Our first Monday in Paris was sweet and simple.
We woke up late again (jet lag, LEAVE US ALONE ALREADY...), but amazingly, the first thing we did was sit down to work on music. I can't remember the last time I woke up first thing in the morning to write, so this is a really good sign. Maybe the creative recovery process is actually working.
Michael experimented with making some tracks in one room, and I sat in the other working on the melody and lyrics for a new song we started together last night. It feels wonderful to be writing songs again.
After our mini music session, we went out for a walk. We decided ahead of time that the only goal was to make it over to Le Peloton Cafe for some coffee, but that we would take the long way, turning down whatever streets looked interesting to us. We saw some really beautiful little details.
We made it to the river by around 3:00, and just sat there for about an hour. The weather was perfect -- probably around 75 degrees and sunny. The pigeons waddled around like awkward pets begging for food, and the water sloshed up against the walls of the canal every few minutes. I love that everyone minds their own business. It's not that I don't want to chat or make friends, but it's so lovely just relaxing -- closing your eyes and turning your face up towards the sun. Breathing deeply, and only talking when you have something you'd like to say. It's very peaceful. (And that whole paragraph was so introverted of me...)
The city is so much less crowded on weekdays. It's so beautifully calm compared to the chaos and crowds of the weekend. I love both, but there's something about the break in the steady stream of tourists that makes the city feel like a real city and not just a giant museum full of selfie sticks (but to be fair, selfie sticks really do capture a great picture).
When we finally made it up to Le Peloton (which a friend had recommended), we realized that it was a place where everyone spoke English! The owner moved from Tampa, FL about 15 years ago, and everyone sitting in the cafe spoke English as their first language. Never thought I'd be excited about something like that. But we became instant friends with the girls sitting at the bar near us, and the baristas behind the counter. It was a lovely 2 hours of conversation and laughter, especially in contrast to the past few days spent trying to figure out any faux pas to avoid while interacting with the French. We're probably overthinking it, but we don't want to be bothering them. So the conversation was easy, and friendly, and it brightened up our spirits a bit more.
From there, we headed over the market to pick up groceries. This time we found more of a grocery store (as opposed to the Target-like 'Monoprix'), and had so much fun shopping.
We bought pasta for dinner to go along with the fresh peas, garlic, milk, cheese, and butter that we already had at home. We also grabbed some "boeuf" to make hamburgers (we'll see how that goes tomorrow...hopefully it's the same kind of deal), some pot de cremes for desserts, and a few other items to have over the next month (soy sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, ice cream, more coffee etc.).
By the time we went to check out we had a problem. The French don't have free bags at the register, for some reason. Everyone brings their own bag to take the groceries home (I actually saw one woman putting her groceries into a rolling suitcase...). But since we didn't have a bag with us, we wound up shoving as much as we could into my tiny purse and carrying the rest down the busy street in our arms, stacked up high. The lady at the checkout counter didn't seem pleased with us at all, and we got some second looks while we were walking down the street toward home.
We passed a wine shop, so I popped in and grabbed a cheap white to have with our creamy pasta, and luckily they sent me home with a bag. So we stuffed all the groceries into a pretty small plastic wine bag, and were so grateful.
Last stop was grabbing a baguette from the bakery right below our apartment, and then we headed up to cook dinner. It was so tasty. Now we will take it easy and go to bed early so that this perpetual tiredness will let up a little (I've almost fallen asleep twice while typing this.)
Now that we've really explored our neighborhood and I've written in detail as we've settled in, I'll probably move to 1 picture every day - just something to sum it all up. Who knows, maybe I'll be inspired to post more, and if so I will! But with slow internet and a beautiful world waiting on the other side of my screen, I feel compelled to sit here for a little less long.