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Newsflash! Manic fireflies swarm Eiffel Tower at night!

Sitting outside a café on the corner of the Boulevard de Grenelle at a tiny table with drinks in front of us, as the endless streams of Parisians eddied and swirled past, it made me smile to see how many people in Paris actually DO walk home from work with a baguette clutched tight in one hand as they pull pieces from it to nibble on with the other. It made me smile to see the flower shops open until 9 at night, their wares overflowing from inside the shop to cover the sidewalk like a flood of flowers, lit by lamplight. It made me smile to turn the corner into Place Joffre and see the Eiffel Tower all lit up, with sparkling lights flickering like mad all over it.

We had dinner at a lovely French restaurant on Rue du Laos called Pierre Claude. I got tsked at by my 2 French colleagues for firmly refusing wine and ordering a Coke. The Crème Brûlée I ordered for dessert was out of this world. Then Alain, who works in our French office and lives in the neighborhood of our hotel took us on a driving tour of Paris by night which was superb since 1) I would basically have seen NOTHING of Paris otherwise and 2) Paris SHINES in the evening. We zipped around the city in his fancy new Peugeot van with the rest of the criminally-insane drivers and he took us to Trocadéro, the Latin Quarter, Notre Dame, the mayor's house, the Obelisk at Place Concorde, the Arc d'Triumph, the Louvre, the "little Arc," along the Seine, down Champs-Elysées. It was after 10 so nothing was open, but I found some awesomely kitschy Eiffel Tower souvenirs for my kids: clear glass tower figurines with multi-colored revolving light-up bases! Très gauche! XD

Newsflash! Charles de Gaulle Airport's Terminal 1 voted WORST HELLHOLE ON EARTH!

Our French office is way out in Cachan, far south of the city center. It takes 2 Metro trains and 45 minutes to get there from the Eiffel Tower. And when you work until 6 each evening (since, when you are in France, you don't start working until 9) that doesn't leave much time for sightseeing or anything else. Wednesday we spent some interminable hours lost in the dank, revolting, and confusingly-signaged depths of Charles de Gaulle (which is suspiciously modeled on a hamster habitrail), and our plane was delayed, so I didn't get home to my sleeping house until after 12:30 a.m.

Newsflash! Book group totally rocks my world!

How to make up for jetlag, crazybusyness and work-stress: On the very next day, host a book group at your home and provide delicious soup with two kinds of rolls (panini and pumpkin seed). Have someone else bring chocolate marble cake. Keep the conversation flowing with lots of laughter. At the very least, make sure you have the following people in the room: Geena, Debbie, Amy, Janet, Carol. Add some interesting and fun newcomers. And don't forget to discuss the book!

Other Newsflashes!
  • Shoes are CUTE in Paris! I must return and be less restrained.
  • The Ark, who turned out to be the surprise entertainment at our big work party last night, is fairly good live but I have to admit I was disappointed it wasn't Wilmer X.
  • Staying up until 2 a.m. to catch up on LJ/blogs is maybe not the best idea when you're already running on fumes.
mood: busy
music: Burlap to Cashmere—Ancient Man


Welcome back to LJ and I'm happy to hear that Paris was good although you clearly need to be there on your own schedule to soak it in. :-)

Whatever the magic soup served was, I'd love the recipe. It sounds like from your entry and Geena's that the book club meeting was a wonderful success yet again.

I linked to it there, it's the first one. It's SOOOO good!!

Thanks for point it out, I apparently can't read and process the concept of links at the same time. :D I will have to make your chicken soup with rice . . . I made some with the kids after we read the Maurice Sendak book.

Yummy once, yummy twice, yummy chicken soup with rice! :D

Although, now that I think about it, I suspect you were mixing up the first 2 recipes on that link. The soup is a vegetarian soup with zucchini, sundried tomatoes and creme fraiche. The recipe AFTER it is a chicken and rice dish. :)

I am quite jealous that you got to go to Paris, but happy for you - you certainly deserve some coolness in your business travelling with the hard work you do.

And I was afraid that you might have felt stomped upon since you recommended that book and the most vocal members of bookgroup were not-so-much in love with it. Personally I will never ever recommend a book - we are too tough a crowd!

PS - That soup was divine and pumpkin seed bread perfect with it.

I was a little bummed that people didn't like it as much as I thought they would, actually. It WAS a tough crowd, but do you know I think that a certain new person was a little too, um, vociferous. It's hard to argue sometimes when someone's outspoken-ness is so adamant. After we started talking more though, I felt that a more balanced perspective was presented, and it seemed that even though people perhaps didn't LOVE it, they certainly didn't dislike it as much as it seemed at first.

And it was weird about the dolls, because I could TOTALLY picture them. I also wanted to know more, but I was intriqued in a GOOD way, because they seemed so real, and I am not a doll person AT ALL. :)

I'm not sure if it's top secret, but what was the book?

It was Joshilyn Jackson's Between, Georgia.


I hope I didn't offend by not loving the book! And I hope I wasn't quite as obnoxious as the person you're referring to. I promise I won't mind if you dis the next one, which I suggested. (For the record, I haven't read it myself!)

Thanks again for the lovely dinner!

Re: eek!

hahah! Silly old bear. It wasn't you I was referring to, as you probably figured out, and you weren't at all obnoxious. It doesn't bother me if people don't like the books I recommend, other than the wanting people to like something I thought was good :) I was surprised but even I didn't think it was the best book EVAH, just a good read that I thought would generate a good discussion.

I haven't even started the next one yet, I need to get moving on it!

Also, you wouldn't have been so jealous if you'd seen my boss and I dejectedly wandering around the stupid airport for ages, backtracking and getting totally lost, trying to find someplace to eat...and ending up at McDonald's because that's ALL THERE WAS. Bleah.

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

4 cheers! :D

What time do you normally start work there?

So Paris is every cliche we've ever thought it was. I've been there, but I was young and foolish and don't remember, I do remember the cafes and bagettes and such. I vowed that next time I returned it would be with a LOT of money.

I (and the majority of people in my office) start at 8, but we have flex hours and can do what we like, within a framework. Most people would rather go home between 4-5:30 than start late and work late.


So glad to hear about Paris - & "the cute shoes", by the way- I had noticed that the ones here are more your style than in the recent past. But for cool shoes- you can't beat the reactions I get with my "Think" ones I bought in John's town (although they are Austrian).
Everyone loves your zucchini soup! And thanks for the airport warning- I'll make sure to look elsewhere for the bargain flights.
Love, Lizardmom

Welcome home

Driven through the bright lights of Paris, sounds spectacular.

I'm glad you had a wonderful time! It is such a fabulous place, but I'm also glad you got a taste of the inefficient mayhem in the form of the airport.... :)

The shoes are SENSATIONAL there...

Hey Liz. Sounds like you had fun in Paris, despite the airport. I kind of envy you, as I wouldn't mind visiting Paris one day

Let me get this had to go to Paris...for WORK?! Man, the most exciting place I get to go for work it out to the portable classrooms. :) No Paris photos??

Nope, no camera. :( Our little digital has disappeared and Anders' big expensive one is too complicated and too bulky for me to deal with. And it's the only business "trip" I've gotten to take in 2 years, so don't be too envious. :)

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