06.17.2017 - 06.29.2017 90 °F
On the road again, this time to France with my sister for our annual birthday celebration. Smooth flight to Charles de Galle airport.... It is so crowded that we don't immediately find our driver but eventually it all works out and we land at our hotel in Paris. Of course, arriving so early in the day, our room is not ready yet, too bad! So...on the advice of our guide we walk to Luxumberg Garden. What an unexpected treat! We get a little taste of the streets and that beautiful French architecture, which is striking- it catches your eye at every turn.
At the gardens we decide to have a bite to eat and stop at a garden cafe. We sit down, read the menu, take pictures. The waiter runs back and forth (one waiter) never comes to take our order so after awhile we decide to move on. We treat ourselves to glacé (ice cream) which hits the spot. When we return to the hotel we get our room keys, decompress and step out for a bite to eat at a local cafe. Here is one of the situations we ran into. We walk into the restaurant. Nobody comes to seat us. We wait....... and wait. We assume we should seat ourselves...which we do. Again, we wait. The waiter is running around but never notices us. We decide to get up to ask if we need to be seated or do we choose a seat..? We are seated. . We wait for menus. They finally come. We make our choice, a starter called Pounti (a savory cake made with veggies and pork) over a mixed salad with a house dressing. For the entree we both opt for the salmon with a vanilla/almond cream sauce and mixed vegetables with a balsamic glaze. With that we also ask for two glasses of Chardonay.
A waitress comes over takes our order and brings us the wine. Time passes .....it's been so long that we start to wonder if we've been forgotten. The starter finally comes and it is delicious! Again...(tic-toc, tic-toc)....nobody comes to our table. As New Yorkers and of Swiss decent...this isn't working too well for us. We are thinking of asking for the check and heading out thinking they may have forgotten us. All of a sudden, the waiter comes and asks if we'd like anything else. "No, thank you" we say assuming that something got lost in translation and it was understood that we may only have wanted to order the Pounti and the wine. At this point it is quite late, we are soooo tired and jet lagged and are very ready to get back to the hotel. Since we are stuffed from the appetizer, we actually hope there is a misunderstanding. BUT, guess what....here comes the waitress with two plates. It's the fish! Omg! Now it will be another hour by the time we eat and get the check. We immediately ask for the check. We take a few bites but can barely eat our dinners (although delicious) due to over-exhaustion, heat and jet lag and the filling appetizer. We immediately go up to the waitress to pay and we're back in our rooms before we know it.
We realize we really need to chill. The French take their time and spend hours over their food and drinks. Its a religion here and is the way to go. They take their time. They relax...and enjoy. We are watching the clock, shoving down our food, running around like maniacs. We aren't used to the relaxed pace or the customs of the French yet but I think we'll get the hang of it.
It's only day one.