April 5, 2012

PARIS, FRANCE — It’s Day #2 of our vacation and we’re getting the hang of walking everywhere and using the Metro as our subway. Of course, we need the exercise because we are eating, eating, eating…

We had a delightful first night snoring in the comfy beds of the two-bedroom, $327-a-night rental apartment that we found through

My daughter Gabi and I are sharing one of the full beds and our friend Judy has the second room. The kitchen is a great option that frees us from dining-out-dependency. In fact, we didn’t set foot in a single restaurant today. And yet, in this expensive city where the exchange rate works against our dollars, we’ve been feasting for $38 a day.

This morning, we shopped for food a few blocks over on Rue Oberkampf. What fun dropping in on a local supermarket for butter, recycled shopping bags and cookies; a greengrocer for fresh frisee, arugula and apples; a patisserie for a baguette, chocolate croissant and violet macaroon; and a tiny Sicilian specialty shop for olives, marinated calamari, homemade raviolis and olive oil.

Our landlord gifted us two bottles of wine — merci! We also supplemented our goodies with provisions I brought from home. Given the exchange rate, there’s no way I’m paying a small fortune for basics like jasmine rice and quinoa. So I packed them in my carry-on, which ensures that once they’re devoured, I’ll have room in my luggage for souvenirs. New shoes, anyone?

Even though I’m sure we could stick to a $38-a-day budget for most of the trip, we feel the restaurants beckoning. As for other stuff we did today, we finished our meals likety-split  then headed over to Paris Opera, now known as Opera National de Paris.

This afternoon, we also eyeballed Galleries Lafayette. The shopping emporium lived up to its reputation. Such a pretty department store. But nothing really  screamed “only in Paris” within our budget range. So we walked outta there unscathed. All Gabs and I bought were two refrigerator magnets for us and two pairs of ankle socks for a friend. Judy picked up a few things for her family. But as we left the store, Gabi spotted an H&M across the street where we did a little real shopping.  :)

We tried to hit some more of the spots y’all mentioned in an earlier blog post — we talked about Les Halles and thought about Montmartre. But the endless walking wore us out. Time for bed. Au revoir until tomorrow’s twitter tweet, which you can read in the sidebar on your upper right. And soon, another blog post!

And in case you want to read earlier posts about Paris:

3 ways I’m becoming a smart traveller


Come with me to Paris! 


10 tips for a trip to Paris