Friday, May 15, 2009

WEEKENDS IN PARIS.........Not exactly The Ritz....

Welcome back to our last "Weekend in Paris".....we hope you have enjoyed our little tour of the beautiful sites of Paris......and now finally the not so beautiful sites.....Yes, we have finally reached the end of the trip and I thought before we head back to Georgia we would show you our luxurious accommodations........ Here is the street where we lived for the summer.....
The Rue de la Clef.....
Hey, that would be the name of daughter's blog!!
In the 5th. Arronsdisment it was in a lovely part of town with great shopping and the subway stop was right across the street....We were so excited the day we got there and with the daughter's expert map reading abilities.....did I tell you she can read a foreign map upside down and get you where you gotta go.....I find this to be an enormous talent...
we found our little one lane quaint Paris rue.......
I wish we could say the same about the building we were about to enter....
three flights up.....can you see how old these stairs are......Try carrying way to much luggage up those winding steps....I almost had a coronary on day one........
daughter on the other hand is small but strong as a bull....

Ofcourse....she even looked a little stunned when we reached our home away from home.....
I wish we had more pictures to show you.....I don't know why we didn't take more of the apartment.....and I use the term loosely......after all we did take 42 rolls of film....
I will try to take you on a verbal tour....
After you caught your breath at the top of the 3rd. landing you opened a very old door..... as you walked through the door to your right was a toilet in what appeared to be a closet....just a toilet...no sink or tub...
two more feet and you were standing in the kitchen.....
This is why the French are so thin.....If all French kitchens are this size you couldn't possibly weigh over 110 pounds.....

and what a kitchen it was.....first thing I noticed.....no oven....see that toaster oven on the cluttered counter.....I learned to cook a mean roasted chicken in that baby....

One more croissant and daughter would have needed Vaseline to extract me from between the counters.....But I made the most of things.....We ate all our dinners at home the entire time we were there....we would grab a bite out during the day time but I cooked every night....

walking straight ahead past the kitchen you walked into a small long room....Window to your left......futon along the long wall....closet across from futon....t.v. and a narrow table next to closet....Closet smelled of moth balls....to the right side of the futon was a door leading into the rest of the bathroom.....
a strange room....there was a hot water tank...a bidet...a weird tub...no shower curtain...and a sink...after a week or so demolition began on the apartment up above and every morning at 7:00 the jack hammering would begin.....one morning while getting into the tub I noticed a huge hole in the ceiling above my head.....Yes, the two Portuguese workmen had broken a hole in our ceiling exposing the bathroom to the world...They were two lovely men and they became our friends as the weeks went by....
The student that sub-let us the apartment claimed he had no knowledge that a total re-model of the above apartment would be taking place.......Oh, sure.
Now...every single street in Paris is scenic....window boxes with colorful geraniums.....lace curtains blowing in the open windows.....little patio's to sit out on....even tiny ones....what I'm basically saying is if you look out any window in the city of Paris you will see a pretty view.....
Except this window.....
Yes...this was my view of the City of Lights.....
scary......yes?
I put that plant there so I would have *something* green to look at....it was horrible considering what was all around us...
I usually would stay at home in the mornings while daughter was in class and when she would get home about 1:00 we would go out for the day.....
So all morning I would watch French game shows....that ofcourse I didn't understand....
and look out this window....
One day this is what I saw........
Some sort of French tour group peering inside these huge wood double doors that led into some sort of courtyard.....Something good must have been inside because the tour lady with the thumb...spoke for some time before spotting me above looking down at them.....
She saw me watching and asked me something in French to which I just replied....
"I have no idea what your saying".....
With disgust she just walked away taking her ladies group in tow....
we never found out was lurking behind those doors.....
Here I am saying.....
"What kind of crappy street is this?"
Where's the scenery....the French ambience?
did we have to pay extra for that?
They did keep the place clean....I have to say that much.....twice daily these green trucks would come around and hose down the streets......No "pick up after your dog" laws so I guess this has to be done... The daily food markets also leave a mess in their wake when they close down around noon and that gets hosed as well......It depends what time of day you are out and about....
You either think the French are slobs or you think they are extremely clean....

As I said in a previous post.....my name was plastered all over Paris....
this has nothing to do with the apartment I just had some left over pictures.....

I even had a whole bus line named after me.....

Well that's it.....our trip is over....We hope you enjoyed all our weeks showing you all over the city....it was a wonderful time and I would do it again in a minute....
Maybe when Miss Sophie goes to college she'll drag grandma-lady along on her summer abroad....
and see that final picture above.....
You know it must say...
Yankee go home...

18 comments:

Deb said...

thanks for taking us on this trip through Paris...I have learned so much and realized that you take damn good pictures!!!
no it is time to go back...go tell the Boss!

Linda said...

I have enjoyed your French pics - so fun and nostalgic for me! Oh, you commented about Debbie and my luck at thrifting - the secret is go every week! One time we might find nothing...but sooner or later something turns up. Linda

Chiara N' Kael said...

we so miss paris, though spending september and october in the city of lights it was a bit rainy and chilly...at least your trip seemed warm.. we shall return next year with 4 year old in tow..

Eli said...

Great post Sue!!!!! Hugs Eli

salmagundi said...

I hate to see the series end. I've looked forward to it every Friday. Your apartment was small, but the kitchen does look doable!! I've had smaller, but would have trouble without an oven. What a wonderful experience for you and your daughter to share for the rest of your lives. I so want to go back and see everything we missed on the first trip - we were there a year ago today - I've been pining for Paris all day. Have a great weekend. Sally

Jojo said...

It has been wonderful traveling with you and I hope we can do it again very soon!

Cathy said...

Thanks, Sue, for a terrific series of posts about Paris. I learned so much and we visited many of the places you recommended. I had to laugh at the photos of your apartment. Our hotel room was the size of a large closet. But it was clean and had a great locations. At least we had an elevator.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

It was so much fun reminiscing along with you, Sue, and seeing all the wonderful photos. It certainly was a fun trip and you really got to live like a Parisian!

I was also amazed by the fact that in Italy many of the people had only hot plates to cook on, no oven, and teeny tiny kitchens, but yet produce gourmet feasts.

I wonder what was behind that door? Did you ever try looking up the address in Google to see if you could find any information? So intriguing!

I hope you get to go back many times before Sophie grows up and does her semester away!

The Bloom Girls said...

Sue,
OMgoodness you are tooooo funny! I love your tour of Paris. I can't believe you cooked in each evening!
I love Provence and as Karyn mentioned at lunch on our last trip we just passed through Paris spending only one night. On the train ride down to Aix we were playing Yahtzee and I guess we gota little too loud. It was right before the election and one french lady stood up and yelled at us "one Sarah Palin is enough, but three?????" Karyn and I were mortified and so grateful that our other tvling companion had gone to the toilette. She is a southerner and would have not demonstrated 'southern charm'!!! She even turned a light shade of red out of anger when we told her the story and wanted to know where the lady was sitting. Karyn and I declined further comment.
Have a great weekend!
Nola

P.S. The molten cake if pretty much foolproof, that's why I make them!!!!

~CC Catherine said...

Sue, What a sweet visit to this home! ;) You're too cute... With the way you cook, you could make anything taste like it was pure heaven in anything, even in a toaster oven! ;) It was cool to see the boutique and the busline named after you! ;) ~CC Catherine

Joyce said...

I wish the tour was extended because it has been fun reading and viewing. You have been a fun tour director.
Joyce

Weef! said...

I'm very disappointed that you didn't include photos of the Portugese workmen from upstairs, or for that matter the hole they put in our ceiling directly above the shower!!!

JUST ME, THE MOM said...

Thank you thank you for posting all the photos and sharing all the memories, even the "crappy french ambience" - smile! It's a package deal, all part of the package. What a great experience and the apartment is exactly what I would have picked:)

Kristin

Nouveau Stitch said...

How fun for us all to live in Paris vicariously! Thanks for sharing what must have been the best of times with your daughter. Can't wait to see Jersey through your eyes!

Ellen

KBeau said...

You've been a great tour guide, Sue. Thanks.

Daryl said...

Ah Paris .. what fun this was .. even w/o an oven or a view .. xo

Sara said...

I love your sense of humor....we had similar experiences in Paris...and, we must laugh or else we will cry (sometimes!)!! The hole above the bathtub is quite a funny story, maybe not at the time, but now for sure!

Thanks for your comment....yes, I struggle with what to do with scarves too and have come to the conclusion I can only wear the long, thin ones, usually tied once in front and hanging down...or if it's cold, wrapped around my neck. I can't do anything with those square ones - being a big, tall person, they don't fit me like they do those tiny, 110 pound chic French women! You are right..it has to be those miniscule kitchens. We had one similar on re Lecepede. I've see rue la Clef recommended by Rick Steves, if you know who he is! Too bad about the non view.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I don't know how I missed this post...it is tres faboo!! View or not, I'd consider chopping my hand off for a chance to live en Paris for a spell.