dimanche 23 décembre 2007

we will never have it this good again

Another take it easy day with no set plans. Outside this morning a brass band was playing Christmas songs. I took pics and video. Got some groceries. After lunch, decided to go to the Marché Noël at Nation on the Right Bank. Went with Nayo. It wasn't that great, just loads of artisan crafts. Nayo then remembered that I wrote down the best place to get hot chocolate in Paris in my Moleskine--I had copied it from Melissa's chocolate book. Unfortunately, I only wrote the street it was on: Rue de Rivoli. But it's called Angelina.

We walked from Chatelet down Rue de Rivoli towards the Louvre looking for this place. It was fun. Not too many people out, less than I expected since it's the holidays. Since the Louvre was on one side of the street, it made our job easier finding this place. We finally found it--it's across from Les Tuileries. There was a line outside the door.

We waited for 10 minutes, not that long. There was a patisserie to the left inside, and beyond the foyer loads of people sitting in this beautiful salon. If it had been more ornately decorated it could have looked like some buffet dining hall in Vegas, but no, it was stately without being pretentious. The staff was dressed in black slacks and white shirts, the girls being in black skirts and white aprons.We got what we came for: hot chocolate. Nayo and I both chose white chocolate, for a change. I also got a millefeuille, and Nayo got a Mont Blanc. The millefeuille was SO GOOD. Thin layers of buttery, flaky, crispy goodness between rich cream. Yum.
I told Nayo that I didn't think I could ever drink hot chocolate ever again if it wasn't like this: smooth, rich melted chocolate. My mouth waters just thinking about it. So decadent. Now that I know what amazing tastes like, why would I ever go back? I wouldn't. I asked her, "Do you think there's anything like this in the States other than that watery stuff mixed with powder?" She said no.

After, we sat in the Tuileries in front of the fountain where I took one of my first "Paris For A Year" blog banners. It was frozen, and there were ducks slipping on the ice. It was cute.We walked through the Tuileries towards the Louvre, then made a right and crossed Pont Royal. We walked towards St. Michel and browsed the many book vendors who sell used books along the sidewalk. Nayo bought a Henry Miller book, and I got a Tintin book. I like the drawings and Taylor's boyfriend suggested them to me.

We talked about what life was going to be like after Paris, and compared San Francisco to Paris. I agree with what Nayo said to me, San Francisco has beautiful parts, yes, but they're all spread out. Paris is one beautiful thing after another. It must be the history, the layout of this city, the buildings, the art, the food, I could go on...It must be all these things that make me fall in love every time I step outside. And I can't help but feel that I will be comparing everything else, when I leave, to Paris, and that nothing will ever measure up.

I will never forget that, despite the language barrier, the cold, the being away from family and friends...I will never forget that, despite all these things that could make a person absolutely miserable, I had it really good for one year. I had heaven.