Sunday Arrival In Paris

I arrived in Paris this morning after taking an overnight flight from JFK–it is always so difficult to actually sleep on those red eyes. CoachClub had a driver pick me up from the airport and bring me to my new flat. I’m staying very near the other flat I was in last October; but it still feels like a brand new neighborhood. I had a code to get inside the foyer and was instructed to ring up to the apartment and the owner would come down and let me in and show me around. I rang and rang and rang…no luck! I was not sure what to do since my cell phone doesn’t work over here. Finally a nice Parisian, named Jacques, walked in and I asked him if I could borrow his phone to ring my contact. Once we reached her, we discovered she had me scheduled to arrive much later. Jacques said I should come up and wait in his flat until I could get in to mine. I met Jacqeus wife, Marie-Elsa, and their 3 lovely cats. Marie-Elsa made me a great cup of coffee and we sat and talked.

The two had just arrived back from a 3 week vacation in India and they told me all about it. My contact arrived and showed me in to my flat and all of the details I needed to know; and then I went back to Jacques and Marie-Elsa’s for lunch. Marie-Elsa made a delicious steak loin and some roasted potatoes. We had a glass of lovely red wine and finished it all off with an incredible little raspberry tart with a sliver of vanilla ice cream on the side. Marie-Elsa made a little dish of ice cream for one of the cats, Tosca, who runs in to the kitchen every time she hears the freezer door open. Tosca is madly in love with this one particular vanilla ice cream and will only eat that brand Marie-Elsa explained.

Marie-Elsa volunteered her husband to take me for a walk after lunch to show me the neighborhood and to help me get acquainted with everything. It is brisk here; but it was a wonderful day for a stroll and it helped me digest my big meal. I’m not used to eating a great meal like that in the middle of the day but it felt so good, warming and comforting, and it was so nice to sit and take our time and talk and relax. On our walk, Jacques even accompanied me to the Monoprix (The French grocery) and I bought some coffee, berries, yogurts, and staples for the week. I absolutely love the French grocery market.

When we returned, Marie-Elsa, Jacques and I went for a drive to the stables where they keep their horse, Liverpool. Marie-Elsa rides most days of the week and today she needed to go by and feed Liverpool some apples. We drove by the Bois De Boulogne, a beautiful wooded park on the western edge of Paris that’s 2.5 times the size of Central Park, on our way there. I met Liverpool and fed him some apples and saw the stables. We drove home a different route, so I could see the Eiffel Tower–a magnificent sight right around dusk as the sun was getting low in the sky.

Once back in my flat, I finally unpacked and thought back to my incredible first day in France. I am just blown away by the kindness of strangers and the amazing adventure I had today with my two new French friends. Marie-Elsa made sure to give me her card and said I shouldn’t hesitate to call or come by if I needed anything. I am not jet lagged one bit, thanks to the great food, excellent company, Sunday afternoon stroll and contact with animals. The craziest thing of all, Marie-Elsa lived in Boise, Idaho for 3 years and knew exactly what I was talking about when I told her where I was from originally! We really are all connected.

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