Friday, August 24, 2012

Meet Me In Pair-eee

If you read my blog regularly, I think you can tell that I've been overjoyed to have some of the experiences that I have. I've really been blessed to continuously have my mind blown by areas I've seen and people I've met. Obviously, I can't even start talking about the food I've had too or else we'd be here all day. Along with these fabulous experiences, I also can't get used to the fact that we're so close to so many incredible countries that are a quick train or plane ride away. It's just so different in Europe. I mean, the entire country of Italy is just slightly bigger than California and that's one state in the US. The way they do things over here simply caters to one's experiences in life vs. their job or financial status or title. That said, when presented with the idea of going to France for a weekend last minute, I jumped on the opportunity…even if it meant missing two days of school. See, you can do that when you're an adult paying for it yourself instead of mom and dad, tee hee. 

Trisha and I have become good friends since being in school and I really feel lucky to have met her. We couldn't be more different as people yet we have formed a bond that is really special. I think we've both learned things from one another based on how different our past is and how we grew up; things of that nature. It's been a pleasure getting to know her and I know that we'll be friends for a long time. We'd talked about doing something awesome on our last weekend before heading off to stage but we couldn't decide on what! That's when her husband, Tim, called her and said he was able to get away from work for a few days and he wanted her to meet him in Paris! Um, hello romantic. She was beside herself with excitement yet torn as well because he wanted to meet that very weekend we talked about going away. She didn't want to lose a last weekend with me yet was dying to see her husband, of course. Well, being the amazing guy that he is, Tim decided to have me come along for the trip and I almost fell over when Trisha told me. In a matter of a week, our plans were set to fly out to good ol' Pair-eee from Thursday through Sunday. 

We were delayed for quite some time in the Milan airport that Thursday, which killed a fun, girly afternoon we had planned with each other, but it didn't matter. We were going to PARIS:
When we finally arrived, we navigated our way on the trains into the city and, when we came out of the station, we looked up and saw the Eiffel Tower first thing:
It was so awesome. Our hotel was close to the station and my heart just about stopped when I saw the place. It was absolutely gorgeous:
This place was SO nice and it was directly in the center of everything! I definitely had my 'Pretty Woman' moment, although I didn't jump on the bed like I should have:
Heehee! The place we really wanted to try for dinner, Ferdi, was booked for the night so we went to a spot near the hotel which turned out to be so douchey, we couldn't even stay. The people were so rude to us that we had one drink and left! We ended up finding a cute little brasserie that was much more fitting for us. We had a good meal and nice wine, just what we were looking for.

On Friday, Tim's flight wasn't getting in until around 1pm so Trisha and I walked all over to see as much as we could in a short time. We started with a simple breakfast at a cute placed called Bread and Roses near the hotel:
I really wish I could have that exact scone every morning for the rest of my life.

We continued on from there to try and catch whatever sights we could within walking distance:

Allison, I spotted something very special just for you and something very special just for me:
We even found a little bit of Canada (where Trisha is from) in Paris:
As it edged closer to Tim's arrival, we made our way back toward the hotel and stopped for a glass of wine at a super eclectic, cute cafe where the server was friendly and animated:
We both couldn't believe we were sitting in Paris! We had an awesome talk while enjoying the peaceful little side street and it felt like such a French afternoon, really. We headed back to the hotel so Tim and Trisha could meet up and we went our separate ways before coming back together for dinner that evening. I was so happy for the chance to get to know Tim more. I'd briefly met him before so it was really nice having the opportunity to spend time with him. We had a lovely glass of wine before going to dinner and I just enjoyed myself so much. At dinner, the server oddly put the menu board on the seat next to me when we sat down so we figured she was trying to make me feel more included with a date of my own. Awwww…:
The food was terrific and, of all things, they had the most delectable and perfectly done rice pudding I've ever had. We hadn't ordered it but the server brought it along with the desserts we did choose because she said we simply had to try it. She was right. I've been thinking about it since, no joke.

After dinner, Tim brought us to a spot he'd heard about where you can have drinks while looking out at the Eiffel Tower. Though it's mildly cheesy, every hour the Tower lights up all sparkly for a few minutes so I took a photo trying to capture what I could:
We had such an awesome time over the course of the night. I really, really enjoyed myself and was so happy to share that time with Trisha and Tim! They're amazing people, through and through.

On Saturday, the three of us had brunch together before Tim and Trisha went off to enjoy their "date day/night" together. We ate in an area (the name escapes me) that felt much more "real" in terms of being in France. There were no tourists roaming around and it felt like we were right in the middle of normal Saturday activities for Parisians. There was one street that was basically a big market full of everything you could want. The smells alone were fantastic! Lots of delicious croissants and pastries being baked, chocolate, fruits and vegetables… I could've gotten myself in trouble if we stuck around there much longer. After brunch when we branched off, I decided to just wander around aimlessly and get myself kind of lost. I like to do that kind of thing vs. have an agenda or itinerary because I think you often see so much more of a city outside of the normal tourist spots that way. I've also been to Paris a couple of times so I felt like I wasn't missing out on the "must see" sights or anything. 

When I found my way back near the hotel, I was SO excited to walk down the Champs d'Elysees and see all of the Tour de France finish being set up! I couldn't believe I was in Paris on the very weekend the Tour was coming through to finish. It killed me though because we had to be at the airport far before the teams would come cycling through so I was very, very sad to miss it. It was the coolest thing ever though to see things being put together for it:
That, in itself, was a really neat experience for me to have, especially on my own. I spent the entire day out and about so I decided to head back to the hotel, shower and take myself out to dinner. Ferdi, the restaurant we wanted to try before, had an opening so I took it. I'm so glad I did, too. It was totally delicious! It's Spanish food, something I've been craving like crazy since being in Italy, so I was excited. I ordered a mojito and it ended up being one of the better ones I've had, go figure! I asked the server if it was tapas style and if I should order a few things and he said "yes, definitely!" so I ordered two things to start before a "bigger" main dish. Um, the portions were huge, people. I'm a big eater but this was a lot, even for me! I started with the manchego cheese with peppadew peppers and these marinated tomatoes in vanilla infused olive oil with black toast:
I absolutely couldn't stop eating those tomatoes. You'd think the vanilla would be so odd, a reason I ordered it actually, but it was completely addictive. It's so different than anything I've tried before and I wanted to keep eating it forever. I got the pork skewers for my main dish with mac and cheese, both of which were divine. I cracked up when they hit the table though because the mac and cheese was like a casserole dish that could feed three people: 
I did some damage to it, I won't even lie. 

I walked around a little after dinner and caught another lovely view of the Eiffel Tower before heading back to the hotel:
I enjoyed my date with myself, I must say!

The weekend went by much too quick, as they usually do when you're having such fun. I can't believe Tim offered to have me along and his generosity was overwhelming. I feel so lucky, I really do. The best part? I was hopping a plane headed back to Italy. Now, that's cool. 


Ami said...

I would have done anything to be able to ahve a few days with you in Paris!!! The food looks and sounds amazing!!!!
I love you Crackee!!!

Allie A said...


And dude, that "tapas" you had is MY kind of tapas! I totally cracked up at those pictures because it definitely was not a spread for just one....

Did the menu board get lucky at the end of the night? hahaha

What a wonderful weekend and experience with great new friends. Wish I could have been there with you!

Ray Ray said...

Oh my goodness! This is just divine! I want to be there with you so badly. That just reminded me of Brad, haha - "Come here to me." I'm so glad you got to spend time in Paris with Tim & Trisha. So wonderful! Sigh.