Though it wasn't exactly planned that way, Elze had a dinner party the night I decided to quit my internship and never return and so I took it as a personal gift and as a dinner celebrating my grand exit. Elze was a wondrous hostess as always and served us pasta in a six-mushroom cream sauce followed by duck breasts on a bed of greens. The most amazing part was that she had no oven and so had to get a bit creative with some of her cooking. One wouldn't know, however, because everything was delicious!
I stayed until everyone else had gone and Elze and I remained chatting and drinking whiskey soda's until 3 o'clock in the morning. Since the Metro stops before this enchanted hour I ended up crashing on her pullout bed with her on one side and Suanne on the other. Whether the bed was comfortable or not I'm not exactly sure, but I did discover that whiskey makes a wonderful sleeping pill. After sleeping in until 1pm I decided to finally make the trek back home via Metro and was not to pleased with all the pumping around in a hot stuffy train car filled with people smell.
So while it may not have been the most romantic or graceful way to step into my freedom, since then I think I've been doing fairly well. Just yesterday, for example, I went on a little mission to find a small kitchen boutique that I discovered after a tour of the Musee d'Orsay. The shop is beautiful and is filled with tons of hand painted, french serving dishes. I bought my sister a birthday present there and thought it might be a great place to look for Christmas presents. "Isn't it a bit early to be Christmas shopping?", you may be asking, but since every year I put it off to the last minute I am trying to learn from my mistakes and get it going earlier.
While I may have neglected to remember the exact street this charming shop was on I did remember that it was right near a Laduree. How divine, I thought to myself, I can stop for some macarons on my way. I of course ended up going to the wrong Laduree but since it took me a whole day to realize that it was Sunday and my little shop would be closed, I figured that it didn't make much of a difference anyway.
I was meeting up with Elze and Suanne and the three of us popped into Laduree to buy some macarons. The place was absolutely packed. The restaurant had a line out the door and the macaron boutique was practically overflowing. I went for a licorice (which had a caramel filling), a salted caramel, a green apple, a lemon, and a cassis. They were all lovely with the salted caramel and green apple being my favorites. Really, these are a superb cookie. If you can even call them that. I am going to spend hours and hours days and days trying to perfect my macaron shell because after biting into Laduree's crispy exterior, soft cookie interior and having the textural holiness followed by such divine fillings, I want to be able to offer that kind of bliss to other people.
Though I claimed that I would only have one to start and finish the rest after lunch, by the time we sat down at Cafe de l'Olympia at 2 Rue Seze, I was swallowing the last bites of my last macaron. These are intense little delicacies that are supposed to be savored in small quantities, but being the American I am I just couldn't help myself. They're so damn tasty! Plus I had five different flavors. I didn't want to play favorites and leave one waiting to join the others in my belly.
With a stomach full of almond flour and powder sugar, we sat down to have a drink. We had stumbled on the place and weren't sure if we would trust the food but my roommate Christy and her hunky boyfriend, Mr. Johnson were in the vicinity and we thought it would be a shame not to meet up. But as they were serving us our wine we all took a look around at the food other people were receiving. From the first glimpse of a plate of escargot I knew I wanted to eat there. Plus the fries (or frites) looked like they would be a nice greasy complement to the macarons chillin' in my gut.
Feeling a new appreciation for all things French I decided not to hold back and went ahead and ordered a plate of escargot and cuisses de la grenouille (frogs legs). If only I hadn't left my beret at home I would have felt completely in the mood. I may have even lit up a cigarette just to look like on of the cool kids. But even without the stereotypical getup I enjoyed my meal (along with some of Mr. Johnson's and Elze's fries) and felt excited for the days to come. Now all I needed was my camera, my notebook, and a mission.
So get ready folks. There's a whole big city out there just waiting for me to explore it. I can't wait to have a macaron-off, or uncover my favorite hidden shop. I can't wait to fumble through my limited amount of French, to drink wine on the Champs, or spend a day at an art show. And the best part is that there is a purpose to all of it. Making this about my blog and not just about me gives me an objective, a focus, and well... a purpose. Sure having my job title be "blogger" may be a bit flaky, especially with my 20 readers to back it up, but it's all I need to feel validated. So let the games begin. I'm ready to get this party started and pump up the volume. The race is on, and who let the dogs out?