On Friday, I started making HA take the notes, so that take on a different tone (and handwriting).
We had breakfast again at La Croissanterie. I had a cappucino and a beignet framboise (raspberry jelly donut, but even better) and His Awesomeness had a Chausse Pomme, which was a big ol' apple fritter. Breakfast of Champions, people.
HA's notes also say that we slept until 8:15 and that Jen did not want to get up. Grumble, grumble. Rotten morning people. Leaping out of bed in the morning just isn't normal. Feh.
We walked to Le Marais, which is the Jewish area, as well as the gay area. If you need to find an open restaurant on a Sunday, that's where you go. You can get fantastic falafel there. In fact, there are something like 5 falafel restaurants with 15 feet of each other on the rue des Rosiers. But more on that later.
Here's some interesting graffiti we saw.
And here's a bookshop we visited.
In case it's not clear enough in the picture, the name of the bookstore is Mona Lisait, or Mona Reads. It's a pun on Mona Lisa, which just proves that there's no escaping puns even on vacation.
According to HA's notes, this is where he bought the Barbarella book and not the other place. There were a few vintage embroidery books there, but since money was tight, I didn't buy any, since I didn't think I'd get any use out of them.
For lunch, we had falafel on the rue des Rosiers.
That is not where we ate. HA's notes make it clear that we did not eat at Lenny Kravitz's favorite place. We ate across the street at a place that had more seating. His notes also say "gooood." I would probably add another couple of o's there. The falafel lived up to my memory and in fact, eating falafel in The Marais was on the Must Not Skip part of our To Do list and it did not disappoint.
We went for a walk around the Place des Vosges and discovered an overabundance of art galleries. There used to be some souvenir shops and such, but now every single business surrounding the square is an art gallery (except for one cafe).
After that, we walked to the Pompidou Center (the modern art museum). We stopped in a Salon du The on the second floor of a building that faced the museum.
Check out my pathetic attempts to kinnear the tea salon:
I did a better job of kinnearing the view out the window of the museum.
After I had my coffee and HA had his cocoa, we walked around to the famous fountain and took pictures from every angle.
The Pompidou has an inside-out design. The escalators are enclosed, but only by glass (that's the tube in the picture above. No, the one above that.). My fear of heights was under control for the first few floors, but by the time we got to the top, I was petrified. Everyone else, including HA stood close to the glass and took pictures of the gorgeous view.
Meanwhile, I stayed back where I was not in mortal peril.
And even then, it felt rather perilous. We had to take the elevator down because I couldn't face the down escalator. HA's notes say, "Very scary escalators, but Jen was so brave!"
Apparently, he's expanded the definition of "brave" to include managing not to sit on the floor whimpering.
Um, yeah, there was art. We looked at it. It was all modern and stuff.
We walked back to the hotel by way of the booksellers along the Seine on the Right Bank. Since the sun was going down, they were all closing up shop. I did manage to buy an old book about Yuri Gregarin with lots of pictures. I gave it to my brother for Christmas. He and his friends used to have a whole business plan for opening a resort on the moon. He was an adult at the time. The plan was not entirely outlandish. So yeah, he likes the space stuff.
We had dinner that evening with my father's cousin Rick, who is a pilot and had just flown into Paris from the States (after doing a Colorado-Germany round trip earlier in the week). He took us off in search of a restaurant he'd been to before that had great beer and great mussels. He couldn't remember the name of it (except that it was monk-related) and wasn't sure of the location, but as we were walking along, we found it.
It's called Le Trappiste (as in Trappist monks) and they have belgian beers and mussels served in over a dozen kinds of sauces. The French, they know mussels. In the States, you'll usually find mussels about as big as your thumb. In France, they're much smaller--around the size of the top third of your pinky. They taste so much sweeter and tenderer that way. I got mine in cream sauce and they were sublime.
After we saw Rick back to the metro, we stopped into a discount bookstore and picked up a few things. We got some coffee table type books with sports photos to give as gifts. I picked up a pamphlet of Phildar knitting patterns and a book about the history of textiles. They'll get their own post.
On the way back to the hotel, we saw over a hundred people on rollerblades. We weren't able to figure out what was going on, but they did have a police escort, so it was clearly something organized and not a rollerblading flash mob.
We were so stunned, that they were almost gone by the time we remembered that we had a camera with us.
Back at the hotel, we watched a competition reality show looking for the next big stage magician. There were 3 judges who were professional magicians and 3 who were amateurs. Apparently, one of the judges is Ed Grimley:
Yeah, that guy still leaves me speechless.