I woke up at 6:30 this morning, unable to contain my excitement over getting out to experience more of the city.  We started the day off right with a pain au chocolat from one of the few boulangeries that is open on Sunday, then headed over to the 5th Arrondisement to check out the outdoor market at Place Monge.  Piles of fresh fruits and vegetables, sausage stands strung with links of all sizes, cheese counters stocked with creamy wedges of brie, big hunks of gouda, and cute little rounds of chevre, and a tower of fresh baguettes that drew Shane in like a moth to a flame.  I could have spent several hours wandering among the different stalls, absorbing the different colors and smells, listening to the friendly exchanges taking place in French.  But we’d already burned off breakfast with all of our walking and were eager to satiate our need for some bread and cheese, so we picked up one of those lovely baguettes and a nice little round of chevre (and a couple of oranges to delude ourselves into thinking that we were putting together a well-balanced meal), and walked over the Arenes de Lutece for an impromptu picnic.  Shane nearly fell over with delight when he took that first bite of cheese-smeared baguette (crisp on the outside, perfectly light and airy on the inside), and I discovered that the way to this man’s heart is through a big hunk of freshly baked bread.  While we were sitting on one of the benches in the old stone arena (built in the first century AD, restored in the 1900’s – wow!), a pick-up game of soccer began in the sandy open space of the arena and so we sat for awhile longer and watched the guys play.  The whole morning was lovely and relaxing, and felt so genuinely “Parisian”.



I am worn out and ready for bed, so I’ll have to leave the rest of our day’s adventures for another post, but needless to say, we ate some crepes, we saw some art, we drank some wine, and we fell more in love with this city.  Bonne nuit!