Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Paris in the Rain

Pages From Jan's Travel Journal: Saturday, May 28 2016

It was our last morning in Orléans for a while. Our suitcases were open on the floor, waiting for those last-minute items to be tucked inside. We made one last walk to our favorite bakery, where I purchased a tasty chocolate-filled beignet and said goodbye to the sweet ladies at the counter. It was warm and cozy inside as we watched the raindrops roll down the window.

After breakfast, we finished the last few details of the new cabinets for Darcy's kitchen. When everything was in place, we patted ourselves on the back as we admired the finished pieces. With the countertop secured, the kitchen looked complete. It provided much more prep space and lots of storage.

Before long, the four of us were headed for the train station. We took the tram to Les Aubrais, where we caught the 11:00 train for Paris. We found seats together and sat back for the hour-long journey to Paris. It was raining lightly when we arrived, but that failed to dampen our spirits. Paris is lovely no matter the weather. Our taxi deposited us at the Hotel de l'Avre, a very charming and delightful place. We knew it would be too early for us to check in, but we were allowed to stow our bags until we returned at 3:00.


The Hotel de l'Avre in Paris, France
We began to explore. The hotel was a short distance from the Eiffel Tower, so we walked in that direction. The streets were bustling in spite of the rain. We found a cute little crêperie called Framboise, where we enjoyed a delicious lunch at a table near the window. The gallettes were wonderful. We finished with dessert crepes that were a perfect ending to the meal.


Lunch at Framboise in Paris, France

A refreshing crepe citron
We set out again toward the Eiffel Tower and soon arrived to find many huge tour buses parked along the side streets. Several areas were blocked off because of a marathon that had just taken place. The Champ de Mars was teeming with runners, locals, and tourists. All of us were sidestepping the puddles as we gaped at our surroundings. The rain had let up and there were vendors walking around offering selfie sticks for sale. They seemed to be a hot item. We saw many people using them to set up the perfect shot with the Eiffel Tower in the background. 

When we returned to the hotel, we were charmed by the lovely rooms that had been assigned to us. They were very cozy and were decorated with what looked like antiques. Many of the pieces were old clocks. The roomy bathrooms featured large bathtubs, which are a treat to find in a French hotel. The windows overlooked a sweet little graveled courtyard. Had the weather been nicer, I'm certain we would have enjoyed sitting in the garden, savoring a hot beverage. Instead, we found a neighborhood bar and warmed up over mugs of Irish coffee.


Just part of the lobby at Hotel de l'Avre, Paris

Our charming room at Hotel de l'Avre, Paris

Hotel de l'Avre had a sweet little courtyard.
For dinner that evening, Darcy had found an Italian restaurant called Chez Thomas, just a short walk from the hotel. The waitress was very sweet and animated; she actually kidded around with us a bit. My appetizer of bruschetta was fresh and delicious. Craig's antipasto was served on a bed of lettuce, which he left on the plate. The waitress good-naturedly chided him for not finishing his vegetables. His main course was also accompanied by a lot of greens, and when he had finished his meal, he quickly swapped plates with Mathieu so that the server wouldn't notice he had not eaten his vegetables! She was onto his tricks and was soon standing beside him, hand on hip, tapping her foot and waggling her finger at him. We all burst out laughing as he was busted! 


Delicious bruschetta at Chez Thomas, Paris
I devoured my plateful of chicken and mushrooms in cream sauce, served over pasta. It wasn't exactly an Alfredo dish, but was lighter and very flavorful. Dessert was crème brûlée for me, panna cotta for Craig and Darcy, and tiramisu for Mathieu. It was such a fun evening that it was hard to feel sad that our wonderful vacation was ending. We walked back through the rain to our hotel, where I later had a nice, long soak in that huge tub.  


A rainy day in Paris is still better than a sunny day anywhere else.



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