I had been looking forward to this day for a long time! Nothing really to do but meander around Paris (I know – poor me) looking for the next fabulous thing to encounter. And, I did – The Luxembourg Gardens. I had never gone to these gardens and was excited to see what awaited me. So, I bought un sandwich du Thon (A tuna sandwich) at the patisserie and walked to the these most beautiful gardens. This particular park is surrounded by a large wall and gorgeous gates at all of the enterance points. However, what is so magical is a beautiful fountain located in the center of the garden. After the heat wave that broke the night before, tons of people, young and old, had the same idea I had and took their sandwiches, their conversations, their studying, everything, to this wonderful area. I sat there, having my lunch, and watched the children play with these tiny sail boats that you could rent for 3 Euro for a half hour of play – you set your boat in the fountain and the winds that whip through the center of the garden, where the fountain in located, sets your boat sailing across to the other side. Kids were happily running around to find their boats and used a large navigation stick to set their course straight. It was such a joy to watch.
And, as it seems with all things that bring me joy, I just knew this was something that Carol would have loved to see. These simple boats flying across the water, seeing children play and enjoy them, it would have reminded her of times with her nephew and niece, or some fun childhood story that she would regale me with. She would have taken pictures and sent them off to her sister… And, then it hits me. These are the times that I miss her the most and her loss comes flooding back to me. I couldn’t help but cry, slow tears rolling down my checks, my sunglasses defying me, against the backdrop of children’s laughter and the wind rustling through the trees. Beautful, simple, innocent, joy filled pockets of moments that I wish I could share with her once again. I allowed it all to be and thanked God for the opportunity to feel my feelings so that I can open myself up to more beauty and life. I smiled towards the girls, looked up towards the rest of the park, and took it all in before I made my way out and back towards my hotel.
By 4pm I was on Rive Droite and at La Cuisine Paris where I was introduced to our instructor, Chef Eric, and my group! We quickly introduced ourselves and off we went to do a little shopping, on the other side of the river, for ingredients in preparation for our Bistro Dinner! This was so fun – Eric gave us a fabulous tour and shared little tidbits about the neighborhood and how respected each merchant is for what they sell.
Whether they are the cheese man, the produce seller, the butcher, or the bread man – they all are trained, passionate, and devoted to their professions. They are masters of their trade.
Back in the kitchen, it was time to dawn our aprons, do some chopping, make some sauces, poach some eggs, massage some chicken, weigh some flour, throw in some sugar, have some fun, and whisk away! By the way – that sauce on the fire – yeah, I made that…I’m a little tense because I was responsible for not letting it boil! Turned out perfect;-)
The rewards of our hard work! A fabulous Dinner, shared at a table, with my new friends from Atlanta, Australia, North Carolina, and Wisconsin! Thanks for a fun evening Chef Eric!
There was no other way then to end this evening with a good walk towards a monument that is always open late – L’Arc De Triumph!
And, the views from it’s perch – Supérb!