Paris. In the spring. And on our honeymoon no less. We stayed in the charming little hotel at the right side of the picture above.
The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame and, best of all, the shopping!
Margot and scarf with Eifel Tower
Erin and scarf with Eifel Tower
Ah, yes! The upcoming decoration of our new house is what led us to our most amusing adventure in the City of Lights. Well, I think it’s amusing. My darling wife claims she still has sore feet from the experience. It started the day after we arrived – jet lag you say? No, I never pay attention to jet lag. Of course, I get it, but I just keep going. I’m in Paris
and I’m going to waste time sleeping?
Wedding rings and Cafe au lait
So, first we had breakfast, mmm… café au lait and warm croissants. Then, on our way to the Metro, we passed the market and that scarf stall, for what turned out to be our first of many purchases there. We took the Metro to the other side of the Seine way out to the 12th arrondissement to the Transportation Headquarters. For some unknown Parisian reason the museum passes that we had purchased on-line back home needed to be picked up there. After a lengthy wait – also for some unknown Parisian reason- we had the passes in hand.
A quick jambon et fromage crepe later we were back on the Metro and on our way to the Guimet Museum – full of glorious Asian art and wondrous Buddhas. Then a bateau trip down the Seine to the Musee d'Orsay to drool over the Impressionists, including my favourite - Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe.
Erin and scarf at Shakespeare and Company
Margot and scarf on Japanese Bridge, Monet's Garden
So, wanting to make me happy, tired as she was, she agreed and we started off. We stopped at Angelina’s for their famous hot chocolate – so thick and rich it’s like drinking a melted chocolate bar. Each cup is served with a bowl full of whipped crème – to help cut the richness! Thus revived, we began our trek.
Erin and scarf at Monet's Garden
Wonderful shop windows to look in; jewelry stores, paper stores, bookstores, shoe stores. As each block went by I’d say, “I’m sure it’s just ahead.” But no. Further we walked and no sight of the Bazaar Hotel de Ville. And further… finally there it was! Voila! All 5 glorious floors. Margot headed to the fabric section and found some lovely burgundy embossed material to make kitchen curtains.
I found wonderful ceramic door handles and bought set after set in lime green, hot pink, blue and every other color to go with the Mexicolors we’d painted our new house. We indulged in several drawer pulls and cabinet handles as well - metal sculpted twigs and cunning mother of pearl shell shapes. It was amazing how shopping made us forget that we were exhausted!
Tile Collection Board
The Metro was just across the street; with one transfer we could be a couple of blocks from the hotel. Down the steps, caught the first train and sank gratefully into our seats-it doesn’t take long for ceramic door handles, drawer pulls and tile to be very heavy to carry around. “Whew, I’m glad we’ll only have those two blocks to walk back to the hotel”, I said to Margot. “Me too, remember? I was tired three hours ago,” she chuckled.
Parisienne Flower Market
We pulled into the transfer station and found out it was one with a long, long walk to the other train we needed - so long they had a moving sidewalk – that was out of order! But that’s not the punch line. When we got to the stair leading down to our train – it was blocked off. That line stopped running at 9:00 and it was now 9:15! So, we had to retrace our steps all that way back to the main part of the station and figure out a new route that eventually had us taking 2 trains and having a four block walk back to the hotel, carrying bags of heavy home decorating items! But that’s not the punch line either.
The infamous handles - still unattached!
Back home, after four months, three locksmiths, and two handymen later, we were forced to give up on our dream of ceramic French door handles –apparently they take a completely different internal hardware system not available except in France and Sweden and couldn’t be re-tooled. C’est la vie!