Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Sunday and Dinner at Jim’s

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Today was predicted to be a rainy day but it didn’t arrive until nearly 8 pm. We were dressed in our best clothes for Easter Sunday…I even had a straw hat and dressy shoes for the day! We stopped at McDonalds before the Metro and had Egg McMuffins for breakfast…I’d had my coffee at the apartment and Jim brought a small bottle of Orange Juice with him. Most shops are closed today and tomorrow for the Easter holiday. Jim thinks the crowds will be smaller next week….I haven’t told him that the crush will continue as France splits their spring breaks into sections of the country so we’ll have three weeks of this probably.

We arrived at St. Suplice Church…yes, one that was featured in the Da Vinci Code movie… in the 6th arrondissement about 10:15 am; we’d chosen this instead of Notre Dame because of the organ music. The 10:30 high mass was packed but we had wonderful seats near the front of the church. After mass we rushed to the back to stand in line for access to the loft and the organ. Waited about twenty minutes and then climbed up about seventy very old stone spiral stairs to meet the organist, Daniel Roth, and catch the view from above of the altar. Stayed about ten minutes and then visited the Deleacroix Chapel that has three of his more famous works. We then walked across to the other side to see the chapel displaying the photos of the Shroud of Turin; very appropriate today as it was the burial cloth of Jesus in the tomb.

By 12:30 we were on our way and walked around to more sites in the 6th arrondissement: Café Les Deux Magots, Café de Flore, Brasserie Lipp; all were packed so we snapped photos and continued our walk. These were made famous by Hemmingway and his fellow writers in the early 1900’s. Stopped for a visit at the Church of St. Germain de Pres and then continued to the bridge across the Seine known the Beaux Arts; a walking bridge that has been taken over by the newest fad of locking a padlock on the wire walls and tossing the key in the river. Symbolizing everlasting love, they say. We looked for our friends lock but could not find it and finally added our own lock that we’d brought from home to the mass of modern graffiti.

Moving into the 1st arrondissement we visited the Eglise Saint Germain-L’Auxerrois before crossing the street to walk through the Cour Carree du Lourve; a totally enclosed courtyard that leads to the glass pyramide and entrance to the Lourve. You’ll love the photo that Jim took of me in the slideshow…I’m resting my arm on the pyramide!

Finished the stroll with photos of the original arc with views of the obelisk of Luxor in the Place de la Concorde and further down the Arc de Triomphe and further down but out of sight was the newest La Grande Arche at La Defense….they all form a perfect line.

Back on the Metro for a trip to the apartment for a late lunch…it was 3 pm… and rest for this evening. About 7 pm we dressed a bit warmer since rain was coming and headed back to the Metro for our trip to the 14th arrondissement for “Sunday Dinner with Jim”.

Jim is an American Expat that has been inviting visitors to Paris for Sunday dinner for many years in his home. Mostly word of mouth and more recently through the Internet…and an article in the New York Times in March; brings about seventy people together each Sunday evening. We heard about it from my friend Carolyn who’d planned to attend last year when she was in Paris.

We had our reservations about the evening but decided to go see what it was all about. WOW…what an evening. We arrived at 8 pm and enjoyed every minute! One needs to be good at networking to really make it work and we have both had lots of experience at that. We each went our own way and found people who were staying in apartments; even one with a studio like we have, most were in hotels. Some had arrived today; one was on an overnight stop from Greece to California. Several from New York, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Iowa, Utah, Ottawa, England, so many more I can’t name them all. And there were a handful of Parisians in the group. But the most surprising ones were a group from Yorba Linda where we live; another who went to high school where Jim taught and best of all our daughter-in-law Holly’s best friend! What an evening! The food was great…simple but very good, choice of beer or wine and even a light dessert. If you’ve got a visit to Paris coming up…check the internet and make a reservation at least a month ahead…there’s always a waiting list!

We arrived home by Metro in light rain about 11 pm and I decided to do my blog tonight. We’re sleeping in tomorrow as it’s going to be another serendipity day!

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