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Monday, May 4, 2015

One Last Day

I am ready to go home. I've had a great time and saw quite a few friends, but I miss Wayne and the girls.
My first stop this morning was to France Post to ship back my clothes and a few things that I don't need as soon as I get back.
After getting that done, I headed to the office and wandered around the Canal St. Martin. For a Muslim no-go zone (according to Fox News), it was pretty dang tranquil. The only noise I heard was from the boats going up and down the canal, and some city workers use leaf blowers to clean the playgrounds. No riots, no sharia law, no yelling (not even the kids in the playground).

I met Cedric and Momo at the office, and we headed to lunch, talked office politics and life. Back at the office I printed my boarding passes and made my way to the left bank. I visited St. Severin, St. Germain des Pre and Musee Eugene Delacroix.
I made a stop at Lauduree and the bakery for my dinner and tomorrow's breakfast, then back to the apartment. Once last walk up to Place du Tertre to buy a painting I saw on Saturday, then back again. The taxi will be here at 5:30 (yes, AM), so I am in for the night.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Très Magnifique!

I made it to the Jeanne Lanvin exhibit yesterday after taking Mom to the airport and tidying up the apartment. (And helping 2 young Chinese women to get to Paris from the airport.)
It wasn't easy to get to Palais Galliera for the exhibit: 4 trains and a bit of a hike, but absolutely worth it. No photos were allowed, and the visitors were very respectful of each other. I felt as though I was in a place of worship (and in some ways, I was). Many garments were displayed in glass cases that were accessible from all sides. Others had mirrors to allow viewing of the front/back. A handful were in horizontal cases with angled mirrors above. Accompanying the beautiful dresses, coats, capes, hats and purses were photographs from the span of Jeanne Lanvin's career, sample books of croquis, embroidery and beading, fabrics, various promotional material and a pair of dolls from the original logo of a woman and small girl.
The range of materials, embellishments and silhouettes was broad, and there were examples from every phase of her career. The exhibition book is even more comprehensive, though only available in French. (The main descriptions for each section were in French and English.)

Sweet little garden on Ile St. Louis
After the exhibit, I headed to Ile St. Louis, the other, smaller island in the center of the Seine, winding through the streets.

Heading back to Montmartre, I picked up caramels for my co-workers and needle and thread to fix some velcro on the sofa bed in the apartment, and to attached the strap I knitted for the terrace umbrella. (owner approved, of course). I wandered around trying to decide on something to eat, and ended up at the same Italian restaurant Mom & I ate at on Thursday night. This time I had a tomato mozzarella salad and fried calamari. The waiter remembered me and brought me a Kir, then comped me a glass of white wine as well.

After the other customers left, we chatted and jokes, mostly about the tourists would ask if he spoke English and then said "Sacre Coeur?". Ronny said if I was staying back Tuesday, we should go to a movie, but agreed to a drink with me and Wayne on our next visit.

Rainy, but still magnificent
I headed back out to pick up a couple of things at BHV--A huge sale meant the store was buzzing, and everyone was out since it was Saturday night. I wish I had brought my camera--so many dogs out on the town with their people: in the stores, on the metro, hanging out at outdoor cafes, and all seemed completely at ease.

This morning I took my time getting up, waiting to confirm plans with my friend, Thomas, who we have known since 2001 when he worked with me at Borland. He lives with his mother in the 12th now.

I met him near his apartment and he drove us to Chantilly where we have an excellent lunch before visiting the Chateau de Chantilly.
Thomas thought the castle was disappointing, but when you live in Europe, the bar is probably pretty high. I thought it was very interesting. We also visited the 'stables' which were about 10 times the size of our house and much nicer.

After Thomas dropped me off on my side of Paris, I stopped at the bakery to pick up something for dinner, then settled in for the night. One more day in Paris, then I head home!

There was really a moat!

The ceiling of the room modeled after one in the Uffizi

The library

Door to the chapel

Stair rail

The ceiling in the stables

The stalls in the stable.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Closer to home

The neighborhood cat
Today was Mom's last full day in Paris, and May Day, so most museums, monuments and shops were closed. Fortunately for us, Musee Montmartre was open.
The vineyards of Montmartre
We also visited the small cemetery of Saint Vincent.
Tomorrow, Mom heads back to California and I'm on my own for a few days again.

More Museums

Today we visited a few Museums, starting with Musee D'Orsay. Last time I visited it was still undergoing renovations, but now that it is done, I really like it. Many of the collections/artworks are in the same place they were before, and there is natural light through much of the museum.

Next we crossed the Seine to the Louvre to visit the Decorative Arts and Fashion museums.
This was on my "must visit" list because of this fabulous exhibit: Déboutonner La Mode (Unbuttoning fashion)
900 buttons recently acquired from a private collector
Not only were there 100's of beautiful buttons, but period garments, descriptions of the various trade the made each type of button (metal, wood, embroidered), how buttons styles evolved and how some of the top designers used buttons in their collections: Schiaparelli, Chanel, Balenciaga, Yves St. Laurent, Courreges, Dior. (I know I missed a couple) And the book for the exhibit is really well done as well.

From there, we walked the length of Jardin des Tuileries to L'Orangerie.
There is a fairly new section of Renoirs as well as the famous Water Lilies.

After a rest at the apartment, we headed a little ways back down the hill for pizza. It was raining pretty hard, so the restaurant was almost empty. The pizza was very good as was the dessert: creme brûlée and tiramisu.
oh yeah--forgot about that stop at Lauduree...

Today is a pretty quiet day since it is a holiday here in France (May Day and Labor Day).