04.02.2008 - 04.06.2008 50 °F
I,m writing from a small town in Normandy called Coutances and am three days outside of Paris via the beaches at Normandy.
My first two hours in Paris was a lesson in the daily life of French truck drivers and the in,s and out,s of the Paris airport importation process. Needless to say I got a lot of looks from the very French looking truck drivers (smaller, more sophisticated version of US truck drivers) when the forklift delivered Bonnie at the foot of the wearhouse entrance.
I wasn,t prepared to like Paris as much as I did: The Seine river meandering through it,s heart, the bridges, the uniformity of the old buildings, the Eiffel Tour peaking through an alleyway when you;re not expecting it. The famous museums, well manicured parks and clean streets all added positive vibes.
I don,t think Paris would have gotten the same rave reviews if it wasn,t for my host family, the Gentils, friends of my Aunt Amy and Uncle Dan Martineau who set it up for me (Arizona hosts, X_Country Arctic Expedition ,06). With this opportunity I was able to experience a little of the daily habits of a Parisian family for example, eating. Dagmar, my temporary mother, prepared scalloped potatos and breaded veal one night. My farewell meal was very informal and included assorted cheeses, sausages and baguettes from the Sunday market...classic. My host Father, Philippe, aside from being the breakfast chef, took me out on night cruising the streets of Paris finished off with a beer at a bar inside the Lourve.
Below, a picture from the Gardens at Versailles, former home of the Sun King Louis the 14th and short afternoon trip from Paris
On Saturday the Martineaus arrived from the western coast of France where they were researching their family roots. My cousin Grace turned 16 that night and in celebration we had an elegant dinner a place named the Crystal Palace. It;s a little of a let down knowing I will never eat a fancier meal this whole trip.
Much thanks to The Gentils, Aunt Amy and Uncle Dan. Without them I surely wouldn,t have loved Paris so much.