Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Creme Brûlée

When I arrive in a new city I get all jittery to get out and about. 
My time is limited and so I need to start seeing the sights. 
Like now. 
And Paris was no exception. 
Irregardless to the fact that I was lugging around twenty extra pounds.
Twenty extra pounds that made me very top/front heavy.
We decided, in our overly frugal way, to walk everywhere that we could. 
We took the subway to farther off neighborhoods. 
But once there we hoofed it. 
Up steep inclines. 
Around mysterious corners. 
Is that a cafe?
Let's get a creme brûlée. 
Berets were bought. 
Postcards were sent back to the States. 
We bought a collar for our dog from a sweet French woman who owned a shop that sold petite puppies. 
She spoke no English. 
We spoke no French.
We pointed our way to a purchase. 
We meandered near the banks of the River Seine. 
Past tea houses. 
Do they have desserts?
Let's get a creme brûlée. 

We tried to see it all. 
The Louvre Museum that houses the infamous Mona Lisa. 
She was hard to see really. 
People were twenty deep to gaze at her amused face. 
I preferred the large portraits that adorned the halls that took us to her. 
The Rodin Museum. 
Where The Thinker contemplates near The Gates of Hell. 
The Moulin Rouge with it's red windmill. 
Everything in that city is mesmerizing. 
The bridges have gilded flying horses atop them. 
The parks are immaculately maintained. 
I don't remember seeing much garbage. 

Dogs and death are everywhere. 
Dogs ride the subway.
Sit in shops. 
Frolic in parks. 
And there are cemeteries. 
And tombs. 
Napoleon's Tomb. 
He was encased within six coffins before entering his crypt. 
To keep everyone away. 
They have an underground cemetery. 
The catacombs. 
Where people were deposited under the streets of Paris in 1786. 
Piles and piles and piles of bones under the feet and homes of the people of this city. 
Cimetière du Père Lachaise. 
A cemetery overlooking the city on a wooded hill. 
We saw Jim Morrison's grave. 
And the final resting places of Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Isadora Duncan, Chopin and Balzac. 

All of the walking made for a very hungry pregnant woman. 
I ate bread. 
And ham. 
And creme brûlée. 
And snails. 
And creme brûlée. 
Did I mention that I ate creme brûlée?
Upon returning home my obstetrician was shocked to see that I had gained 10 pounds in one month.
I sheepishly smiled and said that I had just returned from Paris. 
All was forgiven. 

One thing we did notice as we were traveling around the city...people talked to me. 
Not to Chad. 
To me. 
Standing on a street corner figuring out where we wanted to go, French people would stop to ask me directions. 
Sitting on a park bench to rest my swollen ankles, someone would stop to chat. 
They were always a bit bothered when I shook my head and said "American."
I think it was because I was so roundly pregnant. 
Or it may have been the jaunty scarf tied around my neck. 
I guess I looked Parisian. 
I'll take that as a compliment. 

To be continued...


  1. It makes me feel better about my trip to Argentina with VERY Little Spanish skills after reading this! ;)

    1. Point and smile Carla. Point and smile!