Last spring, I was to join my friend JM in Rome. I was unable to go, because my mother died, and I traveled to Scottsdale to be with her during her last hours. Months later I realized I had a voucher from American Airlines, which I need to use or lose. At the same time, parts of my motherâ€™s estate was disbursed: new money! I called my sister Mary Beth and floated the idea of Paris for her 65th birthday: I had the voucher, we had â€œmomâ€ money. Voila! We were on our way.Â
We traveled to Paris May 4 through 11. (The weather was atypically dreadful: cold, wind, rain.)
Iâ€™ve been to Paris a dozen times since I was 19. I know the city well and felt confident in my choice of a VRBO apartment in the 6th, on the border of the 5th. (55 Rue St. Andre des Arts.) Its owner, a food journalist, was a pleasure to deal with and met us at the apartment to ensure our understanding of the place. He allowed us early access (9 am) and arranged drivers to and from the airport (E50).Â
Location, location, location. Also: quiet (in a noisy neighborhood), chic and cozy furnishings, a stand up shower with great water pressure and hot hot water. We walked everywhere, because â€œeverywhereâ€ is within walking distance. Too, we loved the vibrant neighborhood, a perfect mix of St. Germain de Pres style and Latin Quarter boho-ness.
Just outside our door: Le Colvert for dinner, Chez Le Libinais for takeout falafel and hummus, Cafe Laurent for after-dinner cocktails and jazz.Â
Day 1 â€” Mary Bethâ€™s birthday! Cafe au lait, then on to Musee Rodin. Note to readers: the garden is no longer free after the museum buildings close. Itâ€™s E12 to enter. The collection and gardens â€” the sun was out! â€” always dazzles me, as it displays his life’s work. Another plus: Cafe Rodin is a perfect lunch spot. (I kept googling â€œlunch nearbyâ€ â€” ha! Lunch, delicious, was right there.)
On to Musee de Lâ€™Orangerie for Monetâ€™s large format water lilies series â€œLes Nympheasâ€ and the museumâ€™s permanent collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. Also a feature show, Franz Marc/August Macke: The Adventure of the Blue Rider, through June 17. This is a small museum that offers a dizzying collection of art. Itâ€™s not to to be missed, and never gets old.Â
To be continuedâ€¦.
Note: I pre-ordered museum passes for both of us, which eliminated waiting â€” Paris is a popular place and lines are long â€” and entry fees.