Paris, Part Un (1)

11 Feb

Four months ago, I took a trip to Europe with one of my best friends, Emily.

Emily and I on a sunset cruise along the Seine.

We spent three weeks traveling through Paris and various parts of Italy. For the moment, I will show you some of Paris as there is no way I could possibly fit it into one post.

It was an experience, to say the least. We laughed, ate, cried, soul-searched, ate, drank, got lost, and ate some more. It changed us in ways that are difficult to describe to those who weren’t there. For the first time in our lives, we were dependent on no one but ourselves and each other. It was frightening at times, but wonderfully so.

There are memories from that trip that I replay in my head often:

The creperie with the chef who laughed with us for hours as the rain came down outside:

The tear I shed for a baguette so amazing that I am at a loss for words:

The traditional Napolitan dinner homemade by new friends in Paris:

The most perfectly cooked, perfectly seasoned pasta I've tasted!

"Macedonia di Frutta" - A fruit salad swimming in homemade limoncello. It's in my top 5 favorite desserts I've ever had.

Amedeo, Emily, Me, and Gilbert. They fed us the best food of the trip!

Where do I start?! If a picture is worth a thousand words then I could easily get another Master’s Thesis out of the photos I took.

I’ll focus on the experiences I’ve already mentioned.

Emily and I bookended our trip with visits to Paris because we flew in and out of Charles de Gaulle Airport. Our first stay in Paris was not exactly ideal. We didn’t know our way around the city, we found people to be generally unfriendly, and we didn’t have a decent meal aside from morning croissants and some unbelievably delicious falafel (who knew we had to go to Paris to find decent falafel?).

Falafel from "King Falafel." The man hand belongs to our friend, Mike, who is going to Grad school in Europe.

Our second time around was exponentially better. We stayed in the gorgeous Montparnasse district on the left bank of the river Seine. The streets are lined with adorable creperies. There were at least a dozen on our street alone.

Montparnasse

With so many creperies to choose from, Emily and I felt a bit overwhelmed, so we asked our concierge for a suggestion. With a big smile, he promptly stood up, grabbed his jacket, and in his thick French accent said “let me take you there!” He walked us across the street and a few wooden doors down to Creperie St. Malo, where he introduced us to the chef who would quickly become our best friend.

Emily and I sat there in the tiny, brick-walled creperie, sharing stories, jokes, and our love for food with this thin, dark-haired parisian woman as she prepared delicate zucre (sugar) crepes and hearty buckwheat galletes. She brought us a free pitcher of hard cider, a traditional accompaniment to savory crepes, or “galletes.”

We sat there as three hours passed in what seemed like minutes. We ate galletes that rendered us speechless: A perfectly cooked egg sitting atop the most glorious french cheese, tender bits of crispy potato, and buttery, delicate mushrooms, all nestled into a crisp, salty buckwheat crepe. It was heaven Paris on a plate.

The buckwheat gallete that changed my life.

We visited the creperie three times during our two-day stay in Montparnasse. We would sit there for hours, sometimes not saying a word to one another, simply enjoying the beauty and serenity around us. Other times, we found ourselves laughing uncontrollably. We laughed for so hard and so long that our friend, the chef, could not help but join in. There we were, the three of us, just laughing and laughing at the fact that we were laughing. We laughed until we were near exhaustion. It was a moment that I will always cherish.

I have so many wonderful memories like this, but as I mentioned before, I could not possibly fit them all into one post. You will just have to come back if you want more! See you soon!

Au Revoir!

-Lou

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One Response to “Paris, Part Un (1)”

  1. Mom and Dad February 19, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    You are becoming such a professional writer with great wit and the ability to make the reader want more…. Your French experience is fabulous. Good job Lauren!!!

    loves Daddo

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