Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Gift

I received a gift this morning at Le Petit Cler.  And it wasn't the extra dark chocolate that came with my café crème.  The gift was meeting Bob and Leanne, a Colorado couple married for 30 years and spending a few days in Paris before heading to Sancerre.  After a bit of a rough start to my week, I believe I was meant to cross paths with this lovely, intelligent couple.

Our conversation started with discussing Rick Steves.  Rick is very fond of rue Cler and has written extensively about it online and in his books. It's true that there are many tourists wandering the street but having lived nearby for the last six weeks, I still feel rue Cler is "real" Paris and not something artificial like the mall under the Louvre pyramid.  We got to talking about travel styles and I confessed that I was writing a book for people who want to experience Paris on a deeper, less frenetic and less formulaic level.  Their response was warm and enthusiastic.

We shared some personal information and it turns out that Chris and I have quite a bit in common with them, including having no children.  And I know it's going to sound like I have been alone in Paris too long but their connection was heartwarming.  They seemed to have a marriage founded on humour, hard work and genuine affection.  I have met a lot wonderful people in Paris but there was something about Bob and Leanne that touched me and their perspectives on things like travel, marriage, passions and careers (just to name a few!) will stay with me for a long time. 

As I was regretfully preparing to leave, Leanne asked me to guess how old Bob was.  I guessed early 60's and I was wrong by nearly 30 years.  One of the reasons for their trip is to celebrate his 90th birthday.  Bon Anniversaire, Bob!  

1 euros can buy happiness...

Timed my bakery stop to perfection this morning and traded in a 1 euros coin for a still warm, flaky, buttery croissant that had me sticking my tongue into the corners of the bag to get every, last crumb.  It was melt in your mouth orgasmic and I can still taste the butter in the back of my throat.

And 80 euros can buy an entire summer wardrobe at the Monoprix soldes...

I don't like summer clothes.  I miss boots, tights, wool and putting a blazer on top of everything.  I hate spending money on flimsy, open-toed shoes and dresses with no sleeves. But I can't wear black wool all summer so today I spent an hour in Monoprix picking through the 50% off racks.  I also spent a very French amount of time in the fitting room with no regard to the line waiting outside.  It was sweaty and the lighting was unflattering but I left the store with 2 dresses and 3 shirts for about 80 euros, approximately $105 Canadian dollars!  

That grey sloppy thing is actually a very cute polka dot sweatshirt with a fabulous zipper detail on the back.  It will be perfect for when I am back in Victoria and not getting dressed on the weekends.
Are Paris Carnies different...

There are amusement park rides being set up along the rue Rivoli side of the Tuileries Gardens, including La Grande Roue!  Even from a distance it looks terrifying but I am determined, with un petit peu de Ativan, that Chris and I will take a spin next week. 

La Grande Roue!



Heather Anne said...

Rue Cler is where I always stay when I stay in the city and not with my family in Boissy. I absolutely adore it and love La Terrace for their cafe noisettes and Croque Madame's :)

debbie in toronto said...

gotta love monoprix

Erin said...

La Terrace is one of my favourites as well! I just want to spend the rest of my life in the 7th... one day.

Monoprix is one of my happy places :-)