20 April – Last Day in Paris
We started out the day by going to the Paris Opera House! Palais Garnier. We hadn’t been in this part of the city yet, but we really didn’t explore beyond the opera.
It really is quite grand inside. So much marble and gold. The grand staircase is very grand indeed.
There is a small gallery/museum/library on one side.
It also has it’s own mini Versailles Hall of Mirrors. It looks very similar.
The actual theater of the opera is smaller than you would think. Or at least, it seems smaller. I would love to see something here sometime.
By the time we were done with our little self tour, it was after noon. We took the metro to our dear little Le Chemise for lunch. They have a full lunch menu for 20E, which is quite a good deal considering how much dinner is.
I was adventurous and got the bone marrow. I’d been curious about it since seeing it made on Iron Chef, and I like the way it tastes in ribs. However, this was quite different. It just looked like fat, and it pretty much tasted like it, too. For the plate I got butter chicken, which is Indian, but it was very good. And dessert I got the cactus cheesecake.
Heidi got goat cheese in filo dough, Veal and linguini, and an almond cake with loquat and sorbet.
So when Heidi was ordering, she said, “would I like veal?” And I said, “yeah, it’s beef.” So then when she was eating it, she said, “so is veal just like a different cut of beef?” And I said, “Um, I’ll tell you when you’re done eating.” So then, of course, she had to know, and I said it would make her sad, so then she said, “is it baby cow??” And I said, “I guess you found your white cow after all.” I’m sure it will be much funnier later. But the good news is Heidi finished her veal and thought it was delicious.
After lunch we stopped at the chocolatier again and Heidi got one piece of chocolate and I got two.
As we started walking back to the hotel, we decided to go a slightly different way than usual, and as we were passing a cafe we got waved at by one of the hotel guys! Turns out his name is Yuri, and he insisted that we sit down and join him for a bit. We had a lovely time sitting and talking with him. We probably spent an hour and a half. Then we walked back to the hotel, and Yuri came in a few minutes behind us, and he had stopped at a shop and bought us some little soaps! It was so sweet of him. The people at this hotel really are nice.
This morning before we left we had asked the lady if she could make a reservation for us at Fontaine de Mars, and she did. Apparently Obama ate there, but we didn’t know that before we chose it.
So we dropped our stuff at the hotel and started leaving again, and Yuri walked with us to the metro station, but then he insisted we sit at a cafe again and have a drink with him. He bought us some non-alcoholic cocktails. It seemed to be cranberry and basil, and something else fruity. It was very good. However, we really did want to get to the Orsay museum. We were finally able to tear ourselves away, but we didn’t get to the museum until about 5 pm. What we didn’t know is that it closed at 6, but they announced at 5:15 that exhibits were closing at 5:30. So we rushed around trying to see everything we wanted to. As I was leaving I realized that I somehow missed Renoir, so that was disappointing. But we got to see Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Cezanne, and I got to see “The Gleaners” which is one of my favorite paintings! I also got to see the poppy field Monet, which is another favorite.
So we had to rush though the Orsay, but we got to stroll along and sit along the Seine while we waited for 7:30 and dinner.
We had a lovely little table in the upstairs of Fontaine de Mars. It had good reviews and it was expensive. Since it was our last night we decided it would be fun to spend a lot on dinner. It was 128E for the both of us. We have spent so much on food this trip. I would never dream of spending that much at home.
We both got goat cheese toasts with artichoke purée for entree. I got the sea bass with Kalamata olives, and Heidi got the chicken morel with rice. For dessert I got a floating fountain, which was a meringue with caramel and vanilla. I didn’t much like it, but it was one of the few desserts that didn’t have alcohol or coffee in it. Heidi got a thing with strawberries and vanilla ice cream and pistachio stuff.
We didn’t care much for the desserts, but overall we really enjoyed the meal.
We walked to the Eiffel Tower to see the light show again, for our very last night in Paris! It’s bittersweet, but we’re ready to go home, too.
Auvoir, France! Until next time.