We just moved into our new apartment. It is so nice to be able to settle in and make Paris our home after being in a small hotel room with no air-conditioning! The girls are visibly happier too and are settling in better and having fun exploring their new surroundings. It is a very cute little apartment on the ground floor, yay! We are in a nice building with a concierge and code lock at the front door. Our apartment is at the back of the building so you have to walk through a little pathway with gardens on either side to get to our door. Also there is a little garden area in the back with just enough room for a couple of chairs to sit back and relax on. You have to climb through the window to get to it, but that makes it all the more fun! The back garden area is only accessible to anyone living on the ground floor on this side of the building. There is no other access, so it is very safe and secluded. Last night after the kids had gone to bed, Richard and I sat back there chatting over a beer until late. Pretty ideal. The apartment is very efficiently laid out. Sydney loves her little loft bed and although we have to pull out our bed every night and tear it down every morning, we are enjoying it. The owners left us some books and toys for the girls, including a couple of kids chairs. It is so nice that in this little studio apartment we have a little area set out of the way where the girls sleep and play.
The apartment is very conveniently located within two blocks of two supermarkets and the local outdoor market. Our market is only open on Tuesdays and Fridays, so we will be walking to other markets for the rest of the week so that we can check out the area and keep fresh food in our house. Our fridge, like most Parisians’ is only the size of a bar fridge so we must go for a walk to get groceries every other day. But again, that’s part of what makes Paris fun, besides, I get to practice my French. I am hoping to have to get better at speaking French all together, but for now I am very good at saying “Bonjour madam/monsieur, je voudrais un demi kilo d’apricots, s’il vous plait?”, etc.
Every market is a little different, with different vendors. but so far they are wonderful! We are finding that it’s not that expensive to live in Paris if you shop at the supermarkets and local outdoor markets. Les Boulangeries are great. They sell the best croissants, baguettes, and pastries. Paris is only really expensive if you go out to eat a lot. Though there are little shops that sell sandwiches for pretty cheap. Coffee is not the same here. If you make it at home it’s great, you can have it the way you like it. However, if you go out and order a coffee anywhere, for around 2 euros you get a tiny cup of espresso, I mean one ounce tiny. The coffee experience was the first thing that made us feel lost. “What’s that???” “Where’s my coffee”? A café o’lait is close, if you get it to go, but still the cup is less than half the size of an American small. Since in our new apartment, we have made some great coffee in a stovetop Italian espresso maker that the owners left in the kitchen. YAY. Richard, of course, takes his strong and black. I take mine with warm milk – practically a latté…mmm
So far we have walked to the Sorbonne twice to register Richard for classes and to take a placement test. The walk took over an hour! Not knowing how long it would take made it easier, but I did end up with blisters every where. The girls did great though. Sydney is getting used to French a bit more. At first if we would point something out and give the French word, like fenêtre , but Sydney would say “NO, it’s a window!” She is getting better now though. So the other day while we were walking she saw a dog, so of course as all kids do, she yelled “dog”! So we said, “oui, Sydney c’est un chien” . And so she goes on “Oh, dog chien!”, “Dog chien!”
Le 2 juillet – Norah’s birthday. We had a party for Sydney and Norah and a few of their other friends with birthdays around the same time at the end of June. So, today was low key.
Below you are some pictures of where we are staying for the next five months! Starting from outside the building, working our way into the apartment. Welcome to our home!