Jour deux. See, look at me! Already becoming a native. It was nice to start the day fully rested and back on track with the timing. My mom and I walked just across Friedland to a little café to pick up a quick breakfast of croissants (they put American croissants to SHAME, like Kroger PLEASE don't even make your futile attempts anymore, it's like kind of embarrassing..), fruit, and coffee. My dad was just behind us.
We took a cab over to the left bank to their shops, which were a little more in high school teenager price range compared to Pucci and Escada. The first store we stumbled upon ended up being a victory! We went into a few more and I found some good buys. In one of the stores, we even discovered a lunch spot downstairs.
In the midst of our shopping, we stumbled upon the brand new hotel and restaurant-Ralph's. Ralph as in Ralph Lauren. Most likely due to its novelty, the place was completely booked for reservations. We did get a chance, however, to take a peek at the photo shoot going on which I enjoyed seeing.
Time was running short, but we didn't quite realize how short. We had tickets for a 12:30 train to Chartres to see the cathedral there. Plus, it gave us a chance to view the French countryside and what small French towns have to offer. We were seconds away from missing the train, but we made it nonetheless. The cathedral was beautiful, just like the Notre Dame. They are currently working on a 6 year renovation. We even got the opportunity to listen in on a choir practice for a performance later that evening.
Versailles lies between Paris and Chartres, so we decided to make a little detour in our day and visit Versailles before going back to the big city. Versailles had come highly recommended by many including my sister Erin and her hubby Jason and my English teacher Dr. Williams. Unfortunately, the chateau was closed early that night for a performance but we got to see bits and pieces. Brief summary: it's really freaking big. There's no wonder why the French were rather--shall I say--pissed off at Mr. Louis. The town of Versailles itself was beautiful. Lots of little avenues with cobblestone roads, ladders leading up to windows adorned with flower boxes, sidewalk cafés with locals chatting in French, and open air markets with clothes, accessories, and the like. All very charming indeed. We decided to explore the markets and eat dinner in Versailles for a change of pace. Little did we know, we wouldn't eat dinner until about 4 hours and 3 cities later.
These crazy French people. I swear they have a time range for dinner starting at 8:30 and ending at 9:30. Come to eat any time between that and you are shunned. I say this because every restaurant we went to in Versailles--which was about 6 different ones--turned us away because they open at 7:30, were serving Thai food (hello! we're in France, nobody wants yo thai food, i got nit noi for that!), or were only serving drinks). So after what felt like a marathon of a walk, we ended up back at the train station headed for Paris.
My mom and I couldn't bear to go out to eat looking, smelling, and feeling the way we did so after a hotel stop we ended up dining at 9:30. We weren't in the mood for any place far, so we went to a place near the hotel that was…well, I think it was a former karaoke bar of some sort? All I know is that there was only one other couple in there, they didn't believe in something us Houstonians are big fans of called AIR CONDITIONING, and they gave us potato chips as our starter. Alas, we were starving and ate our food in the miserable heat.
After a long exhausting day of travels, we took a walk to see the lit up sparking Eiffel Tower. My parents went to go grab drinks at our hotel bar, but I was wiped and ended up going back to the room to do just this! Write for all of you! Sacrificing the night life in Paris for the sake of all of you my precious followers--don't you feel loved? You best. Off to Austria in the morning, better catch some shut eye (yes, I'm one day behind..I will catch up!).