Friday, May 21, 2010

Days Of Wine And Roses....And Ash

A pilot once said to me, "You can drop a flight attendant anywhere in the world and before you know it they have found food and the best places to eat." I agree. My crew and I had adjusted to the uncertainties before us as we turned around and arrived back at our Rive Gauche hotel in Paris. The Icelandic volcano cloud had canceled our flight, but not dampened our spirits. I had planned on making a spread for my crew on our flight back to Boston, but now we were back in the hotel. Within half an hour we met in our hotel's crew room as I made sandwiches of French ham, comté cheese, arugula and Dijon mustard. We had grapes, quiches and a couscous salad. Everyone contributed treats they had intended to take home.Baguettes and more cheese appeared as we discussed going shopping to buy clothes and necessities for our potential extended stay. The next 3 days were abuzz with activity. Since the following day was Sunday, a few of us went to street flea markets where I bought a few small treasures, and saw many more. This Sunday was special to a few of us. It was Mother's Day. We all went out to dinner that evening at Parnasse 138, on boulevard du Montparnasse. It is a traditional French bistro with many, many choices to choose from. I started with a goat cheese and lardons salad followed by roast lamb.Those are garlic cloves on top of my lamb...mmmmm. For dessert, a white chocolate and berry tiramisu was the perfect finish. Right before dessert, our captain bought roses for all of the mothers on our trip who were missing Mother's Day at home.***feel the love*** The next day some of us went to the outskirts of Paris to a small charming town, Ville de Suresnes. It was a cloudy day, but the Eiffel Tower can be faintly seen from this town on a hill. The World War American Cemetery and Memorial sits proudly at the top. I want to come back to this town another time to explore further. Back in Paris, it seemed like around every corner was a reminder of the volcano. Maybe it was a little of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, but a reminder for our extended stay in this city of light was always there. We were never sure from day to day when the ash cloud would clear and we would return home. On our 5th night in Paris a few of us opted for a quiet light dinner in a small private pocket room in the hotel. Dessert time! Did I really have to have another Chocolate Lava Cake??? Well, why not....ashes to ashes....let the lava flow!

It finally was time to leave our tony Rive Gauche address. The next day after yet another delay, we were cleared for our departure to Boston. My white Mother's Day rose had a comfy first class seat for the long flight ;-)
Our flight plan was an extra 2 1/2 hours as we flew over Iceland, north of the volcano. I've flown along the coast of Greenland before, but never directly over it. The view was breathtaking. Hours later the coast of Massachusetts was in sight, and our long awaited landing into Boston was imminent. My rose and I, along with many happy memories made it home at long last!

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