It is that time again…
The hot chocolate in France is seriously delicious. I almost never drink hot chocolate. Then, I land in France, and it is hot chocolate nearly every single day. (Robert reports that the espresso is miserable).
We learned a very important new phrase in French — “encore le meme s’il vous plait.” Another round please!
Our first night in France was at an Ibis hotel near the airport. Now, the Ibis chain always gives us a free drink coupon due to our status in their frequent stay program. Can you believe the free drink was only good for beer? We’re in the land of wine and the free drink didn’t include wine….
On the other hand, after visiting Spain, Italy, and France, we concluded that French wine really isn’t all that. Spanish and Italian wines on the the other hand….
You know the pastry situation in the U.S. is seriously deficient when the mass produced croissants at the free hotel breakfast are equally as good as the best croissants in all of Chicago.
The French people are, contrary to reputation, overall very nice. But, there are still snooty waiters in France. We were asked more than once to clarify whether we wanted white or red wine when ordering something that is most definitely one or the other (e.g., pinot blanc (always white) or beaujolais nouveau (always red)).
Based on the number of stores we saw, the French must really love Converse and Van sneakers.
Trains in France are so quiet. Seriously, nobody speaks loudly, nobody plays their videos with the sound on. It is refreshing.
France very much still sticks to a strict dining schedule. Outside of tourist districts in Paris, it can be difficult to find anything to eat between about 3-7 p.m. In Bordeaux, even the Domino’s pizza branch closed between lunch and dinner.
The sparkling water in France is shockingly bad. You would think the land of Perrier would be able to get sparkling water right but, outside of Paris, it all pretty much sucked.
The Louvre has to be one of the absolute worst museums in the world. First, it is huge and difficult to find the few things you want to see. Second, most of the art is seriously bad. Trust me, paintings from the 1st and 2nd century really aren’t very good at all. And, come on, who doesn’t think the Mona Lisa is seriously overrated? Third, although we visited on what had to be one of the quietest days of the year (December 5, when Paris was paralyzed by a strike), it was still crowded. Fourth, the guests are seriously rude. People will literally just walk right in front of you and stop and block your view of whatever you are looking at. I’m pretty sure we are never setting foot in the Louvre ever again….
We’ve always thought of France as the land of bidets. But, none of our hotels or apartments even had one this trip. Oddly, pretty much everywhere we stayed in Italy had one.
Ever since my first visit when I was 16 years old, Paris has always been one of those places where I feel at home. This time, I didn’t get that feeling immediately. But, eventually, it returned. I could so live in Paris. Robert could too (but he would have to make his own coffee).