While Vickie and Lisa headed off on a tour of castles and wine country, Kaye and I did a more local tour of Paris, beginning with our neighborhood.
Here's the true owner of the pet shop down the street. It sells only dogs, but you can tell which pet rules the roost.
We went off to find Shakespeare & Co., the legendary bookstore. It was on Kaye's must-see list. The buildings around it were fascinating, as was the quiet, beautiful Square Rene-Viviani. Shakespeare & Co.? Not so much. I wouldn't go back. It was so crowded you could barely move. And, this was one place in Paris where people were rude - English speakers, not the French who were so kind to us on this trip. The bookstore is overrated, and, frankly, not so pleasant. It's living on its legacy.
But, here are photos of the neighborhood, and the bookstore.
However Square Rene-Viviani, which is right across the street from Shakespeare & Co., is a quiet, peaceful park. There's a memorial to the babies who were taken and killed by the Nazis. It has tears running down it. The oldest tree in Paris is in this park, propped up to keep it from toppling. It's a peaceful place to sit and watch people.
I'll admit, we had dinner in a touristy place, La Fontaine Saint Michel, but the spaghetti Bolognese was wonderful. We were just in the mood for it.
After dinner, we wandered over to the Fontaine Saint-Michel, an enormous fountain in the 5th arrondissement. It seemed to be a gathering spot. Kaye and I both enjoyed listening to a musician playing a flute there.
We continued to flaneuse, ending up at the Quay of the Grands Augustins. We were just in in time to catch some of the bouqinistes before they closed up their book stalls. They're booksellers of used and antiquarian books who have stalls along both sides of the Seine. Some of them have been there for years, and there is a waiting list to get a stall.
We wandered down the streets of the 6th arrondissement before catching an Uber back home.
It wasn't long before Lisa and Vickie joined us to tell us about their day, sharing a five-euro bottle of wine from the trip, and telling us about castles. Books, wine, castles, and good friends. Paris. Perfect to dream on.