Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A French Barbecue

Pages from Jan's Travel Journal: Sunday, July 19, 2009

It felt so good to sleep late. We enjoyed leisurely sipping our coffee before getting ready for the day. Darcy and Mathieu brought over a breakfast of fresh pastries, which is always a welcome way to greet the morning. Did I say morning? Well, I suppose 10:45 still qualifies as morning. 

After breakfast, we all went to a barbecue at the home of one of Mathieu's friends. There were about a dozen people in the lovely garden; some of them tending a grill upon which sausages and chicken were sizzling. A friendly Doberman named Helios accompanied us on our little tour of the beautifully landscaped garden which featured a waterfall and a koi pond. When lunch was ready, we all sat down to enjoy the barbecued meats and a huge bowl of paella along with fresh bread. There was also plenty of wine and beer. I had never eaten paella. It contained lots of tiny shrimp and scallops and, of course, mussels. I enjoyed trying it and it was very good, although I found I am not a big fan of mussels. Perhaps they are an acquired taste? Later, someone brought out a cheese tray, which I declined, and some ice cream, which I did NOT decline. It was a fun meal, with lots of lively conversation, most of which I could not follow because it was in French. I was seated next to a young woman from Macedonia who was one of just a few people present who spoke English, and we had a very nice conversation. 

After the barbecue, we visited the art museum. I had been there previously with Craig, but got more out of it this time, because we had Darcy and Mathieu to translate. We had an enjoyable time commenting on the many sculptures and paintings.

Megan and Darcy, taking a break 
by the fountain near the art museum.

The beautiful Cathedral of St. Croix.

Later in the afternoon, we met a friend at the Hendrix Pub on Rue de Borgogne. Antoine is a very lively and interesting young man. He is originally from Cyprus and has lived in Jordan and London and has traveled extensively in Europe. He is fluent in several languages and speaks English perfectly, with only a slight accent. We all had so much fun at the Hendrix that we invited Antoine to join us for dinner that evening to celebrate Megan's birthday.

Megan, Darcy, Mathieu, and Antoine at the Hendrix Pub.

Antoine agreed to dine with us, and we had a wonderful dinner at Wokasie, which is a Mongolian barbecue. It's a large restaurant with an equally large buffet area. The food was quite good, and at 20 euros per person, not too pricey. We ate and laughed and talked for nearly three hours! It really was a party and made Megan's birthday in France even more special. But it also meant another goodbye for Darcy, as she said her farewells to Antoine.  

Tomorrow, we leave for Paris, where even Mathieu will be a tourist.

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