Evansville, Indiana to Nashville, Tennessee. I drove there on Friday, Sept. 22. Flew to Charlotte, North Carolina. And, it's there the four of us gathered, four women with plans to see Paris, and hopes to find friendship and laughter along the way. None of us knew everyone. I know Kaye Wilkinson Barley through the mystery community. Kaye's been an online friend for years, and an "in-person" friend since Bouchercon in Raleigh. Kaye knows me and Vickie Smith. She and Vickie both worked at Georgia Tech. Vickie knows Kaye and Lisa Aiken Butler, who has been her best friend since second grade. I agree with Kaye. If you're going to travel, pick companions who have a sense of humor, can take things as they come, and are up for surprises. These were intelligent, fun traveling companions.
We took off on Friday, Sept. 22, and arrived in Paris on Saturday. Kaye and I had a better trip than the other two, who were stuck in the back with a baby that cried, screamed and squealed for the entire flight.
Once we were threw customs, gathered suitcases, it was off to our apartment on Rue de la Tombes Issores in Montparnasse, the 14th arrondissement. (If that looks like Tomb, it is. We stayed in the area near the Catacombs.)
What would you start with in Paris? Lunch with French onion soup. REAL French onion soup.
We actually started with lunch, then a short walk around our neighborhood. Kaye bought flowers. Yes, that gorgeous setting with flowers and a stained glass window really was our dining room.
If you've followed Kaye's blog at Meanderings and Muses (and you should if you want to see beautiful photos of our trip, meanderingsandmuses.com), she talks about flaneusing. It's the made up feminine of flaneur, which is when a man strolls aimlessly, enjoying the city. We did a lot of flaneusing on this trip, so when I show random photos of doors, windows, sculptures on the buildings, we were out walking.
This lion was our sign. It meant we were almost home when we were out around Paris.
Lisa picked the building below as the one she wants to live in in Paris.
As I mentioned, our apartment in Montparnasse was close to the Catacombs. It was also close to Cimetiere du Montparnasse. I would have liked to have spent more time there, but on the late afternoon we were there, it closed at 6 PM. And, we never had time to get back to this one or to Pere Lachaise. But, we did see the graves of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simon de Beauvoir. Darn, I never got over to Alfred Dreyfus'. I suspected he was there because there the family name Dreyfus was on some of the stones. I was right, but it was clear across the cemetery, and we didn't have time. Amazing memorials here.
Yes, Ricardo's stone really is a memorial.
This is where we went to dinner our first night in Paris, a cafe called La Liberte. I love the Paris cafes, just like I loved the Irish pubs.
Here are my new adopted sisters.
|Left to right - Lisa Aiken Butler, Vickie Smith, Kaye Wilkinson Barley|
And, here was my dinner. Oh, my gosh! Profiteroles filled with vanilla ice cream.
We ended our day at this tower, Tour du Montparnasse. According to City Walks: Pais, "When it was first erected, the skyscraper caused such an uproar that building height restrictions were put in place shortly after it was built (the joke is that the view from the Tour is the best in Paris precisely because it does not feature the Tour itself.)" We went up to the top, so the views are from there. A perfect way to end the day, with a view of Paris. We even saw the light show from the Eiffel Tower.