First day in Paris

This trip started out much more eventfully than planned. It’s a good thing that Jenny opted for an excessively early start from Park, because first we sat in unforgivably bad traffic on our way to Reagan National and then we stood in an unforgivably motionless line at the American counter. Then, when we finally started working with the somewhat hapless agent, we hit two significant snags: (1) they refused to ticket one of our kids because his passport is set to expire in May and (2) they issued identical boarding passes to two boys who are brothers and instructed us, “this can be fixed at the gate.” Problem (1), rooted in the laws of France, meant that we had to leave one young man stranded in Arlington; problem (2), rooted in incompetence, meant that a TSA agent looked at us like we were crazy and said, “you know that if he has a boarding pass with his brother’s name, he can’t go through?” Problem (1) is awaiting resolution (kid is still in the States); problem (2) was solved by an American employee who actually knew what she was doing.

The flight and arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport were uneventful. Sent the kids off with their host families and then Jenny and I took an Uber to our AirBnB place at 22 Rue Davioud, in the 16th A. Lovely garret apartment (once you make it up all 6 flights of starts or an ascent in the teeny-tiny claustrophobia-inducing elevator). Tons of light, high ceilings.

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Walked over to the Marche de Passy to pick up stuff for lunch. Shopped at lots of different little stalls; then went to Desgranges to stand in a nearly-out-the-door line for baguettes. It’s a beautiful shop, and they’re getting ready for Easter.

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Returned to our apartment for a fantastic picnic lunch: 3 cheeses, 2 breads, baby strawberries, and Italian artichokes and eggplants stuffed with vegetable mousse.

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Crashed for a much-needed, jet-lag-inspired nap. It was good to have a restful afternoon after all of the running around of the past 24 hours.  I can’t say that we’ve seen much of Paris yet, but there will be plenty of that in good time.

Jenny and I walked to dinner at Le Recepteur, just under 10 minutes from our apartment.  As an aside, I’ll note that it’s cold in Paris.  Really cold.  Bone-chilling, why-didn’t-I-bring-my-down-coat, it’s-San-Francisco-in-the-summer-and-what’s-wrong-with-California cold.  Brrrrrr.

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Dinner was simply amazing (and yes, I’ll likely be writing a lot about food when I am in Paris — it just seems logical).  We shared everything:  eggplant soup with perfectly soft tiny octopus; shrimp in a magical red sauce with smoked eggplant beignets; a lovely salad of greens, beets, green apple, pomegranate seeds, and candied nuts; a soft pinot noir from Bourgogne; and a tarte au citron like nothing I’ve ever had before.  Wow.

 

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