Good Morning. It was a bit overcast today, and I booked a trip to Giverny and Versailles on Saturday and needed to print out the voucher so I had to go to a Copy Top and have them do it for me. It began to sprinkle as I walked over, and I got a little lost, but with the app I have on my phone with GPS I eventually found it. It's called next stop paris, and you can figure out how to get just about anywhere in the city by metro and walking.
I realized as I walked there that the partner bank for Bank of America is right around the corner, so I could use the ATM without foreign transaction fees. There is also a drug store if necessary. I bought two umbrellas before I left the states, but decided to leave them at home. It didn't rain enough to make it necessary today, just made it muggy. I realized that I had left my earrings in my airbnb, so I thought I'd see if I could pick something up before lunch.
I headed via the metro to Bastille area and had a quick breakfast of baguette, croissant, fresh squeezed OJ and a cappuccino at Indiana right across the street from the Bastille Thursday markets. After breakfast I walked through the markets, and would have bought tons of things if I was going directly back to the room, but I had lunch reservations at Chef Alain Passard's Arpege at 12:30 so I skipped buying fish or anything perishable. I did however buy a cotton scarf- I guess I should share that I am addicted to scarves- I have so many and only wear a few of them. But since I left them all at home I really needed this one (LOL). I also bought a beautiful French tomato, and a basket of figs for later.
Around 11:00am I headed back to the metro and went to St. Germaine du Pres station, and it was supposed to be a 6 minute walk to Arpege so I stopped at the Café deux magots and had a Sancerre as a reward for my pending walk to the restaurant. After I finished, I crossed the street and began my walk. I walked and walked and walked. I was in an area where there were very high end shops and a few embassies. There were police everywhere. I walked and walked and finally, sweaty, with no more lipstick, messy hair that had been sprinkled on, and no jewelry, I walked in.
They seated me right near the front door, but behind a divider facing into the room. It was perfect being tucked in a corner, where I could see all the guests, and everything coming out of the kitchen across the room. I was the second table for the lunch seating but it soon filled up. The acoustics were great in there, you really were not bothered by talking at all. It was really fun watching the orchestration of service, and people's faces as they tried each new dish that appeared. I was taking pictures and attempting to get descriptions of each dish, but jet lag made remembering what they said even in the moment an impossible task so I just did the best I could, and probably got some of the descriptions wrong. That's OK- no one will die. I had sparkling water throughout, and the bread and butter (both a hunk of butter, or a melted butter) were great and never ending. I started with a glass of champagne, and because I had also had that glass of wine before I walked in, I mostly drank the sparkling water until near the end when I indulged in one more.
Every single course was amazing. All together I believe there were 14 courses, and not one that I disliked even a tiny bit. Even the soft boiled egg with sherry vinegar "hot and cold egg" was delicious and I pushed past my distaste for eggs that are runny or separated to take advantage of this unique experience. I am so glad I did.
When it was all over, I waited for my check to appear and by that time I was really woozy, and almost falling asleep in my chair. I finally expedited it, and since I paid cash I was able to depart. I started walking back to the metro station, but it was hot and humid, and I was so tired and woozy I decided to take a cab back to the apartment. I saw a taxi rank up ahead and headed back.
When we arrived at the airbnb, I paid and hopped out of the cab. I headed towards the door and mistakenly discovered I thought I had left one of my bags in the taxi- the one with my passport, my money, my credit cards. I walked back towards the street in hopes that that taxi would reappear. I kept looking in my larger bag and my grocery bag. I couldn't believe it. I tried not to panic and to figure out what I was going to do. Then I looked down and saw that I had put the strap over my head and the bag was right there. An old man on a bench motioned that I should close up all the zippers. I tried to explain what he had just observed, but he just motioned to zip up the bags, so I headed back and inside, took everything out of both bags, opened the windows, and went to sleep.
Waking up at 11:00pm I decided to eat the tomato and figs along with some chocolate pudding I bought last night, upload my photos to flickr and continue with the blog for today. I am a little hot right now, but going to take a sleeping aid/pill and get some rest so I feel a little more grounded tomorrow for my Taste of the Left Bank small group tour with Paris by Mouth. Catt White and Kalisa Wells have given me some great leads on other places to visit after the tour ends at 1 or 2.
Good night for now! To see my pics, if you aren't on FB, you can click on the flickr link on the right and it will take you to my page.