All Continental flights from GSO cancelled. Not a great way to start the trip.
Our apartment is in the Marais (actually two blocks up from the arrow on the Googlemap, just past Rue des Francs-Bourgeois) and it's better even than we had expected. We got here and then we went out for a nice sidewalk-cafe lunch and walked to the Place des Vosges and then napped and then visited friends in the 12th and then had dinner at Le Tagine, our favorite neighborhood Moroccan place from back in the day and then we collapsed back at the crib and this morning Elijah wakes me up and we go to the boulangerie and now it's time to go out again.
We spent some time this morning here, where the Weatherspoon's David Smith sculpture is in the catalog but not the show, and after lunch we went to Notre Dame which was actually something of a hit with the kids and then we went to Berthillon, and then we wandered a bit and then we watched some of the Germany-Argentina game and rested up for dinner tonight at the home of my cousin-by-marriage and old drinking buddy Mathieu and his family on the Quai de Valmy.
(click images to enlarge)
This was a touristy day.
We rode the ferris wheel set up by the Louvre, from which the views were most excellent...
...and then decided to brave the crowd and actually go inside the museum. I had a lot of fun walking through with Elijah. We talked about the huge shift in perspective from the middle ages to the Renaissance and the degrees of hotness of various goddesses as we took in some of the mandatory highlights and then wandered freely for a while.
Then back to the apartment for the end of the England-Portugal match. Tonight, France-Brazil, which should be pretty exciting around here (click images to enlarge).
After a quick visit to the Picasso museum we spent much of the day with our friends Tim and Ned, who took the train from London for a Greensboro reunion despite Tim's recent knee surgery. We hit the redone Orangerie, then had a beer and a stroll in the Jardins de Luxembourg, where Elijah played chess and we took in the sights, including the pool and scultpure above...
(l-r, Tim & Lisa; inside/out l'Orangerie; metro; J.d.L; chess)
And then we went out for Japanese food with a large and fairly raucous crowd of friends and friends of friends who became our friends and Elijah and Syd seemed to enjoy that too.
Also, people still smoke. And it still looks cool when they do it.
The web and mobile phones are omnipresent. This is a very tech-savvy place (France had a pre-web phone-based systeme informatique called the Minitel). A standard computer power-cord needs only a wall-plug converter to work here, and the weefee speaks a common language, so the worldwide web, is.
We are staying in Honfleur which was a favorite of ours when we lived here but now thanks to open EU borders is overrun by Brits and yet still beautiful and even peaceful when you escape the old harbor (left photo) to the narrow ancient streets up the hill and the surrounding countryside (we are in the half-timbered guesthouse in the photo at right).
Syd and I drove to Trouville and walked on the beach and then on the way home found a hardware store where I used the words truc and machin often enough to explain that I wanted a plug converter. Crepes for dessert.
Back in Honfleur for dinner, more crepes, Italy beats Germany in the World Cup...Lisa is impressed at how well I understand the announcers' rapid-fire French, I have to confess that they use the same cliches American announcers do, so I'm prepped for the task.
The kids and I also have watched Qui Veut Gagner des Millions?, which is as cheesy as the anglophone Regis version but entertaining for us, along with a dubbed episode of Malcolm in the Middle and some cartoons. The commercials are clever and sexy, except for the ones that are amateurish and weird, or blandly cross-cultural (yeah, you, Coke). Having learned to swear in French by watching subtitled American movies, I'm a big believer in pop-media pedagogy.
Then a nice dinner (I had foie gras, lamb, cheese, Bordeaux, Calvados, and a good conversation with the Dutch couple at the next table)...and France beats Portugal to make the finals. A good way to end this part of the trip.
Back in NC. That was a nice trip. Getting home was easier than getting there, too.
Notes: all the times on this blog are Greensboro time, because if TypePad allows me to use different times for different blogs I can't figure out how, so just add six hours to all posts.
All images can be enlarged with a mouseclick.