Sunday, March 16, 2008

Notre Dame morning, Golden Gate evening

We are back. It was wonderful! It rained every day for at least part of the day. It was still wonderful! The grey sky made just the right backdrop for Notre Dame and for the pink flowering trees.

We didn't sleep well, we were a little woozy with jet lag and I caught a cold on the last day. It was still wonderful!

We walked our feet off from morning to evening, only sitting down gratefully on the occasional blessedly placed museum bench, church pew or bistro chair. It was still wonderful!

I wouldn't have missed a single sight: the intense double rainbow against a dark sky after a downpour when we sheltered in the Palais Royal; the blooming of chic umbrellas whenever a rain shower turned serious (yes, the French even concern themselves with the style of their umbrellas!); the reflection of the age-old buildings in the rain-shiny streets. It was a visual paradise.

I wouldn't have missed the sounds: the Gypsies in the Metro car playing on a squeezebox music so typically French that it brought tears to the eyes; the rich, deep voice of a Spaniard playing a guitar in the tunnels of the Metro; the impatient rattle of a diesel engine paused at a stoplight; the organ at St. Eustache being tuned up for a concert; the high piping voices of French children at play.

I loved the scents: The smell of roasting chestnuts on the late winter air; of cooking food as we passed different restaurants; of cafe creme with a pastry; and of tea with orange peel.

I wouldn't have missed a single taste: Tunisian couscous; mint tea; rich chocolates; tarte tatin with creme fraiche; entrecote with mustard sauce; Basque cassoulet; and the most intense coffee ice cream it has ever been my pleasure to dribble down my shirt front!

We left only reluctantly, vowing to return as often as we can. As My Beloved exclaimed on our first trip to Paris, "You know I love San Francisco, but this is a great town!"


Blogger namastenancy said...

How you gonna' keep 'em down on the farm now that they've seen Paree?

Welcome back! Now that you are gainfully retired, we must have lunch sometimes and/or visit art galleries where you will get the benefit of my (un)enlightened opinions on all things. Or whatever else your retired self wants.

Monday, March 17, 2008  
Blogger katiez said...

So glad you had a wonderful stay... So sorry about the weather, but, well, it IS March!
It really is a city for walking, isn't it? I never tire of it (although my feet do..)

Monday, March 17, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

NamasteNancy, all that sounds like fun! Once I have shaken off this nasty bug that I picked up on the last day, I'm there!

KatieZ, we didn't expect good weather and, really, we didn't mind it being gray and moody - it made good backdrop for the flowering trees and stunning architecture.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008  

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