We got a late start to our last day in Paris. It was the only day we didn’t have to wake up for a tour, so we slept in and were slow to eat breakfast and get ready. When traveling, there is always a tension between wanting to see as much as you can and wanting to stop to take a breath. This morning, we took that breath.
There were a couple of stores I wanted to visit, so mom and I decided we’d take a slow walk to get there, just enjoying the city along the way.
The morning was chilly and I wanted to buy a beret anyway, so the gray and cold weather was a good excuse. I picked a black, wool beret, put it on and paid for it. My mom and I took a few steps when I encouraged her to buy one. It helped tremendously with warming me up.
We walked back to the shop and mom tried on a red one. It looked so cute and she agreed that it helped with warmth. She went in to pay for her beret.
The gentleman behind the counter cut off the tags and began pinching the band in his fingers, twisting and stretching it like pizza dough. He then placed it on her head and pulled it to the side by the tab on the top. He gestured to her newly positioned hat. “Is how you wear a beret.”
He looked disapprovingly at my beret, centered and pushed back off my forehead. Neglecting to respect all personal space, he pulled my hat off and fixed it as well. Now we were wearing the berets properly. I think I preferred the way I was wearing it, but when in Paris, you wear the beret the way the shopkeeper tells you to wear the beret.
Half of Paris is under construction to get ready for hosting the Olympics in a few years, so it was a bit of a challenge getting to an access point for the river walk, but we finally found a bridge with an entrance. We walked slowly along the river, taking breaks to sit and watch the city every now and then.
The walk wasn’t just about getting from point A to point B, but it was about the walk itself. You get to see and appreciate more when you walk. (It was at the end of this day that I realized my iPhone camera was broken, so these pictures still have focus issues.)
One of the nice things about walking is that you trip across unexpected places. According to this inscription, this was the building where Henry IV’s son killed himself after his father’s death. (Correction! Apparently, the translation I had wasn’t correct and this is where he was enthroned! That’s quite a difference.)
And right across the street was a former residence of Pablo Picasso.
And we walked by the most adorable crepe cafe…
All of this was on the way to our first goal – Shakespeare & Co. We walked by it last year but didn’t stop in. This year, I wanted to walk inside and buy a book or two. You’re not allowed to take pictures inside, but it is charming. It looks like Flourish & Blotts from the Harry Potter movies. It’s cozily cramped with narrow walkways between stocked bookcases. You wind your way through the store, feeling almost like you need to duck under the beams and low doorways. I finally found the art and design section and picked out two books to purchase. One was a book on Impressionists in Paris. I selected it because Paris was the subject of all of the paintings and the book was in English and French.
The second book I picked was Spectrum, a textile design book. (I couldn’t find either book on Amazon.)
As an aside, you can actually drink out of the green fountains around Paris! Isn’t that cool? I saw an old man washing a lemon under the fountain as we walked by.
We had some time to kill before Charvin Arts, the other store I wanted to visit, would be open, so we decided to find a place for lunch.
We really loved the area we ended our Sweet Side of Paris tour last year, so we decided to find a place to eat there. We knew the streets were narrow and closed to cars, so it would be a quiet place for a leisurely lunch.
We ate at Relais Le Odeon. I browsed through my books while we waited for our food to be served and my mom sipped on a glass of wine and watched people passing by.
It ended up being our favorite meal in all of Paris! My mom got a sandwich and fries and I ordered avocado toast with a salad. I have never eaten a poached egg before and I really enjoyed it.
After lunch, we walked around a bit more and tripped across Place Dauphine. It is a beautiful, triangular-shaped plaza that is a quiet spot in the middle of Paris.
From there, we stopped at Charvin Arts. It’s an art supply store I visited last year and I couldn’t wait to shop there again. Not only do they make their own paints, but they have some of their own products like sketchbooks, brushes, and watercolor supplies. I picked a few things that were unique and ones I thought I would enjoy.
I’ll show you what I purchased in another post.
My mom and I took the metro back to our apartment where we rested our feet for a while and I sketched and wrote in my journal. We spent our last evening in Paris eating dinner at Le Petite Cler with John & Wendy.
Four days isn’t enough time to see Paris, but I felt satisfied with how we filled those days…