They just ran a cow through a warm kitchen". Be sure to at least try the language when you are there. The French don't like people who don't even try to speak French.