Yesterday morning we accompanied Kirstin, Derek, and Cora out to the Charles De Gaulle Airport on the train. This time around the RER B was running all the way to the airport, so there was no getting herded onto busses for the last portion of the trip. They all got off with no troubles and made it home to Indianapolis at a time of day to our bodies that I choose to not think about. We hope Kirstin and Derek are able to get some rest today before heading back to their teaching positions tomorrow.
After two weeks of having our children and their families giving us a send off in Paris, Priscilla and I are now on our own. I think it will help with communication back home having them know a bit about where we are staying. It has been wonderful having Anna and Kirstin et al with us these first two weeks. We sure enjoyed our time with Cora, who for most of the time thought Paris was a person, and was wondering when we were going to see Paris. I think by the end of their week with us she had it figured out.
On our way back from the airport we stopped at our favorite coffee shop, The Beans On Fire, for brunch and a hot beverage...hot chocolate for Priscilla and a latte for me. While walking there from the Richard Lenoir Metro Station, we came upon this wonderful community garden out in front of the Saint-Ambroise Church. This garden is a memorial to seven Trappist monks kidnapped from their monastery in Algeria and murdered in 1996.
Most of the rest of the day was spent around the flat, catching up on washing and straightening up a bit. We did get out for a walk on the Seine in the early evening. Coming back up from the Seine, we walked a pedestrian only street called rue des Barres, which is filled with outdoor dining and galleries. We stopped in at a photography gallery which was closing in five minutes. The photographer told us if we bought one print, we could stay an extra fifteen minutes...two prints would get us thirty minutes...and four prints would get us the whole night. Unfortunately for him, we didn't buy any. It's not easy selling photographs to a photographer.
Today was spent exploring more of the Marais. The big park in our area is Place des Vosges. On our way through there we bumped into the woman who runs the shop where Priscilla had a hat made and where we bought a hat for Anna back in 2009. She was there with her husband, granddaughter, and the other grandma. We had a nice chat with them. Place des Vosges is one of the few parks in the city that allows people to walk and lay on the grass. Clearly, the locals take full advantage of that, even the unicorns among them (see below).
In the late afternoon, Priscilla and I walked to the Coulée Verte, which is a greenway on top of what used to be a railway line on a viaduct that runs through the city, similar to The Highline in NYC. We had a wonderful time on the Coulée Verte. Below is a slideshow of photos from that walk. You get a fascinating perspective on a city when you are looking on from an elevated position.
One thing that has become clear to us after 15 days is that we will be doing a boatload of walking here in Paris. In our first two weeks we've been averaging 6-1/2 miles a day. Today came in right at 7. Priscilla is hoping she'll earn some brownie points with her personal trainer, Brenda!