Goodbye Paris, France

Our last days in Paris were influenced by what happened back home, and I wasn't feeling well. I don't know if it was the same old health issues, or if it was a reaction to the horrifying massacre. Maybe a combination of both, I really don't know. We ended up spending most of our time from Friday night to Monday night in our hotel room, watching the news and reading Norwegian newspapers online. It had then been rainy, chilly and grey outside for a few days, so it was kind of nice to stay indoors, eating Chinese food from the nice takeaway restaurant next to our hotel.

Despite of the weather, which turned out to be quite nice on Monday, we had decided to go back to La Gueuze for our last dinner in Paris. I wanted the 'Confit de Canard' one last time before leaving, and we also wanted to say goodbye to the wonderful staff. We were served an aperitif each of something I thought to be some kind of homemade black currant juice with alcohol. As it turned out it was raspberry beer mixed with whiskey and black currant liqueur. An interesting mix! We spent the evening at La Gueuze, ate and drank, having a really good time - the perfect ending to a wonderful vacation.

The trip home went fine, no unexpected problems anywhere, but being back in Norway is somewhat sad. I miss Paris already. Very much. I miss the city, its people, their mentality, the food and drinks, and all the friends we've made. At the same time it certainly feels good to be home, sleeping in our own bed. We are definitely going back to Le Quartier Latin, and we have already booked our hotel room for our next trip in 2012. I'm spending the next couple of days unpacking all the stuff I've accumulated while on vacation, taking pictures, sorting through everything, and then I'll do another post to show you what I've purchased.

Who would have thought I'd fall so deeply in love with Paris?
Stay tuned for the fun stuff. Grin


Revisiting Champs-Elysees

I'm a little sad when I realize we're headed back home in only four days, but I'm really missing our little fuzzballs now. Like a lot. We spent our day on Champs-Elysées, walking around, having Paris' worst cup of Starbucks, and shopping at the ginormous Sephora. Can you tell how much I love Sephora? This time I wasn't half as stressed out as I was last time, so I actually managed to have a look at things, and buying some goodies there as well. I think this must be my fourth trip to Sephora while here, and this is really starting to get expensive! I stopped by the following counters: Dior, Make Up For Ever, M·A·C, Urban Decay. The man at the Dior counter was very nice, and helped me find what I wanted and match me to the correct shade. At the M·A·C counter I asked the MUA to line my eyes, and she made me look so beautiful by using only the Technakohl Liner in "Graphblack" and some setting powder. I need to get the hang of this liner business, I really want to look like this every day!

We've been stopping by Starbucks a lot while here, but the one on Champs-Elysées, oh man.. it's the worst coffee I've ever had. Apparently they had a new recipe for their wonderful Frappuccino®, or at least that's what they told us, making it taste like crap. Ugh. So disappointed. Apart from Sephora and Starbucks we didn't really do anything but walk around, Øyvind wanted to stop by a few car exhibitions as we walked past, and we shared another nice day in Paris.

Oh, and the buses of Paris deserve their own paragraph in this post. All our experiences with them has been wonderful, no trouble at all. Most of them have automatic ramps and a nice space reserved for people in wheelchairs, and when you signalize for the bus to stop, the driver stop where it's easiest to enter. If people are being asses (apparently they are found here as well), refusing to move from the reserved space, the bus driver will demand them to move away. Awesome! Pleasant drivers, helpful and nice, making it a breeze to get from A to B by bus. It's so good to know that buses are indeed a possibility, so two thumbs up from me!

I wrote this post when we arrived back at the hotel after a nice day in the city, only to understand from Twitter that something horrible had happened at home. I quickly learned that there had been a terrible explosion in Oslo, killing seven people, and there was also a massacre on Utøya, killing a lot of innocent youths. I feel bad for posting about our vacation when something awful like this has just happened, but I choose to keep updating my blog for my friends and family. My heart and thoughts are indeed with everyone involved, both in Oslo and at Utøya.


La Gueuze, Confit de Canard

My dad always told me that I'd turn into a potato if I kept on scoffing them down like I did as a kid, but if that is the case I'm about to turn into a duck. Yep, you read correctly, a duck. Quack! I've found my favorite "restaurant" of all times, with the nicest staff ever, and I've fallen deeply in love with one of their dishes: preserved duck with sauteed potatoes. Oh Em Gee. La Gueuze is the name of the place, and if you're ever in Paris I recommend stopping by for a bit to eat, and maybe a beer - as they offer a nice selection.

Apart from dreaming about the 'Confit de Canard' of La Gueuze, I have to admit I've been shopping a little more. OK, maybe a lot. I decided to visit the local Sephora again, since I love Sephora, and naturally it got expensive. As usual. Well, at least I bought a new fragrance for my fiancé, which happened to be the most expensive item in my cart. In addition to my goodies, that is. The first three items on my list wasn't acquired during my Sephora Shopping Spree. Amira had bought a Chanel palette and a NARS Lip Lacquer for me before I traveled to Paris, but instead of sending it by mail she brought it to me when we first met - and I forgot to add it to the relevant post.

Let's see, what else? Oh! I wanted to look for a pair of jeans, as the ones I have are a bit tight around the waist, so I ventured into a clothing store close to the hotel. I started flipping through jeans, and I suddenly came across a pair of skinny ones with patches on the thighs. I instantly wanted it, I'm a sucker for special designs on jeans, and it felt really soft and nice. And I couldn't help but grin when I saw the price tag: €5. For a pair of jeans! And if that wasn't enough it was the last pair, and the size turned out to be a perfect fit. I also picked up a burgundy "varsity" jacket (with PU sleeves) and a black 'leather' skirt, which might just be too short for me - but it just looked amazingly cool. Did I mention how much I love the pair of jeans? I will definitely go back to see if I can find me another pair.

So today we were supposed to meet up with Amira again, but I couldn't seem to reach her. It was a bummer, so we went to back to Galeries Lafayette alone to kill some time. I also wanted to stop by Hard Rock Cafe to buy a t-shirt or.. four, two shot glasses and a keychain (a nice addition to my ever-growing collection). After buying my very first Dior Vernis nail polish I could not stop thinking about the limited edition "St. Tropez", which the sales woman was wearing when I was at Galeries Lafayette the first time. Yes, I noticed. I started looking for it online without any luck, found that it was sold out from the US Dior and so I wanted to go back to Galeries Lafayette to see if they might still have it - and they did! I was so happy when I found it that my heart actually started racing. A little pathetic, I know - but at least now it's mine.

I do realize that I write a lot about shopping, but none of us are overly interested in arts and culture, so our vacations consists of taking it easy, living life to the fullest, enjoying good food, and shopping. I've also had days where I've felt the need to stay close to the hotel, days where we haven't been doing much at all.


Shopping with Amira!

On Friday I finally got to meet my darling friend Amira for the very first time, and it was so nice finally seeing her! We've been chatting online for several years, but never had the chance to meet until now. We met outside Jardin du Luxembourg, and sat down on a bench in the park just talking until she had to catch her bus home. It's hard to explain, but it's so awesome when you meet someone in real life, who you've only known online, and you just click. I'm so lucky to have friends like her in my life.. just as I have Pinchy, Fieran and Ingrid, who always manage to magically brighten my days.

We decided to meet up again on Saturday to go shopping. Poor Øyvind, leaving with two makeup and shopping crazy girls, but at least he was able to bring his iPad to avoid death by boredom, or even makeup overkill. I have to say that I'm amazed by the bus system here in Paris, it's so easily accessible! We just have to point at my wheelchair and the driver stops, ejects the ramp, and I'm all set. Since we all needed some food we decided to start off at KFC, which I've never been to. Yes, I am a fast-food lover, so naturally it had to be checked out like everything else! It was crowded by doves, making my heart ache for them with all their injuries (some lacked feathers, others lacked claws and feet), but we managed to have a nice meal without any dove-crashing-into-any-heads-incidents while sitting there.

After having eaten a little we decided to venture on, and stopped by the huge Apple Store on Opéra because of it's nice architecture. I wanted to take a look at their accessories, and I ended up buying a Griffin A-Frame Stand for my iPad - I did tell you that I bought an iPad, no? Anyway. I'm loving the stand, it's the perfect height and everything. Makes nerding so much more convenient. We then moved on to the enormous department store called Galeries Lafayette, heaven for a shopping geek like myself! OK, so I was a bit overwhelmed when we entered, there was people everywhere not really minding me, but I still managed to navigate in between everyone (without injuring any toes). And the ceiling? So incredible! I'll go back and take some pictures during the week, I promise. Inside I found a gorgeous bright coral pashmina I had to get, now regretting that I didn't get one in another color as well, before hitting all the makeup counters. Honestly I can't really remember what we saw when, but the first counter we stopped at was M·A·C. Of course. Amira wanted to take a closer look at the new mineralize eye shadows from Semi-Precious, and I wanted the 234 brush which I didn't find at the local M·A·C. I scored! I don't remember if I said so already, but in addition to the two MES I got on the first day here I also got two more: "Dark Indulgence" and "Blue Sheen". They all look so gorgeous in the pan, and applied wet they are indeed to die for. I also purchased a bottle of Dior Rock Coat, a top coat meant to "smoke up" any regular nail polish. Quite cool actually! I might get a few other Dior nail polishes, we'll see what happens. There's a color called Nirvana, which keeps calling my name.

After a quick break at a Starbucks - I cannot understand why we don't have Starbucks back home, their Frappuccino® Chocolate Chip or even Java Chip is the most amazing beverage on Earth - the next stop on our plan was the other ginormous department store called Printemps. Another heaven! I immediately saw the Giorgio Armani counter, and wanted to take a look at their Eyes to Kill eye shadows. My God. It's something in-between a cream and a powder, without actually being a cream. So smooth, so nice, and the "02 Lust Red" is such an amazing color! I kinda wish I could get more, but with their steep price I refuse to dish out for more than maybe two. I'm lemming "04 Pulp Fiction" as well, but I'm leaning towards skipping it.

After seeing these amazing department stores it was time to head back to the hotel, and in the meantime it had started to rain. Like a lot. Like seriously. Stupid as I am I was wearing a white shirt, white linen pants and a white and silver scarf, so when we arrived back at "our" bus stop and had to walk to the hotel - without an umbrella - I suddenly realized that my clothes had indeed gone see-thru. I was soaking wet from head to toe! Oh well. Just a little everyday action there, I guess? Anyway, I had such an amazing day with Amira that no rain could ruin the day for me.

Interested in knowing what I've shopped so far?
Feel free to "continue reading".