Paris in November

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I  always imagined Paris as the city that I would visit once in a life time.  Instead, I have now visited this city at least 6 times!!!  I still remember my very first visit in 2007.  My first time to Europe, Tom arranged everything.    He found a super good deal at a Best Western right off Champs Elysses for 100 Euros for 2 –3 nights.   Today that same hotel costs about 150 euros a night.

I remember that very first trip vividly.    I had no expectations.  The biggest shock was seeing a guy pee on the street of our hotel at about 10 in the morning.  And then walking down to Champs Elysses avoiding dog poop at every step.  That was my first 5 minutes experience in Paris.  It shocked me mostly cos this was a very advanced city, known for culture – how could people be peeing and taking their dogs to poop without cleaning?  Neverthless, we had a romantic time.  The louvre was amazing.  And the streets –  oh every street was so beautiful.  I thought this would be my once-in-a-lifetime visit.

In my second visit with family in 2012 – we saw a man pee on the platform in a subway.  Needless to say, mom dad and everyone was pretty disgusted.  especially with the fithy subway – that EVERYONE takes.

In 2013, I was lucky enough to LIVE in paris for couple of months.  IN a beautiful apartment while Tom was on project.  Everyday I had overpriced French lessons.  After which I would roam the streets with my camera, happily getting lost in the winding streets.  I actually enjoyed the time alone. wandering alone.  The only frustration was I’d be half asleep by the time T came home past mid night.  Still, I shall always cherish these 2 months in Paris – it was a luxurious position.  TO be unemployed, living in a luxury apartment, studying french, and just exploring and enjoying and sleeping.   This was also the time when we experienced 2 attempted pickpockets (failed attempts).

Aunt Mary and cousin Fiona was coming to France so we decided to make the 4 hrs drive to Paris for that weekend.  As usual, T found again a nice hotel, 5 mins from a metro.  After we parked and walked out, I was taken in with the architecture in the area we were staying.  Yes, Paris is dirty, full of pick-pockets and crooks, disgusting subways.  And yet, there is a magic about the place – that lies in the ornate architecture of a once glorious past.  Something about its numerous winding lanes.  The stretches of beautiful buildings that make you wonder of its past.  How at some point, how many maisons and craftsmen were working to create a city with only beautiful thigns.

We met them at the viewing point for Eiffel Tower, and started out with lunch at a random café.  Surprisingly, my dish was pretty good, roasted duck , with very crispy skin and very crispy thinly sliced fried potato.  As usual, this trip was not without incident.  Aunt Mary got pickpocketed and lost her decade-old Celine wallet with credit cards and some cash!

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Christmas market at Champs Elysses where we got pickpocketed.

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I felt nostalgic going back to Montparnasse area where we had stayed last year for 2 months.  We walked into a random restaurant and it turned out to be a duck specialty place.  ONLY DUCKS.  there was just one dish that was pork – everythign else was duck.

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guilty pleasure – foie grois

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an okay coq au vin on the left
my duck tenders – tasted more like duck livers

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aunt mary’s pork sausage stew with kidney beans and pork belly.  This was very yummy.

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and.. I loved Tom’s best.  Duck steak! it was SOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOD!

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neighbourhood outside our hotel

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I just passed my driving license that Wednesday.
and picked up the new car 1 day alter on Thrusday.
and then Saturday we took this new baby to Paris!!!
gotta say, being in a BMW in paris felt very very luxurious!!!

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typical foggy view from Montmarte

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it was fun catching up!  As i rquested, Fiona brought me some super smooth stockings from June and stationery
A
nd Aunt Mary got me things to make soup to keep warm in the winter.

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Wow.  As much as I hate having to constantly watch my bag, experience pathetic customer service, tolerating the disgusting subway, this city still wowed me in this Nth visit.  I loved walking aimlessly, looking up at one majestic building after another. Something so romantic, elusive, historical.  It makes me wonder what might have been then, and what the architects of the city wanted for Paris.  I decided then that as long as we live in Europe, we should make it a point to visit Paris once in a while.

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