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Angelina and the Shopping Trip...


After my 'jammies day, I'm ready to roll! After breakfast of fruit, cheese, yoghurt and green tea, I load myself up with everything I need for a day away from my apartment...
~ snacks, gum, kleenex, antiseptic hand wipes, camera, freshly charged batteries
~ photocopy of my passport
~ map book of Paris, with stickies marking all of the necessary bus routes, metro stops and shopping places along the way.

And the biggie...
~ money.
Minimum 50E.
Any less and I need a pit stop at the ATM.
I have an irrational fear of being in a strange location where no one knows me and I have no money to eat or take the metro, the bus or a taxi home. So, to calm that part of my little Miss Inside Scaredy-pants, I make sure to leave home for the day with enough cash to eat two meals out and take a taxi home if I need to.
Weird, I know.
But, that's one of my little idiosyncracies and I take good care of it, because that gives me a safe feeling inside.

Walking along the side streets of this area of Paris is always a simple joy for me. I can window-shop for hours, stopping for a caffe creme and a tarte tatin or a lemon tarte. Today, I've decided to go back to the shops in the Carrousel du Louvre, because there are some great gift items there that will be perfect for the people on my gotta-get-a-gift list. I saw earrings in a cool little jewelry shop in the under-the-Louvre shopping area that would be perfect for my house sitter, some lush bath goodies for my front office person, and in the BHV I
found the perfect bronze Made in Paris day bag for my realtor locum.
By the way, I just found out that BHV is actually Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville! I had no idea. That place rocks!

BHV is a department store with the most amazing basement level ever. I could hang out there for ages...housewares galore, just for starters. I love that place! It's just a short walk back from the Seine and Notre Dame Cathedral. If you've never been, then make some time and go! I promise, you'll love it a lot!

Speaking of the Seine, as I walk along beside it, the Bateaux Mouches are flying in both directions...people on one boat waving frantically and calling out to the people in the other boat, who are doing the same!
It's so funny!
" 'Allo!"
" Oui, 'allo!"
Back and forth, across the water between the two boats loaded with people, and the occasional English "Hi, y'all!" tossed in for variety.


I've worked up quite a sweat by now, and I think it just might be the right time to try out Cafe Marly, located in the Louvre, overlooking the pyramid entrance. It's located outdoors, sheltered by the ancient corridor of the museum, and the breeze and shade will be a welcome treat for me. As I enter the corridor leading to the cafe, I see a server, who looks all of fourteen years old and I ask him if I may sit down at one of the empty tables in the shady side of the cafe.

"Oh, non, Madame!" he replies in abject horror.
Pointing at another server who looks about a year older than this guy standing in front of me..."You MUST ask his permission, Madame!" he whispers to me, shakily.

So, I walk over to the other server, ask him if I could please sit down and order something to eat and a beverage to go with it, as well.
"Sun or shade," he says to me.
"Shade," I reply.
"Here," he says imperiously, pointing to a scrumbly-looking table sitting right smack-dab in full sun, right beside his cashier's stand.
"Non, M'sieur," I reply, "In the shade, please."

A long silence follows.
He looks at me and then at the table he has chosen for me. Then he looks back at me, as if to say, "Take it! That's all there is!"

I shake my head, wave him away and turning, walk towards the entrance to the cafe, where there are many, many empty tables and chairs sitting in the shade, with a cool breeze blowing over the entire area. I am tempted to sit there and wait for service, but instead, I leave the cafe and walk across the street and down the block to Angelina, once again!

A glass of chilled champagne and a lemon tarte fills my tummy and gives me a sit-me-down-and-pick-me-up, and I feel human! The servers in this beautiful cafe are kind and generous, and every single one of them is all about making us feel welcome, not like we are too much of a bother. I'll be back here again. As for Cafe Marly, I might try it again another day, but I'm not sure...

The rest of my day is taken up with a long and slow meander through the streets of this city as I make my way back to my apartment. A very B-grade movie kind of day...nothing too much and nothing too little. Just an ordinary day, the kind I like best!

"I only drink champagne when I'm happy, and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone.
When I have company, I consider it obligatory.
I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it - unless I'm thirsty."
~ Lily Bollinger, when asked when she drinks champagne


Comments (4)

Brenda, it sounds like you're having a marvelous time. The photos are great, the food ones are making me very hungry.

Enjoy the rest of your trip and be safe.


Thanks so much for your comments, Linda!
I think that Paris would be a difficult city to not enjoy while visiting!
It's so nice to know that you enjoy what I scribble down about my travels...


Sounds like you are having a lovely relaxing holiday, Brenda!!
I love all your food photos!
And who needs these oh-so-superior maitre d's anyway!!!!
Enjoy the rest of your trip!

Thank you, Shelagh!
Oh-so-superior M'sieur Maitre d was all of 19 years of age...too funny to be that supercilious at so young an age. Hopefully, by growing older, he'll have a few of the rough edges smoothed down a bit by life itself!
I'm happy you are enjoying my writing!


Brenda, I am seething with envy. The pictures of food ar fab! I can just picture it all now...the meandering and window shopping and eating..thanks for the visuals!! Drink more champagne!

Happy that it makes you happy, Leslie!
I love this part of a trip...not doing anything that I HAVE to do, only what I want to do...perfection!
Wait til I blog about getting locked in the crypt underneath the cathedral in Chartres today...there's no glossy food photos for this little adventure...only photos of the early cathedral...over and over and over, til the guide came a couple of hours later with the next tour! He was horrified that we were still locked inside! Too funny...I said this could be a Stephen King horror movie..."Locked Forever in the Crypt of Doom!" aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh.....
Take care,

Barb Cabot:

Brenda, I've been away in San Francisco for a week and just now catching up. I love your photos and your writing. You are such a good journalist...you write from the heart and when I read your words I really feel as though I am there in Paris with you...sitting in cafes, sipping champagne (which I adore any time!) and filling my soul with the sights, sounds, smells of Paris. Thank you for taking the precious time to share your experiences with all of us. Loving your words. So happy for you.

Thanks, Barb!
I truly love being in that city and even more so, in my beloved Chartres. It is the best kind of vacation...
I'm delighted that you are reading and enjoying!
Au 'voir,

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 16, 2008 12:15 PM.

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