OK, so Thursday we tried to go to a certain boulangerie recommended in our Pudlo Guide. The croissants were allegedly so good, they'd make you weep. It was closed (or possibly under new management), so we decided to skip it. We went on to Poilane boulangerie and bought their legendary cookies. They're called Punitions (Punishments). They're buttery and no too sweet. If that's the punishment, then I'll have to misbehave more often. (ba-dum-bum)
We also got croissants at Poilane and they were meh. I suppose they do the cookies so well that people don't come to them for other pastries.
We walked around looking for an ATM and would up all the way over by the Tour Montparnasse. From there, we hopped the Metro to the area around my old school. It brought back a lot of memories. The school is still there, and someone has finally opened up a shop of American goods right around the corner from one of the school buildings. In my day (1990), there was a shop like that somewhere in Paris, and I think I may have past it once in a Taxi or something. It was too out of the way to visit regularly. Fortunately, there was a supermarket near my apartment that carried chips and salsa for when my munchies were homesick. I bet that shop is very lucrative. Familiar food goes a long way towards curing homesickness and your first few months living in a new country are nothing but homesickness.
Our reason for going there was to get pain aux raisins from the boulangerie right by the school. They're big, custardy raisin buns and I've never found better. I still don't know the name of the shop and I can't swear I'd be able to give directions, but if you're going to Paris, let me know and I'll look at the map and try.
Since we were full of pastries at that point, we had a quick taste and saved them for later. My second trip to Paris, I got that pain aux raisins and one bite made me feel 19 again. It was so exhilarating that I saved some to share with the school friend I was staying with instead of gobbling it all down myself.
When I tasted it this trip, I wasn't transported, but it was good.
We stopped in a cafe to buy cocoa so that we could use the bathroom. I love doing that in France--standing at the bar, next to men drinking beer, wine or liquor and I'm drinking cocoa. I drink alcohol, but my sweet tooth is stronger than my alcohol tooth. Especially around lunchtime.
We walked through the Invalides and took the Metro to Montmartre (where Amelie is from and where all the tourists go).
We climbed these stairs
past this graffiti
to see this view
and this church/cathedral/tourist attraction.
There were a lot of tourists and tourist traps. Trying to maneuver past the artists who want to sell you a sketch of yourself can be daunting, since they all descend upon you at once. I declined in French and one of the artists gave me attitude. The last time I was there, one of those artists hit on me. I'm not sure which encounter was more annoying.
We grabbed hot dogs for lunch. Hot dogs in baguettes, smothered in cheese, with some dijon mustard. So good. They served those at the bar in my school and we'd scarf them down for lunch during the break our of double-period Existenialism class.
HA and I hit the tourist shops to buy some presents. Montmartre is an artsy area, so the quality of the souvenirs is slightly higher than elsewhere.
And then we walked down those steps. At the bottom, we were accosted by some guy who had some sort of scam going on and just walked past him without saying a thing. (The only 2 places I've ever lived are NYC and Paris--being rude when necessary is not a problem for me). We went into the Salon du The I mentioned the other day (where the American woman was speaking very loudly outside). I had fancy tea--The Madagascar, with vanilla and nut flavors and His Awesomeness had some juice.
After the afternoon caffeine fix, we went in search of the Passage Jouffroy, which is a passage full of interesting shops. We got very lost, but stumbled across a chocolatier, A La Mere de Famille, where we bought some caramels for us and some chocolates for HA's mom.
We eventually did find the Passage Jouffroy and did some more shopping.
There were several fantastic toy stores and a great shop of movie books and posters. HA bought a book about Barbarella.
We went back to the hotel to rest for a bit and then headed out to dinner. We stopped into Dalloyau, a patisserie that was founded in 1802 to buy our dessert for later. We ate at a Moroccan restaurant. I had the chicken and lamb couscous and HA has the chicken and merguez couscous. My notes say, "So good!" My memory also says that.
We went back to the hotel to rest up and eat dessert.
On the left is chocolate, raspberry, caramel cake and on the right is chocolate cheescake. My notes here say, "Soooo good". Again, my memory agrees.
We watched some TV, including Naked Gun 33 1/3 (dubbed into french, of course) and some 1996 movie with Jean Reno and some guy who looks like Adrian Zmed that took place in the amazon.
And so ends Thursday.