20 February 2009
Wow! I can’t believe it has been a month since my last entry- shame on me! I promise to do better in the future. For all that almost four weeks has gone by since we moved into our place, I was only actually here in Paris for two of them. Here comes a brief re-cap of what I’ve been up to…
22 Jan: Move into the Sevres Apartment. Cute place, but FILTHY!!!! I spent three furious days doing nothing but scrubbing. I also bought some throw pillows for the couch. Not a bad addition, I must say. Here are some photos of where we live:
29 Jan: Jon and I head off for a week in the Brittany region of France, on the west coast across the Channel from England. We dog-sit for our landlords, the Francois. Dolly is a fourth-month old Airedale terrier. Super cute; not very well behaved. We stay in the Francois’ 16th century mansion called Les Tranchaundières. It’s a malouinière or a corsair’s house. A French bishop in the 15th century gave these pirates the legal right to pillage the waterways off the coast, thereby insuring their financial success. Many of them built stately homes in the area surrounding St. Mâlo, and Les Tranchaundières is one of them. Gorgeous place- stately rooms and a huge, oak banister that twists up three floors. The kitchen still has the enormous fireplace once used for cooking, complete with holes for the spit and the bread-baking area in the back. We also have use of a car, and so are able to explore many of the little towns along the coast. One day during the week, we experience real snow- the kind with the pretty flakes. It is something of a fluke in these parts and brings the locals out to see it as much as the tourists.
7 Feb: Jon and I have a crazy Parisian day/night. We start out in the morning with a hot breakfast from the BIA (short for Breakfast in America diner where they serve pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bottomless cups of coffee- priceless!). From there we head on to a massive wandering of the Right Bank, including most of the Marais. We stop into our favorite pub in the late afternoon to find that Ireland is playing France in Rugby. The place is packed. We feel the need to join in the festivities. After my Irish brethren soundly kick the Frenchies’ asses, we head to Le 24, another favorite spot in the Latin Quarter. It serves the BEST traditional cassoulet and coq au vin. We eat and drink merrily. We run into Olivier, the guy we met on our first night in Paris, who invites us out with him. The rest of the evening is a bit of a blur, but I do remember being in a brightly colored apartment with some of Olivier’s friends. I do not remember falling down, repeatedly, which I apparently did on the way home, thus bringing the crazy Paris day to a successful close.
13 Feb: After meeting Jamie in London, I head to St. Lucia to celebrate Megan’s wedding, which was AWESOME. Beautiful bride, beautiful location, surrounded by friends- it could not get any better. Plus, two days later, I’m the lucky recipient of a great surprise when these same friends organize a little 30th birthday extravaganza for me- sailboat in the Caribbean, rum punch, and sunshine. What could be better? Needless to say, I am reminded of how lucky I am to have such great friends and to be able to spend four days in the Tropics with them.
18 Feb: Arrive home (weird to call Paris “home”) to find a bottle of vintage Veuve on the counter for me. It’s part of my birthday present. The other part will involve a trip to the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz as well as dinner at the restaurant in the hotel!!!! I cannot wait- I get to dress up and pretend I’m living in the proper Paris- the one between the wars when all the intellectuals and artists I love were running rampant through the streets of this town. We have reservations at 8 pm on Saturday, which will give the champagne the proper time to cool and give me a chance to plan my outfit. Glitz and glamour here I come!
All in all, not a bad first month of this year of adventures. I’m gearing up for our first visit from friends- Crystal and Brian get here on March 3rd. I need to finish setting up the apartment and trying to figure out just how exactly the microwave/oven works. But, let’s call that a story for another day.
P.S.- I’ve jumped on the Picassa band wagon and have uploaded tons of photos to my albums there. Check it out at http://picasaweb.google.com/kate.d.houston . Plus, I’ve added a calendar and some photos to our webpage, so you can explore that if you wish at http://www.houstonsinparis.com/