As promised, a quick recap of our day in Paris last Friday, My-Reason-For-Living-In-France’s birthday.
For some unknown reason, we had lunch at the Café de la Paix restaurant, on the Place de l’Opéra. I think of it as being very touristy and not intimately Parisian, but as it turned out everyone in the restaurant — very overwrought in the most appealing way, gilt, columns, murals — was French. Maybe that’s the difference between the terrace and the café sections versus the restaurant.
I think the whole day was simply filled with happiness.
First, we couldn’t find a parking place (the prelude here is boring, but just wait) so I had to park in the depths of hell beneath the Galleries Lafayette, and as we emerged into the store we were met by two (very cute) security guards. Yes, there are security guards everywhere in Paris these days.
As we passed by them, one of them said to me: “Welcome to Paris,” in English. I can’t even say “bonjour” without giving away my accent. “Merci,” I replied.
“You’re American,” he said, “I love Americans.”
“Oui, but I’ve lived here for more than 30 years.”
“That’s fantastique,” he said.
That was the beginning of our our day.
We had the most delightful waitress. When the bill arrived, she had given us our glasses of wine and our coffee.
As we were about to leave, we realized it was pouring rain and we had no umbrella. She rushed to the front desk and came back with a huge, wood handled umbrella. “It’s a gift from our hotel,” she said.
You see what I mean about Paris? I can’t even count the number of times that something magic has happened to me, to us when we’re in Paris.
Since we were there to celebrate a birthday and our “farewell” lunch before I left for Chicago, my intention, as I mentioned to you, was to find a birthday present that was neither a navy blue nor a grey sweater.
We headed out. We looked at sweaters. We left with a navy blue and a grey sweater.
I always tell myself: “It’s not your birthday, Tish.”
So, there you go. . .same old, same old, but he’s happy.