A Weekend in Paris

I don’t know why anyone complains about this whole working thing. I have worked for about a week and gotten paid for two days during my absence – one being a day in Paris and the other being a bank holiday in the UK. My new job is fab. I have now signed a contract and that contract says I’m not really supposed to discuss the things that happen at work, so unfortunately, this blog may get very dull. I will let you know that I have an official title now – Project Manager. And I have been thrust into that position at break-neck speed. I have been meeting with architects, the owner of the company and learning about the business. I now have a task list a mile long that I am actually eager to jump back into tomorrow. For today, I will enjoy the last couple hours of my bank holiday and fill you in on our weekend in Paris. However, Tamara – you would be proud – parts of my French came back to me from our days in Nice. Unfortunately, it was just as bad as when I was living in Nice, but it was something.

Firstly, I am so glad we are in London as our new(ish), permanent home. Sometimes, it takes a trip elsewhere to help you realize what you already have. London is clean, full of activities every day of the week, the parks are amazing, the homeless are better taken care of and generally, people speak English and are polite. I’m not complaining – being a 2 hour train ride from Paris is fantastic, and I’m glad we went. I just couldn’t picture living in Paris.

The first day was sunshine – the perfect weather to be outside exploring. Unfortunately, days 2 and 3 didn’t cooperate quite so readily. You can’t control the weather though, so as the British say, “Get on with it.” We tried to balance touristy things with just being in Paris and enjoying. Usually, my best memories are of the times you just spend wandering the streets and taking  a long lunch. The food in Paris was rather disappointing. This, I know, is a bold statement. Our neighbourhood had little in the way of restaurants and we had to go hunting for a patisserie. We gave up and had Pain Quotidien, which is a chain and a Starbucks coffee (which cost 8 euro!). And it wasn’t like we were on the outskirts of town. This is a (supposedly) 5-star hotel within short walking distance of the Eiffel Tower. We did our part – we sampled pain-au-chocolat after pain-au-chocolat and all were disappointing. It was also a chore to find food that cost less than 40 euro per person. Phil and I are sort of foodie types, but we’re cheap foodies. We like finding a great food cart or a small, little place that is tucked away down a quiet street. And we don’t eat huge portions, so more than 1 course is usually way more than enough and in Paris it is expected that you order a starter, main and dessert at the very least. God – I sound like an ungrateful you-know-what. These are definitely 1st World problems. On a positive note, we got to know some other people in the hotel when the fire alarm went off at 6:30am. I didn’t know what was happening. I thought someone had accidentally set the alarm clock, but then Phil informed me that it could actually be an emergency and that we should get up and out. So we did. And then I thought, “We really should have grabbed our passports.” Apparently, I’m not quite the morning person that I think I am.

For the rest of our trip, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

The Eurostar at 7am

The Eurostar at 7am

Phil's trippy photography skills

Phil’s trippy photography skills

Pinky's up! Cafe on rue Cler

Pinky’s up! Cafe on rue Cler

This is Parisian living - sunshine, wine and outdoor seating

This is Parisian living – sunshine, wine and outdoor seating

A very kind lady took the pic, but forgot to remove her finger. I think the whole fact that a phone can take a picture was a bit much for her.

A very kind lady took the pic, but forgot to remove her finger. I think the whole fact that a phone can take a picture was a bit much for her.

Our hotel room at the Renaissance Paris Hotel Le Parc Trocadero

Our hotel room at the Renaissance Paris Hotel Le Parc Trocadero

Loved this mirror - the framed area didn't fog up. And the shower was so great. Normal hair again!

Loved this mirror – the framed area didn’t fog up. And the shower was so great. Normal hair again!

The Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe #2

Arc de Triomphe #2

Really - no explanation needed. Although, the Eiffel Tower was a 5 minute walk from our hotel, which was quite fantastic.

Really – no explanation needed. Although, the Eiffel Tower was a 5 minute walk from our hotel, which was quite fantastic.

IMG_20130823_210331

This is not breakfast. This is the snack before breakfast.

This is not breakfast. This is the snack before breakfast.

Napoleon III's apartment at the Louvre.

Napoleon III’s apartment at the Louvre.

Me photo bombing Napoleon's throne. It would be better if he were on it.

Me photo bombing Napoleon’s throne. It would be better if he were on it.

Napoleon liked his animal figures on furniture and I should really just stay out of pictures.

Napoleon liked his animal figures on furniture and I should really just stay out of pictures.

Lucky Cat goes to see the Mona Lisa.

Lucky Cat goes to see the Mona Lisa.

Resemblance?

Resemblance?

So many people - we left and headed for a cafe shortly after we were in this section.

So many people – we left and headed for a cafe shortly after we were in this section.

Yummy cappuccino's.

Yummy cappuccino’s.

Can a lemon meringue pie get any bigger than this? We shared it - don't worry.

Can a lemon meringue pie get any bigger than this? We shared it – don’t worry.

Yup - there it is - the Notre Dame.

Yup – there it is – the Notre Dame.

Notre Dame #2

Notre Dame #2

Notre Dame #3

Notre Dame #3

The Grand Palais. I so wish this was open when we were there! It is an amazing feat in Beaux Arts style in 1900. The space was inspired by London's Crystal Palace - now I must go check that out.

The Grand Palais. I so wish this was open when we were there! It is an amazing feat in Beaux Arts style in 1900. The space was inspired by London’s Crystal Palace – now I must go check that out.

A peak inside the Grand Palais.

A peak inside the Grand Palais.

The doors to the Petit Palais across the street from the Grand Palais.

The doors to the Petit Palais across the street from the Grand Palais.

The exterior of the Petit Palais.

The exterior of the Petit Palais.

What an amazing interior! The Petit Palais.

What an amazing interior! The Petit Palais.

Petit Palais #2

Petit Palais #2

The home and design of architect and decorator, Hector Guimard, who was a big name in the era of Art Nouveau in France. He also designed the iconic, shelter-like structures of cast iron and glass for the Paris Metro.

The home and design of architect and decorator, Hector Guimard, who was a big name in the era of Art Nouveau in France. He also designed the iconic, shelter-like structures of cast iron and glass for the Paris Metro.

More eating - this one wasn't great unfortunately.

More eating – this one wasn’t great unfortunately.

A panorama of the Louvre.

A panorama of the Louvre.

7 thoughts on “A Weekend in Paris

  1. Had to do several “double takes” as I looked at your pictures, as you stayed within a few blocks of where we stayed, ate at the same restaurant (I’m 95% sure), and several of the pictures you took were eerily similar to ones that I took.

    Ok, on with it. You both look fantastic and loved your sharing your adventure, gripes and all.

    Love,

    Dad

  2. I don’t know how you and Phil stay so skinny – that lemon meringue alone must be 2000 calories lol. You know how it is that you always remember mundane everyday things sometimes. Tara, I remember shopping with you in White Rock and we went into a little boutiquey shop and you bought a small statue of the Eifle Tower. I believe this is your second time in Paris. Something keeps drawing you back there. Great photo bombing – Napolean must be turning over in his grave – the little bastard lol.

      • I love your maxi dress. For a couple of Canadians, you sure are holding your own in the fashion department. Phil is showing some great pipes in his green t-shirt, “Look at the Notre Dame over there” hee hee. I think you may be right in the genetics department. Right now, as I’m packing to go to Tofino, I’m having a pear Growers cider, smoked havarti (I bet havarti is delish in England), and a smoked salmon peperoni stick (very west coast and very yummy).

  3. OK. You are in front of the tower. I have one that has a candle in it that I use for decoration. Oh, right, you are in Paris and I’m not. Note to self………..you will enjoy the photos that are sent to you. Love you both. Mom.

  4. Ok….so I can’t resist commenting on the first two sentences of this post: “I don’t know why anyone complains about this whole working thing. I have worked for about a week and gotten paid for two days during my absence – one being a day in Paris and the other being a bank holiday in the UK.” Please note that this is a common sentiment from those that have “worked for about a week.” It’s not that getting paid vacation isn’t awesome, it’s just that I’m sure a lot of us career gals and guys wouldn’t mind six months off of work-free living. Ha!

    Now I miss Paris! Great pics 🙂

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