Sunday, August 7, 2011

Just A Few Things...

I'm writing on a very uncooperative iPad so I'll cut to the chase...

- When in Paris, go see the Montparnasse cemetary. It manages, somehow, to be chic and poignant simultaneously. And Sartre and Serge Gainsbourg are there. It's a place of elegant repose, where, unlike in Pere Lachaise, the residents have no fear of potential deportation.

- It rains constantly and unpredictably here - and hard enough to wreck your expensive shoes, so beware. It's actually shocking how the weather patterns work. Sun is followed by massive downpours in a moment. Note: Not like Florida showers at all.

- You know you're a woman of a certain age and stage when you actually return a main at a Paris restaurant because it's just not good enough. The follow up plate was much less mediocre and I'm almost sure that no one spit in it :-)

- I rapidly approach food fatigue though, tonight, I did opt to sample three brands of ice cream back-to-back. After a Sauterne. I sort of hate myself right now and I feel like a pig - not the cute kind.

- Velib rental bikes are not well-maintained so rent with caution. We had to return two for problems like bad seats and tires with low air. And the payment system is like something out of the dark ages - I mean, early middle ages.

- I have a zillion photos queued for the next post (Scott has taken some awesome shots, really) but it's very challenging to work without a reliable computer. Those of you who aren't totally bored by such things, please stay tuned. This city is outrageously beautiful.

- At this point I'm willing to say that, while Paris wins for clothes shopping (OMG), Amsterdam gets my vote for food. Not that both countries don't do each of these very adequately...

- If you want to see the Catacombs, get thee to the guichet at 9 a.m. or call it a loss. We arrived (stupidly, and knowingly so) at noon, and the line was longer than the venues open hours. Damn. I do love the creepy stuff...


  1. Interesting that you should say you preferred the food in Amsterdam. I don't go to France often. Maybe five times in the last thirteen years, and, against expectations, the food has been disappionting and sometimes even terrible!?! It's easy to get consistently tasty food in Itally, though after a week it gets a little same-y. The food in England is much,much better than the stereotypes about British cuisine. London has amazing variety and the countryside is groaning with cozy gastro-pubs serving local organic produce.
    Have fun in Europe really enjoying your observations.

  2. Thanks for the wonderful tips! And, might I add - you are so cheeky with the French - it must be the (French?) Canadian part of you - I myself are scared of the French. So much so that I admire that your returned the dinner! I return everything (and am the person to return things for my family and friends - I actually enjoy it!) - But in France - oh so daring!

    I"m glad you had a glorious trip!

  3. Good for you returning your main course!

    We had the same experience with restaurants in Paris, though we felt that cafes were consistently very good. If you live in a foodie city like Toronto or San Francisco, it's easy to be disappointed.

  4. Sigh. Wish I were in Paris now...

  5. I've only been to Paris once and it was for far too short a time (3 days). I need to get back. Your posts are making me green with envy.

  6. Karin: Your version of not going to France often seems lavish to me :-) I, too, am surprised to have loved the food in Amsterdam. I haven't heard it spoken about for its food before.

    Pammie: I'm too old to be scared :-)

    Susan: I haven't been to SF in years, but I do remember the food being terrific.

    Wendy: I second that.

    R: I want to go back there right now. Really.