We are sick and tired of the rain. To be fair, we are probably not as sick of it as the folks in northern Italy who been suffering from flooding, and after what happened in Colorado in September of last year, we take torrential rain pretty seriously. But when you are finishing a pretty amazing and hopefully life-altering once-in-a-lifetime trip and are done with all the challenges of not having much autonomy regarding your overall environment, you maybe get to be fed up with gray rainy days that make it hard to be out and about. Plus, it’s been hard on my joints. All the beatings I took on the soccer field have come back to haunt me in these damp climes with knees and shoulder joints that just don’t want to cooperate. Especially at the end of the day.
On Monday, the day at least started relatively dry, even though it was pretty overcast. And we had some good fun. We met my old SDL and LSA pal Kim, who is currently living in Paris. We spent a good chunk of the day with her. We met Kim on the Champs Élysées at the Christmas market, which has some fun stuff but also has a lot of the stuff you see in any other market in Europe, the scarves and tourist stuff. We were mainly walking with her and talking rather than making a detailed study of the offerings. There were some interesting artisan pieces but not enough to make us want to pull out our wallets. Mainly we just wandered and talked. And Kim thought the market would be a great place to bring some friends with a small child who are coming to visit next week.
Here’s one of the only pictures we took, of Angie in front of one of the fake animals dotted all over the market.
When we were done wandering and talking we were hungry. There was food at the market but it was mainly sausage and sweets and hot wine and standing up to eat. The hot wine appealed of course, but there is that whole drinking on an empty stomach thing. None of us really knew of anything near the Champs Élysées that was reasonable for lunch but Kim knew somewhere in the Marais, where she had lived before. We agreed that was easier than dithering around trying to find somewhere nearby.
The place she took us to was a creperie but it was called La Cidrerie du Marais because they specialize in Breton cider too. We each ordered the Formule, which was a crepe with three ingredients and a cider, which was actually served in a wide teacup.
Aside: the best deal (such as it is in some cases) for lunch in France is usually a “menu” or a “Formule.” The former is generally appetizer (entrée in France, whereas in the US this is what people call a main course) + main course (plat) and a drink, or plat + dessert (dessert) and a drink. They usually present this as “entrée + plat ou (or) plat + dessert et (and) boisson,” using the plus signs. A Formule is usually more limited, a plat and a boisson. We were happy if we found something like this for less than €15 on this trip. This time, it was actually €10 and entirely worth it. I ordered mushroom, shallot and potato in my traditional buckwheat crepe and Angie ordered mushroom, potato and cheese. They are folded over to make a square, rather than rolled. Mine was tasty, as was the cider, and I think the others enjoyed theirs too.
It was a lovely day with Kim, talking about all sorts of stuff, and by the time she left us looking for tights at BHV, a department store in the neighborhood, it was mid-afternoon. And raining once more.
After we said goodbye to Kim, Angie and I tried to go to a coffee shop that Jenni had recommended to us, which is owned by a friend of hers. We really wanted somewhere we could go and sit for a long time at a table and work on the blog. We’ve concluded that though you can’t be sure there is a table in the flat unless you ask, an Air BnB without a dining table is really hard if you are cooking at home (and blogging). We really wanted a change of scenery and chairs and a table. Sadly, since it was a Monday (the day when a lot of tourist sites, including museums are closed) and raining, there wasn’t anywhere to sit that fit the bill. We gave up trying at that point, even though the very sweet American woman who worked there gave us a referral to another place. We decided to find a grocery store to get something simple for dinner and walk back to the flat. We found a Monoprix, which also satisfied our quest for something to wear under our travel pants to help us stay warm now that the temperatures are really dropping. Equipped with a pair of leggings each and some simple, food (and a bottle of wine), we walked the rest of the way home and enjoyed our evening. Yes, the wine helped!