Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Paris je t'aime

Walking in Paris
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
Couple holding hands in front of Notre Dame
I've spent the last few days, when not at work, listening obsessively to French music, watching Amelie and dreaming about eating croissants for breakfast and indulging in baguettes and Camembert as much as possible.

We were in Paris in November of 2010. It wasn't a whirlwind of romance like in the movies, it was cold and I was layering every item of clothing I owned. We slept in a small dorm room in a hostel in Montmartre with two beds, four bunks. I woke up every day at 8 am and hopped in the shower so I could get dressed and ready before waking Matt up for breakfast. We ate a croissant with breakfast every day (that part was heaven). Because we were on a budget and Paris can be expensive, we only had a short period of time there. We purchased the four day museum pass and since I was determined to get our money's worth, we may have spent a significant amount of time in museums and art gallery's we weren't particularly interested in.

Looking at these pictures I've realized all of them, except the one of me walking, have a top tourist attraction in them. I'd love to go back and spend more time there, just wandering the streets taking pictures of everyday things and soaking in the atmosphere, with absolutely no where to go and no "sights" to see. It won't be for a while but I'm planning a trip, preferably an extended one with a few language classes involved, to France. For now I'll just listen to more French music and try to pick up a few words here and there. 

Bonne nuit.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gaoler's Mews

Gaoler's Mews
A little exploring on my lunch break with my camera today led me to Gaoler's Mews, a small courtyard in Gastown with a bit of a dark history. The spot previously held Vancouver's first jail until it burned down in 1886 and, I hear, the cobblestone courtyard was the very spot where the hangman's scaffold once stood.  According to Ghosts of Old Vancouver, a couple of ghosts haunt these spots. Though I haven't seen any myself, I do find it the perfect spot for a nice cup of tea and a good croissant, with the secluded courtyard serving up an atmosphere of intrigue and mystery.
Gaoler's Mews Carrall Street Entrance
Apres Midi Premium Teahouse
Shops in Gaoler's Mews
Reflection in the window
Alleyway of Gaoler's Mews
Apres Midi Premium Teahouse
Flowers in a window in Gaoler's Mews

Monday, May 21, 2012

tea for one

pouring a cup of tea
There's something about drinking tea out of a real tea cup on a weekend afternoon that is much more enjoyable. It reminds me of afternoons drinking tea with my Grandmother. Talking about current events, complaining about public transportation and reminiscing about Vancouver when it still had trolley cars and my Grandma was the one hanging out at the Commodore Lanes. 
We always drink Earl Grey. I'll drink three cups while she's still working on her first one. I'm usually on my second before hers is cool enough to drink. And we always have cookies, either Dad's oatmeal chocolate chip or shortbread. I didn't have any cookies today, but I didn't have any guests. It was just me having tea for one. Usually, I'll just drink tea out of a mug and I'll only make a cup, but there really is something about a traditional cup of tea that just tastes better. I'm going to start doing this more.
View of Gastown
This is my favourite view in Gastown.
Port of Vancouver
To celebrate my birthday this year, I tried to find Koshari in Vancouver and a perfect spot to eat it. Alas, the restaurant I found online that was supposed to have Koshari on the menu was closed in the afternoon (even though the hours on the window said it should be open!) and the line up of cars to Stanley Park was insane on this sunny day, so we ended up in Gastown, exploring pop-up shops featuring vintage goods and wandering to our second - but possibly better - choice park at the end of Main Street.