Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 10th

It's my 22nd birthday today!! And my hair magically looked nice enough for me to wear down. My first stop of the day was the Champs-Elysées to go to Ladurée for a birthday lunch. Parisians apparently don't believe in labeling their major roads. After walking in circles (literally) for like half an hour I finally got my bearings. It was cloudy and cold, but just as I spotted Ladurées green storefront the sun came out. After years of longing I was finally there! I've had dreams of going to Ladurée multiple times- even my subconscious wanted to go.

The restaurant is made up of a bunch of beautiful salons. They all have the same general decor theme, but in different colors with slight variations. It all looks very 18th century/second empire. For lunch I had leg of lamb with new potatoes and it was the best meal I've ever had. There was some sort of thick deep red sauce with some kind of berry in it and it was AMAZING. After eating all the delicious lamb (it was so tender it almost melted in my mouth) and the delicious red potatoes (I don't even like red potatoes) I used the bread to soak up the remaining sauce. Then for desert I had hot chocolate and this pastry with all these fluffy pastries with light pink frosting stacked on top of each other and rose flavored whipped cream and fresh raspberries and topped with a rose petal and I have never had anything more delicious in my life. It went way beyond your ordinary sweet pastry. It was a culinary masterpiece.

Everything at Ladurée is beautiful. The butter is cylindrical shaped and comes in a Ladurée green wrapper (and is the best butter in the world). The bill has flourishes and cherubs on it. The ladies working the pastry counter wear aprons shaped like pink pastries. It's my favorite place in the world. It's absolutely magical. Holly Golightly is to Tiffanys as Katy is to Ladurée. It lived up to all my hopes and dreams.

After lunch I was full to bursting, so naturally I went to stand in line for more pastries. I finally FINALLY got two boxes of macarons of my very own. And the most beautiful cake in the world. The lady said it feeds four, but she clearly underestimated my cake eating abilities. She also wished me a happy birthday!

As I was walking out of Ladurée and down the Champs-Elysèes I almost started crying. I don't know if I can handle this much happiness. I love Paris. I have found my soul city. I just feel right here, I feel at home. In no other city have I felt such belonging and contentment. I am going to learn French and get a job in a museum and stay here forever.

Then I walked over to Cire Trudon to get some candles. Even the little side streets are beautiful here. Cire Trudon has been making candles for the monarchy since the early 17th century and I'm pretty sure they still use the same recipe. I would be a poor 18th century scholar indeed if I did not have some candles like the aristocracy. I'm a bit disappointed though because the sales lady wasnt enormously friendly andi nstead of wrapping my candles in the pretty black paper with the fancy gold sticker she used plain white paper and tape. A blogger I follow talked about how lovely Cire Trudon was, but I guess I'm not rich enough for star treatment. She could at least have asked me if I needed any help!

When I got back to the hostel I did a little photoshoot with my cake, macarons, and candles. The wallpaper is AMAZING and provided the perfect backdrop.

In the evening I went to the lobby and shared my cake with everyone. I was a little nervous, because I bought this beautiful pink pastry in Vienna and it tasted like nail polish remover. What if my beautiful cake wasn't any good? It was good. Even the fondant was good. Fondant is NEVER good. And it wasnt filled with cake. Oh no, it was filled with thick rose flavored cream and raspberries and lychee and you'd think that a mouth full of that would be too sweet and overwhelming, but this aint no crap Harris Teeter cake so it was just perfect. And so rich! I ate like half of it anyways.

It was the most wonderful birthday in the whole entire world!! I feel just like Marie Antoinette. Before all the bad stuff happened.

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