Joe Allens Paris

You always hear the saying its a small world but when it actually happens to you and you realize how small it really is, it’s actually a pretty cool feeling. Before leaving Nova Scotia I had been informed that a family friend had a cousin who worked at a restaurant in paris which I guess was pretty cool considering its across the ocean right!

Fast forward to October. I finally got the cell phone number to the cousin who apparently is the owner of the franchise; pretty cool! I looked up the location on Google maps ( oh how I love this app) and found that it was actually pretty close to where I had already explored in Paris but had never actually passed the area. I had a couple free hours with no specific plans so I met with my friend to check out the restaurant and to met this cousin!

Turns out it’s an American style restaurant (score!) and the owner was extremely friendly! You could defiantly tell he as a Canadian! We had a also let chat and he gave us some history on the Halles in the 1970s and how it used to be a huge market which fed the majority of paris. I actually love learning about the history of paris.. It’s more interesting than you may think.IMG_5522.JPG

The venue itself reminds me of an Irish pub In a way. It has tables outside but on the inside there’s a bar and of course more tables.

Oh fun fact about this restaurant! They actually give ice to their customers when they give them water! Being french they also give a bread basket and butter with meals which is essential I’ve found out. Might i point out the bread is fresh, warm and made in their restaurant!

I ordered the spinach salad which ended up being massive so I would suggest going with the small size which is actually only 10 euros! Not a bad deal for a great meal and service. Also I must say the avocados were a delicious addition to the typical spinach, bacon and mushroom salad!IMG_5523.JPG

We discovered their Happy hour is from 16-20hr and they have Malibu so we will be making a trip back one evening.

Apparently they even host a thanksgiving dinner around the end of November for americans and have people reserve places from all over Europe to come enjoy their Turkey dinner. It costs 45 euros for the completely dinner but I think it would be worth it, especially if you were an american expat in Paris!

I would recommend this restaurant to anyone wanting a good fresh meal and I hear this is the place to go for a good american burger! Check it out at 30 Rue Pierre Lescot, 75001 Paris, France

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Fear is merely a four letter word

Fear . A four letter word that seems to affect us all differently in many ways. For me, I fear change so you can expect how I felt when leaving my life that I always knew of in Canada and flying across the ocean and being immersed into an unknown culture. there were so many things going through my mind as I packed up my life in a suitcase..

Yes I literally brought one suitcase to france… I’m not materialistic as you probably can guess.

So what exactly did I fear? Probably the majority of the same things many travellers are afraid of when starting any journey abroad actually but for me this whole experience was new and frightening.

The food is going to be disgusting.
When I thought of france i thought: city of baguettes and cheese. Two things that i never had any interest in eating at home because quite frankly they aren’t that good. The first couple of weeks were rough as I refused the traditional french foods but once I overcame my fear and just gave in, i learned that cheese and bread is actually delicious when you eat the real deal and not the processed packaged stuff. If you have never had camembert from France then you seriously cannot have an opinion on cheese!

No one will understand me.
Imagine living and breathing in a city that doesn’t speak your native language. Now i can get by in french but the fear of not knowing how to ask something or if I needed help in a situation was frightening beyond belief. Turns out when I get a couple glasses of wine into me i’m fluent; who knew.

I’ll be lonely
I feared that I wouldn’t be able to make friends,, which turned out not to be true. Thankfully I’ve met some of e best people here and now have friendships for many years to come.

I’ll get lost.
Heck I get lost everyday in paris but that’s what makes its fun. Wandering the narrow cobble streets without the access to google maps is the only and best way to find the real hidden gems in paris. You pay more attention to the little things that may be missed or passed by with a set destination.

I’m going to be homesick.
Sorry to my lovely family back home but I haven’t experienced that crazy sense of homesick yet ( knock on wood) yes I grew up with a very superstitious grandmother and it’s just habit now to say this. I have cried once since I’ve been here and the reason for that was far from being homesick but upset for what I was about to miss even more.

The family isn’t going to like me.
Welcome to the nightmare of my first two and a half weeks here. I felt so uncomfortable in such an unfamiliar setting which i should have taken as being normal, but i took it as they didn’t like me and that this wasn’t the family for me. Fast forward a couple days from there and something instantly changed. I’m not sure what it was, but since that day things have been amazing and I feel so at home; like a big sister to their daughter.

It’s not something new for me as I’ve always had a fear of changing what I’m comfortable with. I lived a very structured life full of routine before coming here. I knew exactly what I was doing, where I was going and what I would be eating the next day. Fast forward to today and I don’t know what I’ll be doing in 10 mins.

i’ve learned that change is something inevitable in our lives if we ever want to grow and move on. I could have stayed in Nova Scotia for the rest of my life without even attempting to explore the endless possibilities that are in this it world waiting for me, but i took the chance while I had it and faced the scary four letter word.

If I could give any advice to anyone that feels trapped in their daily routine and wanting to see what else is out there, just do it. Don’t think twice. Once you know where you want to go and what you want to do, you should go and experience it while you can and while you’re young. Talk to the majority of your elders from your hometown and ask them what they regret most about their lives and more often than not it will be that they didn’t travel and experience the crazy things that life has to offer.

Go, see the world now while you have the opportunity.

laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever

Tip: Do not trust the weatherman in Paris

Gotta love Waking up still intoxicated from the night before on the day you’re planning to go to Disneyland Paris for your birthday. First thought, it’s raining … Obviously assume it’s not gonna be a good day but hey we didn’t let the rain dampen our day. We roughed it and went anyways.

My first thoughts on the park was definitely how much smaller it was than disneyworld in Orlando. I knew it wasn’t going to be able to compare but I was still shocked at the size for being the only park in Europe, and without an Epcot park! What were they thinking!

First thing we did , went to shops, typical girls right. Actually we were just cold and needed to find somewhere inside to hide. Tried on the minnie ears yet didn’t buy any because we’re au pairs on pretty minimal budgets with priorities. it was cold so we bought mittens, again priorities.

It was raining and none of us had umbrellas or coats. Pretty responsible for being au pairs now that you think about it but we still kept a trucking towards the first ride of the day. Then we did the Pirates of the Caribbean which was very similar to the one in Orlando.

“Man does he get to just swing on a rope all day or what” said completely seriously by on of my fiends to a manakin swinging in the ride. Yep, she literally thought the character was that real, go Disney!

We were at the point of extreme hunger and needed to find a sit down place so we ended up at a concert hall and got to watch an ending to a dance group. Best part of lunch? getting a free coffee ticket for later in the day. You know you’re a coffee addict when…

10 min wait for space mountain? No question our decision on this one. Probably one of the best rides in the park.

We made the mutual decision that part Disneyland wasn’t going to be enough so we ended up checking out hollywood studios because
1. We all needed to go on the ratatouille ride.
2. Aerosmith = best roller coaster in the park.

First stop: obviously ratatouille where the line said 25 mins. Not bad right? Until the ride breaks just as we are first in line to get on and we wait another 30 mins for them to tell us it’s not going to be fixed for a couple hours. At least they gave us a fast pass ticket to use later on in the day which kind of evened out our anger.

Off to Aerosmith! In disneyworld Florida this was my favourite roller coaster! The music just adds so much to the ride itself and who doesn’t love listening to Steve Tyler’s voice.

We saw a line starting around a photo stop for the characters so being the kids we still are we got in que with the crowds of 2-4 years olds. Turns out it was woody!

At this point we were just freezing cold and in desperate need to use our free coffee ticket from lunch so we finally found a cafe and Julie my Danish friend has her first donut ! Poor girl has been missing out on our fatty food in North America.

After this we wanted to finish the hollywood studios so we ended up doing 3 rides in one hour.

“Today is a good day I met woody and had a donut” – Danish friend, Julie. God you’ve gotta love her!

Tip: if you’re able to go on a ride alone go in the single ticket line. You will save yourself so much time. Typically you’re screaming too much to really have a conversation with the person next to you anyways.

We were starting to hit the point of exhaustion and the numbness in our feet was still as painful as ever so we did one last ride, buzz light year. I can officially say I have no aim and I lost brutally against my Danish friend.

We ended the day with shopping at the boutiques for our host kids and families before catching the 35 min train back into paris. Overall a great day with an amazing group of girls and a birthday to remember!

Alexa cress

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Everything happens for a reason

Do you ever wander what your life would be like if you made one simple different choice.
Like if you had of taken the first exit instead of the second or chose a certain restaurant to eat a over another. Imagine the stories you wouldn’t have to tell or the people you wouldn’t have been able to let if you just simply chose a different path to take.

Maybe I’m just thinking to much but lately this has been on my mind and I can’t shake it off. What brought me to paris? Why did I chose this city to escape to?

It could have been the language, the family I found or the sole desire to venture here but look at the friends I’ve made and the experiences I’ve done already. If I had simply chosen another place in europe then I wouldn’t even know these amazing people or have been blessed with my host family. Life is all about choices some good, obviously some bad but we live and we learn or at least tha how I feel.

Last week after rain decided to literally rain on our parade my friends and chose to travel 20 mins to a bar because It’s inside and we didn’t want to get wet. There I met someone who really affected my life, in more ways than one. I don’t think I’ve smiled so much in my life from the night. The week followed with many more adventures in Paris and the smiles grew into a sense of complete happiness. I’ve always been told when you ind something that makes me happy never let it go. I’m not typically an emotional girl but let me tell you tears were shed as he jumped into his cab and took off. A decision that turned into a not an end to something but just the beginning.

What’s a choice you’ve made recently that’s led to something amazing?

First day of classes round two

After showing up for class yesterday which actually wasn’t a class at all considering It as on tuesday and not thursday (oops) today I was sure I went an hour early.

Surpringly enought there were only 11 girls in my class which I’m so happy about because our other “cultural” class theres about 39 in a room made for 15. It’s hard to really “met” other students when they come either right on time or late for class but I ended up talking to this girl from Mexico, lord help me if I can an even pronounce her name let alone spell it. So she will go nameless for now but she was so nice, which is the most important thing right! I’m in level b1 so in my school that would be 3/4 for completing the french immersion program. This means absolutely no english which is actually more than fine with me.

After being at a french university for a year without having any english permitted I know how important it is to be completely immersed in the language in order to learn it, so if you wanna learn french , speak it! Find the confidence and even if you make no sense at all more than likely the person on the other end will understand what you’re trying to say and hey! They might even correct your mistakes for next time.

We took a visit down good old memory lane today and talked about the lovely mr and mrs vandertramp. To all who don’t know that expression it’s the irregular verbs that go along with passé compose. Exciting right?
My brain hasn’t hurt this bad in quite a while, yes I’m a sook and I’m not used to actually going to school.