I’m Ruined for Life, all Thanks to Paris

You know that moment when you realize you’ve been ruined? You see/eat/do/feel something so amazing and perfect you know you can never go back to where you came from? In one day in Paris (on Day 2, specifically), I had three very specific things ruined for me:

  1. Macaroons
  2. Cheese
  3. Bread

For a little backstory: since we’re terrible at picking out food, but fantastic at eating, we planned for a “Food Tour of Paris” for our first full day.  I decided that we needed someone to tell us what to eat and where to find it. We booked through Secret Food Tours and chose the Montmartre neighborhood tour.

Our group for the tour was small, a family of four from Boston and a couple from Melbourne who were on their honeymoon. Our tour guide was a true Parisian lady, who made us feel like she was just a friend showing us around her neighborhood. She knew all the shopkeepers and they all knew her and thus were very friendly to us tourists.

We walked for about two hours, stopping at a macaroon shop, a chocolate shop, a bread bakery, a cheese shop, a pastry and dessert bakery, a butcher and a wine store. At the macaroon stop we were allowed to sample, but the other places our guide made purchases (for our picnic) and we were taught how to order in that type of establishment, what the symbols mean on signs and labels (so that you know what you’re ordering and whether it’ll be good).

At the end of the walk we posted up in a park for a picnic to eat it all. It was glorious. A couple of the boys on the tour were picky eaters and didn’t like wine… thankfully I was there to pick up their slack.

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DSC_4571This was clearly a hard day to get through.
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Ahh Paris….

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Doing it Right: Tea Time on a Yacht

Our good friends Phil and Jonathan have spent a year across the pond and we couldn’t pass the opportunity to visit them (we’ve really missed them in DC) and of course take advantage of a free place to stay.

Going into London we naïvely had no worries or concerns. They speak English, we knew things would be expensive and they do tea in the afternoon – what more did we need to Google-search before we went? We also knew our priorities for the visit would be simple: spend time with friends, ride a double-decker bus and drink tea with small sandwiches as a snack. OH and enjoy traditional pub fare. Live like the locals, right?

We were also pretty confident in our word-traveling-chops. Having flown across the ocean before, we knew not to make the same mistakes and arrive either exhausted (as we did in Italy, 2013) or hungover (as we did in Copenhagen, 2014). This plane ride we limited ourselves to exactly one movie and one glass of wine. It was sadly uneventful but we did arrive somewhat ready for a day of touristing.

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Thank god, too. The Tube line we needed to take to get to Wimbledon was down when we arrived so we quickly needed to figure out the bus system. The bus we needed was a double decker (!!) – check that one off the list! We were also on a time-crunch as Phil told us we were doing tea on a yacht and needed to meet Jonathan on the boat by a very specific time.

I was NOT going to miss this yacht-tea-event. Unfortunately the bus took for-freaking-ever to get around town. After about 30 minutes of weaving around narrow London streets I had had about enough of my double-decker experience and was ready to move on to the next item on my list. A few Dramamine pills later we were walking the streets of Wimbledon (note: it’s a neighborhood AND a tennis facility) on our way to the apartment.

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Heading to the yacht, Kyle and I were panicked. We were definitely running about 10 minutes late and the assumption was that Jonathan was about to sail off for tea-time without us.

And you know what they say about assumptions … it turns out the yacht doesn’t actually sail.

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Also, as you can tell from the photos, tea time in London is properly amazing. A perfect way to start this #ZellerTrip!

More Thoughts on Copenhagen

This is the last post on our trip. Before I forget, I have a few things to say about Copenhagen:

1) It was cold, and not in the “OMG is it really still snowing in late-March!?!?”-cold, it was cold like, “yep this is March in Scandinavia”-cold. And you know what, the people were just crazy happy that the SUN was OUT, and that seemed good enough excuse as any to grab ice cream and sit outside for lunch. And that’s what it seemed the city was doing, sitting outside for lunch in the sun, and grabbing ice cream on their way home (or wherever they were off to).
2) The men were total peacocks. They had perfectly styled hair you knew has taken a lot of time and probably money to get, and they had really cool thought-out clothes and shoes (in my opinion at least).  The women were more plain, a lot less makeup and accessories than I am certainly used to.
3) It appeared completely common for the dad/husband to be in charge of babies and young children when out of the house. I can’t count how many dads I saw with strollers and with their children sans-mom. You don’t really realize that it’s different, until it hits you that this is NOT like how it is in the US. For the record, the dads all seemed completely capable of handling the children on their own.
4) The people of Denmark really must be the happiest in the world (after UD students of course). They were just beyond friendly and courteous. Must be all of that ice cream and fresh, cold air.5) If you think the US has some hippies you should check out Christiania. I won’t go into any details, but there is a strict “no photo” rule, so the only photo we have is this first one:

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This is the ice cream shop we hit up on our last day, it was quite a crowd for such a cold day:
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Oh and 6) BIKES. The biking culture is not even a subculture like it is in DC. People bike, and that’s just how it is. The bike lanes were safe for riding on, there were bike traffic signals, and EVERYONE was biking around. Hence, floods of bikes tied up outside their metro stations:
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Kyle looks good in Denmark’s hats: DSC_2917DSC_2920DSC_2932
On our last morning, before heading to the airport, our host couple treated us to some DELICIOUS Danish rolls – yes, those are pumpkin seeds on bread – I still have dreams about it: DSC_2943DSC_2944
Can’t wait to go back next year for the big wedding!