I must have had a big ass sleep debt because I slept forever! I woke up at 9:30, but that was far too early. So I reset the alarm for 10:10, thinking that would be enough, but finally regained consciousness at 1:30 that afternoon. If I were the kind of person who cursed, I would have shouted a loud expletive and darted from the bed, but I’m not, so I groaned a little and shuffled over to the kitchen.
I made myself a lovely breakfast with some leftover baguette, a few pieces of cheese, and peanuts. Delicious. I had so many emails to catch up with that it overwhelmed me, so I chose to only read a few and worked on my blog instead.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day, so I decided to go out and work on my writing somewhere. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go to the little park behind Notre Dame or to the Place des Vosges. I had never been to the Place des Vosges before, even though I lived almost on top of it for three months a few years back, so I went there and I am so glad that I did.
It was a three-minute walk from the front door and is absolutely charming. Along the way, I noticed a few cars with blackened windows. I was sure Karl was lurking inside, looking for models. I walked fiercely in case this was true. Sadly, it was not.
The Place des Vosges is the very first example of a public square in a city. It is a perfect square lined on each side by an allée of trees that provide a tremendous amount of shade. In each corner is a fountain and in the very center is a statue of one of France’s kings on horseback. I forgot which–George something or other?
There were many, many children, but for some reason I did not find them as irritating as I usually do. I almost wanted to rent one in its adorable school uniform and parade around with it–if movies have taught me anything it is that having a child is an instant attention getter.
I worked and worked on my book until my hand got tired. I was in the mood to work on my other novel, but I am so close to finishing this one that I made myself work on Terrible Miss Margo. I can already smell the millions that will come in from royalties, DVD sales, and action figures. Well, I can’t imagine the action figures, actually.
I was amazed at how many of the conversations I could understand in the park. Foreign languages always sound wonderfully mysterious, but when you actually understand what they are saying, the magic is lost. I mean when the beautiful words actually mean, “Ok, kiddo, hurry up and go pee,” the spell is a bit broken. People are all the same, really, no matter where they live or what they say. At least, that’s my theory.
I was writing my notes in French and I realized that I need to work on learning whether certain words are masculine or feminine. I asked a woman who sat next to me for a while, “Excusez-moi de vous deranger madame, mais, le mot ‘voiture,’ est-ce que c’est feminin ou masculin?” She answered me and left quickly after after giving me an odd look. Sorry that I tried to learn, Lady!
When I made it back to the apartment, Jessica and I made a little video tour of the apartment. I still need to edit that and put it up for you all to see. We got a few more funny looks on the road as we filmed outside, but it was amusing.
I discovered that Lady Gaga was in Paris and was immediately determined to go Gaga hunting. I can really think of nothing more fun than celebrity stalking. One of my dream careers is paparazzi or editor of a trashy magazine. I would have a lot of fun weaving a totally falsified story around a picture of Taylor Swift or whoever was paying at that time to get some attention. So, with the excitement of Gaga hanging in the air, we decided to walk to the islands in the middle of the Seine, the oldest part of the city, and get some ice cream at Berthillon’s.
We waited a little while at the stand with a lady who Jessica thought sounded like Julie Andrews. I didn’t hear it, but if I had, I would have had a hard time not singing this:
with the full three octave slide. Nothing could have stopped the music from erupting from me. I had a cone of pink grapefruit sorbet and Jessica had melon. It was absolutely delicious. Even the cones are delicious. A lot of people complain that the portions are too small, but I’m assuming that those are enormous people who are used to serving sizes at Coldstone Creamery, because these are perfect.
Here’s the woman who waited in line with us, well the back of her:
We walked along the river and it was simply gorgeous. The weather is perfect and the light was perfect and this picture is not edited. You won’t believe me, but this is actually what popped out of my camera:
We crossed back over to the other bank and I found the restaurant I had went to with my classmates when I was attending Le Cordon Bleu. It was neat to see it again–that was a fun dinner.
Okay, I’m not proud of what happened next, but I saw stairs, and I heard music in my head, and all of a sudden I thought I was in the middle of Funny Face. If you’re lost, you can watch what I’m talking about here. If I have time, I fully intend to recreate the entire scene.
Somehow, Jessica and I managed to get ourselves lost again, not seriously lost because we knew the general area, more turned around, I suppose. We discovered many interesting places along this new route: a store that sells Japanese dinnerware (closed–DAMN–I could spend a small fortune on Japanese china) a church where we saw real live monks and nuns. I loved that. We peered in the windows and watched as they talked to each other. It was fascinating. Then on the way back, we discovered that there was a huge, modern, absolutely beautiful Monoprix exactly one minute and thirteen seconds away from our front door. I think Jessica was about to explode.
Along the way we stopped in at an interesting looking boulangerie where I bought a demi-baguette and Jessica had a raspberry tart. Both were blah. Not that impressive, not bad, but nothing you need to go back for.
Back in the apartment I made a quick dinner of Monoprix-brand ravioli (insanely good) and topped it with chipped parmesan. It was one of the best things I have eaten in a long time and one of my favorite things to eat in Paris. I lived off of those raviolis for months!
After dinner it was time to go Gaga hunting again. I turned up her new single, which I love by the way, and got my dance on for a little while in preparation. Jessica did not join in. I thought we should check along the Champs-Élysées. All the fancy hotels are around there, so it was as good a place as any. Jessica was simply not quite as enthused as I was.
When we got to the street, I began to pose fiercely, calling Gaga to me with my fashion sense and flair for the ‘broken-down Barbie doll’ look. Unfortunately, all my efforts were in vain and I did not find Lady Gaga. I think she was probably looking for us at the same time and then we missed each other. It is the only logical explanation.
What follows are pictures from the Gaga hunt:
As I said, none of this worked. Quite a tragedy in my opinion. I am fairly sure that if Gaga had met me, she would have swept me off into her land of unicorns and whiskey and we would have had a riot. At least, I like to think so.
Instead we walked to the Place de la Concorde and did a little jig where the guillotine used to stand that chopped off Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI’s heads. Legend has it that the streets used to be stained with blood of all the unfortunate victims of the French Revolution. Gruesome, yet fascinating.
We took the train home and then crashed. (I still kept my eyes open for a hint of Gaga, but, I doubt she takes public transportation.)