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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Bonjour de Paris!

I came to Paris to do the following:

Eat all the food
Drink all the wine 
Buy French lingerie 
Make my own perfume 

Mission accomplished... 

In A Nutshell... 
Paris was lovely. It felt like I was in DC or NY, until I came across a famous landmark or monument and then I remember: I'm in Paris!! *gushes* 

I'se Hongry Now! 
I ate as much French onion soup and fries I can stand. I lost count of how many espressos I consumed and after the first night, I stopped ordering wine by the glass. 

My BEST meal came from a tiny family owned restaurant near Norte Dame. I had a huge serving of salmon au gratin and a carafe of vin. I couldn't finish all of it.  The finest of comfort food. I was in carb heaven. I'm drooling just looking at that picture! 

It took us a few days to realize that some of the best meals to consume in Paris can be found at the boulangerie and street vendors. Hello crepes, falafels and pastries. Yes, dessert for dinner is totally appropriate. We spent a pretty penny at some restaurants before we came to our senses. Our wallets thanked us. 

The One Thing I Wont' Eat Again... 
Cassie made me try escargot. I refused to chew it because ewwww! Snails!  I chased it down with a huge gulp of vin. Check. I can cross that food item off the list. Don't have to do it again. 

"Waiter, I'll have the carafe, please!" 
Wine... Oh, excuse me, Vin, as the French call it, is cheap! Average cost was 4€ per glass or 12-14  for a carafe which comes out to about 4 glasses. All day, every day. Really puts America happy hour pricing to shame. 

Big Scary Guns! 
Law enforcement/military walk around the city with huge guns. HUGE! Once they were walking behind me and my heart dropped to my stomach. I was hella shaken up for a good 15 minutes after that experience. 

Oh Hey, Mona... 
I came. I saw. I left. 
The museum is massive and I'm not into art all like that to explore the whole place. The French is kind to the deaf. My disability got me into the museum for free. In fact, I'm told by my friends who have visited the country that most tourist spots will let you skip to the front of the line and let you in for free.  

I found most Parisians to be extremely nice. Next time I will take more time to learn the language but it was easy to navigate because a great number of them spoke English. I referred to my handy Google translate app a lot. The only downside was the app required cellular/wifi so it was no good to me when I was connected. 

Le Effiel, Of Course! 
How could I go to the Eiffel tower and not do a shimmy shake?! Check out my Instagram for the video. The tower is impressive to see up close. At night it is beautiful sparkly light show. I wasn't too pressed to go up to the top of the tower. Kept those 50€ in my pocket. 

Do I Cross The Street at This Intersection? 
Getting lost is easy. Street names are marked on buildings and not every building is labeled. A lot of the streets are curvy and I cannot read a map to save my damn life. Thank God for Cassie. Between her expert map reading skills and my subway savvy, we made a good travel team. 

Speaking of subway, it is massive! Often times it's a long trek (3-5mins) to walk to another platform in the same station to change trains. It was easy to read and understand the subway map. Unlike NYC's map which might as well be printed in morse code. 

No Pictures, Please. 
I definitely left France with a lacy pieces. Crossed that off the list. 'Nuff Said. 

Smelling Like New Money! 
I spent two hours smelling various oils to come up with my own unique scent. After we narrowed down my choices and before we got started on mixing the chemist asked me: "Do you want to be known for your presence or absence?" 
Yo, that's deep and it took me a good 3 minutes to make a decision. 
My scented perfume has notes of Iris, Musk, Jasmine and Bamboo. It is a light and flirty floral scent. 
I've named my custom scent "Not Pressed" in honor of my entire Parisian experience. That was pretty  much the attitude Cassie and I had the entire week. We were not pressed to rush out of bed... Not pressed to explore the entire Louvre museum... Not pressed to rush to the next destination when cafe watching was more fun... So when I smell this scent, I'm reminded to take it easy, slow down and linger awhile. 

So yea, when you smell that scent, you will know that I'm in the room with you. 

(Word to the wise: Do not go to a perfume class on an empty stomach) 

The whole experience lasted two hours and cost me less than 100 Euros. The awesome thing: my recipe is mines alone and kept on file. Anytime I need to replenish, I can contact the perfumery and they will make me a new batch and send it to me. 

If you're ever in Paris, check out Le Studio des Parfums. 

I had a great visit and the week went by very quickly. Cassie was an amazing travel partner and that made the experience that much richer. I can very much see myself being an expat in this city. Universe, Let's make this happen! #ManifestThatIsh 

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