As I struggle through tumultuous days at my internship something that helps me make it through each day is coming home to my friends. We always have a hilarious time together and I'm sure that the bottles of wine don't hurt. A bottle of wine has a very short life span in our refrigerator and we finish at least one a night, and that's if we're holding back. It's just so easy to drink glass after glass when it's over a good meal with good friends and lots and lots of laughter.
We give each other a constant hard time, joke about the french and our bosses over sips of wine. The other night we got so inebriated and happy that we began wrestling. I even jumped on top of Elze and the two of us came crashing to the ground. She may or may not have received a concussion. All in all, the three of us ended up on the floor tickling, pinching, and smacking each other all while giggling our asses off. Sure we woke up the next morning with headaches, bruises, sore throats, and broken glass all over the place but we had certainly had fun in the process of injuring ourselves.
I decided to take a break from "vin" today but since drinking empty calories is oh so fun I wanted to take it further and go exploring for a cup of traditional chocolat chaud. Though this translates to "hot chocolate" it is so thick and rich that it can hardly be placed in the same family as the Swiss Miss instant hot cocoa Americans drink with marshmallows.
There are many popular and famous places to go for chocolat chaud, such as Angelina, but Elze had heard from another Paris blogger, I Prefer Paris, of a tiny little hole in the wall that was supposed to serve a mighty cup itself. Besides, we would feel much more like real Parisians going to an intimate and secret hideaway than a glitzy tourist spot. So we made the trek via metro to the little Comme a la Maison (9 Rue Saint Paul) in the Marais area of Paris.
Comme a la Maison was just oozing with frenchness that I knew it would be an experience before I even sat down. We had to walk on a tiny little street and into a tucked away courtyard before finding it. The outside metal tables and chairs were multicolored and welcoming. We ordered two cups of chocolat chaud at 5 euros a piece. The waiter was friendly and actually smiled. This was quite a change of pace from what I've become accustomed to and I was already falling in love with this little haven. When he returned with a sweet hand painted tray carrying to mismatched cups and a white pitcher of our molten thick chocolat I had to hold back a squeal of excitment. I didn't want to come off as too easy or too American.
Elze and I poured ourselves cups of the thick goodness and it lazily oozed from the pitcher as it dropped into our cups. This was going to be good. And oh it certainly was. Rich, dense, and chocolaty, this was not messing around. I anticipated many returns to this shop and knew that it would be something to crave on cold winter days in Paris. It was so heavy that even after I had sucked down the last drop of chocolat into my gullet there was still a centimeter thick layer of the tasty stuff clinging onto the sides of the cup. If I hadn't been so full I would've had a hard time resisting picking up the cup and licking it clean.
I couldn't help but chide myself a bit for taking this long to actually get out of the house. I've always been a bit of a homebody but when I'm forced to leave the confines of my bed and put on clothes that aren't pj's or sweats I generally have a good time. I'm one of those, "have fun whether you like it or not," type of people. And so when Elze and I took our time getting back home because we were too busy exploring the little streets of Paris, I enjoyed every second of it.
We even got off at a different metro stop than usual on our way home so that we could see some new things. What a novel idea. It's only been a month but why not start checking out my neighborhood instead of walking at a fast pace from the metro to my apartment like I may get attacked somewhere in between or, heaven forbid, see something cool.
We found loads of adorable and tasty looking restaurants, a tiny stinky little cheese shop that we plan on returning to tomorrow so that we can have a dinner of cheese, and what I think is my new neighborhood boulangerie. We were out of bread and so decided to stop in this shop to pick up a baguette on our way home. I should've known by the line (or queue as Elze likes to call it) that it was going to be good. And when I twisted off a piece of the baked scrumptiousness I could tell from the crispy sound it made that it was going to be worth every carbohydrate I was about to consume. The crust was perfect and well, crusty. The inside was full of flavor, soft, delicate, almost melting in my mouth and with a gorgeous irregular crumb. Elze and I had practically finished the whole thing by the time we got home.
What a fun enjoyable day we had together. Who knew Paris was entertaining? I thought it was just full of rude french assholes. So I vow to make a list of things I want to do while I'm here and while I'm out doing them I may as well take some time to explore the city and find something that I wasn't expecting. There are so many adorable tiny little shops (so small in fact that my wine gut and gigantic purse were in serious danger of knocking some things over), so many beautiful streets, beautiful buildings, and wonderful restaurants to discover.
When I get my list of "to-do's" sorted out I'll make sure to post it and keep you updated on what I accomplish, what I think, and what unexpected things I unearth in the process. I am not going to be in Paris forever and I need to spend as much time enjoying it as possible. I also need to remember that at some point my friends are going to return to their motherlands just like I am going to return to mine. So why not live it up in Paris together while we can? We may never see each other again but these are priceless memories we're experiencing together, so we may as well try and make them as awesome as possible so that our friends and family back home will be as jealous as can be.