Our last day in Paris. Our last day of our nearly two week vacation… in Paris. Why did it have to come so quickly? Why did it even have to come at all? But here it is… there it was. Our last day. I woke up thinking that our last day was going to be spent at the apartment, listening to Jay snore the day away. He had come down with a fever and spent the whole night sweating it out. Surprisingly, Jay woke up and said, “So, where to today?” Really? He actually looked good. So I shrugged my shoulders and figured that we hadn’t gone to Centre Pompidou, so let’s check it out.
And that’s where we headed – Centre Pompidou (19 Rue Beaubourg). I still don’t know what it is. When we got there we saw this loooong line to the museum, I guess. Then it started to rain, so we ducked into the small shops that were alongside this big, massive building.
The rain didn’t seem to let up, and didn’t look like it would at any time soon. We also forgot our umbrellas back at the apartment, so we decided to go shopping and check out Galeries Lafayette (40, boulevard Haussmann). The most impressive thing – the Swarovski Christmas Tree.
Okay, so I must not be a true girl. I didn’t want to shop. Either I wasn’t in the mood, or it was too damn crowded. Whatever the reason, we briskly walked through the pretty big department store, then spent most of the time downstairs in their food section – kind of like a grocery store. We needed to buy some last minute goodies to take home.
When we thought the rain had let up, we ventured outside. We started to walk around the surrounding area when it suddenly POURED. We decided to head back to the apartment (can’t remember if we had lunch that day????) for the rest of the afternoon.
That evening, however, had to be one of our most memorable parts of the trip. We decided to check out Le Baron Rouge (1 Rue Théophile Roussel). We were supposed to check it out that previous weekend, when the Marche d’Aligre was happening and a truck load of oysters were being served there. We had missed it, so we decided to go back for the wine.
When we got there, it was pretty empty – it was a Thursday evening. We found some seats and ordered a glass of red wine each. While relaxing and sipping our wine, reminiscing about our days in Paris, Jay couldn’t help but overhearing this older couple sitting next to us. They were talking to each other in both English and French. When Jay questioned this (his need to be social), they explained that she was American, and he was French. We started to chit chat, they wondering why we would come to Paris in December when we could stay home in Hawaii for the warm winter (we get asked that A LOT – hey, we like to travel and experience cold once in awhile).
Soon the bar started to get crowded, and another gentleman joined the couple. They introduced us to him – a Moroccan (the one place I dream about visiting), with Spanish parents, living in Paris. Interesting. Well, over the next few minutes, this friendly Moroccan kept drinking, and when the couple left, he turned to talk to us. However, he spoke to us in French. We looked totally confused, and smiled and nodded, and of course laughed. I don’t think he realized we didn’t speak French. So this family of three sitting next to us started to chuckle at our language barrier and tried to translate for us, but their English was very limited as well. I still don’t think Mr. Morocco realized we didn’t speak French. So another couple started to translate as well. Soon, we were a little group of 8, mixing up English and French, and still Mr. Morocco kept talking to us in French like we understood.
It was getting a little late, we still needed to eat dinner, so we kindly excused ourselves from this international group we had formed. Before leaving, we decided to buy four bottles of wine to take home. And might I add, four DELICIOUS bottles of wine. With two kisses on both cheeks from Mr. Morocco, we left this now crowded wine bar.
For dinner, we walked over to Le Pure Cafe (14 Rue Jean Macé ) where we had tried to go to several times with no success. They were finally open. This restaurant was of course featured on Anthony Bourdain, but it was also in the movie Before Sunset. We had eaten a cheese plate at the wine bar, with two glasses of wine each, but we still ordered food. I ordered duck, of course, and Jay ordered a fish special. My duck was okay, not really great, and Jay’s fish was good. We couldn’t even finish half of it, we were extremely stuffed. I’m not sure if we were not satisfied with the food because it wasn’t the best we had in Paris, or if we had eaten too much.
Before heading home on our last evening, we decided to take one last walk around Montmartre. A bittersweet walk – a little homesick, but still wanting to stay in Paris.
And so, the next morning, we were off to London to spend the night before heading home. This is one of my favorite trips, the longest I had spent in any one place besides home. I truly recommend falling in love with a city and spending a couple of weeks to just explore.
A hui hou, Paris (Hawaiian for “until we meet again”), and in the words of Audrey Hepburn “Paris is always a good idea”