Today finds me back at work after a long and bank account-depleting week abroad. It’s always such a joy to pick up the thread of one’s life after a week away from it, don’t you think? Well; it is nice to be back in my own house and my own bed, and unbelievably nice to see my small baby again, but dropping back into work and the routine right where I left of is kind of a drag. That’s why it’s a good thing that today is the first day of my writing class. If I can stay up past 8:30 tonight, maybe I’ll even begin my first assignment which is titled “The Window.” Or then again, maybe I will sit around and second guess myself instead.
So, yes, we are back from Paris and London, both of which were wonderful if you can forget about money being an object. I hate to sound obsessive, but honestly, you wouldn’t believe how bad the exchange rate is. Of course I knew it in advance, but somehow prices seem to have gone up exponentially since I was there a year ago and the lousy dollar makes it that much worse. We didn’t have a dinner for much less than $200, and breakfasts and lunches routinely cost $50 - $75. And that’s for nothing special other than the atmosphere. I didn’t even buy myself anything too crazy – some books, a couple of forks in my green toile pattern, a shirt. Eeyore, on the other hand, racked up; it’s a lot easier to justify a bunch of small expenses, especially for someone you’ve abandoned so soon into their time on earth.
But anyway. I think R. really loved Paris; it would have been hard not to. We had perfect weather for walking around, which is what we did all day, every day. We saw a lot of sights, and strolled endlessly around the neighborhoods where they were located. We covered a large chunk of the center of the city on foot, which in my opinion is the way to do it. That way, whenever the mood strikes, you can sit down at a café and fortify yourself with a coffee (if you must) or a delightful glass of champagne with framboise (my preferred restorative, thanks). We had lovely dinners almost every night (one or two were duds complete with condescending waiters), always with a bottle of wine to wash them down. Yes, we drank like fish on this trip, but for the first time in 9 months we were also able to sleep in, so we did.
Just as a travel tip for you, if you are looking for a restaurant to try next time you are in Paris, make it Le Timbre. It turned out to be such a lovely, lovely little place that we thought about going back a second time while we were there. It’s just one small room with the chef in his little work space at the back, with one waiter, but they are turning out such delightful food and service that it was one of the nicer dining experiences I’ve had in Paris for awhile.
We were in London for such a short time we didn’t do too much other than walk around, but we did manage to make it to the Paul Weller concert I mentioned previously. It didn’t quite live up to the 20 years of hype I’d built up in my head, but it was still pretty great. Also, and unexpectedly, in the first encore Roger Daltrey wandered onstage and sang “Magic Bus,” while after that Noel Gallagher moseyed out for a rendition of the Beatles’ “All you Need is Love.” That wasn’t a bad re-entry into the world of concert-going.
There you have it. Not the travelogue you were expecting, I’m sure, but work has beckoned all frigging day long. I’ll upload some pictures tonight so there will be something to look at…