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last day in Paris

And it’s the most beautiful day of my trip so far – 18 degrees with a breeze. I’m returning tomorrow to winter, 8 degrees or so and raining. But I will be HOME! While I was gone, Anna and Thomas finished putting together my bed frame – the one I found on the street – and so I will sleep on my new mattress, on my new bed, in my new bedroom, for the first time.

In the meantime, I have a head cold, wouldn’tcha know? C’est la vie.

Last night, a great treat. When Lynn and I last stayed together here in the 12th two years ago, we fell upon the perfect French restaurant, unpretentious but superb in every way – L’Ebauchoir. She has been back several times, and last night we were there when they opened at 7.30, meeting Dan, an old friend who is working with Lynn in this short job they have here in Paris. We were there till after 10, eating, laughing, drinking, telling stories. (click to enlarge)

 L’Ebauchoir at 7.30, before it filled up

My hors d’oeuvre: white asparagus in sauce. The meal was heaven and very reasonable for what we had.

Today I had some errands across town, so I took the metro and got things done. The mothership of Galeries Lafayette was nearby so I wandered around there; the top floor had toys, notebooks, pens…

A whole department for Waterman pens, my fave.

Create your own Parisian restaurant, complete with sidewalk tables, out of Lego

This ridiculously ornate store has created a kind of trampoline suspended in the middle. As always, there were long lineups of Japanese people waiting to buy Chanel and Louis Vuitton bags – at least 30 people waiting patiently outside the latter. And please don’t say I’m racist because I point out their ethnicity; it’s just so strange that so many people from the Orient fly to Paris to buy luxury French handbags. I don’t get it, but whatever, as they say.

Couldn’t wait to get out of the palace of consumption, she said, clutching her own purchases. Got the nearest metro toward home and realized it continued on to the 5th, so changed my plans – got off at my old stop in the Latin Quarter, bought a sandwich on the rue Mouffetard, went to the Jardin des Plantes for a picnic in the sun and a last commune with Dad, to tell him how very grateful I am he made me go to school here and learn to speak French.

Dad’s tree

As I crossed over the Pont d’Austerlitz toward the flat, there she was, Our Lady, the world’s beautiful cathedral, standing. Today was the day I’d planned to climb up her towers for the view. If only.

Left stuff at home and went out for last purchases – a pirate kite for Eli and Ben at the kite store near the Marché d’Aligre, and lastly to my favourite shop, Monoprix, for two big bags of herbes de provence and other light last minute gifts. At the cash, I was amazed to see this:

It’s saying, make a gift for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame, by rounding out the amount of your purchases. That did not take long!

All Paris is out in the sun, sitting at cafés, talking, smoking, drinking espresso. I will go out again, to sit for a bit in the sun. This is my last post from France, probably, though I will certainly have further thoughts about my trip and life here. Another thing I bought today: a metro ticket from CDG airport into Paris, so I don’t have to line up at the airport for a ticket when I come back. I’m ready for my return.

Merci for coming with me. Talk to you from home.



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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.

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