"Paris is to be absorbed in through the pores...sensing it and feeling it rather than seeing and doing. When you sit at that cafe with that glass of French wine and write in your journal (or on your maps and guidebooks!) raise a glass to yourself for giving yourself this amazing gift!"
This wonderful quote was given to me by Kate I before I left for Paris. Today as I find myself just a little melancholy as I must attend to the details of preparing to leave Paree tomorrow, I wanted to make sure Kate knew I succeeded in following her wonderful recommendation. Here is an excerpt from yesterday's journal:
Today I am pinching myself. Everything is so delicious...so French...sitting in Cafe Panis at rue LaGrange across from Notre Dame. It is still cold, but the sun is shining. My kir champagne was just poured and I shall toast to myself. I am beautiful, brave and in Paris!
Yesterday was one of those magical days where everything fell into place and the day poured on and on with new delights around every corner. I returned for a visit to Notre Dame to sit in remembrance and light a candle for my friend, Allyson, taken from life too soon. I climbed to the top of the tower and stood in the crisp, cold sunny day overlooking the panoramic view of Paris. Absolutely breathtaking!
My next stop was Shakespeare & Company where legends such as Hemingway, James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw and Gertrude Stein went to get their "English fix" for books. (I managed to get a little "fix" myself with a new book of poetry.) The lovely sales clerk gave me the superb recommendation of Cafe Panis where I had my lunch of kir royal au champagne Montgivroux and soupe a l'oignoin gratinee (champagne with raspberry liquer and french onion soup) while being attended to by very handsome and gracious waiters ☺.
A little shopping peppered the morning in the Latin Quarter and a visit to St. Severin Chapel. Later I took my favorite bus (#69) to Pere Lachaise cemetery where I meandered through the ancient tombstones and visited the likes of Collette and Jim Morrison. While I did search for my families' surnames, I had no success. This still has not dampened my assurance that I am indeed part French!
My handy bus then dropped me back by the Louvre where I considered trying my luck again with Venus, but opted instead to visit the amazing Monet water lilies at Musee L'Orangerie. Both before and after the Musee included a stroll through the wonderful Tuilleries gardens.
Leaving the gardens, I walked up the Right Bank toward the Avenue du Champs-Elysees. The best part of this walk was the beautiful sunset over the Seine. I found the Avenue to be much like any major city complete with McDonald's, the Gap and cell phone stores. The prize at the end, however, was the Arc de Triomphe bathed in evening light.
I am not sure if more posts will come directly from Paris, but I know that many more will follow about it. I have only begun to scratch the surface of this amazing gift of a week!! And I know that it has been "absorbed in through the pores" as Kate claimed it must be. Merci!!