In case you missed it, you can read Part One here.
I think we all underestimated the size of the Palace de Versailles and how long it would take to tour the estate, and because we had plans for that evening we didn’t get to see all of it. In fact, we hardly had time to grab some quality French food at McDonald’s before catching the RER back to the city.
|McD’s in France has taters, And they are fantastic, FYI.|
Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking, “who on earth goes to France and eats McDonalds?” Just so we are clear, this was not the plan, it was simply the only place we could grab food quickly before catching our train. And we couldn’t miss it, because we had somewhere very important to be…
The Fleetwood Mac Concert!
And it was fan-freaking-tastic. Sure, I didn’t know all of the songs, but who cares, they put on an excellent show. Incredibly high energy. And sitting through all the songs I didn’t know was worth it just to get to see them play all the ones I love, like Landslide and Go Your Own Way. Lindsay Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood’s guitar and drum solos gave me chills. They are unbelievably talented musicians. Unfortunately all my pictures from that night pretty much suck.
I’m a girl who can only be on her feet for so long, and needs quite a bit of sleep. And after the concert, I was exhausted. I would have been completely content with going back to our apartment and crawling in bed. But Shelley and Jennifer were having none of that. They wanted to go to an Authentic Irish Pub in Paris and have a drink or two. I wasn’t at all interest because, like I said, I was tired, and also, I did not like Irish pubs. However, I’m such a wonderful team player that I gave in and agreed to suck it up and go.
We took the metro all the way to the Red Light District to a small pub called Concoran’s. It was a nice enough place, but the beers were 7 euros. And the girls weren’t impressed because they played Top 40 instead of traditional Irish music. Because of that we decided one beer was enough to have there, and that we would head down the street to another Authentic Irish Pub, O’Sullivans. Again, the beer was pricey and the DJ was playing Top 40. This was not what Jennifer had envisioned, so we set off back across the city to the Opera district for one last stab at finding an Authentic Irish Pub. And Jennifer found it, Kitty O’Shea’s. Well, that’s what she thought anyways, because apparently it was Top 40 night everywhere. We had a drink there anyways. And regardless off the lack of Irish music, we had a good time, the staff was awesome, and since it was slow they chatted with us quite a bit. At this point we were kind of tipsy, from our three drinks, and Jennifer decided to ask them, “how can you call this place an Irish Pub, when there’s no Irish music?” And then we were educated. “Irish pubs, don’t play Irish music.” Jennifer wasn’t satisfied with that response though, because she had been to Ireland, and they played Irish music in the bars, and she promptly told our Irish bartender this fact. And he started laughing. “Tooooourist Trap!” So, as it turns out, I do like Irish bars. They serve cold beer, and don’t play Irish music.
The next day someone was hungover, hint: it wasn’t me. So instead of doing anything too strenuous we decided to explore St. Germain and the Latin Quarter. It was nice to spend a day just strolling through the streets, enjoying our surroundings without an agenda or schedule.
I was particularly interested in this area of the city because it had been highly recommended by some of you, and it was frequented by the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso. And I find that intriguing. Which is probably why I jumped at the opportunity to eat lunch at Les Deux Magots, a stop on the “Hemingway Tour” in my Frommer’s guidebook. It was the first time I ever ate in a restaurant where the waiters wore tuxes, and was definitely the place where I decided that I don’t like French food. Let’s just say, it is my preference that my food be cooked, well. Raw just doesn’t do it for me.
Honestly, I probably would have really enjoyed the meal if there hadn’t been nutmeg on my bread (blech!), and the egg had been cooked better. I like mine flipped and cooked on both sides, half raw is nasty. The food aside, the experience was nice. We sat outside, enjoyed the fresh air, and the service was quite good by Paris standards. The prices weren’t too steep either, I really expected to pay more given the fact that its a popular tourist spot.
After lunch we visited the oldest church in Paris, Eglise Saint Germain-de-Pres. It’s so beautiful that it was hard to believe that it is over 1000 years old. We were captivated the arches, large wooden doors and stonework. I’m not a religious person, but there was something about that church that warmed my soul and I couldn’t help but light a candle there for mine and Shelley’s grandmother who passed away in 2006. I know she would have loved that we had went there.
We finished our Left Bank adventure with a stop at Shakespeare & Company, an old and tiny, yet gorgeous book store near Notre Dame that sells new and used books, everything from the classics to new releases. It was another suggested stop on the “Hemingway Tour” and was very busy. There was a line up to get in, but we waited and I’m glad we did. It was like a bookstore straight out of the movies. Tight cramped spaces, floor to ceiling books, and ladders to help retrieve them. I didn’t buy anything, but I really wish I had. I love books and want to add some classics to my collection, and it would have been nice to have had one as a souvenir.
If you’re concerned about not liking the food in France, don’t worry about it. There’s tons for normal American food to be found. We decided to balance out our less than wonderful French lunch, with take out from the always delish Pizza Hut.
|Pepperoni and chicken. Yum.|
Check back tomorrow for Part Three about our day trip into the countryside of France.
Today’s tune is my favorite Fleetwood Mac song.