As we wrap up our last few days in Paris, what better a time to think back on all the things we’ll miss when we leave… Here are the 10 big ones, in no particular order…
1. Bakeries – How could you not miss a bakery on almost every block? There must be 10 within a 100m radius of our apartment. They all vary in selection and quality, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Our favourite bakery always gives AK a treat before we leave, and if we’re lucky, we get to listen to the cashier berate her husband (the baker) for the quality (or lack thereof) of his bread that day.
2. Cheap Wine – If you’ve been following Wino Wednesday, then you’ll know that we bought a wine each week for under $5, and were rarely disappointed… There were still many we hadn’t tried so we’ll be back again to finish the job one day.
3. Cruesli – Possibly my most favourite breakfast cereal ever, those crunchy bits of granola mixed with dark chocolate flakes will bring a tear to my eye each morning in Canada where I must survive on just plain old granola.
4. Markets – We visited many, many markets, and I took thousands of pictures at them. We simply just couldn’t get enough and while there is a farmer’s market in Calgary, it’s pretty artificial, and none of the vendors are actual farmers.
5. Our small apartment – Just to clarify, we won’t miss our first apartment that was 150 sqft and was incredibly hot, on the 7th floor with no elevator, hardly had any dishes, and had a kitchen so small I could touch both walls with my shoulders. We will miss our current 300 sqft apartment in Montmartre. It’s a great size for our family, not too small, but not too big either. Everything we need in a compact space that’s easy to clean.
6. Trains – We’ll really miss train travel. Europe is so compact that a few hours on a train and you are easily in another country, and many of the trains give deals if you travel with a baby. There’s lots of room for AK to run around and we live pretty close to a few of the main stations.
7. Walking – Calgary is not a very walking friendly city. There are nice places to walk, but you generally have to drive to them, kind of defeating the point. Paris is a very walkable city (as long as you keep your eyes out for the dog poo), and while we took the Metro alot, it’s very easy to walk to most destinations and you are rewarded with all sorts of discoveries along the way.
8. Little Shops – While there are a few chains and even the odd big box store, the majority of shops in Paris are little ones run by families. They’re all quite quaint and often sell a very limited scope of things (like the store by our old apartment that only sold products made of cork…). They are always entertaining and you never know what you are going to find.
9. AK’s metro friends – We’re not really sure where she gets it from as neither of us are particularly outgoing, but AK has a knack for making friends on the metro. There hasn’t been a single trip on the metro in the last 6 months where she hasn’t made a friend who would wave, blow kisses, sing songs, or even offer her candy. They ranged from little girls to businessmen to crazy ladies, all were very entertaining to us.
10. Dairy products – How could you not love dairy products in a country like France. Cheese and yogurt is not only plentiful but incredibly cheap, and I had no idea that you could have a choice when selecting butter!