Wanderlust Home and Pet Care
Nov. 3 We left Colmar early for the 6 hr drive to Paris. We had to arrange our arrival to the apartment before dark - we didn’t want to drive Paris streets at night.
Nov. 4 I had arranged for a doctor’s appointment which went smoothly, however the walk to and from the apartment was in the rain.
Nov. 5 We returned the car to Orly airport as the lease was up. We hopped off the train at the St Michel stop to have lunch. We had extra time so we walked around the lle de la Cite. I was afraid lunch would be average since we picked a restaurant near Notre Dame but it was delicious. Onion soup, a lovely salad with bacon and a calzone - major cheat. Gary had his oysters and foie gras. Next door to the restaurant was the Shakespeare & Company book store which is a tribute store to the original American book store which opened in 1919 but closed due to WWII.
Gary Here - Took Candy to the train station so she could catch a plane to the good ole’ USA. Yep - I’m stranded in a little town called Paris. My studio with a hide-a-bed is about 15 minutes from the Metro #3.
I planned on going sight seeing on the 10th but the rain has been incessant. I opted for an indoor venue at the Opera Palais Garnier. I’m glad I got the audiotape /slide show machine. The architect wanted to remind people of the Versailles palace. Spent a ridiculous amount of the treasury on this monster. Saw some fruits bouncing about on the stage and decided not to get tickets for their show.
Nov. 11th - The rain has let up so I’m off. Candy and I saw a program about the radical Père Lachaise Cemetery opened in 1804. This was a combination of a park and Cemetery. Must have been beautiful 100 years ago. Now it is crammed packed with monuments, crypts, and graves. It was nice to get out and about.
Nov 14 th - I got caught twice in the rain yesterday and ran back home. Today it let up. Went to two of the huge parks in Courbevoie. Top level is for kids and relaxing. The bottom next to the Seine is packed with ball courts, tennis courts, and a fountain. The other park was surrounded by opulent homes and apartment buildings. Then off for a hike to a new grocery store for vittles and to stock the larder.
Nov 16th - Went to my butcher yesterday at 2:30, (in the rain), and they were closed. I can’t get over the lack of work ethic in France. Went back to 3:50 and got my goodies plus had them sharpen my knife. We always carry a good knife as they are scarce as hen’s teeth at Airbnb’s. Since today was sprinkling, I decided on another indoor venue. The Art Ludique museum had an expo on the nature art of Disney animation. The audio guide is a must. It started with original art and film of Mickey at the helm and ended with Disney’s soon to be released Moana. The traffic flow was great and the variety of concept art, sculptures, and finished landscapes was satisfying.
Nov 17th - The rain turned to intermittent misting so I took Candy’s advice, (always a good idea), and went to a famous restaurant and market street - Rue Montorgueil, in search for Cancale oysters from Brittany. Most restaurants with a good street or corner location are loaded with heaters on their porch. There were hundreds of folks eating and drinking outside watching the world go by. I did find my oysters - not for beginners. Rather briny but nice and firm. Looked for a french press to replace my pour-over filter, but I would need a bank loan to get one. No Walmart to be found.
Did find Coconut Oil so check that one off.
Nov. 18th - First day of no rain! Went to Parc Monceau. Finished in 1779, it is a mish mash of Roman, Greek, Japanese, Egyptian architecture in a really big park. I enjoyed walking in the partial sun and watching hundreds of people running, picnicking, and yes, some frolicking. They even have bee hives in a protected area.
Nov. 20th - The rain stopped at 10:00, the sky was getting lighter at 11:00 so I went to the bird market. It is held every Sunday at the flower market. Then off to the Sunday Roller blade Tour at Bastille place. Found the meeting place but the event was called for rain. Wimps! Made some homemade chicken veggie soup and listened to the rain beating on the shutter. Tuesday is supposed to be partly cloudy. We’ll see.
Nov. 22nd - The Coulée verte René-Dumont is a 3 mile mostly elevated walkway built on an old railroad dating from 1859. The success of the Metro line signed the death knell for the railroad. This walk was inaugurated in 1989 and is very popular with runners, picnickers, and strollers.
Unfortunately the direction signs are almost non-existent. I took the wrong turn three times. The trail goes through several large parks. Each park has 5 or 6 exits and none are marked for the trail. This is a tremendous resource for the city as many areas are nice and secluded. There are exercise stations along the elevated part as well as ping pong tables, tennis courts, ball courts and numerous places to have a picnic. I bet the place is stunning in the summer with all of the flowers. The closest Metro near the end of the trail was another 20 minute walk away so I was tuckered out when I got back to my studio.
Nov 19th & 20th Candy's weekend with Mike in Avon, Colorado. I drove up to the Vail Valley where we used to live. As I stopped along the way to take pictures, I felt like I was going "home". The new snow made the mountains so majestic. Mike and I walked the village/ski areas of Beaver Creek and Vail - not much had changed. We had a great dinner at Sweet Basil's with Mike's roommate Kyle. My entree was voted the best - beef cheeks so tender I could cut it with my spoon with a phenomenal sauce. Sunday we had Huevos Rancheros at Bob's - best breakfast in town (except for Gary's of course!). Fantastic beasts and where to find them was the movie goal of the day. J.K. Rowling never disappoints. We had a great time together. Thanks Mike.
Nov 26th - My delightful landlord and her roommate come over to read the water meter. She asked where is my next adventure. I said: The Paris Sewer Museum. She looked at me like I had a haricot vert shoved up my nose. I found it by Googling weird things to do in Paris. This low cost museum was right down Candy’s alley as there was no audiotape and a TON of things to read. Too bad she is not here. This huge ball was just smaller than the sewer so water shot out and scoured the sand and muck ahead of the ball. The wooden ball to the left was for smaller sewers coming from high-rise buildings. These are still in use today. Viewing my photos, you will see actual sewer stuff. The smell was diluted by the water flushing the toilets and showers. After that joy I just had to have some oysters and a glass of dry white wine to go with them. Got home 15 minutes before the rain. How’s that for timing?
Nov. 29th - OK - Call me a wimp. I was all set for my next adventure under a clear blue sky. I got a half mile, (or 12 KM), away from home. The 37° temp and wind froze my legs and feet. I ducked into the nearest cafe for lunch. Unfortunately, the fare was unremarkable with the typically European overcooked fish. I hightailed it home. Who would have thought the cloud cover kept in so much heat?
Dec. 1 - Set out for an indoor Venue - The Catacombs - a 200 mile network of caves, tunnels, and limestone mines. (Note to self: Find out where the tour ends before you set out). I was really lost at the end without my seeing-eye wife. The Romans had quarries to get at the limestone. In Medieval times, they had to go underground for the materials to build Notre Dame and other grand buildings. After the mines played out, they were forgotten. That is until 1774 when the roofs of the mines began to collapse. After extensive shoring up of the excavations, it was decided to move bones from the overcrowded cemeteries, starting in 1776, into the extensive Catacombs. Had to stop at a restaurant for some oysters and a glass of dry white wine.
Dec. 4th - First sunny day in a few days so I set off for Canal Saint. Michael. Candy and I stayed here a while back just to see non-traditional Paris. There are still a lot of Arabs here but not many laying about. (Perhaps because it was 39* F). Passed over 4 restaurants as they seemed ordinary. Just as I neared the Metro I stumbled upon Chez Papa. Great meal - he took me into his cramped kitchen. I met a Parisian artist living in NYC. They spoke perfect English and we had a nice chat. His Website is: www.charlelie.nyc - I really was tested on my navigational skills as I took a different line to get home.
Dec. 3rd - Candy and Mike went to the Star Wars Costume Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum.
Dec. 7th - I received an early Christmas present from Paris. Today was a severe pollution day so few cars were allowed into the city. All Metro rides were free!! ( It’s the little things in life). I know few of you would go to a botanical garden in the winter. I did and have no regrets. There were a thousand people running, walking, strolling, and picnicking. I paid for admission to a nature museum - very tiny. Took me about 5 minutes. The huge greenhouse was not kept up. Perhaps they get after it in the spring. I had to use my imagination on how the beds would look in the summer as very few flowers were planted. The botanical gardens are a great resource for the city. Looks like it is used year-round. I enjoyed walking the grounds. (I skipped the mini zoo).
Dec. 9th - 50* and partly sunny - Today was the day to explore the “Other side of the Tracks”. There were fewer grand parks but commerce was thriving. I saw a little man outside a cafe with a table of oysters covered in seaweed. I asked if I could have a dozen inside and he indicated yes. The bill was $6 Euro less than I have been paying in Paris. Candy is coming home soon so This afternoon is laundry and dishes day. What fun!
Dec 7th Pearl Harbor Day and the Holiday Dinner at Gardens on Quail. The facility put on a lovely dinner with entertainment. The food was really good. Mom & Dad were in top form. It was a great evening being together.