Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Paris: The Baker and the Aviator Explore

I decided today was the day to start writing because I am on the airplane (with the new hubby as the co-pilot) after finding out last night he had a trip to Paris!  So....after checking my schedule of cookie baking and the kids schedules I decided I'd only miss a few important events in their lives.  I mean, how often does one get the opportunity to go to Paris? So we shuffled some things around, made our arrangements, packed up and headed out.

On the way to the gate I decided I needed some reading material (since my 14 year old lovely daughter borrowed the 3rd Hunger Games book from my nightstand that I was half way through....). So after a quick scan of the magazines I decided on the "Food Network Magazine" as my first pick.  I glanced at the yummy looking tacos on the front cover then my eyes scanned upwards..."icing color chart" in this issue.  Needless to say I knew I had to have this one.  The next choice was "Bon Appetit." Admittedly, this is not a magazine I usually would pick up...however the front cover is a picture of French baguettes!  That, along with a feature article on" The Insiders Guide to Paris", had me hooked.  How could I resist?

After a 9 hour flight, we were finally on the ground in Paris!  We exchanged some currency and purchased our tickets on the Metro to get to our hotel.  After about an hour ride, we made our way out of the underground tunnel where the train stop was about 3 blocks from our hotel.  As I had my first glimpses of the Paris skyline there were buildings with tall shuttered windows lining the streets.  One step off the curb and a glance to the right......and there it was.  The Eiffel Tower, spiraling high into the clouds above.  A squeal of delight escaped me as I quickly crossed the boulevard.  Just pinch me now.....
We arrived at the hotel ( make sure you ask for a fan...especially if you're used to air conditioning or a ceiling fan like Southerners usually are!) The hotel we stayed at did not have windows that opened and the rooms can get quite stuffy without one.  Believe me when I say this....It was a lifesaver!    Also don't forget one of the little adaptor thingy's for European outlets.  You'll need it for hair dryers and other girly things!  After a good nap we were ready to go explore.

We put on some walking shoes and grabbed our fleece jackets and headed out. I was quickly reminded that Europeans mostly wear black!  Although the tulips were in full bloom; the air was still damp and cool with a constant light mist and grey clouds looming overhead.  Boots, leggings, and black pea coats with pashmina's are everywhere.  And don't forget an umbrella.  This would have been a good idea!  A light, constant mist is common in Paris.

Prosciutto Pizza....yum
We walked several blocks as the awe-inspiring Eiffel Tower came into view.  The streets were bustling with tourists, and languages from around the world could be heard.  We needed a little sustenance so aviator man suggested a progressive dinner. With so much to see and do ( and eat!); why not?  Our first stop was a pizzeria a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower.  We settled on a prosciutto and cheese pizza and a local beer called 1964.   We dined outside with a view of the Seine across the boulevard. The pizza was fresh and delicious and the service was friendly.  I had heard how the French can be a bit abrupt to Americans; but so far with a friendly smile and greeting in French....the barrier seemed to ease a bit.

We had a great time in Paris. We saw the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Notre Dame, Trocadero, and the Arch De Triomphe. We met vendors and enjoyed walking around the open markets where they had local cuisine; baked goods; and fresh fruits and vegetables. We are looking forward to going back for fresh baguettes; seeing Versailles; and experiencing more great culinary treats. While we were in Paris I went from "baker" to "chef de patisserie!". Now doesn't that just sound more special? (Grins ~)

I'm going to try baking French Lemon cake and cream puffs. Our trip to Paris inspired me!

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