Sadly, this blog post marks the end of the most beautiful and fulfilling experience in our lives thus far. We certainly do not plan for it to be the last.
Our last few weeks in France were spent organizing our affairs, getting rid of all the crap we had acquired and preparing the apartment for our departure. At times it was stressful and depressing, but we were looking forward to reconnecting with our people on the Best Coast. We did manage to squeeze in a couple more fun things before we left.
A few days prior to our departure, Charlie made lunch for our friends, the Smiths, at their home near the Eiffel Tower. On the menu we had a lovely salad with poached egg, duck breast, potatoes and a rich, chocolatey dessert with the fluffiest macarons I have ever eaten.
Matteo cannot wait to try the salad.
Le chef and his handiwork
Chocolate mousse and macarons
Charlie teaches Sybil his techniques.
Adam and Carla enjoy dessert.
Matteo in his ladybug costume
These two very talented children played us a lovely piano duet. They have incredible skill and will go far!
Then it was time to say goodbye to the neighborhood.
Rue des Martyrs, where we did all of our shopping.
Landemaine Boulangerie had the best damned Baguette Tradition in the neighborhood.
Standing in line for the goods.
I'll miss my Sunday-morning Drop.
Les Papilles Gourmandes, or as we liked to call it, "Cheese Lady".
Saying goodbye to the cheese ladies.
One last very French lunch of bread, two kinds of cheese and sausages, terrine grand-mère and some Côte de Vincent de-alcoholized red wine.
Bar Chez Sylvain, the neighborhood's tiny gay bar, was run by a former (or perhaps current?) drag queen. His chocolate lab and part-time waiter, Éclaire, was the best trained dog I have ever met. He never left the sidewalk and would collect your drink money and take it into the bar.
I wag too much for you to take my picture.
Our last dinner was at an unassuming brasserie in our neighborhood across from Notre-Dame-de-Lorette. We had never eaten there before and the food turned out to be just what we needed: French. We were joined this final evening by the lovely Philippine, who worked in an administrative capacity at Le Cordon Bleu and had become one of our dear friends.
This is how I feel about leaving.
A very cool chick
In love in/with Paris
We learned a lot that year and a half in one of the world's most notoriously beautiful cities, including a new language, how to negotiate life in a large city, and how to be a citizen of the world. It was a scary step for us to quit our jobs in a dwindling economy, incur massive amounts of debt and leave our comfort zone, but we're glad we did it. If anything, it has made us even more interested in experiencing what else the world has to offer.