Monday, December 03, 2007

Reuniting with a dear friend - Paris, Day 4

Sunday morning my friend Mindy and her husband, Arnaud picked us up at our hotel. Mindy and I hadn't seen each other in about 10 years! We grew up together, were very close friends in junior high and high school and then sort of went our own directions in college. I was a bit nervous. Even though we had kept in touch friendships have a way of changing as the years pass. I couldn't have asked for a better reunion! It was amazing. You know someone is a true friend when you can pick up where you left off years before.

Mindy and Arnaud took us to their favorite market in Paris to pick up food for the week. This market was great! So much better than the ones I've been to here in Sicily. They had an amazing assortment of fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc. including exotic fruits such as mango and passion fruit and herbs like cilantro! I wish the Catania market had a similar selection.

Our first stop was for coffee. They took us to their favorite coffee bar where they roast their own beans. Great stuff! We had a cafe and bought a couple of bags of beans to take back to the apartment. Next we filled up their market tote to the brim with fruits and vegetables and even had to carry some of the goodies.

Someone's dog came along to the market with them. Looks like this is part of his normal routine.

Once we finished shopping they decided to take us to a wine bar for a glass of wine before heading home. The place was packed but we managed to get a table. We nibbled on a bit of the fresh bread that we picked up at the bakery and sipped delicious wine.

By the time we arrived at their apartment we had worked up an appetitie. Mindy and Arnaud made an amazing cheese fondue that we ate with the fresh bread, sliced meats, and vegies. We ate until we were about to burst. It was so good we couldn't stop! We also managed to down a couple of bottles of wine between the four of us.

After lunch we contemplated sleep or getting out and moving around. We opted for the later and drove to Montmartre.

Les and I with the Moulin Rouge in the background

The Moulin Rouge

We hiked up the hill to Sacre-Coeur Basilica. I'm sure the uphill walk helped us burn off some of the cheese and wine. At the top we were rewarded with a spectacular view of the city.

Sacre-Coeur Basilica
As dusk fell, before the lights came on

We went inside the Basilica, a welcome respite from the biting, cold wind. It was a beautiful church, but no photography allowed inside. I tried snapping a few forbidden shots but they didn't turn out very well.

Back outside we had some camera fun. Arnaud is a hilarious! In addition to squeezing into this picture of Les and I he was jumping into other tourists' pictures and being goofy! We were laughing so hard!

Me, Arnaud, and Les

Sacre-Coeur Basilica
With the glow of the lights

We explored the area around the top of the hill for a bit, went in and out of a few shops and then made our way back down the hill. Our last stop of the evening was Le Chat Noir - the cafe where the famous black cat picture originated.

We returned to Mindy and Arnaud's apartment and settled in for the evening. We had so much fun that day!

Now playing: Josh Groban - Little Drummer Boy (feat. Andy McKee)
via FoxyTunes

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