Sunday, July 12, 2009

Departure and Arrival

We lifted off from L.A. and curved over Catalina Island. The weather was spectacular enough to give us this view:

Our changeover in Atlanta involved a rather lengthy walk to change planes. I got a blister on my heel running through the concourses. So much for those comfortable walking shoes I bought.

When we arrived in Paris and got our luggage, it sure felt fine to open my suitcase and put on my pink flip-flops. Here are my feet, waiting for our car service.

We arrived at our hotel in Montparnasse, and guess what was waiting for us?

A bottle of champagne, two delicious macarons, and a view of the rooftops of Paris.

We acquainted ourselves with the intricacies of European pumbling so that we could take showers, and then, fools as we are, we decided to take a walk and get something to eat before falling into a jet-lagged stupor.

We strolled through the streets, marveling at the architecture, and visited the Jardins de Luxembourg. There, we watched folks playing bocce, and listened to the shrieks of children playing in the large, nicely appointment playground. A small boy offered [The Man I Love] a small token of friendship, which we soon recognized was a cigarette butt plucked from the gravel path. His parents, seated at one of the nearby benches, chased him down, and then smiled at us. As we walked, we realized our exhaustion was catching up with us. It was time to get some food in our stomaches, and go to sleep.

We ended up at an elegant old classic brasserie called La Rotonde - it's in the same block as two other classics, Le Dome and La Coupole. They are all a few blocks from our hotel. Our hotel's concierge said that La Couple "is where you go to take the photos, but La Rotonde is where you go to eat." Le Dome, he said, is wonderful but expensive.

The waiter kindly indulged us. I ordered a salade Nicoise. [The Man I Love] got les escargots - a plate of six. We had a half-carafe of Sancerre rouge, which was delicious. As we sat and watched the streets, a huge white Dusenberg automobile decorated with flowers and ribbons charged down the Boulevard de Montparnasse, honking its horns. The customers sitting in the wicker chairs of the sidewalk cafe ignored it, but we smiled and applauded as the bride and groom stood up and perched on the back seat while they waited for the traffic light to change, her veil lofting in the summer evening breeze.

[The Man I Love] enjoyed the escargots so much he asked our waiter for "Encore, des escargots." I continued to pick at the Nicoise salad, which was full of rich chunks of tuna, sardines, and hardboiled eggs. Our waiter gave us a generous second pour for a second half-carafe. Stinking of garlic, olive oil, sardines and tuna, we stumbled down the boulevard back to our hotel, and drifted into bed - actually, [The Man I Love] has drifted into bed and I will follow soon.

Tomorrow I'll tell you the tale of the Terrible Misunderstanding of the Ice Bucket.


Gary's third pottery blog said...

le SNAILS!!!!

shrink on the couch said...

Ooh, I didn't know we would be invited along! Yay.

Sorry about your blistered heel. Those blister bandages are wonderful, if you can find any.

KBeau said...

So glad you are going to be blogging while you are on your trip. Sorry about the blister. Could you not ride the train in Atlanta from one concourse to the other? I've never tried walking it.

Beverly said...

Perfection! I haven't tried escargot, but I would be willing.

I'll be back for the next installment.

Tristan Robin said...

sounds like a fab first day!

I'm jealous - we've been going to the same hotel for years, and we never get a bottle of champagne upon arrival!

Mrs. G. said...

I used to love escargot until I moved to Washington State and went to war with a variety of slugs who slither all over my plants.

Anonymous said...

You brought us with you!! :)

I am flooded with memories of our final night in Paris (sans le infants) when we drank a bottle of champagne, took a short nap, then had dinner at a cafe. The travelling businessmen (from Normandy) at the next table were appalled that we were only having a glass of wine, and ordered us a carafe.

Queenly Things said...

One my first and only trip to Paris it was 106ยบ and we had no air conditioning and still it was one of the best trips ever. I had a Nicoise salad as my first meal, aussi. Have a wonderful time

180360 said...

J'adore Paris! I'm jealous!!!