Published: July 25th 2012July 25th 2012
In the interests of full disclosure, I previously spent about an hour on this post, thoughtfully cultivating my ideas and double checking my spelling (there is no automatic spell check here!). And then... a slip of the wrist and the post was GONE. I love sitting up at night in our Paris flat and listening to the traffic and conversation outside the window in the Latin Quarter...but DAMN. So, deep breath, little sip of wine, and we begin anew...
The last morning in Dublin was quite a bit frenzied, as we, in our comfortable surroundings with our genial hosts, had spread our bits and bobbles out rather in the manner of a small midwestern tornado. I found Fea's toothbrush at the last minute, on top of a dresser drawer in the dining area. While there may still be socks or underdrawers or other random personal items littered about their house, the most deeply lamented loss was Elmo. I THINK he is hiding out in the back of Shawn and Niamh's car. We can only hope that he befriends some sprightly leprechaun who will show him around Ireland and introduce him to step-dancing. He would like that. While we were frantically
shoving clothes and toothbrushes and a million tiny little Fifi socks into the suitcase, and I was checking and re-checking the location of our passports for the hundredth time (and realizing I left the brand new book I bought in SFO on the flight - CRAP), and writing down the instructions for how to get from CDG in Paris to our apartment rental in the Latin Quarter, Shawn and Henry masterfully entertained Fea as Niamh tried to persuade Enda that he needed to take more than the clothes he was wearing and the red and silver Lamé
cape he had been parading about the house the night before to three weeks at Irish camp. Seems he might need a costume for theme night and this cape would come in useful somehow (it WAS awesome). Suddenly, our taxi arrived, Niamh and Enda piled into their car to leave, we hugged and promised future visits, and we were off on a new adventure. Can't wait to come back to Ireland and hang out with Shawn and Niamh and Enda and Henry and Sandy, as well as making our way west and visit Clare Island in Crew Bay, County Mayo. Henry had rather
casually mentioned the Queen of the Pirates when we were talking about their previous visits to Clare Island....and I said "Pirate QUEEN??" Hadn't I ever heard of Granuaile, the Sea Queen of Connaught?? NO? Niamh handed me a book and I was transfixed. Look her up.
We arrived at the nicely modern Dublin airport about 2 hours before our flight to Paris. We checked in, checked the bag, made our way through security...and had about an hour and a half before our flight left. They didn't even post the GATE our flight was leaving from until 15 minutes before the flight. So we sat down to coffee and JOOSH and fruit and smoked salmon in the lounge, only to be confronted with breaking news of the horrific shootings in Aurora, Colorado. There was not much to go on at that point, but my heart sank as I thought of the horror and despair of the victims' families. Really, really sad news.
We finally boarded our Aer Lingus flight for Paris,
one hour and eighteen minutes, and Fea promptly fell asleep. I couldn't see much out of the window, as the UK was shrouded in clouds - not
an uncommon occurrence, I believe. However, I did see the Channel and suddenly we were descending into CDG airport. Making our way through the airport was kind of like being in a bad sci-fi movie - the weird tubes that carry you from floor to floor are BIZARRE. But we finally figured out how to get to the damn RER-B train, bought tickets after standing in a very long line,
and loaded luggage, backpacks, and a bouncy FeaLucia onto the train. The journey itself was not very long and it was SO EXCITING to see the landmarks of Paris come into view. Our apartment rental hosts had given us wonderfully specific directions, but it was still a shock to get off at the Notre Dame stop, walk outside and see...NOTRE DAME. I think we kind of stood there in shock for a minute or two, before a squawky child reminded us that it was time to either let her down to run around or feed her. We rolled the suitcase along St Germaine, through the Place Maubert Mutualite, and to our new home for the next week, on the Rue Monge (5e). The friend of the apartment owners was on
hand to meet us, gave us a perfunctory tour, slapped the keys in our hands, and left. Parfait!
We found the flat on airbnb.com, and it was just as pictured...one bedroom with a bathtub (yay for Fifi!), tiny kitchen, and a sitting/dining room with windows onto the Rue Monge. After letting the little Bunny let off some steam exploring her new digs, we headed out for a quick tour of our neighborhood. Paris is lovely. It is full of some vibrant, bouncy, enthralling energy, mixed up with history, culture, food, and amazing architecture. The absolute thrill of being in the City of Light made us...HUNGRY. Luckily, the Place Maubert is made up of a charcuterie, patisserie, boulangerie, wine cave, and cheese-erie.
We kind of went overboard that first night, but our meal included brochette of beef with champignons, white asparagus, ratatouille, baguette (of course!), Epoisse and chevre, croque monsieur, and roasted chicken. HA!
Bonjour Paris, indeed!
There are more photos below