Today (Thursday), I'm relaxing in front of a sun-filled French door; allowing my soul to catch up with my body. I'm at rest; ignoring the magnetic draw of Paris.
Look who came to visit.
We walked briskly to the local bus stop, taking us to the RER train 🚂 Marne-la-Vallée--Chessy. Amazingly there are blooming roses along our pathway.
There are always buskers on the RER trains. Most claim to be Syrian refugees. Who knows? My solution is to give to one. There's no way to validate any claims, and the giving is more about keeping my heart open than the coins.
Today we choose to walk along Canal Saint-Martin; and because the canal is underground from Bastille to Republique, we take time to explore the area around Bastille before taking the Metro to Republique. We walk along enjoying the canal, the iron bridges, the locks. Eventually, we run across Chez Prune, a recommended café.
This café makes a point of being bedraggled, seedy. Very self-consciously appealing to local BOBOs (hipsters). The food is good, portions huge. While Chez Prune might be the definition of "a dive" it's very clean.
As it's a chilly cold day (I chose to leave my gloves back in my suitcase.), we take the Metro to Opera and tour Opera Garnier. There's been much reconstruction on the Opera in all the years we've visited, and it's about time we see inside. Amazing. Stunning. Beautiful. Unimaginable. I have no appropriate words. And, when we view the Main Auditorium, 4 performers are practicing a ballet--2 women and 2 (shirtless) men. The musculature!
We get a later start and decide to exit the RER at Chatelet--right in the middle of Les Halles. When you leave the train you realize you are several stories underground. In fact all of the mall part of Les Halles is underground. The entire ground level scene is retail mania. We're not too interested in shopping, so we wind around the under construction Les Bourse and the backside of Norte Dame. Redevelopment and reconstruction have been going on in this area since 2010 and will continue for a few more years.
We'd decided to go to the BHV for lunch at Le Kantine on 5éme. This particular carousel sits next to the Hôtel de Ville and across from the BHV.
The cafe is self-service, as is this fun wine dispenser.
I told CA that I "needed" to visit Housewares, Hardware, and Stationery. And, though we milled about for some time, we hit every one of the hotspots.
We accomplish our small mission and after a bit of looking about, we decide we're ready to take the train back to our villa, and enjoy a pub dinner on-site. They really do burgers well. We're here for the French food, but tonight a burger seems just right.
We surprise ourselves and declare today a pajama day. Our bodies are tired. We've kept a busy pace so far. It turns into a great day to read, take walks, and stare out over the pretty views outside our French doors.
My sunset view, not very different from my morning view (above). A very good day.
By dinner time, CA has found a local restaurant that has an excellent reputation, so we set-off in search. First, a quick grocery store stop.
Au Bon Petit Bailly is certainly unpretentious and the Food is delicious. CA shared some of his generous serving of goat cheese toasts. You can almost see the salad underneath. I'm making my goat cheese toasts exactly like these in the future. Hot crispy toast with gooey goat cheese. TDF. I ate some with the vegetable soup made from the chef's wife's garden.
Furthering my exploration into the French love of Meringues... This example was covered with Citron ice cream, smothered in whipped cream, and drizzled with Raspberry sauce.