Friday, May 1, 2015


   On Friday we had an almost rain free day...thanks to your prayers...and we were able to make our first walking tour with the wheelchair for Mary and Phil.  We had a sleep-in morning and started our day at noon.  The wheelchair and Phil fit into their elevator, it's temperamental and sometimes he has to wait until I walk down the steps and push the button from below; but for the most part it makes the trip possible.   We carried umbrellas but didn't have to use them for the few drops now and then.

     We walked along side of the Pompidou Center, taking turns pushing the wheelchair either empty...Phil would always do it then as he uses it for a walker for balance...and sometimes with Mary in the chair instead of Phil as she is having major problems with her knee; again with Phil pushing.  When Phil is in the chair we rotated pushing him so everyone got an opportunity to rest.  Cobblestones are the hardest and if really bad Phil has to walk and push his chair himself.  Once I nearly dumped him when I crossed the street and tried to take a running start at the slight incline and discovered their was a small lip and we needed to tip the front wheels to get up.  That and knocking the foot rest off once were our only major issues.

  Passing the Pompidou we entered the Hotel de Ville  Square (Paris' City Hall) and there were many things to see.   First the building and then all the activity:  the merry-go-round, a basketball exhibition, a man blowing large bubbles for the children, and massive pictures of old Paris that we stood in front of for photos.  

     We crossed the street and then walked west along the right bank of the Seine River, stopping to admire the few vendors that were open.  The trees are totally green and it's a beautiful walk.  The fact that several were opening their boxes was a good indication that the weather was not going to be too bad today.  Phil is getting his wish of walking the streets of Paris to see the people.

At the Pont Tour Phillipe we crossed the river and walked to St. Louis en  L'Ile for a stroll down one of our favorite streets in Paris.  We stayed in several different hotels on this street many times during the 1990's....when I was still working...the hotels are rather expensive on the Island.  Phil wanted to see the place that is famous for it's ice cream:  Glaces Berthillon.   He called it gelato...but that's the Italian version...and most people refer to it around the world as gelato.  We showed him the shop at the end of the street but he decided it was too cold, so we'll save that treat for another day.

Rather than walk back down the main street we walked over to the Seine again and walked along the water back to the bridge that, because of the weather was devoid of it's usual display of artists performing for money.  But the views are always there.  We saw a bride and groom posing for photos on the left the same area where we spent many evenings in 2010 with our family for picnic dinners along the river....and a boat load of tourists cruised by.

Across the river to stepped into the garden that surrounds the left side of Notre Dame.  I was wrong and the Square is actually named "Square Jean XXIII"....Pope John 23rd....and they have added the statue of St. John-Paul II in the gardens between the rose window and the river last October.  We got a few sprinkles as we exited the garden and took a look at the massive line waiting to enter the Cathedral; we decided to come back another day to see the inside.  Both Mary and Phil were beginning to show some wear and tear from our morning outing.

   We headed back towards our apartments, crossing Pont Arcole and walking back past the Hotel de Ville on our way to the Pompidou Center where we jogged to the left and went towards the front of the museum to see the Stravinsky Fountain that has all of the modern art designs.  That was our last site for the day.

    Arrived back at the apartment; tucked Mary and Phil in for some naps.  It was now two o'clock and Jim and I walked the additional five minutes to our apartment and then I got to have my adventure for the day.  Each day I've been able to have a project that gets me out walking on my own in the afternoon.  Today I decided to head back to the restaurant to pick up my red hat that I left after dinner on Wednesday night.  Walked to the Metro, changed at Hotel de Ville and exited on the Champs-Elysees at the Franklin Roosevelt Station.  Again...light sprinkles now and then, but the day is good.  It was only a short walk to the Baroche Restaurant and I started noticing how many of the stores were closed?   When I arrived at the restaurant it was also closed!   Then I remembered it is a holiday weekend for all of France...May 1st....May Day celebration!   So it will probably be Monday before I can get my hat!

     But I did manage to get a decent photo of the Arc de Triomphe down the street before returning to the Metro for my ride back to the apartment.  Once I arrived I took some time to explore our area.  I found the Taxi Stand where there are always waiting taxis; it's just around the corner at the Metro Station, so it's easy to get to from Mary's apartment if it's not raining.  I also discovered the many bus stops nearby that may be great for some trips. 

   And I found the entrance to the beautiful garden known as "The Garden of Anne Frank" that is located in the center of the buildings that Mary and Phil live in.  They don't have a view from their apartment but at the elevator there is a beautiful view from the hall window.  It's a lovely park, there is even a built-in checkers board on a table, fountains, flowers and a playground area that is semi hidden behind the many trellis' for the flowers to climb on.   Finally back at the apartment, it was now half past four o'clock in the afternoon.   And I'd walked a total of 6.38 miles for the day.

     Jim and I headed out the door just before five o'clock to walk to Mary and Phil's; there we agreed that we'd go to the Chinese Restaurant and get food to go.  Phil was feeling chipper from his nap and walked with Jim and I using his cane for the short walk.  Mary prepared the table and when we returned we had a wonderful dinner in the apartment.  We are both having stove issues in our apartments:  we have not been able to get ours to's brand new and a glass top electric model...they are bringing us a hot plate on Saturday.   Mary's is similar but we did get it working to cook our pasta dinner on Thursday. 

After dinner we cleared the table and finished the final hand of yesterday's was nip and tuck but the boys won 13,080 to the twins at 12,665.  Then we began a new game and this time the twins won handily with 17,360 points to the boys 15,010.   Jim and I walked home before nine o'clock for a few hours of computer time before bed.   I hope you've enjoyed our journey today.

Link to Picasa Photo Album


No comments: