Monday, May 26, 2008

Dimanche, 11 Mai

We met Stine and Marc in the hotel lobby around 9:00 and went to the breakfast buffet at the hotel. It was pretty good... and a challenge to keep portions down! After breakfast, the four of us went to our room again to freshen up and to drop off the gifts Stine and Marc had brought (chocolates that didn't last long at home, handmade paper ornaments, and hand-blown, double-walled glasses).

We had more Metro fun on the way to the Ile de la Cite, but once there we hung around Notre Dame

and went to the Flower Market (where they have birds and other small pets for sale on Sundays)

and wandered in front of St. Chapelle, across Pont St. Michel,

through the city (detouring at Starbucks) and to the Jardin du Luxembourg.

I'm so grateful to Stine for suggesting we go there! It was amazing. In the middle of the garden, there was a square-ish pond with a little duckhouse and a vendor renting little toy sailboats.

It was a shame we didn't have a book or magazine or something. We stayed there ages, anyway. It was insanely relaxing, and we were entertained by the baby ducks in the duckhouse and the half-dozen or so males chasing a frazzled female duck. It was heat and hunger that finally drew us out of the garden and to a smoothie shop that offered sandwiches and a shaded patio.

We ate slowly and talked and wandered to the souvenier shop next door and then to the Panthenon

and then just aimlessly around Rue de Rivoli. We hoped a nice brasserie would jump out at us, but it was a bookstore that ended up calling us. We browsed and skimmed, and eventually, Stine and I said goodbye and she and Marc went on their way.

I ended up getting Two Lipsticks and a Lover, a memior from a woman who had moved to France. From there, Matt and I decided we couldn't leave France without having had a cheese-plate, so we wandered back to Angelina's. We allowed ourselves to be seated, but it was too hot and crowded and the cheese-plate was only a choice of one of three cheeses, so we excused ourselves and, remembering Marc's strawberry dessert from the night before, headed back to the Welcome Cafe. We had a waiter with slightly more limited English, but he was darling and cheerful and our cheese plate was stacked and the Reisling was just right and we must have had a gallon of Perrier. We had been seated in the absolutely best spot, just outside the brasserie, under the awning and M and I sitting side-by-side, facing the street. The waiter tried and tried to give away the table next to us, but everyone wanted to sit inside. The waiter and I joked about them not knowing what is good!

And, M and I shared the strawberry dessert Marc had ordered the night before. Thank goodness! They tasted like strawberries should but rarely do at home, fresh and sweet and wonderful. The evening, our last in Paris, was perfect.

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