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September 1st, 2009

I didn’t mention it earlier because I’m overly superstitious about this sort of thing, but The Girl and I have planned a trip to Paris. France, not Texas. She has a friend from high school who has been in France for the last several years, with a brief stint in the United States. The plan is to stay for two weeks and enjoy the sights, culture, and (for me anyway) most of all the food. Some of the non-food highlights on this trip include: Shakespeare & Co., an English language of book seller of some fame; Versailles, the home of a seventeenth century palace of some fame; and Jim Morrison’s grave.

So, when are we going on said trip? Yesterday. Today, we are here. Between the time difference and the fact that I am not currently connected to the internet, you may have to shift those dates slightly. We managed to get to our flight in Newark Friday night despite the traffic cops’ best attempts and being stuck at the corner of Nowhere and Canal St. for half an hour. The flight was over booked, so when The Girl and I checked in, we were not allowed to sit next to each other. Instead I was to sit behind her, which would afford me plenty of opportunity to kick her chair, but not to talk to her. And seeing as we haven’t been married for all that long of a time, I still really enjoy talking with her, especially on an eight-hour flight. Once boarded, we asked our three neighbors if they would mind switching seats with one of us. As it turns out, they did. We still had one out, one our neighbors had yet to show up. Maybe he/she would be kind enough? As it turns out, there were five empty seats on the over booked flight, one of them next to my wife. Once I heard that boarding had been completed, I moved up next to her. And then we waited. One of those five seats belonged to someone who had checked in, but decided not to travel at the last minute. This wouldn’t be a big deal, but they had checked luggage as well. We had to wait for the grounds crew to sift through the entire loaded luggage for this mystery person’s parcel, and then reload everything. Our 8pm flight didn’t leave the ground until 9:30. On the upside, I was sitting next to my wife, who used this extra time to get sleepy and fall asleep before we took off. Seeing as she doesn’t enjoy that part of the flight, it was a win-win for her.

And the good luck just kept coming after we landed this morning. We flew through customs and got to baggage claim as some of the first pieces of luggage tumbled down. One of them looked remarkably like ours. On closer inspection, it was ours. Baggage claim has never been this easy. After that we were picked up by our host and brought to her apartment in the 13 Arrondissement to unload our things and take a shower or two. At this point we were very tired from the long flight. Presented with the options of napping or going out for our first meal in Paris, we did the only sensible thing. We ate.

We went to a local bistro specializing in southern French fare. The Girl decided to go with her Eastern European roots and ordered the potatoes with ham. Lightly fried slices of potato topped with cold cured ham. The ham was great, kind of like a thick cut prosciutto, but it was kind of awkward to eat with the potatoes. Not to mention the fact that it over powered them.

I had a tough time deciding what my first meal of the trip would be. Escargot? Tempting, but that probably wouldn’t fill me up. Traditional French cold cut plate with cheeses? Sounds too much like a snack and not a meal. Pig’s intestine, which I was told is really good? Too daring for my first at bat. Duck confit with a chanterelle mushroom sauce? Yes please. Now, I’m no great connoisseur of duck. I’ve had it a few times in Chinatown and in French restaurants back home, not to mention the turducken I made. Overall, I wasn’t a huge fan. But this. This was different. It tasted wonderful. The meat was juicy and flavorful. The sauce accented it just right. I thoroughly enjoyed eating the skin/fat with a piece of baguette.

With our first meal down, we moved on to a café where we got a coke (we needed the caffeine kick) and two scoops of ice cream, mango and lime. The mango was good, but the lime was magnificent. The rest of the day was filled with some miscellaneous chores and wanderings. We made plans to visit the local market in the morning and then go out for brunch.

Our first day in the big city was perfect. I can’t wait for the next thirteen. But for now, it might be time to take that nap we had skipped a few hours ago.

Author: Josh Categories: Story, Uncategorized Tags:
  1. Ksenia
    September 2nd, 2009 at 09:45 | #1

    The ham wasn’t as appetizing as I thought it would be. The duck on the other hand….Mmmmmmm!!!!! I miss it!

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