The May madness continued the past few days with a visit from Peyvand and James, our good friends from Edmonton. I met Peyvand at work some 5 years ago! Hard to believe it’s been that long. I was so grateful to her for introducing me to some of the other people we came to know in Edmonton especially at a time when David was working 3 week shifts and I was all alone in a new city. They accepted us into their group of friends and we shared many memories together… book clubs, house parties, Christmas parties, festivals, dinners, camping and so much more. Whenever we wanted to do something, we knew we could count on them to be up for it too.
So we were delighted to host them for a too-short stopover in Paris on their way to Istanbul. After a beautiful, hot and sunny weekend, they unfortunately arrived to 2 days of rain and cloudy skies, but that didn’t stop us from making the most of our short time together.
After settling in and exploring the city while I was teaching Tuesday afternoon, we re-gouped in the evening for some wine chez nous and dinner out at Willie’s Wine Bar. The plan was originally to hit up Verjus Wine Bar, but they were full and we were hungry, so we walked a few steps down the street to this cheerful wine bar with excellent service and some fantastic food. We enjoyed yet some more wine at the bar before devouring some excellent dishes of French food with a modern twist. We strolled along the river to see the Louvre by night and watch the Eiffel sparkle from Place de la Concorde.
David missed out the next full day with a little thing called work, so after a filling breakfast, we went up to Montmartre for some more wandering around. By then, both Peyvand and James had made their much-needed umbrella purchases so nothing could stop us. After enjoying some coffee at Cafe des 2 Moulins (the one featured in the movie Amelie) and catching some views over the city from the steep steps in front of Sacre Coeur, we headed downhill to the Love Wall.
We stopped for lunch at L’Atelier -Artisan Creperie and filled our bellies with some very delicious savoury crepes and some to-die-for dessert crepes. We walked it all off, strolling some 6km all the way home, catching Notre-Dame, Saint-Germain-des-Pres, Jardin du Luxembourg on the way.
After a short nap, we were re-energized and ready for “Les Heures Heureuses.” David and I participated in this city-wide event last year. The objective is to try different 2 euro snacks/tapas style meal from various participating restaurants in most of the neighbourhoods during the “Happy hour” times of 6-8pm. It’s a great way to known the neighbourhood and try some new places. Some restaurants are hit of miss, some portions are pitifully small while others are quite filling. We got a head start while we waited for David to join us a Le Marche des Enfants Rouges where there was a concentration of restaurants conveniently under cover as the skies decided to open. Our “dinner” meal included some weird creamy fish thing, a Moroccan wrap, a charcuterie sandwich, some wine, half a hot dog, bruschetta and an Italian cookie for dessert.
One place not to miss: Bibovino, a boutique wine store that sells only boxed French wine… that is actually pretty good. It’s certainly a far cry from the “goon” I had a number of time on my Australian adventure and if this boxed wine can be somewhat successful in France, then it can’t be all that bad.
In the end, the rain did deter us from wandering the streets further into the evening once we were happily satisfied on the hunger front and besides there was more wine at home that we could enjoy whilst dry and warm. We ended the night reminiscing and chatting, sharing funny stories, telling new stories and reliving old stories.
And just as soon as it the good times started, it was already time to stay goodbye Thursday morning. And although we’re across the ocean, we know we’ll see these two characters again.
Just a gal who left Canada and her career behind to discover the world, develop herself and find her passion.