Saturday, October 24, 2009

Paris, October 2009, A Rainy Saturday Stroll

It was obvious when we awoke this morning, that we were facing a gray rainy day. But, did we let that stop us? Mais, non! We busied ourselves with work that needed to be done, then it was out among the masses with Doug in his beret and me with my umbrella.

We thought we'd take a look at the Musée Rodin, and we still intend to do so, but decided first to take the Métro to the area of the National Assembly and find Le Bourbon, one of my favorite places to dine in all of Paris. We took a few turns and the area began to register as familiar, when suddenly there it was! It was a little after one and a rainy Saturday, so we had no difficulty snagging a nice table for two next to a window. In his Matt Damon manner, Doug said to the hostess, "par le fênetre, s'il vous plait," (by the window). To which our hostess smiled and said, "Oui, Monsieur," (Yes, sir). Doug, who is for some reason shy to learn/use his grasp of the French language (he attended the language institute in Monterey, CA but learned German, speaks it well and prefers to spew it in place of French), rolled this statement off his tongue as though French to the bone, and all to the delight of my senses!

Le Bourbon still has the same choice of main courses that I enjoyed previously, so I ordered the grilled salmon which they do so well. It's moist and well-seasoned and served with a drizzle of the most delicious beurre blanc I've ever tasted (I must work on recreating it in my own kitchen) along side a nice portion of freshly made fettuccini, tender but with a bite and lightly covered with a cream sauce that was to die for. The house wine is always a nice bordeaux at a reasonable price for a pichet (14 euros) and we ordered a full pichet. Following this fabulous lunch we ordered the next best thing this chef makes: a vanilla crème brûlée. It is the most deliciously eggy creamy rich substance in existence, I'm quite sure, and has a very thin crispy perfectly burnt sugar on top. We had to discipline ourselves to resist swiping out the dish with our fingers to get every last bit, ha! We then polished off une noisette (an espress with a shot of milk).

Finally rolling ourselves out of the restaurant, our faces enjoying the immediate assault of fresh rain-moistened cool air, we nixed the idea of the Rodin museum and seeing Place de la Corcorde off in the distance, opted to stroll instead. Stroll we did! We were out there for four hours, until our feet could not take any more. We walked through Charles de Gaulle park, a lovely small green oasis near Place de la Concorde, filled with benches to rest upon, periodic sculptures of intrigue, and plenty of fountains, trees and brightly clad beds of flowers.

After savoring the park, walking by the Pont Alexandre III and around the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais and the park, we caught the Métro from Place de la Concorde--a good station that actually has a line 8 that takes us straight home without transferring.

We got off the 8 line at Commerce and stopped at the Monoprix just in time as they were closing. After picking up the few items we needed, we walked toward home and stopped for our week-end paper and some hot bread from our Boulanger.

It just doesn't get any better than this, folks. We were out there among the tourists today and at 63 degrees and our careful layering of clothing, it was an outing that will remain with us for a long while.

The lines at the Grand Palais and Petit Palais were long and we're going to see if we can beat the crowds tomorrow to enjoy the contemporary FIAC exhibition. If not, I'm sure we'll find something wonderful to do. Another point: sometimes walking around and studying the structure itself, on its exterior, is just as enjoyable as enjoying the treasures of the interior--so it is in Paris, for sure. If anyone is ever bored in this cultural paradise, well...I think there must be a lack of enthusiasm for life, as even just taking a walk can be a learning experience.

Enjoy some of our photos, below.

More Subway Art

Subway Art

In 1758 This Beautiful Hotel (Hotel de Crillon) Was Constructed At Place de la Concorde

A Baby Mum Color Spot, CDG Park

Flowers and Fall Color (CDG Park)

Fall Is Evident In Paris (CDG Park)

Bright Baby Mums Provide A Colorful Sight In CDG Park

Well-Known Former Prime Minister, Physician and Journaist, Georges Clemenceau

All That Glitters IS Golden Around The Grand Palais

Place de la Condorde

Park Charles de Gaulle Near Place de la Condorde

A Stroll Through Charles de Gaulle Park Delivers Many Surprises

Magnificent Sculptures Atop The Petit Palais

FIAC (A Contemporary Art Show) At The Grand Palais Until Oct 25

Now Showing At The Petit Palais, Fernand Pelez

Churchill Appropriately Dressed For A Rainy Day In Paris

Doug The First And Alexandre III

Pont Alexandre III, An Impressive Bridge To The Grand Palais

The Handsome Lions Of Pont Alexandre III

Even The École Militaire Is Busy On This Rainy Day

Doug Pauses For A Sense Of Direction

Street Barriers Keep People From Killing Pedestrians AND From Parking On Sidewalks

Air France Has Nice Digs In Paris!

One More Side-Long Glance At My Favorite Restaurant In Paris

The Place of Justice, And Doug Being French!

Lady Justice, Near The National Assembly

In A Word: Delicious

Now Doug Knows Why I LOVE The Créme Brulée At Le Bourbon!

The Protest Signs Across The Street From The National Assembly Draws Attention

If You Think He Can't Wait To Dig In, You Can Believe I Can't! Grilled Salmon At My Favorite Place Le Bourbon On rue de l' Université

Protest Signs Posted by Harkis

Next Post: More of Paris!

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