Sunday, May 29, 2011

Paris weekend getaway

Hey all-

During my last trip to Paris, an excersion I made while studying in London, I hit up pretty much all the major tourist attractions. As a result I wanted to do more walking in order to get a better idea or the city layout and also wanted to eat French food and hit the markets and flea markets. Katie was such a great host and we did just exactly that!!

First market on Saturday morning was La grande epicerie. Which should be on everyone's to do list when visiting Paris. The market was huge, had an amazing selection of everything, and gave out tons of samples, I left quite full!!

My unique cart, european beer and haribo :)

Have you ever seen such large asparagus?

Or so much nutella?

After we left the market we wondered around the area a bit more, and eventually worked up a decent appetite for lunch.

We first considered going to the original Cosi's, but the line was way too long.

Instead we selected a cafe with an open outdoor table and ordered a few plates to share:

More walking, passed by more amazing bakeries:

St Sulpice (action spot for the Da Vinci Code):

Gardens of Luxembourg:

The Pantheon:
Then we met up with a few of Katie's friends for a cute bar that had a menu with about 300 different kinds of cocktails. I ended up with one consisting of champagne, cognac, and orange.

Before meeting up with some of Katie's friends we stopped at the boulangerie for a baguette, I couldn't resist buying one and carrying one in my bag like a real Parisian.

I had a piece that evening but the rest in the microwave (acted as a breadbox to keep it moist) for breakfast.

Along with some goat cheese for a simple morning meal.

Since we were around Notre Dame we had to get ice cream from Le Flore en L'Ile!

I had a scoop of the white chocolate and the blood orange:

Notre Dame:
Tea time at Mariage Freres:

Such a large selection, but I ended up with the Happy Queen, a light refreshing tea with pineapple infusions:

In our walks we saw Jacque Cheraque:

Time for macarons!

Le Louvre:

Apart from the ice cream and a taste of Katie's macarons I had not eaten since breakfast but still wasn't very hungry. In the end we went to the grocery store on the way home and picked up a few things. For my final meal in Paris I kept it quite simple with some more bread, goat cheese, strawberries, and red wine:

Then I had a crazy day of travels. Up at 5:30, on the Metro by 6, then Paris to Geneva by TGV, to the Geneva airport, 2 hour wait for flight, Genva to London, run through Heathrow secruity on to my flight to JFK which was about 7 hours. The last flight was the worst, I was hot the entire time and could not hydrate myself. At last I made it to JFK and rushed home to recover.

Now it's off to work, I'm awake now but just waiting for the crash!!


Summer to do list

1. Linsday's wedding
2. Lots of hiking
3. Prep talk for next conference
4. Finish up big paper
5. Really start thinking about the next step...whether it's a postdoc or what have you
6. Lots of picnics in Central Park
7. Lots of kayaking around the city
8. Scuba lessons
9. Get camera fixed and start taking more photos with my SLR
10. US Open

And hopefully lots more in between. Still in Paris and just had a breakfast of a baguette, goat cheese, and tea. The perfect way to start a morning in France. Off to the flea market, tea shop, macaron shop, and Notre Dame. Should be a fun and packed day, will share when I return to NYC tomorrow!

Grosses bises,

Friday, May 27, 2011

On the train again

It's too expensive to stay in Switzerland, though there is much more of the country I would like to see before heading back to the states and lab on Monday. Instead I'm catching a train to Paris to visit my friend and old coRA Katie!

Before sitting and switching a few different trains for a quite a few hours I got in a last bike ride.

Packed lunch to save money, which featured a honey and cheese sandwich, fruit, and nutella (which I'll actually save for another time).

Oh and dinner last night was amazing!!!

A light mountain salad with warm croutons.

The main star, swiss fondue. I'm not usually one so excited by melted cheese, but this was out of this world!!

After about 2 slices of bread dipped in cheesy awesomeness (the only thing that could have made this better would be vegetables) they served a light and refreshing dessert of thinly sliced fruit.

There was also wine, which we were told was the best thing to drink with fondue, either that or hot tea. We followed the advice pretty easily since they kept our glasses full.

Still actually have more than an hour before I leave...I was going to go for a walk but it just started to rain. I guess I catch up on the news instead.


The Swiss Alps

My days here have been quite long. 3/5 mornings I've been out the door by 6 am to get in a hike or bike ride before our 7:30 breakfast.

We've then had talks, posters, and more talks and social time. In between there were also meals and an afternoon break. I generally spent the break either hiking a some more or taking a nap to recover from the information overload or exhaustion from allergies.

On our final day we skipped a session and took a bit of a road trip to explore Chillon Chateau.

Loved the signs posted throughout:

Before heading back to our conference area the guys of our group were hungry since they skipped lunch and decided to check out the Swiss McDonalds. Oh my was this place expensive, try >30 US dollars for 2 big mac meals. This country in general is crazy expensive!!!!