Thursday, June 14, 2012

Part Two. From New York City to London to Paris.

I believe that the places where roots grow, are home. Whether or not you have lived there.
Tucson, home
New York City, home
London, where my roots grew well before me, home.
Paris, a beautiful city.
Reggio Calabria, where Monica's roots grew, home.

Tucson and NYC, see Part One.
Let's get on to Part Two. London and Paris.

Monica and I flew Virgin Atlantic. First Class. Starting with the Virgin Upper Class lounge.
It's incredible what a life time of never cashing in credit card points can buy you.
Now, the last time we flew First Class by choice was......NEVER! OK, we were upgraded a couple of times, but that was so long ago, there might have been a stewardess and props on that plane. Yes, of course I'm exaggerating. I'm not really that old, but Monica probably remembers the stewardess and props. 
I'm digging myself deeper, no?

Arriving in London the next day, we took the express train from Heathrow (I get it now, that's why it's called the Heathrow Express!) to Paddington Station. From there a quick hack ride to St. Pancras Station to pick up the Chunnel train to Paris.
All right, I admit that this was a VERY brief visit to London (3-4 hours) but I still felt very much at home. Thanks Mom and Dad!
And St. Pancras is really duded up for the Summer Olympics.
Saved from demolition in the early 1960s, it was renovated and now serves as the terminus for the Eurotrain to France. And it has a shopping mall. And a bus station. A really impressive structure.
Just wish it was heated.
Hey, I'm just saying.
Oh, and they had FOOD at St. Pancras.
Did I ever mention that Monica and I tend to travel on our stomachs?
A word about the Eurostar train to Paris.
It's quiet. Extremely quiet!
And smooth. Extremely smooth!
184 MPH!
Admittedly, I'm comparing it to the only high speed train that I've experienced.
Metro North.
Oh, that explains it.
On to Paris..
Our first meal in Paris.
Was it good? Frankly, I didn't give a rats ***.
It's Paris.
It's a street cafe.
You could watch Paris go by.
And yeah, it was really good. And I didn't even have to order the eggs runny (as though I could have mustered enough French to do that.) They just come that way!
Well, while we're speaking food.....
 Oh Leigh, look. I've spotted food! I believe that's bread! We weren't doing anything today, were we? 
And look, fake veggies. No, they look way too good to be real. Wait, they are real!
Fish! Fresh
 And Pierre actually called me back to take his picture. Oh, Pierre is the lobster.
No, just kidding. And the fish monger's name wasn't Pierre. That was my name in my French language High School class. I guess because Leigh just doesn't translate well into French.
 And Finally, my favorite meal in Paris.
A hole in the wall on Rue des Matres called Rose Bakery. The restaurant extended some distance into the rear of the narrow building. Florescent fixtures and plain drab walls. But you know you've got a sure thing when you see the beautifully prepared food up front and there's always a line to get in. 
I ordered this dish the old tried and true method. I looked around the restaurant and saw a gent eating something that looked delish. In my best French (not good, not good at all) I asked what he was eating. Mercifully, he took my crumpled menu and pointed to the dish. I'm still not exactly sure what it was, but if I could located it on that menu again, I'd surely order it tout de suite!

And that dear blogger friends, is the end of the first chapter on Paris.
More to come shortly. And then off to Italy where Monica met her roots, face to face!

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