October 19, 2011

Zombies in Paris

I had a dream last night that involved a zombie outbreak and Paris. It was terrifying because I wasn't prepared and could not barricade myself well enough to survive it. I woke up a little afraid on the hard matress in the hostel. Then realized it wasn't real and I was still in Paris, my favorite city.

I first visited Paris when I was 16, fell in love and the feeling is still the same. There is something about this city, the people, the sounds, the buildings, the energy that makes me feel like I am home. That is the best way to describe it. It feels like home to me and within the next 10 years, I hope to make it just that, home.

First day here we went for a wander and a picnic, including cheap but tasty wine, cheeses, freshly baked baguette and chocolates for dessert and a view of the Seine from Pont Neuf. We accidently happened apon an amazing little street packed full of people and vendors selling everything from wine, baguettes and cheese, to clothes and scarves. We walked from out hostel, which was in Montmartre, at the base of Sacre Coer, to Pont Neuf, in the middle of the Seine and the begiing of the large island in the river. The sun was shining, the weather was perfect strolling weather. Ben had done this walk before, six years ago, only he was drunk at the time, so we took the round about way but made it none the less. Oh, and it also included so he put a ring on it. It came as a surprise to me. I did not expect it ever, let a lone of our trip and in Paris, but there is no better place or time he could have done it. It took a few moments for me to realize that he wasn't just bugging me, as this is Ben and he does have a habit of sounding serious when he is not. Once I figured out that he was not kidding, it again took me a few moments to realize exactly what was happening and I even forgot to say yes as I started to cry and hugged him. It was a very simple and yet absolutely perfect moment.

We did the touristy things, stood under the Eiffel Tower at night, saw Notre Dame, Hotel d'Invalides, Napoleon's Tomb. But my favorite things were simple. Picking up fresh backed goods and eating them in the park while feeding the pidgeons, randomly wandering the cobblestone streets and finding cute little vintage shops, one in which I found my engagement right; a vintage 1970's ring from Paris. That is my engagement ring and I couldn't ask for any thing better. I have no idea how much it cost and I don't care to know. It doesn't matter. I enjoy riding the Parisian subway, I love jay walking across the streets like a local and I love trying to speak french and the strange, sometimes confused looks I get when I can't quite say things correctly.

Yesterday, our last day in Paris, it rained. It poured rain for a good portion of the day. We walked down the Champ Elysees in the rain, with umbrellas we had just bought after eating fairly crappy pasta at a restaurant with terrible service, but I wouldn't change a thing.

Ben insisted that we visit a Fodue restaurant that he had been to six years ago when he was here last time. After a little wandering, we found it. Just a tiny, unassuming shop on a small, unassuming road. If you didn't know it was there, it could be easily missed, aside from the usual line up outside to get in. The resaurant is tiny; seats about thirty at the max. along the walls are benches, with tables in front of them and chairs on the other side. People have to either walk over the table or climb under it to get to the benches on the other side. It is chaotic, loud, and absolutely wonderful. You are forced to talk to the people next to you and the menu is so simple; cheese or meat fodue and white or red wine, from a baby bottle no less. Yup, that's where we had our 'engagement' dinner. The fondue was great, the best I have ever had and will not be easily matched.

I am currently sitting at ORLY airport waiting for my flight to Berlin. Ben is getting impatient because he is bored and it is almost time to start boarding, so I will let this long post end with a few pictures of fun in Paris.

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