Paris in Winter
I got to Paris yesterday morning after spending the morning passing the time in Tours. In one morning I saw all of the major tourist attractions of Tours (on foot), including the marchet de fleurs (big outdoor flower market, mom would have been in heaven/hell because she can't bring any of the plants home), the cathedral, the museum of fine arts, and the farmer's market; I checked my email, had lunch, had a Most Excellent Tarte aux Framboises, and chatted with the hotel owners for another 20 minutes; and I still had plenty of time to make my 2:45 train. Bottom line-- if you come to the Loire valley, get a car because you'll run out of things to do in Tours pretty quickly. It was s fun-filled, busy morning.
Val and Jerome picked me up at the station yesterday afternoon so I wouldn't have to navigate the Metros with all my stuff, and we had a tour of Paris traffic intersections (those big, crazy circles!), the highway system, and the streets of St Remy. I am very impressed with Jerome's driving and told him that if he can drive in Paris, then he'd be right at home in Boston. And that's saying something.
So it's really cool to stay at the home of a real Parisian chef de cuisine, and I was not disappointed when we had a delicious, feather-light quiche with zucchini (ahem: courgettes) and a simple salad with french baguette. You should be jealous. Tonight we are having crepes. Or maybe that's tomorrow. Anyway, you should be even more jealous because no matter where you are, my dinner will be better than yours. :-) I don't know how Val stays so teeny tiny living with such a gourmand!
This morning we woke up to a dusting of snow and seriously cold coldness, and decided it'd be good to visit Versailles where we can be indoors. I'd never been and I've always wanted to go. Apparently, all of Paris had the same idea because there was an hour-long line just to buy the tickets. So we froze our toes, but it was so worth it because the palace was really cool. I just loved it and can't wait to go back sometime in the summer when the gardens will be in bloom, and the fountains running. But I want to go on a Wednesday when the whole world isn't waiting to get in. Or if they are, then at least we're waiting in a line somewhere warm.
Val and Jerome are so much FUN! They're really welcoming and I just feel so completely at home. I slept better last night than I have since leaving Raleigh. And for breakfast, they have 3 DIFFERENT KINDS of homemade jam. OMG I could just eat it all with a spoon! And did I mention they're getting married in summer '07? That's one France trip I can't miss!
Tomorrow and Tuesday I'll jump the Metro while V&J are at work and see what Paris has to offer. No doubt you'll hear more about that before too long!
Mom is en route home from Spain now, so everyone think happy thoughts for a safe flight. I'm sure my dad will be the happiest guy in Texas in a few hours.