Sep 20, 2010

Salted butter and Bordeaux

I can't believe it; nearly a month has passed since we arrived in Paris (with too much stuff!)...The time has passed so quickly and I've had hardly a moment to tell you that our lives, for the most part, feel settled. We have a routine during the weekdays. Jon goes to the archives and Maggie and I walk to the playground near our apartment. We play in the sandbox, kick a ball around, take Maggie's doll down the slide a few times and then sit on a bench in the sun and share a baguette sandwich. After lunch we return to the apartment, and if we have time, draw or add some things to Maggie's scrapbook. Then she takes a nap, and for that 45 minutes+ I write/read/knit. After nap we play around the house. I make maggie a snack, drink some tea, and we wait for daddy to return. Typically, he's home around 4, and at that point we often take a walk together. Sometimes we go down to Rue des Abbesses and Maggie takes a ride on the carousel. We do our daily grocery shopping. We might go back to the sandbox, or sometimes we get on the metro to explore other parts of Paris. Life, for the most part isn't very different.

Except that of course it is. I could tell you the bad parts of living in Paris; that it is in fact a city, and that we often return home after being squeezed together on the train and up the cramped elevator at our metro station that smells, quite frankly of piss and sometimes vomit, and after a day surrounded by wafting smoke, I lay my sweet girl down for the night and kiss her forehead and she smells like cigarettes. And although in my heart I'm a country girl who longs for some land and maybe a nice cow, and sheep and horses and a garden, and nights on a porch with my kids running around, there is no denying the charm, magic even, of this city. it is amazing.

It is no secret that Paris is amazing--even if you haven't been here, you have most likely seen pictures or movies. And I have to report that it is just as amazing and romantic as you might imagine. Yesterday, Sunday, we went to the Marais with the intention of ending up at L'as du Falafel for dinner. I've been going to this delicious falafel spot since I was here ten years ago, and it is still as good as it was then (and affordable!) We stepped off the metro and the Marais was busy. The streets were filled to the point where no car dared drive on the them, as most people had given up trying to walk on the narrow sidewalks. We walked into a museum (free for a european heritage day) and there in the courtyard a choir was singing. We strolled through rooms filled with art and furniture representing the history of Paris. Then we walked towards Place des Vosgues, stopping to listen to incredible band playing in the street. At Place des Vosgues Maggie went on the see-saw then built a sandcastle and then we all lay in the grass looking up at the sky.

It was an amazing day, although I must admit this kind of magic seems to surround us here. Dare I say ordinary? No. Which is why I need to turn the conversation towards food. This is what I've really wanted to talk about all this time (get to the point, right?)... Food. Butter, and baguette and divine milk, "Lait cru" is incredible whole, raw milk. It tastes so good. And the salted butter? Can I please stuff a whole suitcase and bring that home with me when I go? And pastries? Ok I haven't even touched chocolate or wine yet. Divine. So good. After maggie went to bed the other night we each had a glass of this incredible Bordeaux and then ate some Maison du chocolat. I got up and started twirling around it was so good.

I can't help but think Jon and I are living our very own "Eat, Pray, Love;" Paris is our eat, Senegal will be Pray and Aix en Provence will be Love?? Ok maybe it doesn't fit exactly, but there is definitely some eating and indulgence happening here.

Now to change the subject again. Check out my two year old. She puts outfits like this together herself. Insists on pulling her own backpack at the airport. Holds on the railing on the train "all by myself!" Attitude and cuteness and talking, talking, talking.


  1. I hear the only thing you are missing is tortillas and pinto beans.....

  2. dude, this makes me want to get on a plane right now. you guys are so rad. and what a great account of the whole business, amy. brilliant all around. skype soon i guess? (even though i am sort of anti-skype) much love to mags jon and you...

  3. true. tortillas and pinto beans. tacos on mission would be pretty good right now.

  4. Lovely post--and oh my God do I miss proper butter... And pastries. Have a fraisier for me!

  5. i think everyone in the world would want a full size print of this last maggie photo on their desktop. i can confirm, in fact, that everyone at clearlake already has one. i want one too.

    so we get the love??