Saturday, July 2, 2011

It's summer

The other rose bush from England -- Hot chocolate
 Last Sunday I was a tourist in Paris. The Ps were here with grand-daughter and a friend of hers, 15 years old, so they wanted to pack in the Eiffel Tower, the Orsay museum, and maybe a few other sites. Sunday morning I arrived at the Eiffel Tower at just past 10 and found them in the North tower line after a couple of intercontinental text messages. It was starting to get hot, but we were in the shade. We talked; the girls went off to the souvenir stands to check out prices. After about an hour an a half we were waiting for the elevator to go up to the second level where we got in another line to reach the top. At least while you are in line you are also looking at Paris below and getting your bearings. A walk around the top, I did not climb up the stairs for the outdoor peek, and in line again for the elevator down. By the time we got down, we were all pretty hungry and the heat was already weighing on everyone. I'm not complaining. It's just that you forget so fast how long it takes to "do" the Eiffel Tower. Grin and bear it and be sure to be in good conversation with such pleasant company.
One of the rose bushes we picked up in England
 We continued our gabbing through lunch. We walked over to the Boulevard de la Bourdonnais, near the American Library and stopped at a corner café. We waited for menus. We waited to order, and when we finally started our order, the waiter shouted at us that we couldn't order sandwiches from him; you could only do that at the bar. That, in spite of the fact that others of us were ordering other dishes. He just walked off to let the sandwich eaters choose something else and then kept ignoring us. We finally got up and went to the opposite corner and had an excellent lunch that was even cheaper than if we'd stayed at the first café. I think we were seated and served in less time than the first guy had shown up to take the order, too.
Herbs: parsley, (no sage), rosemary, thyme,  and mint
Rhubarb -- in fact I harvested 2 lbs. this morning
 and made rhubarb pie!
After all that standing in lines and then sitting at lunch, we walked to the Musée d'Orsay. The girls felt this was a really long walk, but I just mapped it on and it's not quite 1.6 mi. or just over 2.5 km. We walked in the shade and stopped at some souvenir shops, and to get water. Then, R stood in line at the museum while we girls stood in the shade by the side. There's some renovation work going on, some of the post-impressionists are grouped together in a side room, making it very convenient to see the major pieces together. We were all pretty tired before a full hour had gone by, so we finally left to catch a cab back to the hotel.
Well, on Sunday afternoons there are no taxis to be found at taxi stands. We had cool drinks at the corner café and still no cabs came by, so we took the metro, which is, of course, always the best solution. It's just that you can't always convince the others that it's going to be faster. After a short rest at the hotel and showing  off our respective photo albums and R showing me some cool apps on his Ipad, we headed back to the metro to go to the restaurant. There was no way I could get them to walk (less than the earlier walk, but still a little over a mile), so we got back on the metro. Anne met us on our way from the metro station to the restaurant for dinner. Louis and Gwen were already there when we arrived.

Firmin le Barbier on the rue de Montessuy, again, near the Eiffel Tower, is excellent for a small group. It's been written up in several guides and deserves its excellent reputation. It's not too expensive. It's small, so you really do have to reserve.
My throat, which had been scratchy since our return from England, was fairly sore. I thought I was just talking too much. But on Monday morning, I had no voice at all and even today, Saturday, it's still not normal. Seems other people are dealing with laryngitis, too, so I guess it's a virus going around.
Hope you've enjoyed the pictures of our vegetable patch.

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