A year in the life of living abroad. La vie parisienne.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Yesterday we set out to visit Paris's underground graveyard, simply called, Catacombes. This is a huge complex of subterranean caverns stacked floor to ceiling with skeletons, (real ones!), about 6 million of them. Upon exiting the Metro station and crossing the street, reality set in that the crowd of people lining the sidewalk were in line waiting to enter the Catacombes. The line looped around the entire block. We took our place at the end of the line and quickly surmised that the wait would be too long. So we bailed and came up with a plan B. Plan B was to walk the surrounding neighborhood in search of the bedding store we had seen an ad for (so as to fix our bed crack). We had also remembered a yummy creperie restaurant in the area and we had successfully built up the excitement factor for our Plan B by promising a yummy crepe to the girls. Mother Nature, in the form of rain, dumped on our plan B, making walking without jackets and umbrellas pretty uncomfortable, especially when we didn't know exactly where we were gong. After ducking for cover under awnings and still getting pretty wet, the girls were growing hungry and cold and the creperie was nowhere to be found, so we ducked into the Galeries Lafayette to dry off and warm up. Picture ducking into Sun Valley Mall. Picture again, Sun Valley Mall, and its food offerings. You get where I'm going with this? Instead of sitting outdoors on cane chairs alongside a Parisian boulevard enjoying a sweet crepe and the accompanying people-watching, we wound up at the equivalent of a Cinnabon that served undrinkable cappuccinos, cramped in a corner on uncomfortable bar stools. This was not my idea of fun. I did not come to Paris to hang out at and eat in Sun Valley Mall. I was pretty soured upon our day at this point. Enter Plan C. Finding a movie theater that shows movies in English became our next mission of the day. We succeeded and headed to the theater near Paris's beautiful Opera to catch a showing of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". Afterward, we wound our way back to our neighborhood in search of a restaurant with outdoor seating. The rain had stopped and we were intent on dining al fresco. We came upon a quaint little square surrounded by restaurants with outdoor seating on all sides. The only one with a bit of available seating was the Korean BBQ joint. Diners were eating from their own individual woks with flames underneath. Nola especially liked the idea of eating with a flame underneath your food. Turns out, it was a very delicious meal and we were treated to live music by a wandering musician. By now, I was feeling satisfied with our day; my needs had been met and Sun Valley Mall was just a small speck within the context of an otherwise dandy make-it-up-as-you-go-along kind of day. (My apologies for the sideways video).