Saturday, October 10, 2009

Paris 2009: We Have Arrived!

Until we arrived in Paris this morning, I could still hardly believe we were REALLY coming....and here we are, in a lovely apartment in the Tuileries Quarter near the Louvre. Taking the red eye over-seas is always our preference since we both have no issues falling asleep on the plane. Two movies and a nap later, we were landing at CDG! We wasted no time of course wandering the city.

Day 1:
One of the things I love about Europe is that you can always find your way via public transportation. Taking the RER into city center from the airport has 0 difficulty. Our apartment is as good as we had anticipated - clean, convenient and comfy. I spotted the first restaurant we would end up trying for a late lunch as we made our way from the train station to our apartment, duck confit was on the menu! We also had an assorted platter of cheeses and meats. yum! I have a feeling we're going to be eating alot of duck and alot of cheese while we're here!

We decided to have an easy day wandering Tuileries and on to Champs Elysee. Our first stop was the Louvre - truly breathtaking and I had almost forgotten how beautiful the architecture is. We walked through the Tuileries Garden towards Arc de Triomphe, passing Place de Concorde, sight of the guillotine from the French Revolution, and Palais Royale, another beautiful building. Along the way, we stumbled upon an exhibit of French Vogue covers through the years - it was amazing and such a nice surprise! I never knew how many times Linda Evangelista (Canadian!) had been featured!

Champs Elysee is like no other shopping district in the world. From the LV flagship, to primo car dealerships (do people ever buy cars there?), and cafes galore. We stopped in the Adidas store and discovered Mi - you can customize your own shoes!! The store also featured all their feature collections like Stella McCartney, Y3, and SLVR. Even a plain old Adidas store is not so plain! And speaking of the LV flagship, we were approached twice by questionable Asians looking for someone to buy a bag for them. Has it happened to you? They offer you CASH to buy a bag for them because the store limits # of bags per passport to help fight counterfeits (so I've been told). Clearly sketch, but it makes me wonder, what if I happened to be tremendously wealthy and wanted to buy 3 or 4 LV bags? In any case, an interesting operation. If there are 4 people asking on the street, I wonder how many "hits" they get in a day, or in a week, and how many and what bags do they need?

After a quick photo op of the Arc de Triomphe, we decided to make our way back to the apartment for a rest before dinner. On the way back, we veered to the original Chanel store at 31 rue cambon in honour of all the Chanel movies we have seen lately! Actually, we stopped in 3 along the way before we actually found the "right" address. We also stopped in Hermes...and it was INSANELY busy, 2, 3 deep at the scarf counter. I guess when in Paris, you can buy any design you have ever wanted but could not find!

After being in drenched in rain, we decided to stay close to home for dinner. Lucky for us, there were options galore even at 10:30pm after our short rest turned into a 2 hour nap :P Who knew walking all that way would be so tiring right? I guess I don't normally walk 10km a day. We had a wonderful meal at Cafe Coup d'Etat: duck carpaccio to start served with arugula and mozzarella, rosemary lambchops (came with 3!), and prawn risotto with cream anise. My risotto was one of the best I haev ever had, I can still taste the wonderful sauce and delicious prawns it was served with. Normally, prawn/shrimp dishes has little taste, so I was worried, but how silly that was! We couldn't pass up dessert: I had mango panacotta, probably the best I have ever had - not too sweet, with a firm yet silky finish topped with mango and surrounded by coulis; Tony had a strawberry tiramisu, which was also not too sweet, served in a cup and incredibly fluffy. This is what we were looking forward to in Paris - lovely food where-ever we end up. And of course, cheap wine. Our glass of wine at dinner cost less than our bottle of coke at lunch - it's wine from here on in!

Not bad for day 1. We have no idea what we are doing day to day, but am sure it will be filled with more delicious food and wandering through various neighbourhoods.

PS. Stella I had a pain au chocolat from Paul for you today!

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