I love creating these Life Lately posts. It’s my chance to reflect back on the past month or two of our expat life in Paris. I always end up feeling so grateful and happy for the life we’ve created here. And for readers, it provides a glimpse into life in Paris.
Sandwiched between our weekend trip to Dublin, our week-long Andalusian road trip and my yoga retreat, we certainly made the most of the days and weekends.
Here are some highlights of our rainy spring.
Another Ikea disaster
It seems that every one of our trips to Ikea is eventful. And not necessarily for the right reasons. Having just moved into our new apartment, we were in need of some household items. A day trip to Ikea was due. And I say day trip because it always takes the better part of the day. It’s an excursion.
We took the scooter to the parking lot to pick up our pre-booked ZipCar. We checked out the car. Got in. Put the key into the ignition. Drove around to find the exit. Found the card to open the gate. Swiped the card. It didn’t work. Tried some more without success. We were there scratching our heads and wondering, how do we get out of this parking lot when “CRUNCH!” Someone backed into us.
David immediately went into a tirade of swear words. We got out and assessed the damage. It wasn’t bad, just the reflector was broken. We insisted on filling in the paperwork and the perpetrator, a man in his 60s, was not amused. He tried to avoid the blame by saying, “my car didn’t break that. It’s too high.” Well lucky for us we always travel to Ikea with a measuring tape. I pulled it out of the car, measured the distance from the ground to where his Jeep’s cage sticks out. Then, I measured the distance from the ground to our broken reflector. A perfect match. We signed the paperwork and called ZipCar to make sure we didn’t miss any steps. Finally, we were off to Ikea. One hour later.
Well we learned a new word: catadioptre (reflector)
Despite the setback, our trip was relatively successful. But the main reason for our trip was to buy a breakfast cart for our kitchen to increase the work surface. Of course it wasn’t there. We ended up buying a lot of other stuff we probably didn’t need. Then while David returned the car, I made multiple trips up 5 flights of stairs to our apartment. Our stuff couldn’t fit in our ridiculously small elevator.
In the end, I had to order the items we wanted online. Something we could have just done from the beginning. I’ll be happy never to set foot in another Ikea in France.
We felt settled into our new place and finally had our housewarming party. We love entertaining and now with a spacious, beautiful apartment, we love it even more.
I also took the opportunity to host a book club and a girl’s night. All within the same week! The girl’s night was particularly entertaining. A friend had just returned from Thailand and brought us some treats to share… crispy dried slugs to be exact. I had ever eaten an insect before (at least not willingly) and so I figured why not. Me and friend said “Cheers” and on the count of 3, down it went.
I quickly grabbed some wine to chase it down. It didn’t actually taste like much but it was dry and disintegrated into a powdery mess in my mouth.
And More Parties
How lucky are we to have fun friends and many different occasions to get together. Between birthdays, housewarmings and baby showers, it seems every weekend there is a great excuse to catch up with our favourite people.
Recently our American and Canadian friends came together to celebrate Bobbie and Ray on the imminent arrival of their baby girl. They decided to make it a mixed baby shower, meaning the boys were invited it. And it was such a great idea. Why exclude them?
Everything was decorated so beautifully. Liz did a great job on the cake and the thank-you macaroons.
Lunches and Dinners
Recently with a potential move on the horizon, we’ve decided to have more dinners and lunches out. This way we can enjoy and experience more of Paris, find new places to eat and enjoy memorable moments with friends. I’d recommend all these places to try so here’s just a quick recap.
- A friend who I met at the Affordable Yoga Meetup was back in Paris after having moved to Bordeaux. She suggested lunch at Les Turbulents, a modern French restaurant that is mainly gluten-free tucked away in the south side of the 15th in a former chapel.
- At Marcel Restaurant I had the giant bulghour salad while lunching with the girls
- A delicious tuna melt and coffee at Blackburn Coffee with some blogger friends
- Feeling adventurous, I ordered pied de cochon (pig’s feet) at La Cantine de Trouquet. David was amused while he ate his pork and beans. This place specialized in Southwest cuisine and it was very filling and rich for lunch. Would recommend as a dinner meal.
- I had the best steak in Paris with a Brazilian flare at O Corcovado with the Crossfit ladies. I will have to go back with David. It took me back to the 3 weeks we spent in Brazil 6 years ago.
- A double date and my first bo-bun at Pho 11. Rue Saint Anne is famous for good, authentic Asian restaurants.
- All-you-can-eat sushi at Coki Sushi with my co-workers from Redhood agency. We celebrated one year anniversary of the company.
For a treat one Saturday afternoon, we stopped at Carette which has the best macaroons in Paris. I know this because some friends and I had a taste test to prove it two years ago. It was David’s first time and he made the mistake of ordering the hot chocolate… sugar overload. They are perfect with a little espresso. I will be dreaming of these wherever we move next.
A piece of Canada in Paris
Lululemon’s second showroom opened in Paris. And via my connection to DoubleYou Fit, I was invited to the grand opening. I gawked at the crazy expensive prices but it’s good to know if I am ever in need of emergency yoga/Crossfit gear, I know where to go. I noticed all the colours and patterns were quite subdued considering it is spring/summer afterall. They are more adventurous in Canada.
Remember last month when I went to the Indoor Windsurfing event. Well thanks again to Michelle’s impulsive ticket purchases, we found ourselves at the Rugby 7’s World Series. We had never been to a sporting event in Paris and although this wasn’t as popular as soccer, it was still loads of fun. Rugby 7s is a quick, fast paced game. Only two 7-minute halves and 7 men on the pitch. Between us and the two other couples, we cheered for Canada, USA, Wales, Portugal and France. Canada didn’t do so well and Fiji won in the end. Overall, a fun way to spend the day.
Picnic season has arrived
We’ve been complaining about the rainy, miserable weather. And it’s seriously getting pretty depressing, saved only by the sprinkling of sunny days here and there. Recently we took to Champ de Mars to profiter as they say in France (it roughly means to take advantage of).
Lucky for our guests, it happened to fall during their visits. First up were David’s aunt and cousin. Then, just this past weekend, Lisa, David’s sister came for a visit. I literally can’t wait until we can spend most of our evenings eating a packed dinner outside as the sun sets over this most beautiful city. It makes us fall in love with Paris all over again.
And now you’re caught up! As I mentioned at the beginning, I’m on a yoga retreat for the full week and I’m excited to share my experience from it when I get back to Paris.