My sister just spent her spring break in Paris with me, and I had my first try at hosting someone here. I think it went pretty well. Now, I had an easier time at it since she had been here before, and we weren't compelled to do the 'touristy' things. Riiiiight. That's why there's a big glowing picture of the Eiffel Tower. Well, the Eiffel Tower is my one guilty pleasure. Although I haven't been to the top since I have been here, I get a little (okay a lot) giddy when I see it all lit up, and especially when it sparkles! Frances and I had a lovely walk along the Seine at sunset, and we were able to see the tower illuminated and then do that sparkling light show. Fantastic. And in my opinion, a must when you are here.
Next cliché to check off the list: une crêpe. We got a tip as to where to find the 'best'. Well, I am sure there are about 50 of these places in Paris, but this one is close to my school, and a great quick lunch before jetting off to class. Frances and I each got our own, and pictured is her "jambon/oeuf/fromage" Ham, egg and cheese of course. Now this vendor, (the small orange awning on Blvd St Germain, between the Haagen Daas and the Juice Bar) makes each crêpe fresh, which I have noticed isn't all that common unfortunately. Often, the crêpe stands have crepe skins already made, and they just reheat them with whatever ingredients you order added à la minute. However, this stand is the real deal, also providing two different batters: A heartier blé noir (buckwheat) batter that makes a thicker crêpe skin perfect for loading on your meat, cheese, egg or all of the above. The lighter white batter is for your sweet crêpes, just a sprinkle of sugar, or the ever so decadent nutella-banana combo. Crepes and Paninis (hot pressed sandwiches) are pretty common to see being eaten on the go. But forget a cup of coffee for while you walk. That's what cafes are for. Being here, you almost forget coffee 'to go' exists.
We were lucky to have Mardi Gras fall during the week Frances was here. Even luckier to have an old friend in town too, visiting some friends who live here. Important to know all this, since these friends enlightened us on THE spot to be for Mardi Gras (in my humble opinion). Favela Chic ('ghetto chic') is a brazilian restaurant/bar/club that went all out for the ultimate night of Carnivale. We had sampling of brazilian food and drink, and for me that was feijoada and a caipirinha. Yum and yum. Then we spent the night dancing it off on the completely crowded, I can't believe they let all these people in, dance floor. The DJs were playing a complete mix of everything, inlcuding american, french and brazilian hits, but nothing was as exciting as when I found myself dancing in front of a drum line. Somehow, they squeezed 10 drummers in to put on a live show for us. Definitely a night to remember.
For the most part, Frances and I didn't pack our days with sight-seeing, rather we just wandered the city, eating and taking a few photographs. Hopefully she got a taste (pun intended) of what it is like to live in France, even though at the time I had only been there a month. Everyday I add something to the list of places I have to try, and find I might just not have enough time to do it all! If you're in town, we can cross a few off the list together.