I will explain the title later, and likely only a handful of readers will get the reference in any case. Our first day of touring Paris was largely a success. As I write this we left Pat Sr. to her own devices while we head by train to Bayeaux for two nights. She came to realize yesterday that she probably shouldn’t attempt travel on the Metro on her own, but there are plenty of shops and the like in easy walking distance from our hotel for her to occupy two days when granddaughter Casey is busy with classes and schoolwork. The Metro is a large system that can be confusing to the uninitiated.
The main reason for the trip is to view the D-Day beaches and some of the fighting inland, following the path of Easy Company as depicted in “Band of Brothers.” We had originally planned on spending a third night so we could go to the famed abbey Mont St. Michel, but we had to drop that in order to get back in time for the weekend and Casey’s birthday, which was the excuse for this trip. Her parents are scheduled to arrive Friday after their own delayed flight as a result of the second Nor’easter in a five-day span. (We call this bad weather pattern “The Lebo Low,” as bad weather seems to follow Pat’s sister- and brother-in-law. This time it got us too.)
We did manage some basic touring. Our hotel, part of the Citadines group of European hotels, is on the Seine within easy walking distance from Notre-Dame Dame and Ile St. Louis. It’s an an apart-hotel, which means the rooms are a bit larger than many European hotels and they come equipped with kitchenettes and small refrigerators. Good for stashing leftovers and whatever. Based on one night, on a five star rating I’d call it a four. Bed was comfortable and our room was quiet, and it is in a good location. Not far from the Louvre or the Musee d’ Orsay. The latter is on the same side of the Seine, the Left Bank, while the Louvre is on the opposite side. We spent some time going through Notre Dame after lunch. Oddly, in two previous trips to Paris I had not gone in. First time was probably a function of not enough time. The second time it was encased in scaffolding and the line to get in was long. Yesterday neither of those was an issue.
As for lunch, we went to a Japanese-themed burger joint that Casey likes. As oxymoronic as that theme might sound, the burgers were good, and it is definitely not the kind of place we would have picked on our own. Later we enjoyed a glass of wine at a sidewalk cafe in St. Germain des Pres. Yes, even though it might not have cracked 50F yesterday, Parisians still gravitate to sitting outside. After a nap, we met Casey in the Marais district and went to a bistro called La Favorite. An opening cheese board was huge, left grandma with plenty of leftovers, and the entrees were decent. I had a simple grilled fish, Pat Jr. had some smoked salmon, the others had pizzas. For a Trentonian to proclaim them to be decent is a big thumbs up, but the pie comes uncut and the French eat them with a knife and fork. No grabbing a slice and shoving it in your mouth here.
Which brings me to the title of this post. It’s a reference to a story told by a friend on the back patio of Yardley Country Club several years ago. I couldn’t reprise the story here because I couldn’t do it justice. It’s also not family friendly shall we say. Last night was on first attempt at the Metro. We made a wrong move by getting on the wrong line initially, but ultimately got to our destination without too much difficulty. But on the way home, Pat was leading and jumped on a waiting train. Her mother was trailing and wasn’t going to make it in time. But instead of getting off, Pat tries to play Wonder Woman and block the closing double doors with her forearms. Wrong move without manic armbands. Those doors were closing no matter what. So she has a souvenir bruise for the effort. It was painful reminder of one of our travel dictums, which is Don’t Rush. Usually bad things happen when you do.
Happily, today’s Metro trip to Gare Saint Lazare was uneventful, and now we sit on the train to Bayeaux, waiting for the train to pull into Caen, the first stop. And waiting. Some things are universal.