Saturday, June 2, 2012

Last Days

 Last days are hard, it always seems like there is so much I want to see, do or get that even though we tried to have a relaxing last day, it did not work for us.  The first order of business was to go purchase the purses we had coveted all week.  We marched back to the 7th, back past Reed restaurant, to buy those purses.  I picked out a lovely tan leather and Jodi, well, gray, her favorite color!  Back to the apartment to drop them off, heaven forbid we scuff them.  Then back to the 6th to buy some Eiffel Tower glasses that I had been dreaming of for quite a while.  This store too, had been closed yesterday.  But they were open today and I bought all six for a mere 29 euros! They were not so fun to carry, and I shipped them home, so I PRAY that they all make it!  Next on the agenda was Luxembourg gardens for some R & R.  
On the way I had to “window lick” these desserts some.  They are just so lovely in a way we in the states NEVER take the time to prepare them.  I bought tow macarons;  banana, which was heavenly, (now to see if I can duplicate the flavor), and cherry -cassis which had a tiny cassis berry inside!  The wedding dresses in Paris always amaze me, one day we saw a young woman in the metro with a frothy white dress pouring out of a huge shopping bag.  IT was cool in the shade at the Medici Fountain.  Old Marie De Medici got around, staying at the Chateau de Vincennes, and now building Luxembourg Palace and this garden.  I am thinking she got a bad rap as a manipulative old biddy.  I, for one, appreciate her efforts in this particular garden.  I knitted, Jodi messed around taking photos and eating her new brand of Lays, Bolognese.  We loitered for quite a while, until the lure of the souvenir shops became too strong.  We found the things we wanted or thought we needed, and headed for Pont Neuf to tell Paris good bye.  My  sorrowful farewell was interrupted by a young miss who was waiting on a lover.  She just marched right up, right in and plopped down right between the both of us.  Eventually he too showed up and we were witness to some serious sucer face (sucking of face).  We loitered there for a while, until  hunger overtook me, but in all fairness it was 9 PM.  I was not sure we were going to find somewhere to serve us, but the Italian joint up the street from us, I had been eyeing all week, was gracious and fed us!  We went back satiated and watched my girlfriend put on one last show for us before we went to bed and I began dreaming of my next visit.

Pentecost Monday

Who knew the French take Pentecost so seriously?  With  population of 80ish% Catholic, maybe I should have known.  But France is also infamous for separation of church and state, so I did not really consider that everything would be closed Pentecost Monday.  Ee had some errands I wanted to get done so we could relax tomorrow, but everywhere we went we met a brick, or should I say stone wall.  After a Lemon tart and a cup of tea for me and a Coke Zero for JOdi  at Cafe Paul we headed toward the Chateau de Vincennes.  It dated back to before the 1300s and Charles V, St Louis, or Louis the IX spent some time here, but the real work of building the Donjon (the medieval keep) was done by Charles V.  He apparently was a pretty good king and enlarged his territory without much war!.  Imagine that!  Marie DeMedici spent some time here after Henri IV was murdered as did her son Louis the XIII, the predecessor to  Louis the XIV (AKA the  Sun King of Versailles fame).  After Versailles became vogue the grounds were used for a prison, an armory, a manufacturing plant, as headquarter for the Chief of staff of the Armed Forces, until the Germans marched in in 1940 and occupied castle.  They did considerable damage, including demolishing all but one of the 9 towers that were originally built as part of the defense.   The chapelle is lovely and empty, I wanted to break into song just to see how it sounded, but I was afraid Jodi would think I had lost it!  Not to mention the potential reaction of other people visiting the chapelle.   It was a blustery day and we were very lucky, it rained, while we were in the Donjon and we totally stayed dry!  We had looked and looked for downtown Paris while we were at the top of the Donjon, but we could not see a thing.  As we left we decided to get a drink across the street at a little cafe and as we were crossing the street, we could see the Eiffel Tower in all her glory!  I had a lemon drink what was so refreshing, I wish I could get it here!  

Dinner, I decided (Jodi let’s me do that) would be at VerjusVerjus ( it means the tart juice from freshly pressed grapes) is a restaurant and wine bar that the couple that formerly run the Hidden Kitchen that I enjoyed so much, opened up last fall.  It is very near the Palais Royale and Le Grand Vefour.  I had no illusions that Jodi would enjoy the tasting menu, so we opted for the wine bar, which I knew had a couple of very American things on the menu.  I started with celeriac dumplings with dan-dan sauce, chives & toasted peanuts. Jodi, the Joe’s shoestring fries with togarashi & ketchup , the togarashi, had her in a dither, but she was soon asking for extra!  Next was buttermilk fried chicken with napa cabbage slaw & micro greens and veal meatballs for me.  Followed by more Shoestring potatoes for Jodi!  For dessert there was a lemon and yogurt cake with macerated strawberries, and roasted rhubarb a dollpop of Buttermilk ( I think) ice cream.  The wine was good, the food excellent and the atmosphere charming.  Though I have to admit to a bit of longing for thr fun times I had at their apartment with 17 new friends!  On the was back I met my own French Ho and fell flat on my derriere.  It was a slo-mo  moment for me and I truly thought Jodi was going to save me, but no I went down with absolutely no grace!  Never fear though , I have enough padding hardly a bruise to corroborate my tenderness.