Last week was my birthday. Another day, another year gone by in a blink!
I celebrated the actual day with yoga, work (err), phone calls/texts/etc with family and friends and dinner with Andy at a local spot in our neighborhood, followed by wine, chocolate, flowers and new wellies. Fab.
We stayed in western Paris, at a last-minute hotel find when our Airbnb was cancelled on us, and spent Friday evening having wine and crepes near l’Opera. I had somehow forgotten how beautiful Paris is, how much I love the architecture and the language.
I woke early on Saturday and ran down to the Tuileries and along the Seine. I covered about 4.5 miles and loved every step. I could have gone on forever, watching the sun rise over the city.
We found a cafe for cafe and croissant, and went into Printemps for the view from the rooftop terrace.
I just finished reading Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, so I wanted to check out Shakespeare and Co. and other spots along the Left Bank where Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, etc lived and worked. I know it is overrun with tourists now, but the buildings are still gorgeous and it was fun to wander around there.
After wandering around more, stopping to read and take photos and have cafe, we made our way back to the hotel to freshen up before dinner.
Our dinner that night was at Au Passage, and it was outstanding. I didn’t want to go to a stuffy traditional restaurant, but rather something more modern and hip. We shared a variety of small plates here, the absolute best being the pumpkin soup. Fantastic.
The next day we went out to Père Lachaise Cemetery, one of my favorite spots in Paris. I love cemeteries of all types, and I love the way this one is like a mini-city (um, of dead people). Again we had a gorgeous warm fall day, with the leaves already changing.
Following lunch at a nearby brasserie, we walked to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, one of the largest parks in Paris, for views over the city and the chance to lay in the grass and read. Everyone else in Paris was doing the same on this beautiful day.
Later we walked along Canal Saint-Martin, did a bit of shopping, had crepes and cider for dinner, and eventually returned to London via Eurostar late on Sunday night. This was such a perfect, relaxing, refreshing weekend. It was fun to practice my French and to get to the Continent for a weekend. Feel so luck to have this opportunity, and can’t wait to return.