It's hard to believe we are coming to the close of our second week in Paris and the departure of Kirstin, Derek, and Cora. We've had excellent luck with the weather these first two weeks. It has been cooler this week than the first, but the rain has had the good manners to fall mainly during the evening, leaving our daytime wanderings dry.
Kirstin and Derek have been exploring parts of Paris they remember from their visit here three years ago. Cora has been a real trooper, going pretty much everywhere with them. Two days ago we had an early supper at another favorite restaurant of Kirstin and Derek's, Frenchie To Go. Priscilla and I took care of Cora that afternoon, taking the Metro (subway) with Cora to meet Kirstin and Derek at the restaurant.
This is a good time to write about the hospitality of the French people. You've probably all heard the old saw that Parisians are rude. We've found the opposite to be true. When we took Cora on the Metro, we had to tackle three flights of stairs with her in a stroller. A nice man assisted us down each flight by holding the front of the stroller while I held the back. Another time Priscilla and I were trying to locate a walking trail when a woman called out to us from the third floor wondering if she could help us. She then came all the way outside to help us. A final example took place on our trip with Anna back to the airport when she was leaving. The RER B train line normally runs all the way out to Charles de Gaulle airport, but last Sunday it stopped short for some reason. A nice man explained to us that at the last stop that day we would get on a bus to finish the trip. The French are justly proud of their language, and do so appreciate it when you make an attempt to speak French. They will often change to English, but you can tell they appreciate the effort to speak French. If people see me mumbling to myself walking down the street, it's because I'm practicing what I'm going to say in French at my next stop, not because I've come unhinged.
Well, back to what we've been up to around here. Yesterday we checked out the Bastille Market, which is only a few blocks from our flat. The selection of all manner of foods is quite extensive there. With some planning ahead, I'm sure we will be able to make good use of this market. In the afternoon, Priscilla and Kirstin had a shopping outing while Derek and I stayed back at the flat while Cora napped. Last night, Grandma and Grandpa had babysitting duty so that Kirstin and Derek could go out to a favorite avant-garde restaurant named Dilia. They had a wonderful night, and we had a great time with Cora.
Today we had lunch at what is becoming our favorite neighborhood bistro, Chez Mademoiselle. We had a wonderful meal and they were so good with Cora. Felix and his wife, Alexia, are the owners. Felix and René run the front of the house, and I mean run. They are constantly moving. Neither of them will put on any weight as long as they keep this up. They do a brisk business at this "off-the-beaten-track" location on rue Charlemagne.
Tomorrow we will be off earlier to take Kirstin, Derek, and Cora back to Charles de Gaulle airport for their return to the States. I'm hopeful that this time, the RER B will be going all the way to the airport.
No sooner had we bade farewell to Anna than we were saying hello to Kirstin, Derek, and Cora. We've loved having our kids visit us these first two weeks in Paris. I was saying tonight to Kirstin that it will be strange having both our kids on the other side of the pond from us. Already, it's feeling strange to have Anna seven time zones away from us.
The Indy crew has been busy visiting neighborhoods in Paris they recall from previous visits. This is Cora's first time in Paris. I suspect she'll be back many more times. With her funky fashion sense, she fits right in over here.
Today we all made our way to the Marche d'Aligre, which is a food market that is housed in a covered pavilion. We picked up scallops, and fresh pasta to go along with the white asparagus we picked up earlier. Derek made a Hollandaise sauce, Priscilla cooked up the asparagus and pasta, and I sautéed the scallops. It all made for a marvelous meal. You will notice on the photo below that there is an orange appendage on the scallops. Believe it or not, that's the stomach. Over here it comes with the scallops and they eat it. We did as well. It was all delicious.
If you've read posts made prior to our departure, you'll recall that I'm shooting film on this trip in addition to my digital cameras (i.e. Nikon D850 and iPhone X). I was fortunate to find a photo shop on our street that offers one-day development of film, including making scans to a CD. I've been enjoying the slower experience of making photographs on film this trip. It has been good to wean myself off the instant feedback on the LCD screen on the back of the camera. I find with film that I see a scene and make one photo, that's it, not the multiples I'd make with digital trying to get that just right exposure. Today I got back the first two rolls of film I had developed, one color and one black and white. I was quite pleased with the images. Here are several from those two rolls presented in a slideshow.
The other big news today is Priscilla's first Parisian haircut. On the spur of the moment she made an appointment at the hair stylist right on our block, Charlene Ramon. I can't possibly do the experience justice, so I'm going to have Priscilla write about it.
Bon Jour, Madame! I debated making a haircut appointment before leaving on our trip as my hair was just starting to look really good and I thought I'd just let it grow a bit. Well, we all know what happens when we use that logic....the hair needs cutting the very next week! Every time we walked down our street and saw the salon, Charlene Ramon open, Anna would try to convince me to make an appointment. So, today, I finally walked in there to make an appointment. The owner, Charlene, had time open immediately and after returning home to retrieve my wallet, I was in her chair. What a popular and international environment inside this lovely salon. A wedding party from Columbia was just leaving when I arrived. The bride, her fiancé, her mother and aunt all getting gussied up for a wedding tomorrow. Customers from Argentina, New York and Minneapolis. The gal from New York (Susan) married, as she said, a Frenchy and has lived here for 20 years. Between Susan, my stylist and her assistant, we were able to communicate what I wanted and why. The hardest thing to convey to Charlene was my desire to "live" with my silver hair. She so desperately wanted me to add color. In between the espresso served with a small cup of whipped cream and the glass of champagne, and a complimentary application of makeup, I told her I would "think" about it these next 2 months! Stay tuned.