Posted by: hannah jo | May 31, 2008

More trip thoughts

Here are some quick memories/thoughts/observations about our recent trip:

I was the only woman in London or Paris wearing Dansko shoes. Why? I thought they were European shoes and that I might see other women wearing them. Could I have been the only female librarian in those two huge cities?

We did, however, see lots and lots of Converse tennis shoes. They were everywhere, worn by everyone of every age and nationality. Lily started counting them. It was a fun distraction for her whenever she was bored — she’d start counting Converse shoes.

The best meal we had in London was at a Turkish restaurant.

The best meal we had in Paris was one we watched someone else eat. We ate outdoors at a cafe and had an okay meal, but a solo man nearby had the most fabulous meal. When we arrived, he was drinking a Coca-Cola (served in a bottle with a glass of ice), and was reading a newspaper. He looked like a university professor, perhaps, with a gray pony-tail, glasses, and a beautifully worn leather satchel. Next, his meal arrived — a big piece of meat, some vegetables, and, of course, baguette slices. He had a nice big glass of red wine with his meal. After that, he had a beautiful little cup of espresso. Then, his dessert arrived — a gorgeous and generous slice of strawberry tart. He also drank a bottle of mineral water. I peaked at his check when it arrived (the tables were all very close to each other): 37 euros. That equals $57. For a casual lunch on his own, while reading the paper. What if he does this every day? I wonder what his dinners cost.

The London Underground had lots of buskers, but we only gave money to the accordion players (in honor of our dear friend at Ballard Avenue) and the guy playing the bagpipes because I was wearing my utilikilt.

In London, Lily got to buy some cool, inexpensive¬†clothes at H&M, the clothing store that will soon have a few locations in the Seattle area. You cannot imagine how busy the stores were there. I have never seen so many people in a store in my life — not even during day-after-Christmas sales or other special events. They were insane and for no apparent reason, other than it was a Saturday. Those Londoners love fashion (and so do the Parisians, obviously), and I never got tired of looking at what people were wearing and how they pulled off lots of different styles so smoothly. I think I was the only woman not wearing a brightly colored pashmina on some of the trains we rode.

The best candy bar in the world is easy to get everywhere in London and Paris. It’s the Kinder Bueno bar. My friend Katrina gave me one as a gift after a trip to Canada, where they are also available, and I fell madly in love with it. I only let myself buy two while we were on our trip and just ate the last half of one two days ago. SO GOOD!



  1. Did you also notice that SHOES in general seem to be passe in Paris and London. It’s all BOOTS, BOOTS, BOOTS and I don’t mean the pharmacy. Really, I felt like an alien in my paltry flats.

  2. The busiest store I’ve ever seen in my life was an H&M in Munich after Xmas. ~shudder~ I shopped at a different H&M at a better time and loved it. In fact, I still have a pair of black pants in my wardrobe from that trip.

  3. Three cheers to Hannah for bringing her Utilikilt to Europe!

  4. Seriously? You just had two?

  5. Sounds like a fantastic trip, Miss Hannah! We didn’t see the Converse thing so much in Croatia or Italy, although we did see some in a store for about $200 euro (!!) which might explain why they weren’t much in evidence on the streets of Croatia.

    The shoe thing we noticed was that EVERY SINGLE American tourist had on flip-flops. All of them! My thoughts on this are:

    1. Ew.
    Gross. Totally.
    2. Ow!
    Fallen arches! Aching ankles! Why?!

    I just didn’t get it.

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