Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Rescue Mission...

Being one of the first flights back into Paris after the halt of air travel from the volcano was like a rescue mission. Things were getting back to normal....we hoped. I still packed as if it may spew it's angry cloud again (bags packed, fingers crossed ;-) There were so many stories of the stranded people. Some good, some not so good. Most were happy to be on an airplane that was going where they wanted to go and had a look on their faces of having endured or enjoyed an adventure. One lady missed a much needed surgery and another man got "stuck" at his cousin's B&B chateau in the south of France (I got the card!) One business man said 100 Americans from his company were stranded in Paris and 100 French were stuck in the they came out even. At our hotel, some of the changing of the guard crews were met by flight attendants with "Je ♥ Paris" t-shirts and pilots who had their pilot hats on backwards, a la beret style.

After waking from my rest, my friend and I went out into the sunny blue skied day. No ash in sight. We walked along blvd. Raspail towards rue de Bac.
On rue du Cherche-Midi I can't pass by Mis en Demure without stopping in, so in we went. It is like walking into a well appointed French maison. From the salons to dining areas to the bed chambers, I heave a sigh of longing. The way the light rests upon the beds offers solace as the street bustles below. Ahhhhh......lock the door, I could just live in this store. OK, back to reality, sort of. We went into the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal for a brief but quietly powerful visit. It is right next to le Bon Marché, where we stopped in to see what the food halls were offering today. They are overpriced, but sometimes a treasure may be found. We walked by the sweet and savory. Different spices are sold by bulk in large jars, near delicacies to put with them. We had made plans to meet friends in another part of the city at 6:00 pm, and it was just about that time. We hopped on the metro to the lively rue Moufftard area and found our friends, who had already begun cocktail hour. We settled in as unspoken language chattered all around. Stomachs started to growl and the conversation turned to dinner. With so many choices nearby at such reasonable prices, we decided to dine locally. Just off rue Moufftard, and along the pedestrian rue du Pot de Fer, outdoor tables are lined up on both sides. Here you'll find a decent meal under 20 euro for 3 courses. We went into L'Atlantide which offers 3 courses for 14 euro. Fresh salads topped with a wedge of cheese, onion soup, and escargot are a few of the first course offerings. Two of us had a whole trout grilled with a garlic and coarse salt crust and a side of really good chunky satéed potatoes. The others had duck confit and grilled lamb chops. We were all satisfied with our choices except for the lamb. The food can be hit or miss, but in general is tasty along this casual dining street. The creme brulee wasn't on the menu, but they had 3 to offer us as well as an apple baked with spices and served on a caramel sauce. Our waiter, an engineering student, was delightful as were the other patrons we chatted with. Walking back to the hotel we passed a sign painted on a building for a bowling alley. I've seen this sign many times, but never went in until this night. Walking down the stairs to this den of fun, are murals on every wall. Air hockey and pool tables were full of players. An emcee dressed in cowboy attire chatted while retro western music played. There was a half an hour wait to bowl, so we decided to wait until next time since it was getting late. Back out on the street, bistros were closing up and the Vélib' were all parked for the night. And so we called it a night....a good night.

Mis En Demeure 27, rue du Cherche-Midi
Le Bon Marché 24 rue de Sèvres metro: Sèvres Babylone
L'Atlantide 4, rue du Pot de Fer

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