We've got a full house here at 2 Rue Charles Baudelaire this week. On Thursday, my sister-in-law, Roberta, and our niece, Maddie, arrived from Minnesota, and then on Friday Anna arrived by train from Nantes. Roberta and Maddie's first day was a laid back affair, giving them time to rest and work through their jet lag. We did manage to get over to the Marché Aligre though.
On Friday it was all about museums and walking. I helped get Roberta and Maddie to D'Orsay and then once I got back to our flat I turned around and made my way to the massive Montparnasse train station to meet Anna. After a bit of fumbling around to connect in that huge place, Anna and I met up and then made our way back to our flat to pick up Priscilla and make our way to the Picasso Museum, where we were to meet Roberta and Maddie. Whew! Even writing that all out it sounds exhausting.
After the Picasso Museum we took a walking tour of the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, making our way through the Jewish Quarter and the Marais and then crossing over onto Île Saint-Louis and then Île Citie and Notre Dame. There is a display documenting the restoration efforts on the barriers that wall off access. It is an incredible undertaking. There are also reproductions of drawings of Notre Dame from school children around the country.
After Notre Dame continued on to the famous Shakespeare & Company bookstore. Priscilla and I waited outside while the other three shoppers had a wonderful shopping experience inside. We enjoyed the buskers, Matthew and Paul. Priscilla chatted them up (surprise, surprise!) and found out Matthew was originally from New York and Paul was from Kentucky. They live in Paris now. I have to wonder how people make that happen. After all, one doesn't just up and move to Paris. The French government has more than a few rules about such matters.
We finished out the evening with a wonderful dinner at a favorite neighborhood bistro in the Marais, Chez Mademoiselle. Initially we were told that they were all full up, but once we said we'd be fine sitting outside they were happy to seat us. I suppose only us crazy Minnesotans would sit outside on a cool fall night. We must have started something though, because by the time we left at around 9:30, the entire sidewalk patio was filled. The owner, Felix, was a fabulous host for our group. Being a handsome Frenchman, with long wavy hair, didn't hurt his popularity with our group.
All in all, it was a full-fledged Parisian day, with a lot of miles worth of wear on shoes. My iPhone told me I'd walked just over 10 miles by the time we got back to our flat. Toward the end of our tour we supplemented our walking by taking the Metro a couple times. We all needed to rest our feet and joints.
Today, Roberta, Maddie, and Anna took a Giverny tour, returning with rave reviews. The gift shop there rang up record sales I expect from these three. Later today, Roberta and Maddie are planning to visit Sacré Coeur. And finally, this evening Maddie and Anna are planning to attend a 70s and 80s themed costume birthday party for a friend of Maddie's that she met on her study abroad in Italy. We oldsters are definitely not waiting up for them.