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(5) Paris Untour 2010 (Day 6) The 4 Hour Lunch

Day 6  -  The 4 Hour Lunch


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dimanche, 25 Avril 2010


We were both up by 8:05am.   At 8:40am Eleanor threw in the colored clothes to wash.  She figured it might take 1 1/2 hours to finish.  Hopefully we would be able to hang them on the drying rack before we go out.  By 10:15am the clothes were on the rack.  At 10:30am we finally got around to breakfast : coffee, orange juice, fresh pineapple chunks, yogurt with strawberries and an apple turnover.  Somewhere in the midst of all this I was able to post the Houcine reunion video on YouTube.  

At 11:45am we went out for a walk of our neighborhood.  A walk through the courtyard of Hotel Sully came first.  

A symphony of chirping echoed across the courtyard.  Hundreds of birds were preparing nests among the vines of the ivy covered wall.

To the right by the wall is a window tracery.  Most tourists feel obligated to have their photo taken using the tracery as a frame.   We were no different.






The door at the far right in the above photo leads to Place des Vosges.


While back in the States doing research for this trip I had come across a short video about an unusual shop called Tumbleweed.  It's located on rue de Turenne around the corner from Hotel Scully. 

So we made Tumbleweed our next stop.


Eleanor and Lynn, proprietor.












Here is a short video of our visit:


One of the bags we purchased had the image of Boulangerie 28 on it.  According to Lynn, Boulangerie 28 is located on Boulevard Beaumarchais, which is just around the corner from our apartment building.  We intended to check it out before the day was over.  Little did we know that Boulangerie 28 would become the "Mother Lode" of pastries and baguettes for us during the rest of our trip.  Before leaving Tumbleweed, we purchased a number of large size bags as well as small catch-all bags.  This place is not cheap.  We spent a total of 90€ ($121.50 U.S.).

The next place we wanted to check out was Place du Marche Ste Catherine, on rue D'Ormesson, a short walk around the corner.  Music was filling the air before we even got close to our destination.

Arriving at 1:05pm I video taped the scene. 








We decided to have lunch at Bistrot de la Place.  So we settled in at an open table and checked out the chalk board as well as the menu.





We started off with :

La soupe de legumes frais du jour servie en bol, pain grille a l'ail - 7.00€

(Fresh vegetables, soup served in a bowl, garlic roasted bread - $9.45 U.S)

The bottle of red wine was Cotes du Rhone 21.00€ ($28.35 U.S.). 


For the main entree, we both ordered:

Entrecote grillee tout simplement, frites et salad Mesclan (300 grs) - 18.50€

(Grilled beef Ribsteak, simplify, French fries and Mescalun salad (300 grs) - $24.98 U.S.











During our meal we struck up a conversation with the two ladies seated at the next table. 



Kathleen (left in photo) lives in France.  Jane was visiting from Boston, Massachusetts.


Sitting at the next table (photo below) were Johanne and Mathieu.  Johanne took the photo of our table.






Around 3:00pm Kathleen and Jane left.  Another couple soon occupied their table.  Before we knew it we were having a conversation with John and Lori (photo below).  They live in London.  They were in Paris celebrating Lori's birthday.  Lori is originally from Connecticut.

 Video of Eleanor telling John and Lori about her cousin, Richard, who is a Quebec artist.  He had painted our portrait for our 25th anniversary.  For our 50th anniversary he planned to do a portrait of us in the nude.



Then Lori told us about a place called Bonchurch on the isle of Wight, England, a place that Charles Dickens described as "The prettiest place on earth."



John went on to tell the story of how they came to purchase a flat in Bonchurch.




This conversation with John and Lori had repercussions months later after we returned home to the States.  I had posted my video on YouTube so John and Lori could see it.  One day we received an email from John about an unexpected incident that occurred as a result of the video.  Here it is:

"Hi you Two,
After the drama and trauma of the summer Lori finally made it home
and, at the first opportunity , we made an escape to our Island
home of Bonchurch for a well deserved rest.
On the second day we booked a table at our favourite pub,
the “Bonchurch Inn” and that evening we walked up the hill
into the warm and welcoming care of our friendly bartender
Having ordered our food and a couple of drinks I retired to
a nearby table to talk to some friends.
Lori meanwhile remained at the bar talking to the bartender
With her ever perceptive ears…she caught someone at a
nearby table mention “butternut squash” a vegetable rarely
seen or eaten in England
So with her natural inquisitiveness she approached the speaker
and said:
I’m sorry to interrupt but I heard you mention butternut
squash, are you a chef ?”
To which came the rather surprising response: “You’re Lori”
“Er, Er. yes I am “ came the reply
“and you were in Paris in April”
Er, Er. yes I was , but…“ came the reply
“and it was your birthday”
Er, Er. ….how on earth did …?”
“ We saw you on YouTube”
“And we were so convinced by your claim that Bonchurch
was “The most beautiful place on earth” that we’ve just
bought a house here”
“Oh My God…. As a permanent home ??
” No, like you a place where we can escape from city life
…we live in London”
“Oh My God..so do we ….where ?”
“In Wandsworth “
“OMG so do we…where”
“ Alma Terrace”
“OMG that’s’ just around the corner from us”
“ Oh we must meet up in town here’s my e-mail ”
A beaming Lori glides to our table bathed in that
warm magical glow that finding new dance partners
always creates.

During our exchange of stories, Eleanor and I decided to each order dessert:
Tarte Tatin aux pommes caramelisees, creme fraiche ou glace vanille.  De notre Grand-Mere - 7.50€
(Tatin pie, caramelized apples, fresh cream or vanilla ice cream.  From our Grandmother. - $10.13 U.S.)

Our 4 hour lunch finally broke up at 5:26pm.  It was an expensive lunch.  But Oh the experience we had that day.  We just happen to meet Lori and John by chance, and within minutes it felt like we were best friends.  We said our last goodbye and parted ways.
That was one of the longest lunches we ever had.  I know why.  That afternoon ranks as one of the best afternoons we have ever experienced while on vacation.  Our Paris vacation had just begun.  We hadn't visited any of the major sites yet.  Yet we had already found what we were looking for....experiencing the atmosphere of Paris and knowing that a truly memorable experience could be just a short walk around the corner.
Before heading back to our apartment, we wanted to find Boulangerie 28, the one that is on one of the canvas bags we purchased. 

On the way while passing Place des Vosges, we encountered a sidewalk performer singing opera.
Here is a short clip of his performance:


Finally we came to Boulevard Beaumarchais and found Boulangerie 28.  I took a photo of Eleanor holding the bag in front of the Boulangerie. 


























I planned to buy some pastries for a light breakfast the next morning since this place was so close to our apartment.

A baguette would also be included in the purchase.  It would be part of our picnic lunch the next day during a visit to Notre Dame Cathedral.

Back at the apartment, Eleanor did the garbage while I set up the backpack to the next day.   While we were out our friend, Larry, sent us an email suggesting that we meet one morning at a cafe for coffee and a pastry.  He suggested Cafe Francais at Place de la Bastille, a short walk from our apartment. 

High temperature for the day was about 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius)

I was in bed at 8:45pm.  Eleanor followed soon after at 9:00pm.

Total distance walked: Bill - 2.10 miles, Eleanor - 2.20 miles


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