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I love Paris in the summer, when it drizzles

by on July 5, 2012

We had a nice fast train under the Chunnel … 2 very civilized hours from London to Paris, and are beginning the process of settling in.   This apartment isn’t quite as nice as the one in London, but it makes up for that by being a LOT closer in… smack in the center of town.   Only trouble is the building (which says “1706” on the fireplace and that is NOT the address), was built way way (way) before Otis invented elevators… and of course in Europe the 4th floor is actually the 5th floor. Quite a schlep up the stairs with our very heavy suitcases, but it will be a good stairmaster workout in the next 2 weeks.

It’s interesting to realize how many little things you need to get figured out in a new place before you can relax and go to bed…it’s very different living in apartments than in hotels. Here’s how we spent the last 2 hours:

– Found grocery store and stocked up with (things that look like what we think they are but we won’t be sure until we taste them… since we can’t read the labels. We got “demi ecreme lait” that sure looks like low-fat milk…???

– Figured out how to use the clothes washer (labels in French)

– Taught kids how to wash with a handheld shower in a tub… don’t these Europeans understand a SHOWER?

– Took 10 minutes to find the toilet (we were starting to get nervous and imagining public rooms down the hall)  it’s NOT in the bathroom, rather it’s in a little closet under the stairway like Harry Potter’s room (photos to come later).

– Got the Wifi password figured out (turns out what looks like 7 in handwritten French is actually a 1 (one) to us Yanks.)

– Couldn’t figure out how to enter the codes to make phone calls from the French phone to the US, but used Skype to make calls. Happy Birthday (Buon Anniversaire)  to Rachel and Cindy! 

– Got electrons flowing to charge all the i-Devices

– Can’t get the phones roaming on French cell networks, and having trouble getting electrons to the laptop; so better shut down now and figure it out tomorrow.

Bon Nuit.


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  1. The Vercruysse's permalink

    Bonjour Mes Amis,

    Love reading your fun and informative posts!

    You’re doing great on your French. If you think you bought the
    wrong kind of milk, you did not. You indeed got the low-fat milk;
    milk just tastes differently in France/Belgium. A&O refuse to drink it there…
    Anna, milk chocolate makes up for it 🙂
    Or the pain au chocolat… And you’re earning one every day climbing all the stairs!!!

    Your stories about settling in are funny.
    The demi ecreme lait reminds me of when we first got to the US.
    We took ‘half and half’ for low-fat milk and could not understand
    why we had such heavy stomachs after eating a cereal breakfast…

    Count your blessings you do not have a true French toilet.
    I can’t wait to read your description when you do see one.

    On the shower…. I hear you… France is still the largest consumer of perfume….

    Love the Hever Castle descriptions, too!
    Another clandestine picture, David?!?!?
    In that house, people lost their heads for lesser crimes!

  2. Hi you guys!
    Beware of Quatorze Juillet – if you get caught right under the Eiffel Tower you won’t move for hours!
    Go to “La Palette” on Rue de Seine to find one of those toilets (which you must have seen elsewhere by now).
    Make sure you get Pain Poilane on the Boulevard de Grenelle (at Dupleix Metro station) and visit farmer’s market under Metro. Don’t forget to rent bikes in the Bois de Boulogne and go on a canal tour on Canal de l’Ourcq!

    Living vicariously …

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