Friday, February 27
Sunshine is back! Temp in the 40s. I discovered that there is a painting by Giacometti at Notre Dame des Champs which is about 15 minutes away on foot, so we walked up there to see it after breakfast. It’s an interesting 19th century church. It is up on Montparnasse which is noticeable uphill walk of about 20 minutes.
There was a Roman Temple on the site 2000 years ago replaced by a Christian church early on. That wooden church was eventually replaced by a big monastic church in the 1600s. The revolution ended all of that and the church was torn down. In the 19th century the present building went up, and it is a thriving parish church now. … more »
Thursday, February 26
A day of drizzle and stillness. The Irish would call this a “soft day”, and it was just that. We didn’t leave the cozy confines of the apartment until 5:00 pm when we headed off for a three metro line trip into the 19th arrondissement for dinner with a delightful family: mom from Oklahoma, dad from Normandy, France. The 19th is where Charlie’s publishing office is, and it all happened just about two blocks from where we were headed. The father of this family is the vice principal of an upper level school (18 to 23 year olds), and mom teaches at the Institute Catholique right here in our neighborhood. Their lives are like a story-book love tale. … more »
Wednesday, February 25
This was food day and reading day. All we really did was prepare for a dinner party here in the little apartment. At 484 square feet, there is not a lot of room for entertaining; but it works with a little planning. I made a long list for the grocery store trip today, and then I forgot to take the list. However, making the list was responsible n’est pas? As a result of forgetting the list we came home with twice as much as we needed, but without the coffee filters. I have made another list for tomorrow. We have fun at the “Mono Prix” store which is about 10 minutes on foot. This walking to the grocery is a good idea because you do not buy more than you can carry home. … more »
Tuesday, February 24
A 300 mile day, but not on foot, don’t get excited. On foot it was only 2.8 miles. This was the “road trip” day from Paris to Amboise in the Loire Valley. Nicole driving, me in the right seat, Jim and Jean in the back. After we missed the third exit speeding past Orleans, I took the phone as GPS and began giving directions. We had a few showers coming and going, and the wipers were like sticks of wood dragging on the windshield. That fact coupled with a driver who badly needs a cataract removed provided for a breath-taking ride. Coming home in the dark was even more thrilling. During lunch we bought a bottle of water and filled the windshield water reservoir in the car, but given the condition of the wiper blades, it made little difference! … more »
Monday, February 23
Bright morning sun broke out by 10:00 am. For the two of us, it was a reading morning until Jim decided to wander over to the big Left Bank Department Store: “Bon Marche”. While he was out I took a 3 mile walk around the neighborhood checking out a chocolate shop down the street, and wandered over to a shop that sells church vestments where I have bought some albs in the past. There was a nice simple one that got my attention, but the $200€ did not. On the way over there I walked past the Chapel which is all that is left of a huge Carmelite Monastery from the 16th Century. I always think this is a very holy place, and I always stop and look inside the gate. … more »
The computer decided to send you an empty message. Perhaps it was a test to see if you are awake. This is an earlier than usual posting because at 4:58 pm in Paris I am in for the day. Bright sunshine and blue sky means a little colder than on other days, but a little sunshine brings these Parisians out to the streets, the parks, the cafes in huge numbers. It might even bring them to church, but you can’t tell because there are too many churches and too many Masses in all of them. Consequently, it appears that there are only a few hundred at Mass when in fact, the total for the day would be quite a bit more.
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Saturday, February 21, 2015
“Le weekend” as the French call this was nothing more than a day of recovery, reading, and relaxation. That’s my “3Rs” for France. Half way through this adventure it was time for laundry. After sitting in front of the washing machine for a few minutes watching little green lights blink as I turned the one dial and pushed all the buttons, it started. There were no instructions, and the vocabulary on the front of the machine was way beyond my limits and experience. It had nothing to do with food, drink, or directions. I discovered there was no laundry soap. In some way being in this place is a little like being at camp, so it was time to improvise. … more »
This is a brief report simply because we only walked 1.5 miles today. It was raining most of the day. However the climate had nothing to do with the walking distance. All we did was walk around dinner tables. In other words, the only report I can give is about food, but then this is France! All we did today was eat. At 9:40 this morning we got on the Metro Line 12 and headed for Issy and a short walk to the Seminary where Archbishop Doré was expecting us. After an hour of conversation a Champagne cork popped followed by a sip of Woodford Reserve. The conversation was stimulating as always with this wonderful, bright man who coined a new phrase in English, “Spiritual Alzheimer’s” describing a certain kind of piety that is not very involved in the present.
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It is past midnight here in France, so this is already a day late as far as I’m concerned; but it was a day of travel and surprises which is the best part of these adventures. We spent the biggest part of the morning simply reading and relaxing until I looked out the window at the little patch of sky we can see. It was bright sunshine and cloudless blue sky. So we got up and got moving with the intention of just walking around the neighborhood. When we got to the street Jim reminded me that I had mentioned a train ride to Amiens, so off we went to Gare du Nord for the next train north. For a little less than $50 each we got a train within thirty minutes that took an hour and fifteen minutes for the 90 mile trip to the north.
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Ash Wednesday, February 18, 2015
If I do not hurry and get this posted, it will be one day late since it is almost midnight here in France. It was a long day with 3.5 fitbit miles logged. Most of it was in metro stations as we took the 6 and the 1 out to “Etoile” (Arc de Triumphe) to meet Nicole and go to see the Louis Vuitton Museum, and walking up the aisle for Ashes and Communion at St Gervais.
I don’t think anyone who reads this will know where we were today, all day. It is called, “The Foundation Louis Vuitton”, and it opened in the fall of 2014 built in the Bois de Boulogne at the west edge of Paris. … more »