samedi, mai 19, 2007

Carla&Friends Day 1: Pancakes and Trois Marmites

Well, Carla and friends were rolling in around 11h00, so I got in from partying the night before around 5h00 and hit the hay. As I was getting ready to head over to the airport just after 10h00, I got a text message from Carla, saying that their plane had already landed (early). Ack! I told them to sit tight and then I dashed to the métro.

Of course, it's never that easy when you have someplace to be. The métro was fine along the 11 line, but when I made the transfer to the RER B at Châtelet towards CDG airport, I heard an announcement saying that there had been an "incident technique" at Gare du Nord, and so the trains running in my direction were "très perturbé" ("very disturbed"). Anyway, it took me a little more than an hour to get there, and when I collected the girls, they were too tired to take the RER, so we hopped in a taxi. Thankfully (and this is a true, rare stroke of luck) we managed to get a minivan taxi that could hold all of 4 us and their luggage.

From there, we headed over to the place where my sister and her friends were renting an apartment, we met with the apartment owner, and got set up in their apartment. It's this GORGEOUS apartment that spans almost the entire length of the building on the first floor, including a smallish bedroom, a HUGE living room / dining room, and a second bedroom with two beds. Add to this a spacious kitchen with a glass ceiling, a dishwasher, and washer/dryer, and 1-1/2 baths, and we're set. I won't say how much this place costs to rent, but keep in mind that 3 girls are sharing it, and a fourth one is coming in a week.

Anyway, we headed out to the nearest Monoprix to grab some essentials (soap, breakfast stuff, milk, water) and then back to the apartment to drop it off. In the meanwhile, DJ had suggested that we go for pancakes at Breakfast In America, which happens to be right around the corner from the apartment. Now, since B.I.A. is a kitschy French take on diner food, I forced the girls to stop at a boulangerie and eat some croissants and macarons. I refused to allow their first meal in Paris to be pancakes and maple syrup.

Breakfast in America was very much the comfort food that I had expected. It was rather nice for me, since I hadn't had pancakes in almost 6 months, but I promised the girls that the next meal would be capital-A "Authentic." Whatever that means.

After DJ headed his own way, one of the group crashed in the apartment for a bit, and the rest of us headed off for a short walk to Les Halles and back (the apartment is just next to Musée Carnavalet). We stopped at a café on rue Rivoli for a bit, and then headed back to the apartment.

At first, it seemed like we were going to skip dinner and just go to bed early, but after a bit of napping and some relaxing in front of the TV, the girls woke up hungry around 9pm. I made a reservation at Les Trois Marmites, and off we went.

I can't remember precisely what each of us had, but there were avocado/tuna salads and spinach among the appetizers, and duck, pork à la normande (cream and cider), and salmon among the main dishes. My sister had the crémet d'Anjou (white cheese and sugar, folded with whipped cream, with red berry coulis on top), which was as fantastic as last time, the other two girls had chocolate fondant cakes, and I had the coupe ardéchoise, which involved vanilla ice cream, chestnut cream, and chocolate. With all of this, we had a delightful white Gewürztraminer, the name of which I unfortunately can't recall. Either way, delicious.

By this point, the jet lag finally hit the girls full force, and we staggered off to the nearest métro around 0h30 and caught our respective trains.

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