My Boots Were Made for Walking, but My Feet Still Really Hurt!

September 16, 2009

I. Am. Exhausted.

I knew I would walk a lot in Paris, but today was a record!  I met up with Nathalie, the lovely niece of Nicole, one of my mom’s best friends. Nathalie has been living in Paris since January and she was sweet enough to invite me out to lunch with her and her boyfriend, Pierre. I met them at the Rue de Passy which is a very nice pedestrian street in the 16th where they live. We were hungry so we stopped at a little Italian restaurant that Pierre had been wanting to try, and while the food was only good and not great, I had my first real cup of coffee!

I don’t drink coffee. Ever. Unless it’s summertime and those frozen chocolately glorified slushies with whipped cream count. For the record, I don’t think that they do, so today was my first grown-up cup! I had café au lait bien sur, with lots of sugar, but I drank it all, and I even think that soon I’ll begin to enjoy it. Fortunately I wasn’t too embarrassed about my super-sweet café because Nathalie doesn’t drink coffee either so she had just as much sugar in hers!

Lunch was really wonderful all around. Even though I have only seen Nathalie twice before, 10 years ago, it felt like we were good friends. She and Pierre were very talkative and interesting, and they spoke to me in English, which was nice, because it made me feel more on their level. I feel like a child when I speak French, so I was thankful that I was able to express myself in my native language! Though hopefully as my French improves I’ll be less shy about using it. I now really want to work on my accent though! Oh, and as a side note I also found out that Nathalie still uses the smiley face bookmark that I gave her 10 years ago. Pierre said she uses it every day!

After lunch Pierre left to attend class, so Nathalie gave me a grand tour! We walked to the Jardins du Trocadéro, from which there is a lovely view of the Tour Eiffel.  After that we walked to the Champs Elysées, right by l’Arc de Triomphe. We walked for quite a ways until we turned to go past the home of President Sarkozy, the Palais de l’Elysées, which is in (as Nathalie says) “a very posh neighborhood”. I thought it was strange that we could get so close to the building! We could walk right by, just not on the same side of the street as the gates. It was not at all like D.C, though there were a lot of nicely dressed police men and women! How do even the police officers manage to look fabulous? I adore France, I really do!

After window shopping and making a mental note of where to find the American Embassy, we walked to the Vendôme, which is a giant square containing a beautifully ornate column, the Ministere de la Justice, the Ritz, and every high end jewelry store you can imagine! Dior, Bulgari, Rolex, De Beers, Chanel…I am going to return to take pictures, because the column was really fantastic!

From there we walked even more to meet up with Caroline and Andy at a coffee shop on the Boulevard Haussmann. We said goodbye to Nathalie on the metro (she was going home, we were going to FINAC to buy Caroline an adapter) but she said I should call her soon so we can meet for sushi lunch! I am still surprised that she was willing to spend a good 3 hours of her day with me, more than half of which we spent walking so that I could have a better idea of the city’s layout! I need to find a good way to thank her. Maybe I’ll take her out for coffee…haha!

To conclude, after 5 wonderful days in Paris I’ve decided that whoever said that France is not a friendly country clearly just spent time with all the wrong people!

A Bientôt!

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2 Responses to “My Boots Were Made for Walking, but My Feet Still Really Hurt!”

  1. mom said

    I am so excited that you spent a day with Nathalie! I think that the two of you may become good friends. Maybe a tour of Amsterdam is in your future?

  2. Ken said

    Hello Victoria,

    It’s been wonderful reading about your adventures in Paris.

    I agree with you about the good French people too — we’ve visited France several times now and never met an unkind person.

    All our best,
    Ken & Irene

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