|Snow in Paris|
|Snow beside the Metro, Latin Quarter|
|Snow along the Seine|
Our plane arrived late on Monday and we didn't reach the hotel until nearly 12. We were supposed to arrive at 6:55 a.m., which is super early. That would have meant we would drop our bags at the hotel and stumble off sleepily into Paris for the day. Earl and I rarely sleep on the plane, so basically we lose a night's sleep.
Because we got here late, our room was ready. We checked in, had a shower and wandered to Rue Mouffetarde for a meal in the middle of the afternoon -- not lunch, not dinner.
|Me, looking tired.|
|My first meal in France -- canard de confit, bien sur. Duck thigh|
And that was it for us. We did some walking, but after our meal and some wine, we returned to the hotel room and slept for about 12 hours.
|Luxembourg Gardens looking brilliant in the cold sunshine|
|The bar at the restaurant where we had breakfast.|
What difference does the letter make? About $500 over the year. Our auto insurance quote was 38 euros ($43) a month with the letter. Without the letter, it would be 76 euros ($86) a month, or double the price.
After visiting the bank on Tuesday to get an appointment (set for Wednesday at 9 a.m.), we went for a walk in the snow.
Notre Dame is not far away. And then we walked along the Seine, watching the snow fall and feeling the crunch of the snow beneath our feet. I had on a hat and a scarf and they both were soon soaked by the fat flakes as we walked farther into the city.
|Notre Dame in the snow|
|In front of the Tuileries|
We learned the basics of the Charleston, but don't expect to see up performing it any time soon. We also met a lovely couple who love in Spain. She's Macedonian and he's from the UK, but lived in Germany for 20 years so has a slight German accent to his English. They were as bad at the Charleston as we were, so it was all just a fun experience.
That night, we decided to try the restaurant next door for dinner. I had noticed on their menu that they served aligot, which is a delicious mashed potato-cheese mix that we had when we went hiking last summer in Aveyron.
But the restaurant turned us away because they were full. Luckily, they had an annex down the street that served the same menu ll La Petite Périgordine, which means the little girl from Périgord. From the crowd even at the annex, we knew that we had stumbled upon a good restaurant, and we weren't disappointed.
We both started with scallops and leeks. They were served in a delightful scallop shell and the seasoning was amazing. The leeks were little slips of bites underneath the scallops.
|Yum, one of the best things we ate, leeks and scallops|
|Earl got the beef with the aligot, mashed potatoes and cheese.|
The morning we were preparing to leave for France, I noticed that the bruise had dripped down to my ankle and my foot, leaving it an atrocious purple color. I texted a physical therapist relative and he recommended not running until the bruise had dissipated. I listened to him about the running, but I walked plenty of steps, according to my Fitbit.
On Wednesday, we had lunch with our friends Linda and Maurice. Linda blogs at Frenchless in France and they have been so helpful to us. This time, they sold us their car since they are living full-time in Paris. As expected, there was quite a bit of paperwork to take care of. We started it on Wednesday after lunch then finished it on Thursday once I had secured car insurance.
Thursday morning the letter from the insurance company had arrived, and I stood outside the bank branch at 9 a.m. The nice young man sat with me at his desk for two hours, missing an appointment (a rendez-vous) at 10 because my insurance hadn't been completed. We were on the other line with the bank man in charge of insurance, finally we were approved, both me and Earl for 58 euros per month rather than the 38 or 72. A happy medium I guess and we can continue to work on getting the price down.
Next, I walked to the bus stop to cross town to Linda and Maurice's apartment to fetch the car. But a sign on the bus stop said a severe accident delayed the bus for 16 minutes. I looked at the handy app for maps which told me that I could walk to a metro stop and go underground, avoiding the accident.
I love using the maps on my phone for directions. If I push "transit," it tells me which train or bus to take and which direction it should be going. That saves so much figuring out time.
|The Apple map gives me the breakdown of how to negotiate the transit system.|
I drove across Paris, slowly, calmly, avoiding other cars and drivers in a hurry. I pulled in front of the hotel and Earl loaded up the suitcases.
I continued to drive, following the GPS to exit Paris and follow the highway to the south.
|The road to Quillan heads south!|