Eurotrip, part three: On my own

I have friends living in Italy, and I was eager to see them once Chuck left Paris to return to work in the States. However, I didn’t even want to try and battle the craziness that I imagined would be Italy on Easter weekend, so I decided to wait. Oddly enough, I had expected Paris to be completely shut down on Easter Sunday, even going to Monoprix to stock up on groceries beforehand in anticipation of everything being closed. But it was just the opposite! I ventured out for what I thought would be a peaceful stroll in an empty city, and was met with parades, live music, and crowds all around.

(Sadly, I have a great video of a string orchestra playing outside the opera house that I wanted to share here, but I just realized I can’t upload videos. Dammit!)

When Chuck left, so went my last barrier to letting myself indulge in all the delicious sweets Paris has to offer. It’s not that he wouldn’t have allowed it (on the contrary, he had kept telling me, “I see you eyeing that chocolate/those macarons/that gelato. You don’t have to worry about wearing a wedding dress anymore!”) but I still felt some bit of anxiety about being a glutton where others could see. But now, the gloves were off, and I sought out the good sweets like the Ladurée store on the Champs-Elysées, said to have the best macarons in Paris.

Oh Paris, where have you been all my life?

Where have you been all my life?

The reputation is deserved as they really were the best macarons I’ve ever had, but then again macarons are kind of like pizza in my opinion – they’re pretty much always good. Besides, at 3 Euros each, I’m not sure I feel the need to go back when the bakery downstairs from me sells them for 1 Euro and I find them completely satisfying.
Thankfully the sugar binge got old after a while, and with all my sightseeing I was doing a ton of walking and I only swelled up to the size of, say, a car instead of a house. Ugh, dieting really does mess with your mind. I actually started re-reading How to Have Your Cake and Skinny Jeans Too, because I’m worried that in my fervor to get wedding-thin I screwed up my ability to eat normally, but I digress. I love being in a walking city again! One of the things that drives me nuts about Virginia is that there’s really nowhere to walk in town – you have to drive everywhere, half the streets don’t have sidewalks, and many of the ones that do aren’t really safe to walk on anyway. I’ve been averaging about nine miles a day here without even trying, and getting some culture in the process.

The weather warmed up considerably, nice enough to enjoy the outdoor gardens of the Rodin Museum. Here’s one of his most famous works, The Thinker

The weather warmed up considerably, nice enough to enjoy the outdoor gardens of the Rodin Museum. Here’s one of his most famous works, The Thinker

…and here’s Rodin’s Gates of Hell, inspired by Dante’s poem and straight out of your nightmares!

…and here’s Rodin’s Gates of Hell, inspired by Dante’s poem and straight out of your nightmares!

The Orsay Museum is huge! So many great paintings, especially if you enjoy Impressionism

The Orsay Museum is huge! So many great paintings, especially if you enjoy Impressionism

The paintings were lovely, but I LOVED the scuptures

The paintings were lovely, but I LOVED the scuptures

I made the mistake of trying to do all of the Musee d'Orsay in one day. I loved it, but I had definitely reached my max art capacity by the end of the day! I saw so many famous works of art (like this Van Gogh self-portrait) but got to the exit and realized that I didn’t remember seeing any of Renoir paintings at all, even though I’d been through every room in the museum.

I made the mistake of trying to do all of the Musee d’Orsay in one day. I loved it, but I had definitely reached my max art capacity by the end of the day! I saw so many well-known works of art (like this Van Gogh self-portrait) but got to the exit and realized that I didn’t remember seeing Renoir’s famous paintings at all, even though I’d been through every room in the museum.

There are a couple of odd things I’ve noticed here in Paris, like the lack of accessible internet access (important for blogging, of course!) I’ve started frequenting Starbucks of all places because of their free wifi. It’s bad to drink Starbucks coffee when there are so many great cafes around, but I’m desperate to stay connected to Chuck, plus there’s a Starbucks around the corner from the apartment. Or at least, there used to be.

The homeless guy adds a nice touch, I admit

The homeless guy adds a nice touch, I admit

Something else that’s odd is that there seems to be a fast turnaround for shops. This Starbucks was quite busy when we first got here, and then it literally disappeared overnight! I remember we went looking for it right before Chuck left, and thought we’d gone crazy because we could no longer find it. And this wasn’t the only place that vanished. Exhibit B: a laundromat that we had used. Here one day, and completely shut down the next time I went to wash my clothes.

Is the stigma of having American customers really so bad that they had to blow up the sidewalk too?!

Well, I guess I won’t be doing laundry today.

Chuck laughed when I sent him that picture and suggested that maybe it was like how a mother bird will no longer want its baby bird after a human touches it: “Oh merde, the Americans found us! Time to close up shop!” I really hope this isn’t true because I’d hate to lose the bakery downstairs!

Springtime at last! The Paris adventures continue soon!

Springtime at last! The Paris adventures continue soon!

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