Thursday, January 27, 2011

La Vie En Rose: New Year in Europe

In honor of the one-year anniversary of Not Intent On Arriving, and this, my 100th entry, I'll be sending a postcard to every single person who comments here. If there's a chance I don't know your address, just shoot me a quick email with it. Thanks for staying with me for a whole year, guys!
Friday, December 31, 2010 – Paris, France We started New Years Eve day in fancy fashion, with a breakfast of pastries and hot chocolate at Angelina. I really love the place, but it was packed and one of our waiters was rude (one of the others apologized for him, which was really nice) and it was against our better judgment to have so much sugar so early in the day. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s never been, because it’s beautiful and has some of the world’s greatest hot chocolate and is really usually a lovely experience, but after this time, I don’t think I’ll go back for quite some time. If you do go, though, the Olympe is the pastry to get and l’Africain is the hot chocolate. Seriously. They’re amazing. We then walked over to the Musee de Louvre, where there was an incredible line, reminiscent of Versailles. We finally made it in and saw some art. I could say more, but really? That’s the Louvre. A lot of art. Most of which is famous, and most of which the average person doesn’t care about. The Mona Lisa is amazing, duh, but it’s always surrounded by a billion people (and bullet-proof glass), and the rest, I can take or leave. The place is just too damn big to really “see” anything there. The subway stop outside, however, has a bunch of windows with art in them. We’re not sure if they’re reproductions (we’re pretty sure they are, but it smelled way too much like urine to really check them out), but it’s still a really cool concept. So, that was the Louvre. Too big.
New Years Eve in Paris was something I’d really been looking forward to, and it turned out to be a lot of fun, but not at all like what I’d expected. It turns out that most of the French celebrate at home with oysters, baguettes, foie gras, and small house-parties, and so unless you have reservations at a 600+ euro restaurant, your pickings are a little slim. I’d originally hoped to wear my gorgeous red dress, but since most places were closed and we knew we’d be outside in the cold for a while, I decided to wear it to my quarter-century birthday party instead and wore something a little more sensible to our dinner. After finding one restaurant we wanted to try closed, and not finding the second one, we decided to head up north to Montmartre, where we planned to watch the fireworks from the Sacre Coeur, and try our luck. We found a little café there and had an enormous meal of soupe a l’oignion and coq au vin for me, canard aux miel for Roger – once again he picked the better meal. We’ve been drinking a lot of red wines on the trip, and decided to try one from the Loire Valley, Les Trois Garçons, this time, and found it a little dry. We finished at around 10:30 and headed up the funicular to the Sacre Coeur.
The Sacre Coeur is another Paris sight that neither of us had ever visited, though we’d seen it from afar before. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and I don’t know why the Eiffel Tower overshadows it so in the world’s mind. Because we were stuck in the funicular for about 15 minutes, we arrived too late to go inside, but we were able to walk around it and in the surrounding environs, and the whole area is really lovely, if a bit touristy. On my next visit, I would love to get there early on a clear day, and go up to the dome. Unfortunately, it was awfully foggy in Paris on New Years Eve, and so we weren’t able to see the fireworks go off at the Eiffel Tower, which is the main reason people go up and wait there. However, there were lots and lots of fireworks going off around us, and a variety of very interesting people wandering around, so it was well worth the trip, and a lovely way to welcome in the New Year.
We walked down to our subway stop, and I’m glad to say the first song of the New Year for us was an old favorite: Kids, blasting out of the window of a house party, where people were dancing and leaning out the window shouting, “Bonne Année". With a start like that, full of old and new, how could 2011 not be a wonderful year?

Next Up: Our last day in Paris!

5 comments:

  1. I have been LOVING your Europe photos and recaps. Makes me want to go back. And happy one-year blogging anniversary to you!

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  2. Your life is so warm and fun and fancy free. Your New Year moment makes my heart flutter.

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  3. I'm new, but can I get one too? i'll even send one back!

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  4. Absolutely! Just shoot me an email with your address!

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  5. I have been LOVING your Europe photos and recaps. Makes me want to go back. And happy one-year blogging anniversary to you!

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