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Day 2 ~ A chance encounter and How much were those caramels!!

We managed to get ourselves out of the apartment a little before 11am on Saturday morning. We walked slowly over to the Bastille Brocante and spent almost 2 hours looking at all kinds of marvelous pieces of jewelry, furniture, artwork etc that we will never be able to afford! The estate jewelry was to die for and I did see a few pieces that I loved, but I reminded myself a few times that being able to eat while we were in Paris was higher on the totem pole than making my earlobes look pretty!

Hunger made us leave the antique fair a little after 1pm. We weren't in the mood for a heavy sit down meal so we went looking for some takeout sandwiches. We walked over to where the Richard Lenoir market is held on Sundays hoping some of the takeout merchants would be there, but no luck, so we walked back to the Marais area. Just as we were passing Place des Voges, I remembered the great sandwich I had had last year from our little corner bakery on rue de Turenne (the same one you went to recently, Denise!) and we walked over to see what they had. Den got a chicken curry and I had tomatoes, mozzerella and black olives, both on delicious little baguettes. Den also opted for a pistachio square, we got some canned drinks and we took our bounty back to Place des Voges for a little picnic. Our baguettes were sssssssssssssoooooooooooo good and the sun even peeked out to warm us while we were eating. Boy, are the pigeons and sparrows bold in Paris! A few crumbs had fallen from our sandwiches and before we knew it, we had 5-6 birds fighting for them. Even when we kicked at them to fly away, they just looked at us with disdain, moved barely an inch and came back trying for more. One even landed on my knee, hoping for a bite of my sandwich! After satisfying our hunger, we sat and enjoyed the warmth of the sun for a few minutes. I decided that since we were so close to rue de Turenne, we should walk down and see if Jacques Genin's temple of chocolate was open on Saturdays. It was! We went in and found it very modern and sleek. The very handsome man behind the counter kindly took us upstairs for a quick look at the area where all the magic takes place and then we came back downstairs for coffee and goodies. Den ordered tea and I had a cafe creme and we shared a Genin degustation of 7 different ganaches. They also included 4 pistachio caramels. OMG, I don't know which was better, the chocolate or the caramels! The ganaches simply melted in our mouths and the caramels were still soft and chewy, giving us little bursts of pleasure with each bite. Jacques Genin is reknown for his sweets and until recently, the only way you could enjoy them was to frequent one of the many restaurants which served them. He did not have a retail outlet until he opened his rue de Turenne oasis in December of 2008. Now everyone can enjoy a little Genin treat whenever they like.

As we sat and savoured our goodies, the sitting area started to fill up. I noticed a couple sitting behind us and the woman looked very familiar. Not being know for my shyness, I went up to them and excused myself for being so bold, but were they the Laidbacks from several Parisian websites' fame? Well, indeed they were and Jim and Pat came over and joined us for over an hour. We discussed several people we knew through the internet and they were kind enough to share their knowledge of the many Parisian restaurants they've been to over the years. They have been coming to Paris for years and stay for weeks or months at a time. They are a treasure trove of knowledge about great places to eat, but more than that, they are the nicest, warmest people you could ever hope to meet. We sat and chatted like we were old friends and time went by in a flash. Before we knew it, it was time for us to go our separate ways and we wished them a wonderful time for the remainder of their visit. I could hardly believe that we would happen to be in the same place at the same time and that I would recognize them from pictures I had seen in the last year or so! Life is so much fun and you just have to enjoy these moments whenever you are lucky enough to come across them!

We decided that we wanted some of those delicious caramels and ordered a few different flavours, about 8 caramels in total. I made sure Den knew that these little beauties sold for 110 euros/kilo and that he didn't go mad buying loads of them. Imagine my surprise when we got to the cash and the total was over 35 euros for 8 caramels!! Not wanting to look cheap (which I kind of am!) I just paid the bill and we left, joking that we would have to have another picnic for dinner after spending so much on a few candies! We walked back to our apartment, at first slowly and then at a faster pace once the rain started. We stopped in at the BHV, I was looking for some makeup but decided I had already spent my allowance on the caramels (I know, let it go, but I just couldn't!) Once we were back home, we looked at our bill and realized that there was an error. I really didn't think that those little caramels could have weighed so much and the bill said they were 0.078 of a kilo. 100 grams would have been 11 euros, so our total should have been about 8 euros, which it was. It looked like the person who weighted our purchase also added our coffee and treats to our bill. Unfortunately, we had already paid that bill to another server before we got up to get our caramels. So this is what you get when you are too shy to ask questions at a higher end place (but not too shy to accost strangers at another table, apprently!) We paid our bill even though we had sticker shock because we assumed it was right, even though it couldn't possibly be! Oh well, live and learn. I may screw up my courage and go back later this week with my bill and see if we can get a refund (it about $40 Canadian, not much in the scheme of things, but enough to make me think about it!) I would even take my refund in treats instead of cash!

We took a little nap before heading out. Our plan was to try to see 3 different museums since it was the Nuit des Musees. We took the metro to the Grand Palais to see the Andy Warhol exhibit but those plans were quickly dashed when we realized the lineup was about 5 hours long. Now I like a good silkscreen of a soup can as well as anyone, but we were not using up our first Saturday night in Paris waiting in line! I guess the Nuit des Musees has become more popular since we were first here 2 years ago and got to enjoy the Louvre virtually by ourselves on the same night. Den said he was willing to skip Monet's Waterlillies at L'Orangerie since we had seen them last year and we decided to walk over to the Rodin Museum. We walked across our favourite bridge in Paris, the Pont Alexandre III and made our way to the Rodin at a nice leisurely pace (made more leisurely by Den stopping every few minutes to take pictures). The Rodin had a special event planned for the Nuit des Musees where you could view the statues in the garden by little flashlights they were handing out. It was very cool to walk around in the darkness finding The Thinker and the Burghers of Calais and seeing little beams of light bouncing around everywhere. I think those who enjoyed this unique event the most were the children who had the flashlights around their heads and were having a grand old time beaming light everywhere.

We decided to have dinner at the Museum restaurant. Although Jim had been kind enough to give me a restaurant recommendation in the area, I didn't make reservations because I didn't really know where we would be at a certain time. By the time 9:30 rolled around, I was worried that we would have a hard time finding any decent place that still had room for us on a Saturday night, so we settled for Caesar salads and San Pellegrino (they weren't serving wine that night!!) The salads were actually pretty decent and they ensured we could keep walking without dissolving into puddles of hunger. After watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle with The Thinker in the foreground, we left the Rodin and started walking back. We decided we would walk as long as we could and see where our feet took us. At one point, we hit rue St Germain and headed east. We passed all the famous cafes and thought about stopping, but for some reason, kept going. At one point, we saw a cute little street full of light and people and headed towards it. We had found the famous rue Buci by happenstance! We walked towards the Seine and enjoyed seeing all the bars and restaurants full of tourists and locals enjoying a rainy Saturday night. As we were strolling, we passed a little bar with a jazz quartet playing and decided to go in for a drink. It was called Cafe Laurent and was adjacent to a cute little hotel called D'Aubusson. We stayed for over an hour, enjoying the very good quartet playing some very cool jazz. Den had a nice port and I had a great glass of Bordeaux. We left a little after midnight and walked over the Seine to rue Rivoli and back to our apartment. It was still drizzling but we were warmed by our drinks and just being in Paris.

We were able to talk to our sweet little grandson via Skype (the greatest invention for the internet EVER) and went to bed a little after 1:30am.

I've now fortified myself with coffee, pain au chocolat, strawberries and yogurt and we are ready to head off to the Richard Lenoir market. We will also pick up our Simply Red tickets at the FNAC near Opera Bastille an then we will see where the rest of the day takes us..............

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 17, 2009 3:00 AM.

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