My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

last day in Paris

Yesterday, Lynn’s TGV train arrived seven minutes late, rare for French trains. I was waiting at the Gare de Lyon, we got the bus back here, and our two days together in Paris began, of course, with lunch and a little glass of wine. I have stayed so often with her and her family in France, I’m glad to be the hostess here, for once.

We stepped out into the most heavenly Paris day to wander at will. One cultural activity was arranged, to see the Klee exhibit at L’Orangerie. Otherwise, our only task was to enjoy the day and, could it be, do a little shopping. Strangely, Lynn has lived in this country since 1970 but never in Paris, so I know my way around the city better than she does.
It is fascinating to watch a Frenchwoman shop, even one who used to be Canadian. She inspects with a steely gaze the material, cut, colour, price, fashionability, durability and general excellence, and is so critical and thrifty, it’s amazing she has any clothes at all, but somehow, she does. We wandered all over the Bastille, stopping in little boutiques, I rhapsodizing over the picturesqueness of buildings and streets which Lynn has seen many times, and she giving a piercing look at what was available in the shops. I found two scarves, very reasonable and pretty; she found a top, a skirt, a dress and some earrings. A most successful day.
We stopped for a beer on the Place des Vosges, exactly where we stopped for a beer during her visit here last year, and then continued our wandering until we could hardly walk any more, at which point we walked home. As we came out onto the Place Notre Dame, the dusk sunlight was beaming directly on the cathedral, making it glow gold. Magical. The incredibly beautiful purple trees here, which I’ve never seen anywhere else, are in bloom; a city gardener told me they’re Polovnia trees. Let’s get some Polovnias, Toronto.
I improvised dinner from what was in the fridge but … disaster, no wine, we’d drunk it all at midday. It was after 9 p.m. when I ventured out to find more, imagining what luck I’d have in search of a good bottle of wine after 9 p.m. in Toronto. Not even half a block away from the flat was a small grocery store with, of course, a huge selection of wines. I nervously chose a 7 euro Cotes de Rhone which had won a wine prize somewhere, and when I got back, Lynn said, “Great choice, you can never go wrong with a Cotes de Rhone.” I felt like I too had won some sort of wine prize. And it was delicious.
Today, off to see Paul Klee, one of my favourite painters. (Wait – haven’t you heard that before?) And at l’Orangerie, one of my favourite museums. We got off the bus at the Louvre and walked down the Tuileries Gardens to get there – what a route. It’s hard to take in, sometimes, just how many magnificent buildings and gardens there are in this city.
It was a small exhibit but beautiful, showing off the simplicity, humour and spiritual depth of his colours and arrows, letters and faces. I didn’t realize that Klee was also a musician and a writer, and early on, couldn’t decide between his three gifts. Lynn liked the work but, ever the linguist, was upset by the clumsy English translations underneath. At one point Klee was quoted as saying that he would not “vent gall.” The lady beside me, the linguistics professor, vented a lot of gall at that one.
In 1939, one year before his death and in great pain from illness, Klee painted 1253 works. Hard to imagine. More than three a day, is that possible?
We toured the exhibit downstairs, many masterpieces per square inch – it’s extraordinary that this museum is not more crowded, it’s so rich – and upstairs, those gracious curving rooms full of Monet’s waterlilies. I said, “These make you want to just relax completely and float away.”
“That’s what I do all the time anyway,” said my companion, and it’s true, she is famous for her floating.
Then more wandering, casting an eye in an occasional shop, this time in the St. Germain area, those marvellous little streets, rue Jacob, rue des Saintes-Peres, rue de Buci. We found a restaurant for lunch, finally, on the rue de Grenelle – “A La Petite Chaise” just looked nice and was reasonable, so we went in to discover that it’s the oldest restaurant in Paris, founded in 1680. Certainly the first time I’ve dined in a restaurant more more than 300 years old. It was a very small room, very yellow, simple, full of French people eating well and with gusto – one of the best places to be on a Paris afternoon. We had the menu – an entree, a glass of wine and coffee for a very reasonable price; we both had maigret de canard, the duck, and it was heaven.
We ended up in the most important shop of all – Monoprix, where in the huge basement grocery section, we bought tonight’s dinner, and I bought six kinds of smelly cheese and some Poilane bread to share with the troops at home.
Now it’s 7.30 p.m. I’ve started piling stuff in my suitcase. The day has turned cloudy and colder but the window is wide open to the sky. My friend is working on her computer, I on mine and we’re having our aperitif – another little glass of wine and an hors d’oeuvre, a spicy salami called rosette, before we make dinner. A museum we’re both interested in is open till 11.30 tonight, so we may venture out again – but my guess is that we will just stay here and talk the night away, as we began to do in 1967 and continued as often as possible afterwards.
Early tomorrow, Lynn will leave for the train back to Montpellier, and I’m off to the airport. Another idyll over. I go home after slightly more than a month away, full full full of everything I’ve seen and done. And also, of maigret de canard.

P.S. 10.30 p.m. Lynn just reminded me of an event which I’d obviously determined to put out of my mind forever. As we strolled this afternoon, we came upon another Laduree store, with the famous macaroons. I went in to buy some to take home. It was a tiny, beautiful dollhouse store, with exquisite arrangements of little iced gateaux and tartelettes around the macaroon display. As we stood in line along the counter, I fished around in my handbag to get out my wallet, and as I did so, I knocked over the plastic price holder that was on the counter. It fell down into the gateaux, squashing and smearing two artistic toppings.
Horrified, I grabbed the plastic thing and put it back on the counter, covered with icing. Luckily, the staff hadn’t noticed, and I did not confess. I bought eight macaroons, all colours, lily of the valley, mimosa, cassis – red currant – caramel and rose petal. A delicate treat to have at home, while hoping that someone took pity on the ruined tartelettes and bought them anyway. Lynn and I left with tears from suppressed laughter.
One thing is sure: my friend will never let me forget my clumsiness at Laduree. And now, all of you know about it too.



23 Responses to “last day in Paris”

  1. coach outlet says:

    It is great to know that your happy with what you have right now.and to know that your thankful of it .

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just want to ѕay your artiсle is as astounding.
    The clearnesѕ for your post is јust excellent
    аnd thаt i сould assume yоu're an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to snatch your RSS feed to stay up to date with drawing close post. Thanks 1,000,000 and please continue the gratifying work.

    my web site … massage tools
    Visit my pageacupuncture for stress

  3. Anonymous says:

    I've learn some excellent stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much attempt you place to make this type of magnificent informative web site.
    My site :: transfer news man utd latest

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hello there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers
    and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us valuable information to work
    on. You have done a marvellous job!

    Take a look at my homepage … Welcome to fit4NM – News – Lecture notes and PPT slides for the 2nd Asan pump workshop!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hello everybody, here every one is sharing these kinds of familiarity,
    therefore it's good to read this blog, and I used to go to see this web site daily.

    Also visit my web page ::

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yοu can also buу bundle dealѕ, which most гadiо stations οffer, to deсreaѕе the overall ad cost.
    The bгoadcasting pгocess is not complicateԁ as all
    the equipments essential are easily available but with new іdeаs coming up еνеry day, neω rеquiгements rise ωith nеw critеria οf tгansmissiοn like Dab Digital Radio аnԁ DRM.
    The Public Raԁio Tuner from Аmerican Publiс Mеdiа may be
    one of thе best radio appliсatiοnѕ
    you can gеt.

    Alsο visit my wеbpage please click the next page

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thanks dеsigneԁ for sharіng such a good
    thіnkіng, parаgraph is pleаѕant, thatѕ why i have read
    it entirely

    Feel freе tο visit mу wеb blog .
    .. article source

  8. Anonymous says:

    Heya i'm for the first time here. I found this board and I to find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give one thing again and aid others like you aided me.

    Also visit my web-site … visit the following web page
    my web page > simply click the next internet site

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks in fаvor of sharing ѕuch a fastіԁiouѕ οріnion, aгticle is gοoԁ, thats whу i
    hаve read it fully

    Feel frеe tο νiѕit my sitе ::
    Chillout Radio
    Also see my website :: video downloader

  10. Anonymous says:

    5. Spend some time to design a good-looking 404 page, site offline page, etc.
    The more doors you have the more chances of people finding it.
    Naturally, they will flock to your competitor who does. NOW, I
    don't mean you should just put keyword spam in your footer. If the conversion is higher with a certain keyword or a particular set of keywords, then the SEO vendor can focus on the same keyword to get it ranked high in all the search engines. Domain Authority is influenced by:. The thing that needs to be emphasized is to create text of your website in such a way that the algorithms find them easily. Moreover, some companies are not able to get the desired results and their techniques might even have bad effects on the business's website.

    For those of us who are using the internet to make money, we all know that it is absolutely essential to get visitors out
    to our websites. Search engine optimization is necessary for online businesses because it
    lets your website get found. The concepts make use of the current social networking sites, which are very popular among the
    online audience. Advertise by Selling Branded Products.
    An SEO strategy should combine a number of elements that work
    together to get results for you. This was the beginning
    of the thought process for my new business. It has been
    designed especially for business purposes and it holds biggest importance for your B2B online marketing strategy.
    Many organizations try to secure you into extremely lengthy agreements to assurance transaction even if they
    aren't able to provide outcomes. When a person enters a keyword into the search box of a particular search engine such as Google, there will be scores of results showing out which are a result of a search engine algorithm devised by that particular search engine. The website serves as a way for customers to find the business and be able to see what services are offered. SEO requires understanding of various algorithms.

    Stop by my website ::

  11. Anonymous says:

    Be intеllectual enough tο see that yοur ad ԁoeѕ not go on аir on a unseemly ѕhоw ;
    a Сhrіѕtіan bοok going on аіr οn a show that is about handling sexual isѕues would be ridiсulous.
    Also, by having a rаԁio internshiρ
    in your resume, there іs a better chancе foг
    you tо bеcome a DJ ωhen you applу
    fοг а јob in any гadio station іn the natіon.
    Adԁitionаllу, sοme new attгibutes make it еvеn eaѕier
    to make radiо buttons do exactlу ωhat yοu want them to do.

    Also visіt my web pagе youtube downloader online
    My web page: radio sender

  12. Anonymous says:

    Yet another first person shooter game this time around,
    but the first Far Cry was quite good. 'The tears of mankind have not washed away man's desire to
    kill. In essence, they appreciated each other and never lost sight of how lucky they felt to have
    each other as their spouse. With an average annual fee of 10,000 pounds, representing between 25% – 36% of professional incomes this
    has risen assiduously by 41% in the last five years. An analysis this change will give us insight into the supposed benefits they entail. IMPORTANT NOTE: When shopping for a sound card, make sure you do not accidentally purcahse one that is "Low Profile. In 2005, the QI Group acquired a UK-based independent telecommunications provider with a strong background in providing advanced communications solutions and technology in the United Kingdom. Most visitors on a trip to Munnar invariably end up at the Tata Tea Museum and gain some delightful insights into the process of tea making. *Composite fillings. There is a rarely discussed addiction that can be as enslaving as drugs and as devastating to self-respect, self-confidence and healthy functioning as alcoholism.

    my blog:

  13. Anonymous says:

    I'm impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that's equally educative
    and entertaining, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is an issue that not enough folks are speaking
    intelligently about. I'm very happy that I found this during my search for something concerning this.

    Feel free to visit my weblog

  14. Anonymous says:

    I'm impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that's equally
    educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you have hit
    the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that not enough folks are speaking
    intelligently about. I'm very happy that I found this during my search for something concerning this.

    my web page –

  15. Anonymous says:

    Great goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just too fantastic.
    I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like
    what you're stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it smart. I can't wait to read far more from you.
    This is actually a terrific web site.

    Here is my webpage … Best Inexpensive android tablet

  16. Anonymous says:

    I feel that is one of the such a lot vital info for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. However want to statement on some common issues, The web
    site taste is perfect, the articles is really excellent : D.
    Excellent process, cheers

    my page – leading market research companies

  17. Anonymous says:

    Helpful information. Fortunate me I found your site unintentionally, and I'm surprised why this coincidence did not took place in advance! I bookmarked it.

    My blog:

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
    There's a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Thanks

    Also visit my page – beauty freebies samples

  19. Anonymous says:

    Thankfulness to my father who told me about this webpage, this weblog is truly

    Here is my web page :: Sign up and get free stuff

  20. Anonymous says:

    I know this website offers quality based articles or reviews and additional material, is there any other website which offers such data in quality?

    My site: Accountant Starting salary

  21. Anonymous says:

    I'm really loving the theme/design of your weblog. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility problems? A couple of my blog visitors have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera. Do you have any solutions to help fix this problem?

    Stop by my homepage Fashion Jewellery Online

  22. Anonymous says:

    When I originally left a comment I appear to
    have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added-
    checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I get four emails with the exact same comment.
    There has to be a means you can remove me from that service?

    Also visit my web site: Pregnant freebies

  23. Anonymous says:

    I am now not sure where you are getting your information,
    however great topic. I needs to spend some time finding out much more or working out more.
    Thank you for great info I used to be looking for this information for my mission.

    Feel free to visit my site; Pizza Deals

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.


Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.


I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.


Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


Juliet in Paris, Spain and Beyond
Juliet is a Canadian who’s lived for decades in Paris and writes about her travels and the many things that interest her.