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Jo & Danielle Paris Adventure ~ Day 4, May 22

Our last full day came way too fast, as always happens, no matter how long you are in Paris for!

After our regular breakfast of still warm croissants, pain au chocolat and pain au raisin, we set out for a girls morning of shopping on rue Rivoli. As we slowly walked down the little side streets towards the river, Danielle spied a tattoo parlour on the way. We went in to inquire on the cost of a little Eiffel Tower tattoo and it would have been 200 euros. Danielle felt that was too high and that the equivalent tattoo would only cost about 100 dollars in Canada, so we passed, but you could tell she was disappointed not to have this souvenir from Paris. We went to the H&M store and my favourite, C&A and Danielle bought herself some cute costume jewlery, some scarfs, a very Parisian summer purse, and some sweaters while I got Sebastian some cute summer outfits. It was getting close to lunch time and we were getting hungry, so we walked back to Les Halles area looking for somewhere to eat. We didn't want a big meal since we were having our cooking class at Nomiya that night. We decided on a cute corner cafe where we could sit and people watch once again and enjoy the beautiful sunshine. Danielle had a salad with walnuts, ham, tomatoes and little melted disks of goat cheese on toast, all in a horseradish vinagrette. I had another planche of ham, pate, cured salami and cheese and we split one more half litre of rose. We sat for over an hour enjoying our meal and the views of so many people walking around enjoying a Saturday afternoon in Paris. As we left, Danielle spied another place for tattos and piercings. She really was determined to have something done while in Paris and she decided to get a body piercing (I know, I know, but she's 25 and a mom herself, and I have to respect her decisions. )
She was very happy with her decision and now has a permanent souvenir of our trip to Paris together.

We decided to walk back towards Rivoli and go through the Louvre courtyard. We didn't really have time to visit any of the museums, but I took her through the passageway where you can look into one of the Louvre areas through a huge wall of windows and at least she was able to see a few sculptures. We sat at the fountains for a while, and engaged in our favourite pastime once more ~ just watching all the people from all over the world enjoying one of the world's premier attractions, the Louvre courtyard and the pyramid. I then decided we should walk through the Tullerie gardens right to Place de la Concorde so Danielle could enjoy more of Paris' highlights. It was a very warm sunny day and we made sure we drank lots of water as we strolled the gardens and enjoyed the many statues and the kids playing with the little boats in the pond. Once at Concorde, we went back to rue Rivoli and started our way back to the apartment, intending to stop at a terrace somewhere to have a drink and a snack as it was about 5pm by now. (Where do the days go when you are in Paris? We had been walking once again for about 7 hours!) As we walked on Rivoli, we happended upon Angelina's and I joked to Danielle asking if she still wanted the hot chocolate I had promised her before the trip. To my surprise, she did, even in this heat, so in we went. We were seated within 2 minutes and Danielle got to experience the wonderful treat that is Angelina's hot chocolate, along with a beautiful strawberry dessert. I had a huge cup of ice cream and sorbet, topped with whipped cream and tiny little macarons. Oh, and a coupe de champage to top it all off!! I kept telling myself that since we had walked so much for 4 days, I deserved a treat like this and any calories would be offset by all our exercise. It was sooooo good and we both enjoyed this extravagent afternoon delight!

Well sated, we continued on our way home and reached the apartment about 6:30. We relaxed a little bit and freshened up and were out the door a little after 7:30 to catch the metro to the Palais de Tokyo for our last hurrah in Paris, our cooking class at Nomiya. We got to the museum about 15 minutes before our 8:30 class and met some of the people we would be sharing the class with. We were very lucky to have a wonderful group of people including 2 couples from the US, a young couple from Amsterdam and 3 young women from Paris. We were guided to the state of the art kitchen equipped by Electrohome and introduced to our teacher for the evening, Raphael, a VERY good looking Parisian chef. We were given the choice of 3 cooking stations ~ main dish, side dish or dessert. Danielle and I opted for the main dish station and were joined by the very sweet couple from Amsterdam. She is a police officer and he is an IT tech with a large bank in Holland. Raphael had already smoked 4 large pieces of monkfish and Danielle and the couple were asked to cut it into about 1 inch pieces. I was given the task of blanching some sweet peas and washing some sorrel. We then alternated the fish with peas and sorrel. The 3 young women prepared an eggplant and curry puree and a fresh tomato and shallot sauce for the fish and the 2 American couples made a wonderful kiwi and passionfruit tiramisu. Raphael (did I mention how handsome he was yet? ) kept busy by helping everyone with their questions and making sure we kept on schedule. Dinner was ready at about 10pm and we all sat down and enjoyed the fruits of our labour, enhanced by a wonderful white wine from Touraine. We all knew each other a little better now and it was a fun, comfortable meal. Once done, we all helped with the clean up and Raphael (the good looking chef) escorted us outside to the top of the stairs where the restaurant is so we could get a glimpse of the wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower all lit up. Everyone was delighted with their evening and it was a wonderful end to our 4 day Paris adventure. We took the #72 bus back to Pont Neuf and took our last walk back to our apartment, getting back around midnight.

Morning came very soon and we had our last French pastries for breakfast and were out waiting for our shuttle driver a little after 9:30am. A quick ride back to CDG and a smooth flight back to Montreal concluded our whirlwind tour of Paris.

I know how lucky I am to have been able to have this time with my daughter and to show her the city that Den and I have both grown to love. During our lunch at Nomiya on Friday, someone asked Danielle if she was enjoying Paris and what was the most memorable thing she would take home with her about the city. She replied that if there was one thing she could share with people back home, it was the feeling that Parisians took the time to really enjoy life. She said that although life in Paris is quick paced, as any big city is, people don't seem caught up in the rat race as much as North Americans are, but are content to sit and enjoy a meal or a drink with friends and family and just be. I was very proud of her for being able to give such an insightful answer and also happy that she "got" Paris.

So now we are back to reality and I have started my countdown to our trip in the fall to celebrate Den's 50 birthday with our best friends (4 months from yesterday!). I'm so happy to have been able to share this experience with Danielle and have all that time to get to know her better. Her life has been so hectic in the past 6 years and she has had to grow up so quickly as a single mom, and I was happy to give her this break from responsibility and just enjoy some mother/daughter quality time. Life is good and we have to enjoy it while we can.

Comments (2)

Donna:

Sounds like an absolutely delightful trip! Photos, please? Maybe even one of the handsome chef?

Thanks for sharing!

Donna

robin dunlap:

I figured out how to see your whole blog. i hope we have as great a time as you.

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