Sunday, January 23, 2011

Salt and pepper, anyone?

This is all a part of the adventure I had last weekend in Paris.  I really should write it all down in sequence, but that would make too much sense, n'est-ce pas?  Since Sunday is coming to a close here in NC, I will tell about last Sunday afternoon.
The day started with an ACIS training session after breakfast at our hotel, the Novotel on Quai de Grenelle. 

We played a really cool chocolate tasting game.  My kind of training! 

Then we hopped on a bus for a guided tour of the Opéra Garnier.  It is such a cool building.  I love the ceiling painted by Marc Chagall.  The chandelier still scares me a bit, though.
They sell tutus in the gift shop now.  I never took ballet classes when I was a little girl.  I've never owned a tutu.  But looking at these, I caught myself wondering... would I look better in pink and white...
or black?

Before I could do something as silly as even check the price of one of them,  a small group of us decided to head to the nearby Ladurée shop to buy macarons

Believe it or not, I only ate one and brought back a little box of them for Arles Lucy who will be my co-chaperone for the March student trip.  I am all for bribes, mes amis.  Giving and receiving them, as long as they have to do with food or drink. 

After that stop, I split off from the rest.  They were heading to the Marais to the Musée Carnavalet and I have been there several times.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous-- 50˚F and sunny.  Blue skies.  Perfect strolling weather.  So, stroll I did.  I passed through the Place Vendôme,

to the Tuileries gardens,

and across the Pont des Arts with all of the Padlocks of Love.

There were lots and lots of Frenchies out and about.  They were strolling, too.  I realized that someone was watching me and keeping pace with me as I crossed the bridge.  A nicely dressed fellow.  I continued to snap photos and ignore him.  At the end of the bridge, he stopped next to me and struck up a conversation.  He asked if he could walk with me along the quai.  Sure.  I told him I was meeting friends in front of Notre Dame.  Maybe Quasimodo would still be there?  He was there for me last March...
It is always good to speak French, even to a random man looking to pick up a dinner date.  I said no to dinner.  I said no to coffee.  He asked if he could buy me a souvenir from one of the bouquinistes along the quai.   One more nonJ'en ai assez, I told him-- I have enough (that is, of course, a lie- I could never have enough Paris souvenirs).  But before I knew it, he had bought a set of salt and pepper shakers and presented them to me.  Oh well.  I said Merci and stashed them in the Ladurée bag with the macarons.  Random French Guy told me had noticed me on the bridge, with the sun shining on my face and in my hair.  I did not laugh.  Really I didn't.  I said Merci once again and kept strolling.  I lost him in front of Notre Dame.  I hope that he did actually find someone to have dinner with him.  Or coffee.  And yes, I kept the salt and pepper shakers!

I think they kind of look like they're dancing.  Shake, shake, shake... shake, shake, shake... shake your booty, shake your booty.  (That's a KC and the Sunshine Band song for those too young to have experienced the '70's music scene.)

Bon appétit, Paris and Random French Guys everywhere.

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