Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Katey's Family in France Part Five: Reflections on French Onion Soup and the Moveable Feast

This is likely my last post devoted entirely to this trip, barring the occurrence of anything particularly eventful on the way to the airport or on the flight home. It's been a strong finish to my dad's and my time in Paris (my mom will be staying on with one of our friends for a few days).

Yesterday we took a fairly leisurely morning before heading over to the Holocaust Memorial/Museum in the Marais. You are not allowed to take photos, so I do not have any to share, but I highly recommend it. I had been last year but did not get to spend much time in the main exhibit on the bottom floor due to a mix up in which I at first did not notice the sign telling me to go downstairs (laugh, if you must). Anyway, I got to spend quite a bit of time down there this year, and it is by far one of my favorite museums. If you have any interest in history, WWII, or the French, it's worth a visit. If you speak French, it's all the better because you can watch the videos and understand them; although my dad seems to think he got the gist of them regardless (I'm skeptical).

After our trip there, we walked over to the Île Saint-Louis to eat at the little restaurant where my Aunt Patty and Uncle Tim would by me ice cream from the window when we stayed on the island when I was 13. I also had dinner there with friends last year, so I could vouch for the food as well as the ice cream.

I forgot to mention in my last post that I had French onion soup at the restaurant in Montmartre. I meant to write about how it was almost as good as my dearest friend Laura's French onion soup. To be honest, it might have been a little bit better (no offense, Laura). But this is also relevant here, because I ordered French onion soup at Pom' Cannelle on the Île Saint-Louis as well. And it was even better! Ok, I actually knew that in advance though because I ordered it last year. Despite being a little heavy on cheese, it's excellent. Laura, we'll have to come to Paris one day and uncover their French onion soup-making ways.

The soup was delicious, but the ice cream did not disappoint either. Just as good as when I was 13!

(Gail is really into action shots these days)

That evening we again met up with Cathy and John for dinner. I walked through the Place Dauphine earlier that day and took inventory of some available restaurants. Then I checked out what people had said about them on the internet, which led me to choose Ma Salle à Manger. It was an excellent choice if I do say so myself. It's a little Basque restaurant, and I must say that I have a new affinity for Basque food and will be in search of a Basque restaurant in Seattle. Also, our waiter was super nice and funny, and it was all around a very pleasant experience. 

Then we went on one of those little boat cruises on the Seine. It was actually quite a nice way to end the evening!

Plus it was a beautiful way to see the sunset!

This morning we decided to go on one of those hop on/hop off tours. Now, normally I'm skeptical of these sorts of things, particularly after my aunt and uncle and I tried to do one when we were here in 2004 but then couldn't figure out how to hop back on after we "hopped off." But this actually wasn't bad. It was kind of a nice last look at the city, and it's a relaxing way to do it. Also, it was really nice out this morning and there weren't too many people on the bus. For those of us who choose to listen to the commentary, it's a nice history lesson (or a refresher for those of us who already know a fair bit of French history and simply like to be able to quiz our friends and family after tours like this), and for everyone, it's a nice way to get to take pictures like this:

I could also see what I suspect is preparation for the Tour de France:

Afterward we had lunch at a place in the Latin Quarter with some charming waiters, and I got mussels!

It was lovely and very close to Shakespeare and Company, which we perused after lunch.

Then we went for a walk, which led us to the Luxembourg Gardens, where we stopped for coffee and crêpes (which were a bit underwhelming but still a nice dessert). 

After heading back to the apartment to get my dad and I packed, we met up with Cathy and John again for our last dinner all together. We found a nice little place where I had steak and then a coeur coulant au chocolat for dessert. It was wonderful. What a pleasant end to our stay.

The three who depart demain matin! 
These two will stay to drink more wine for the next week.
All in all, a lovely trip. It will be nice to be home, but I'll certainly miss Paris. À la prochaine, Paris!


“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” 
― Ernest HemingwayA Moveable Feast

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