Monday, December 2, 2013

Rising to Leaving It is really hard to do

Leaving our little spot in Bordeaux at 7:30 a.m. was sad.  Sadder yet, because last night, I got up to find the bathroom and before I knew it, down on the ground, banged into the large stone in the bottom of a four foot cave.  I just stayed there for a moment before I realized that I was hurt.  The ribs had smashed into the stone and just bruised and injured before I had a grasp on the wall!

Sorry that I fell, but teeth were yet to be brushed, so I limped to the bath, which has a sink bath combo in one room and a loo in the other.  The entry way to get there is four feet tall.
while the cave feature is a lovely idea, there are some things that one wants to be aware of.

Our room is basically the wine cellar in an old (European Old) home.  The wine is in a glassed off section and locked.  The beds look at the wine and the door to the loo is four foot and wide and wooden like a castle door. And heavy and leads to a four foot high tunnel.  All was well till I missed the step.  Drats!

View from the Bed

View from the Bed to the reading wall

the way out

We left our humble wine abode and cave and headed back to Paris.  Walking back through the Christmas market sort of felt like home.  For the Tallahasseean's it is like having the Market days of Tallahassee on every street of the plaza and then some.  Into our lovely hotel at Champs Elysee, the friendly staff and the interesting atmosphere.  I would say the large part of the residents tonight are of mid eastern descent with lots of special arrangements for them.  Their own reception area in the lobby, quite nice and healthy.  The long outfits that they wear are sure to keep them warm as well.

We checked in, cleaned up and took off for the shopping district.  The whole place is decorated head to toe.  It is more fun to watch people that buy things.  The shopping centers have open to the street doors.  The mall guards are everywhere and the people are 6 deep in every direction.  It is amazing the nonchalance of the parents about the children.  They hardly look back as kids run behind ahead and drift through crowds.  Perhaps too much American TV has turned us paranoid.  Or perhaps, I don't understand growing up in a big city where crowds are the norm.  Either way, the whole city is bustling and alive and shopping.

We had a fabulous lunch at the LaDurre, home of the macaroon.  It was tasty, fancy and French all at the same time.  Morgan had the fanciest sandwich I have ever seen and I had lobster.  The lobster was half the price of the sandwich!  I think I got the better deal.
The walk to shopping was pleasant and day was crisp, but not cold.  I enjoyed the walk after the long train ride in from the "Provence" The scenery was so like Indiana except less wind turbines and more castles, and of course more vineyards.  But lots of wheat and corn growth happens here, remarkable.  And beautiful.

But once on the streets of Paris, one is obliged to stay focused on the streets of Paris.  All around you announcements to avoid pick pockets and tricks and you are warned by every hotel agent.  I didn't have any trouble, but then I have a nifty little handbag with hidden pockets in it (thanks to my husband :) )

The Christmas decor is totally extravagant as you can see.

The buildings are all the old opera or archives or palaces and have been transformed for modern use.  All of the stores are beautiful.. All I have to say is that your wallet better be beautiful too!

For our massive entertainment for the night, we attended a show by Olivier Giraud.  I saw his ad as the only all English speaking comedy show in Paris.  I asked Morgan and she said yes.  Once again there was tension as we could not find our way to the show.  Looking forward and looking down did not allow us to see it was on our left the whole time!  Geez, what kind of fuddy duddy fusses over the show directions?

The guy was great fun and to our surprise, when he asked what cities of America are here, there was only one: Tallahassee! Four of us in the audience and all from Tallahassee.  What fortune! So the show goes on and I will not spoil it for you, but the trailer is on youtube.  He was very funny and all of it ringing with some form of truth.  Towards the end of the show, he picks the Tallahassee lady Rainey to come to the stage.  She does extremely well and applauds abound. 

 When the show was over, they graciously waited and we got to meet Pierre Vivier and Rainey of Chez Pierre, in Tallahassee.  We enjoyed their story of love and adventure.  Pierre, that daring rascal, went to Macon, Georgia with the Allman Brothers Band in the 60's and then off to Tallahassee with his love who was in FSU.  How fun, on this trip around the world, I have met two people with Tallahassee connections (not counting my daughter)!  I couldn't find a lot on the internet to share with you about them, but they apparently sold the restaurant to a relative, who had to sell for health reasons.  That was why Chez Pierre became the Front Porch. But apparently, Pierre is still the king of chocolate. As a funny aside, Morgan said she was backpacking through Europe and Rainey said, yep, I did that in 1966!  What a great connection for life.  Awesome choice young Morgan, awesome choice.

 Rainey had the gleam in her eye as she said that to Morgan.  Wondered if there was more to the nod and and the wink than, yep I know that.  There was definitely a pride thing of, I did it myself.  But I secretly wonder if there was a little community of souls that says yes, I did that.  Just that.  And I made it.

And maybe that is why the bistros in Bordeaux, small with 10-12 tables and limited menus still do well.  Do a few things really well and let others do a lot of things sort of well.  There are many big chains that have the chain thing down.  I just think that we have lost the focus of do less, but do it well.  People will pay for quality, if it is known (Tiffany's of Bern's Steakhouse).  People will pay a lot less for psuedo quality that is known (Steak and Shake or Walmart or Best Buy).

And speaking of doing things well, but in a limited space, I have thoroughly enjoyed my trip. The people were fabulous, the food is wonderful and the time with my daughter is priceless.  I will always appreciate my husband's support.  And I hope that the secret wink and nod, "I did that community" for my daughter will eventually be something she looks back on and maybe even writes about.

I love you Morgan Higman and I love you France!