The light in this city is amazing… City of Light. Many people make the mistake of making that plural. And think it refers to the twinkling lights on Tour Eiffel and other monuments. But really it refers to the spectacular effect of sunlight on the city.
Early day meeting Alain at 10 (yup – that’s early for me nowadays!). And speaking French. His English is definitely better than mine. But he was sweet and patient when it was my turn to speak French. And he’s interesting and smart and able to explain things like – high school. French courts. And whatever else I will ask. I guess I passed his test as he said he’d like to meet weekly – 45 min each French and English. I am up for it – but now I definitely need to study! So I am hitting the books this weekend. We met in a nice Café near Palais Royale. And I found this lovely cat sitting in a lobby area at the top of the stairs by the toilettes.
Then off to meet Laura (from Sausalito and returning in April in case your forgot the players…) for lunch and shopping – but she was taking the bus so I had some time to spare… so I just dropped into the Louvre for a few. I love this annual pass – never feel like I have to see all I can see when I am there. And I discovered something totally new to me – apparently in 1984 they ever excavating the courtyard Carree and found the foundations of the palace that had been there years – as in 1400 – ago. Soooooo cool.
Then back to Paris and the 6th Arrondissment for lunch. At a restaurant that was new to Laura (been coming to Paris for 30 years) but was delicious. Best chicken I have had in France. And the dessert of poached pear was also delish. The lunch took 3 hours and two glasses of wine. I really enjoy this style of lunch! After we walked some – she was on her way to Bon Marche where I want to go to someday so I tagged along. And as we walked, we passed my favorite restaurant – the soufflé one – and I was delighted to see that it really is now open again. That is on the short list of things to do soon.
Laura helped me sign up for the carte de fidelite at Monprix. Which means some discounts but more importantly, free delivery! You can buy online. Or you can fill up a cart at the store, take it to the delivery counter and they write it up and send you to the caisse (check out) and then I guess you run back home because they deliver within 3 hours. You have to buy over 50 euros – but that’s easy if you are stocking up on the heavy and bulky stuff. Hmmm. More strategic planning needed here…
I came back home for a quick rest before setting off to another MeetUp.
This one – La Vie Parisienne – was about Hemingway and American writers. Edith is smart and shared interesting tidbits. But has a heavy accent. Still – good stuff and I have added to the list of what to read. I think the first one will be Moveable Feast. And met an Irish/American doctor. She is Irish but was married to an American so is also a US citizen now. In that wonderful position to hold both US and EU passports – so she can come and go to Europe whenever she wants – no need for a visa. My dream. She has arranged her life to work 6 months and take 6 months off. So she goes back in May. We exchanged numbers (oh I LOVE my French phone number!) and may plan a walk. This is her second extended stay in Paris so she has done many of the Meetup walks already. We shared stories of our own walks around the Rue St Denis and the many prostitutes we saw – over age 50 prostitutes! We were both amazed as it seemed a “nice” neighborhood.
Friend Bill found an apartment so his Parisienne adventure is not cut short.
Note to travelers – a handy utensil is that weird thing you sue to help open jars. I am having a friend bring it over. It goes on my list for any future long term stay. And speaking of long term stay – did you notice my comment yesterday that my ticket doesn’t expire until March 2016? It’s been 3 weeks now and I am feeling more Long Term Stay just because of the kitchen – I actually am building up a pantry.
And I hate this coat. Actually. I love this coat but I am so tired of wearing it. Where is the warm weather? Oh – just as I wrote that, the sun has come out and my living room is bright and warmer. It might get to 60 today. Maybe a late afternoon chance to try the Velib’ again. (It’s now attached to my Navigo Decouverte carte so renting should be easy.
I am typing this early Saturday afternoon. I lazed and lazed this morning – after breakfast went back to bed to read and snooze. I am slowly but surely getting over that manic drive to go out and experience Paris every waking minute. A good thing or I will soon be sick and we are NOT getting sick in Paris. Let me rephrase that -I am HEALTHY in Paris! And France! And Europe. And the UK. There, I think I got that covered. I have a book to finish (I do not recommend the Portrait of the Lady in White at all but I only have 15 minutes left so I am sticking to it.)
The sunlight beckons.
(I also hate Windows 8.)