“I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m a big believer that you’re never going to find the perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather the stick to some rigid itinerary.” —– Anthony Boudrain
We didn’t do anything special today. We saw no great works of art, we didn’t learn any history, we didn’t dine on fine French cuisine. We didn’t even see a souvenir shop.
The first thing we did was go to the laundromat, our third and I hope final visit. I haven’t had to use a laundromat since the 70’s, and as laundromats go, the one down our street is okay — clean machines and no sketchy people. Don’t know what a trip to a laundromat costs in the U.S these days, but here, four loads were 30 euros, about $43. Our day’s budget was already impaired, just for some clean clothes and towels.
After we put away the clean stuff, we Metro’ed to the Printemps Grand Magazin, rode the escalators to the top, had a nice lunch in their World Bar, and then set off for a walk down Haussmann Boulevard. Along the way, we found a sweet little park where Parisians were eating their lunches, and we passed blocks of stately apartment buildings. Crunchy leaves are scattered on the sidewalks, and trees aren’t as green as they were three weeks ago. Near the Champs-Élysées, we diverged from the main drag, and found some lah-dee-dah real estate and hotels worth a look. At the Four Seasons Hotel, guests oozing understated wealth came and went.
Now, we’re parked in our usual spot, on our chairs in front of our window. The owner of La Dame Blanche, the vintage music store across the way, is hunting through a stack of record albums for a customer. The Jack Russell terrier at the Japanese restaurant has been waiting for his owner to arrive on his motorcycle, at his usual time. Only a couple diners at Gaudeamus so far, but it might get busier later.The bus tour of Brits who pass by each night for their dinner at the cafe around the corner should be trudging by any minute.
We’ve each had a glass of wine, and for dinner, we’ve got leftover pasta and risotto from Saturday night, and framboise tarts that we picked up at the patisserie for dessert.
Not a spectacular day, but a pretty special one, anyway.