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Our Last Day ~ tennis, walking, and one last dinner at an old favourite

Saturday, May 30, our last full day in Paris came way too early as always happens on a great vacation. The day was just perfect, cloudless with a warm sunny sky and a beautiful little breeze. Den had noticed that there would be a tennis exhibit near the fountains at Hotel de Ville, which was almost across the street from our apartment. The exhibit was a celebration of the French Open, which was on during our trip. There was a full size red clay court set up for exhibition matches and a giant TV screen to watch the real matches. Den stayed almost 2 hours watching and taking pictures, while I shopped rue Rivoli one last time. We wandered over to rue Montorgueil because I really wanted to have lunch at Les Petit Carreaux after hearing rave reviews from Luc and many posters on OPF. Den ordered Caesar salad and I had a planche campagnarde. Den's salad was beautiful, with lots of lardons (bacon), a perfectly runny egg, spinach leaves, anchovies and shards of parmesan. My planche was a huge board filled with slices of spanish ham, a grilled slice of brie, a very fresh side salad and crunchy delicious fried potato slices. We shared a half litre of Sancerre and enjoyed eating on such a busy, people filled market street. We also saw another little restaurant that had been on my list, Les 3 Petit Cochons on rue Tiquitonne.........yet another reason to come back! We sat and people watched for over an hour and then slowly meandered back to the Marais, going through many little streets we hadn't yet explored. We stopped at the Place du Marche St Catherine for a drink and another little rest and were back at the apartment a little after 6pm. We had dinner reservations for 8:30 at Le Vieux Comptoir, a little restaurant in the 1st which we had really enjoyed last week.

We had debated going somewhere new and out of the area (Le Florimond was our first choice) but decided that we wanted to stay close by on our last night and just enjoy walking along the Seine one last time and not worry about taking buses, metros or cabs to where we wanted to go and back. We changed for dinner and left the apartment a little before 7:30. We walked towards the river and enjoyed the sun sparkling off the water and lingered on 4 or 5 of the bridges joining the right bank to Ile de la Cite. Den took his last pictures of the Eiffel Tower in the distance and we walked over to the restaurant, where we enjoyed our final dinner of our May 2009 trip.

Both the chef and the female server recognized us and gave us a great table. We had a nice little rose to start our evening and then made our dinner choices. I had the spectacular roasted figs with ham in a balsamic reduction that Den had had last week and that I had dreamed about since. Den had the duck foie gras, which was melt in your mouth tender. Den chose roasted chicken for his main dish and I had the pavee of rumpsteak, served blue, of course! My steak was perfectly cooked and so delicious and Den really enjoyed his chicken. We asked our server to choose different wines for each of our appetizers and mains and she picked great compliments to our meals. Den had the chocolate moelleux cake for dessert and I chose the tiramisu with armagnac. Den's cake was all melty chocolate goodness and my tiramisu was good but not the out of the ball park hit that our desserts had been last week (in all fairness, our waitress tried to get me to order the fromage blanc again, but I wanted to try something new. I should have let her have her way, she knew better!)

Halfway through our meal, we started talking with the young couple at the table next to us. They were on a lover's weekend, enjoying a break from their 2 young kids. They were from Lille, just an hour north of Paris. They were very cute and sweet and we talked about many things and time just flew by. The chef offered all four of us a digestif and we finally left the restaurant a few minutes before midnight. We walked back to our apartment one last time, enjoying these fleeting moments that signalled an end to our 17 days in Paris. Funny how something that can be so long in the planning (over 8 months) and anticipation can be over so quickly.

We were up early on Sunday, had a last pain au chocolat from our Marais bakery, packed and were downstairs waiting for our airport shuttle a little before 9:30am. CDG really isn't as bad as everyone says it is, it's just another airport where you have to wait in lines several times as you check your bags, get your boarding pass, go through security and finally buy your duty free alcohol! Our flight was uneventful and we were in Montreal by 3pm and home by 6.

We had another wonderful trip and so many great moments...........meeting Jim and Pat by happenstance at Jacques Genin (where we bought the world's most expensive caramels ~ LOL!), having lunch with Luc in the Bastille and getting to see his gorgeous little piece of heaven in Paris, going to the ballet at the Opera Garnier, sharing a cooking experience with Daniel and Marie from Spring, seeing one of our favourite bands in one of our favourite cities (now I can add........"hey, remember when we saw Simply Red in Paris" to last year's "hey, remember when I met Robert Plant in Paris), meeting Annette and her sweet hubby Darryl and sharing a meal with them and Luc, having David Lebovitz sign his new book for us at WHSmith in Paris, discovering some new great restaurants and sharing time with locals over our meals, getting a tour from one of Paris's top chocolate and macaron makers, and so many other moments. Most importantly, I got to share all of these wonderful memories with my hubby of almost 27 years. We both know how lucky we are to be able to experience a trip like this.

During the trip, we kept talking about going to either Greece or Italy next year, comparing plans with people we met and getting suggestions. By the second to last day of our trip, we had started saying, "next year, when we come back to Paris, we'll........." Paris has such a hold on our heads and our hearts! We don't know why, but we get such a thrill while we are there and it's hard to imagine going anywhere else. So who knows where we will end up next year? We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Thanks to all who had the patience to read my long winded account of our 2009 trip to Paris. See you next year!

Comments (3)

Donna:

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your Paris experiences. It is my favorite place in the world! Glad you had such a lovely time.

Gino:

Hello Jo and Den...
I came across your blog on the weekend...and read it all on a rainy Saturday in Montreal. Sounds like you had a great trip again.
It brought back memories of our trip last year.

Ciao Gino in MTL
PS: I wrote to you last year as well, not sure if you remember me.

Megan W ( OPF):

Hey Jo

Thought of you and Den a few weeks ago - popped into the local and Mick Hucknall was at the bar , he lives not far from me .

Megs

x

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