The other day I was incredibly relieved when my dad told me he was a couple posts behind in reading my blog. I thought good, cause I’m pretty behind in writing them.
Last Wednesday (le 16 mars) KATIE ELLIS arrived in Paris! I was so proud of being able to figure out how to get to Orly to pick her up…really it’s not that hard but I was scared I wouldn’t make it. By 10 p.m., we were in my apartment in Paris together!
After dropping off her stuff, we headed down to St. Michel for dinner. I wanted to show Katie the Seine and St. Michel at night, one of my favorite places. We went to Le Depart (which has some of the best French onion soup I’ve had here so far), and we both got kir royal(champagne with creme de cassis). At Le Depart, kir royal comes with glowsticks. Win! Katie told our waiter that it was my birthday (technically, I guess it wasn’t…but it was only half and hour shy)…at which point he suggested champagne. Instead I got a cocktail with champagne. I waited until midnight to drink it, making it my first legal drink! Too bad it really wasn’t, since in France it’s no big deal.
The next morning we went to Angelina for breakfast with Emily and Peter. It’s a tearoom near the Louvre where Coco Chanel used to hang out (nbd…)! We got some reeeally good hot chocolate and croissants (they’re known for the hot chocolate), then went on an adventure. I had to go to school, so on the way Katie and I stopped at the l’Arc de Triomphe and Trocadero for pictures (and to see them, of course). After class, we went back to my apartment for dinner.
My roommates Anne and Stephanie got a cake from Le Grenier a Pain, a boulangerie in Montmartre that has won the award for best baguette in Paris. Anne also got a bottle of champagne. Emily and Peter came over with dinner, wine, and more champagne, so we made some guacamole and ate before it was time to go out. After hanging out at my apartment for far too long and missing every happy hour we knew of, we went to go meet our friends in Place Monge.
An important part about the rest of this is that my birthday is also St. Patrick’s Day. This is not a really big holiday in Paris, beyond the pub scene. Thank goodness. I was SO tired of having a calendar dictating my wardrobe on my birthday to avoid being pinched.
However, it appears as though Place Monge had caught on with the Irish tradition. People wandered the streets wearing big hats that said “GREATNESS” instead of Guinness, holding plastic cups of beer and in general, making a racket. The first thing we did when we got there was get gelato with Sarah and Rebecca…who would have thought speculoos and pistachio together would be so good?
After the gelato came the moment of truth–where to go?! We went to the Student Bar (home of the aquarium, if you recall), but they were packed so we couldn’t sit down. In the spirit of the holiday(s) we got absinthe, sans wormwood (aka not hallucinogenic). It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever drank, but there was a definite, lasting licorice-flavored burn afterwards. Not fun.
After leaving the Student Bar, we went to another bar we had been to before called the Fifth. It was so packed people couldn’t get in or out of the doors, so after Peter tried to get up to the bar for about 10 minutes we decided to go somewhere else. We found a pub down the street and got some Guinness, and then decided to walk down to Shywawa.
At Shywawa, it was a lot less crowded than anywhere on Mouffetard. What a relief! We sat down at a table in the corner and two French guys came over and started talking to us. Eventually it came up that it was my birthday, and it was one of our new friend’s birthday too! They both started singing joyeux anniversaire to me, and quickly the entire rest of the bar joined in (keep in mind it was about 1 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day…).
Now, all throughout the night we had been trying to get a Guinness hat for me. Peter considered asking for one, then he was going to grab it and run. However, our new friends at Shywawa had one, and gave it to me when Katie told him we hadn’t been able to find one. PERF. After we finished our drinks we headed home…we had a long day the next day.