Finally, I have a chance to post some Paris photos. But first, the hotel story!
We arrived in Paris at Gare de l’Est and the hotel we had booked was just a short walk from the station. 9Hotel seemed like a cute hotel, modern in the way I like my hotels. Struggling in French (and the girl behind the counter struggling in English), we were told there was some kind of water (?) damage and that that our rooms were unavailable. The girl said she had rooms for us at a nearby hotel, and handed us a map. It was a BEST WESTERN but I figured hey, it’s Paris and maaaaybe it wouldn’t be too bad.
We headed down the street and checked into the Best Western. At that point, I decided that I would NOT be staying there. There was nothing wrong with the room, but it was UGLY. I have a fiery hate for chain hotels with ugly carpets and ugly walls and ugly paintings on their ugly walls. (I know it sounds snobby, but you have looked up and seen the name of this blog, right?)
Anyway, I was willing to stay in the 9th (almost the 10th, really) for a nice boutique hotel, but I was not willing to stay there for a gross Best Western. I went online, and quickly found an acceptable hotel in my favourite arrondissement. The two best French speakers in the group (Mike and Michael) headed back to 9Hotel to argue their way to a refund. In the end, it was Amex who saved the day. “Just book another hotel and we’ll take of it,” they said. ALWAYS BOOK YOUR TRAVEL ON AMEX BECAUSE THEY ARE AWESOME.
We scrambled out of the Best Western and hopped in a cab. We arrived at the third hotel of the day, tired, but happy to be in a better location. “Wouldn’t it be funny if this hotel had water damage too?” we had joked in the cab. Well, never joke about that kind of thing, because it turned out that this hotel was actually overbooked and THEY were ALSO sending us to another hotel. It was just kind of hilarious at this point.
Again, (and with warranted trepidation) we headed down the street to the fourth hotel of the day. Hotel #4 turned out to be pretty nice and we were very relieved. It was actually parfait — the hotel was cute, the location was amazing (a block away from the Jardin du Luxembourg), and it was a million times better than the Best Western.
No ugly walls! No ugly paintings!
Much better than a Best Western.
Tired. (But wearing my new MBMJ scarf!)
After all this, we immediately headed to a cafe across from the Jardin du Luxembourg and ordered a bottle of wine. Wine cures all, non? Aaaahhhhhhhhh.
More drinks in the Latin Quarter.
Any country where Nutella crepes are drunk food is the best country ever. The guy making the crepes told me that I “look like Japan.” (Do I look like an island?)
The next day, we grabbed some sandwiches and headed to the Jardin du Luxembourg. So pretty. The weather while we were in Paris couldn’t have been better — 24 degrees and sunny every day.
Les fleurs très jolie!
Kind of meta.
The Sénat! (Note the sky — NOT A CLOUD IN SIGHT!)
Lounging the grass.
I don’t know the French word for picnic, but if you’re going to have one, this is the place to do it.
Île de la Cité has a flower market every day, but on Sundays, it’s a bird market (Marché aux Oiseaux).
The bird market actually made me depressed. Poor birds.
Insert a bunch of photos of the Seine here. Oh wait, I did.
We ended up at Pont Neuf, and decided to take one of the boat tours out of sheer laziness. We’d all done the Seine tour thing before, but an hour of sitting in the sun and staring at pretty scenery was appealing.
Dinner was at a place called Fish la Boissonnerie, a seafood and wine restaurant. They speak English, but it’s not tourist-y, and the food is delicious.
Raw scallops, mmmm. I didn’t take a photo of the bread, but OH MY GOD it was the best bread I’d ever eaten. I think we went through at least three or four baskets of it. I would eat here again just for the bread.
In between eating bread, I had linguine with poutargue — so good!
More wine at the famous Les Deux Magots.
Pretending to be a literary elite?
Another bar in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. You have to savour all the patios and warm weather opportunities when you live in Toronto.