Oh man, friends. What a rough couple weeks, bloggly-speaking. As predicted, beret-wearing and croissant-eating took up entire days, leaving absolutely no time for blog-writing, which is a shame, because now that I’m back stateside, I’m going to spend the next couple entries making you very hungry, rather than spreading it out organically. Sorry. Anyway, on with it!
A very late arrival followed a very late departure into a very rainy Paris, and we very gratefully settled into my friend Mathilde’s cozy and quirky apartment in the seventh arrondissement, which featured such merveilles as: wifi, hot showers, fresh bread and nutella, and of course a friendly face. Our first dinner, appropriately, was at Le Relais d’Entrecote. By the by, this should be everyone’s first dinner in Paris. It’s easy: they only (ONLY) serve steak-frites, so the only decision you need make is how you would like your meat cooked. It’s delicious — and they even refill your plate with a second helping of meat slices, thinly sliced golden fries, and the crucial, wowzer mustard sauce. And it’s quintessentially French, and isn’t that why you came to Paris?
The next day, valiantly defying jetlag, we woke up earlyish and hightailed it to Hertz. First off, the rental car — a 2010 Diesel Volkswagen Golf — came out of the garage with only seven kilometers on it. Brand new! Second of all, we drove from Paris to Bretagne, a little over five hours, and can I tell you, we only used half a tank? And when it started to rain, the windshield wipers turned on automatically and adjusted themselves to the level of rain? This car is the greatest. Everyone should own this car. The drive was pretty fun, too. French radio stations are ridiculous. One (Sky Rock?) came back from commercial with the clearly enunciated, IN ENGLISH phrase, “F*CKING. GOOD. REMIX.” That is allowed?
We got to my aunt and uncle’s house that evening and fell upon an enormous heap of langoustines, a tagine, cheese, bien sur, and fruit salad. The following day, the entire family came over and we ATE. And DRANK. For the entire day. More startling yet: in the garden!, because it was a beautiful, brightly sunny afternoon, in defiance of stereotype and my own expectations. We even tanned a little! I think Billy was in awe of the sheer volume of food, all topped off by three desserts (fraisier, apple tarte, chocolate mousse), but we both tucked in enthusiastically.
No sooner had everyone left around five than it was time to leave for dinner — luckily, preceded by a long walk in the one-time artists’ colony of Pont Aven. We had a wonderful meal of galettes/crepes (savory “crepes” are, properly, made with buckwheat flour and called galettes; “crepe” actually refers to only dessert ones) and hard cider on the ocean. We rolled into bed several hours later, wishing for about three more stomachs and five more days here.
Luckily, we still had a week left for Paris…