The lovely thing about Parisian mornings is that you don’t have to miss a second of the drama that unfolds before your eyes. We found a creperie, on our path through the narrow streets, that served several options, plain (meaning full of butter), with honey (meaning full of butter and dripping honey, generously dusted with powdered sugar), or avec la confiture (meaning I was going to get that apricot jam all down the front of me, lightly dusted with the sugar). Yes, I’ll take deux, sil vous plait.
For the remainder of the day we wandered, with purpose, of course. The Petite Palais, which had glass windows that looked out to a perfectly manicured garden set with ponds full of lily pad. You could sit and drink in not only some refreshment but the surprising quite beauty of the gardens that sat so close to the melee just outside those doors. Next to the Conceregerie where, of course, Marie Antoinette spent her last hours. A sad tribute to being misquoted and misunderstood. Trees, sculpted as carefully as a wedding cake, line just about every path and provided shade as we walked. By now I think I could qualify for the Boston Marathon because of the sheer distance we have covered. One pair of shoes was thrown out already and I am on to my first pair of French “ballerina flats”. Well, OK, they had a tiny white wedge and were black patent leather, with a little peep-toe, but totally acceptable even to someone used to 4″ stacked heels.
Just one peek inside the Louvre to see the sculptures where Methuselah is endlessly slaying the snake. And on the way we stumbled upon on of the city’s many starving artists. I chose a watercolor print of a bright blue book shop, “Les Livres“. He could have been from another time entirely were it not for the jeans.
Roaming around in search of lunch and headed in the general direction of the Champs Elysee, we came upon this little wine shop, like a small door into the vineyards of France. Inside reminded me of Susan looking into the back of the wardrobe in C.S. Lewis, the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Going through a door into another land from another time altogether.
And finally at the famous Champs Elysee, we were greeted with French flags, music playing and veterans with their military finery, despite the heat, dusted off and proudly worn for the occasion of a Memorial Day Parade at the Arch de Triumph. We stood in silence as a wreath of flowers was placed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier there. How lucky to be there at that moment.
It was getting late and we had been asked to dinner at the home of a wonderful French family. This calls for flowers, piles of them so after being whisked in a cab to an exquisite street in the best part of Paris, we sighted the most precious little florist with flowers of every hue and size spilling out onto the street. Peonies in magenta? Lilies in tangerine? Ah, no…Dutch Iris in sapphire blue with a velvet stripe of sunset yellow, 2 dozen, wrapped, sil vous plait, ah oui, magnifique!
Fortune smiled on me as I handed my hostess the bulging, wrapped bouquet, she had the same shade of dress on and matched her flowers perfectly! We were charmed by the French hospitality as champagne flowed and an 8 course meal on the finest china and crystal was served. The host iced the evening’s cake with a suite of four love songs to his wife on his guitar, each in a different language. A day of delights to be treasured and remembered my whole life through.