Tuesday, Day 2: So, Paris is huge. Obviously. It's also revered for its incredibly efficient metro system, which I appreciate. But I can't handle metros very well. I try to avoid them when I can. So these past two days I've been walking everywhere! Which, in theory, would be fine except for 1) I don't own walking shoes, and 2) I repeat: Paris is huge. On Day 1, I went to Les Grands Magasins for literally no reason at all, and then I walked all the way back to my hotel and it took forever. Stopped for dinner along the way, but that's about all I did on Day 1. I went to Rue Charonne on Day 2 and FINALLY found the perfect sneaker: Spring Court, which is a french brand and it was on sale!!! Score. Then I walked through Étienne Marcel for some more shopping, and walked again. And some more. The blister situation on my entire body is a bit unbelievable.
I had a roasted chicken for dinner on Day 1 at Café Gustave near the Champ de Mars. It wasn't all that exciting other than the fries being excellent (I just had to Google if fries were invented in France and apparently they were... so they do their food well, I guess). And I had my first apéro! Kir Royale, maybe a new fave. When I finally got back, after about 20k steps, I took a bath, watched "Ensemble, C'est Tout" (very odd movie, as they typically are) and drifted blissfully off into a full night's sleep.
Which is unfortunately not the case for this evening. It's approx. 4:30 AM here, and I've been up for two hours. I'm reaching insane hunger levels, the kind that would normally develop in the morning, and all I have in my hotel room is a bag of chocolate (Bark Thins), a container of strawberries, and half a pizza. So naturally I grabbed the pizza. This tiny fridge did not accommodate the large pizza box, so I had to fold the pie in thirds and place it in a shower cap so it would fit. Cringe. But it's pretty tasty, and I got it from a pizza place around the corner.
On the topic of restaurants in Paris, I'm noticing a few things. First, there's a cafe/resto on like every corner, and despite slightly differing decor they're mostly the same. Which is fine because they're all adorable, with those terraces that have the pretty woven outdoor seating sets, all facing the sidewalk.
Which brings me to my second observation: The way Europeans all face the sidewalk. Everyone knows this, but I didn't give it much thought until today. I like people-watching just as much as the next person, but this is obnoxious. I walked down a hip street today around lunch time, known for cute boutiques and lots of restaurants, and every single one had terraces filled with people. I watched them like, size up every person who walked by, as if pedestrians were on a catwalk. It made me super uncomfortable and also reminded me of a passage I just read in Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast", where he talks about how Parisian Cafés are where people go to be seen (though that was the 1920s, I am growing to think it is still the same). To be seen or to see. But maybe that is a well known idea of cafes and I'm just not understanding. Love the cafes though. Walk down any street and you're bound to find a cute one.
My third and final observation is that it's super hard to find healthy food. I may have mentioned this already, but I'm trying to be as healthy as possible while abroad, though that's not to say I won't indulge, or try all the local foods... etc. Anyway, all these delicious carbohydrates were making me crave a refreshing salad (I know, I hate myself too), but that in and of itself is difficult to find. They have them prepackaged at most boulangeries, but they're not very appetizing. Most restaurants offer a few types but they're either super expensive or also not that appealing (like, covered in seafood, for example). It's mostly just large meat plates or pizza/pasta, which is fascinating. I'm not too upset about being forced to eat pizza, but it's just making me realize that Minneapolis is huge on health so I'm used to having plenty of vegan paleo gluten-free options on the menu. They throw bread at you here. Almost literally. So far I haven't even been able to go two hours without being presented bread or an enticing opportunity to eat some.
But anyway. After shopping around on Day 2 and getting lost again, I had walked about 25k, so now we're up to 45. Is this how Parisians eat so much bread while keeping the pounds off? Maybe. The following slideshow is a small collection of some photos from the past few days. I have millions more but I just haven't edited them :) Stay tuned for more, my friends.