Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Bon vivant

Paris is magnifique and exhausting! We are walking everywhere and have seen Notre Dame, Saint-Chapelle, the Left Bank (although we got sidetracked by shopping and never made the DaVinci pilgrimage to Saint Sulpice), the Rodin Museum and the Picasso Museum, with the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, and the Eiffel Tower tomorrow. I really wanted to go to the Pompidou, but there's always next time. The thought of another museum may cause me to pass out.

Waistline be damned, I am eating everything and anything I want - rack of lamb, croissants, cafe au lait, bière blonde, you name it. The walking to and fro and climbing four flights of stairs to our flat is keeping my jeans from bursting open. The food here is absolutely incredible. The Marche across the street sells this great, inexpensive Côte du Rhone - I plan to bring home several bottles. Plus there is this great Moroccan food stand, from which emanate the most tantalizing smells. We served a tagine and a roast chicken from a rotisserie around the corner when Monica's friend Emilie and Andy came over for dinner. How do French people stay so thin?!

The only edible that has freaked me out so far were the live snails. Monica ordered them at a small restaurant near Emilie's house; someone told her they were cockles. After I tried one, I heard someone mention that they were not dead yet, but I chose to pretend the wine was hitting me hard and ignore it. I don't think I will ever eat mollusks ever again.

Tonight we went to this amazing Spanish tapas place - Caves St. Gilles. (forget Barcelona, this is the best!) I think we are still drunk. My Spanish came in handy with the waiter, even though it couldn't get us a table. No worries, being relegated to the bar didn't make a difference after a couple bottles of wine and once two platters of food arrived, one hot and one cold assortment. We practically licked the plates.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Salutations de Paris!

Just a few thoughts in my jet-lagged head:

  • Long-haul flying is made all the easier with Ambien, especially when in coach. It's all about better living through pharmeceuticals.

  • Paris has dog sh*t everywhere!!! Don't people believe in picking up after their pets so they don't mess up their chaussures? Dragging our suitcases from the Métro to our apartment was like walking through a minefield.

  • In France, all dieting must be suspended. The food is too good to pass up, plus walking everywhere cancels the calories out. Visions of pain au chocolat, crepes and wine have been cancing in my head for weeks.

Even though I can barely stay awake, I am still giddy about being in Paris for the first time. Le Marais is a really awesome neighborhood. We searched for a two-bedroom apartment on Vacation Rentals by Owner, which is a really awesome site, but the one we ended up with is only listed on - fantastique! Le Marché des Enfants Rouges is a really incredible outdoor market right across the street from us. Waiting for Monica and Bev to arrive so we can do more exploring, especially in the old Quartier du Temple (old Knights Templar Quarter for all the DaVinci Code fans out there).

Tuesday, March 23, 2004


Just got back from lunch - I am a big fan of Weiss Deli after that hunk of pastrami sandwich I just ate. The locals refer to Lombard Street as "Pastrami Row". Being a food snob, I must point out that the delis here are not strict kosher - they serve pork products and meat and milk mixed. Plus, they don't even serve horseradish anymore - bitterness over a local plant closing. Come on people, get over it!!! Luckily, a co-worker brought his own. V happy and v full right now!!! :)

Thursday, March 18, 2004


Baltimore is OK. The Inner Harbor is nice but somewhat commercial. What ever happened to character and uniqueness; why does the GAP et al. have to overrun everything? Absoultely will not take a water taxi after one capsized a couple of weeks ago.

I am so sick of the Amtrak Acela. The trains never leave on time, and they always get stuck behind other trains that have problems. So much for high-speed rail service. Though I must say, I can board the train like 5 minutes before it leaves and not have to deal with airport screening and such (not sure if that's a good thing), plus the fact that we don't leave the ground is good. Counting down to Paris!!

Monday, March 15, 2004

Greetings from Bal'more, Maryland

Getting ready to eat lots of crabcakes. This should be a short work stint, which is good because traffic is going to get awful near my office once baseball season starts. I would like to catch an Orioles game at Camden Yards. We'll see what the next few weeks bring.....

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Oh la la!

Lots of travels coming up!

Hooray - I got another out-of-town assignment. Yeay frequent flier miles (in this case Amtrak points) and frequent guest points, especially on the company dime. I'll be in Baltimore, Maryland for two weeks, maybe more. Will definitely post information on where to have fun, especially since baseball season starts in April. Plus, I hope (fingers crossed!) that the weather is a touch warmer there. There's also a one-week jaunt to La Cité Lumière! Stay tuned.....