Mother Daughter Paris Trip 4
Thursday was a packed day. It was our last full day in Paris and we had a schedule to end all schedules. The first order of the day was to exchange money for goods we had been clocking in the few days we’d been around. our apartment was a five minute walk from avenue victor Hugo which houses a few cute kids & book stores. we had already been slapped up side the head by a couple of the shops boasting the most exquisite designer kids clothing. my mind and the adrenaline coursing through my body were telling me YES to the most adorable rain coat and wellies for mh. but my wallet reminded me swiftly I wasn’t actually Beyonce on a tour break. we ended up in du pareil au meme, a kids store whose prices were more in line with my wallet and mh’s habit of loving things in the shop and hating them on the day she needs to wear them. from there we went to a nearby vintage store. now, I remember walking 35 minutes to get to this store the last time I was in paris with kola & mh. i’d read about it online and was excited to see what I would find. it was a store that put me in my place…..firmly. if you’ve watched “my best friends wedding” you’ll know the line Julia Roberts’ character is thrown by her best friend whose wedding she tries to sabotage:
I'm pond scum. Well, lower actually. I'm like the fungus that feeds on pond scum.
Lower. The pus that infects the mucus that cruds up the fungus that feeds on the pond scum.
listen. i had walked halfway across Paris thinking, “heck - I can’t afford to march into Chanel or Louis Vuitton and just pick up a handbag, but I am sure I can find one I can afford in the vintage store.” ha!!! I might as well have been in Chanel for the prices they were throwing around. I was not the girl that cold buy a brand new Chanel handbag. nor was I the one who could afford the used one. shucks. who was I? so imagine my shock when we approached the vintage store Alicia had read about and it turned out to be the same one : RECIPROQUE. i almost didn't go inside. there really is an assortment of genuine designer goods. Like proper high end goods that mostly look like someone bought, took home, breathed on and decided they were done. just before i surrendered and walked out, we were alerted to the shoe section downstairs as well as a kind of “bargain basement”. like upstairs, the shoe section had a wide selection of luxury brand footwear at what I assumed were bargain prices for ladies who frequently lunch at the Ritz. in fairness though, we did happen upon a few things whose prices weren’t out of reach. as the cloud of despair began to lift I found a cute pair of miu miu boots that looked like someone tried them on in the miu miu store and they were rendered no longer good enough and sent to this shop. in the ultimate cinderella moment they fit! I did a happy dance and was joined by a jovial clapping shop assistant who had clearly been eager to get rid of them because they had been slashed to half the sale price. I couldn’t pay fast enough.
after the round robin shopping spree we dropped off our loot at home and headed out on our adventure for the day. our plan was to complete 2 walks. The first was the Rue Cler walk which we’d been promised by our guide book would would introduce us “to a thriving, traditional Parisian neighborhood [offering] insights into the local culture.” we were not disappointed! like seasoned Parisians we had headed there via metro and had a fun traipse to rue clear, passing a florist shop and enticing kids boutique on our way. Rue Cler is traffic free and so we could relax a little as we took in the activity, stores and architecture around us.
from rue clear we headed to Montmarte, for a walk that would take us from the Sacre Coeur to the moulin rouge. we got off at the recently refurbished Abesses Metro station. to distract from the fact that we were 36 metres below ground (it is the deepest station on the Paris metro system!), we were treated to artwork all the way up the winding staircase that would deliver us from the underbelly of Paris. it is almost worth going to this station just to enjoy the art - it definitely worked it’s charm on the kids. this staircase was only but a practice run for the the steep stairs waiting to carry us up to the majestic sacre couer.
not only did we get treated to some impromptu street dance in Montmartre, we were also treated to some interesting street art…..
after more weaving in and out of streets, we finally succumbed to our rumbling tummies and wound up at Roberta, and ate Italian in Paris! it was a beautiful, rustic modern restaurant with a loft feel. it was certainly buzzing and had quite a young vibe about it. the staff were very well trained on customer service which made for an enjoyable evening. unfortunately the food, which was the reason we were there, did not live up to expectation! MH & Maddie certainly enjoyed their meals but us moms drew the short straw with our meal which delivered a whole lot less than it promised….and I don’t even mean the fact that the one prawn on top was all the prawn in that dish.
after tackling a bit more of the walk which included seeing the Van Gogh residence, we made our way to the finish line: the moulin rouge. I had expected it to be hidden somewhere but right there in a busy intersection it was lit up and proudly watching the life going on round it. just like the sacre coeur though, it owned it’s spot in it’s corner of the city.
so yes, we started our walk at the holy sacre coeur, lighting red candles and enjoying the peace, and ended it at the not-so-holy moulin rouge which lit up red all by itself. however i’d love you to hazard a guess at where we watched a woman happily proposition a group of 3 men.
ooooh.. sacre bleu!