I am sitting in a coffee shop in Iowa City, excited to have WiFi because we still don't have it in our new house. (Long, long story but we won't get it until next week!). I realized that I had not posted the conclusion to our Parisian adventure and Day 7 did turn out to be a little bit of an adventure. On our last day of vacation, Bennett came down with a terrible cold and I was still limping a bit from my stubbed toe. We had reserved Monday for our 'shopping day' so I could basically spend the Euros we had left - perfect plan in my opinion and I was not going to let a bandaged up toe and sniffling husband get in the way of my Paris shopping dreams. After sleeping in, we hit the shopping district of Faubourg Saint-Honoré which is home to everything from cheap vintage stores to Louis Vuitton. Bennett humored me at first and walked around a bit but then decided to hang out in a nearby park while I explored.
The two highlights of my shopping experience in Paris were La Grand Épicerie de Paris and Le Bon Marché. La Grand Épicerie de Paris is a foodie's dream and reminded us of a huge Dean & DeLuca. Le Bon Marché is one of the most famous department stores in Paris and is often referred to as the first department store in the world. It has all of the great designers there and I had fun walking around and admiring all of the Alexander McQueen and Diane Von Furstenberg collections, something that you do not find in Iowa. I ended up buying a bracelet there to remind me of our time in Paris; Bennett said that the bracelet must be a riddle because I look at it so much that it seems like I am trying to figure it out. After buying my little bracelet, I was riding down the famous huge escalators at the store, and my maxi skirt got caught in the escalator! I did not realize it was caught until I reached the end of the escalator and tried to walk off but could not because I was literally stuck to the escalator. I was mortified. I was in this beautiful department store in Paris by myself and could not for the life of me get my skirt unstuck. I tried asking people walking by for help but did not have good enough French to do so. Everyone just walked by me and stared (a few laughed) instead of offering help. I decided to just rip my skirt free, which was the only plan I had besides taking my skirt off and leaving it at the escalator. After about 10 minutes of pulling and ripping as hard as I could, I freed myself from the escalator with a huge piece of my favorite skirt remaining stuck. I ran as fast as I could to the park to meet Bennett shaken up from embarrassment and sweating from the strength it took to free myself. ::sigh::
After the 'escalator incident', we hit up the grocery store and got some bread and cheese to eat at home like real Parisians since Bennett wasn't feeling well and I was tired from the tug of war with the escalator. When we got home, his sinus headache grew worse so I proudly marched down the streets of Paris and found a pharmacy where I somehow managed enough 'French' to get him some cold medicine. We watched Modern Family for the rest of the night and flew home the next day with all of our flights on time. I have tried to reflect on how Paris has changed me and think that it will take awhile to set in and fully engage in reflection. I do know, however, that I will be drinking more espresso from now on and have an awesome tattoo.
Pictured below are bakery goods from La Grand Épicerie, our pile of used Metro tickets, me shopping at Le Bon Marché (you can see the beautiful escalators in the photo), and a wonderful man on our 9 hour flight that went around giving passengers coffee.