Five weeks after I departed I am finally back, along with an extra five lbs, half a new wardrobe & a few extra digits to add to my growing credit card debt. My once Costa Rican tan feels as though it has faded, which makes me exceptionally downhearted. I think the last week spent in the cooler western region of France, along with the distinct lack of cocoa butter application is what did it. Although, for the very little sunbathing Ellie & I actually did, I think we managed a pretty decent bit of tannage.
We arrived back last night, after blowing off Paris (lack of funds you understand)& it felt like we only left last week. [sigh] Looking back through the photos this morning (over a thousand, so I didn't do too bad), I was reminded of the times we had in Paris, over a month ago! I may have become a little weepy. By the time we were in La Loire, I was starting to feel homesick, now I'm back, I'm starting to feel Frenchsick.
So much has occurred in the past month that I honestly don't know where to begin! I guess the best place would be where it all started...Paris.
I had ideas in my head of how our time in Paris would be spent. Unfortunately, I did not anticipate the forty degree weather & my inability to acclimatise. Here's me thinking it would be fashion shoot central, snapping away at the pair of us looking très chic, smoking our YSLs, reading French Vogue & sipping coffee...The reality was us sweating one out, looking très fugs & me wincing at my first sips of espresso.
I told Ellie that finding Ladurée for our first taste of macarons was absolutely essential, so she brought up a map on her phone of where they were & we went off in search. We chose one that was near to where our hotel was, thinking this would essentially make our lives easier...A good forty minutes were spent trailing up & down the street looking for Ladurée & those infamous macarons. We asked a few people, who all seemingly had never heard of the place. Then, we finally asked someone who knew what the fuck we were going on about & he pointed us in the direction. Off we went. Got lost some more. Then, FINALLY, we found Ladurée. Which was pretty lucky, because I was on the verge of giving up.
Sadly it wasn't one of their actual tea rooms, it turned out to be their concession in Galerie Lafayette. I no longer cared. At that point I just wanted a bloody macaron! We bought six (three flavours each) & left to go swimming.
We met this really nice French guy Thomas, whilst cooling ourselves by a water feature one day. He told us about a swimming pool, situated on a boat in the Siene, we could go to for a swim. Considering the weather, we thought this was probably the best idea we'd heard all day. So off we go after our trek to Ladurée, swimwear all bagged up & there before us is the precious boat & there infront of the boat is a great big queue.
I think everyone else probably had the same idea as us. It was like a one in one out job. We waited in the sweltering heat for a good half hour until we began to lose our patience, with sweat trickling down our faces. We completely gave up on the idea though, when we saw that you had to wear a swimming hat. That was breaking point. I haven't worn a swimming hat since I was at least ten years old!
We left the burgeoning queue & went to sit down nearby & eat our macarons. Unfortunately, the holy macarons had begun to melt somewhat in the heat. I tried my first one, framboise. Not entirely what I was expecting. My other choices were not the best; pistachio & rose (what was I thinking!?). Ellie chose much better flavours. Our favourite being the salted caramel. Bar that one flavour, I would not eat macarons again.
Out of my Paris list of things to see/buy/do, I think Ladurée was probably the only one I actually managed to do. Which is somewhat depressing, considering I didn't even like the bloody macarons! I did not take up drinking coffee. I never found YSL cigarettes. We never partied down at the Social Club, or went for a drink at Le Baron. I didn't even buy French Vogue! Although I did eventually purchase a copy in La Loire (thank God!).
Regardless, I still had a good time in Paris, even if it was a sweaty one. I may revoke my ambition of living there though...Unless I can have mobile aircon at all times!