16 February 2006
That Paris trip
We left for Paris in rain at 10:00 a.m. but it stopped just as we drove into Paris at about 1:00 p.m. We had lunch in a Vietnamese restaurant in the 13th arrondissement and went shopping at Tang Frères supermarket as planned. We even had time to go do a little errand over in the 5th on the rue des Écoles before heading over to Montparnasse to see the movie at 4:00. All that worked out as planned too. We parked in an underground garage at the Gare Montparnasse (10 euros for three hours).
We picked our American friend Mimi up at her hotel in the Marais at 7:00 -- believe it or not, we found a parking space there, just across the street from her hotel, with no trouble. It was a small space, but the little Peugeot fit in just fine, and it was even legal. Mimi was surprised that we were driving; she said she thought we were brave. We don't mind driving in Paris, though parking isn't always easy.
It had started pouring rain in Paris about 6:00 p.m., just as we got out of the movie theatre. We got in the car and drove over to have dinner at a restaurant called Le Petit Prince de Paris, over in the 5th not far from the Sorbonne and the Panthéon. We'd been there once before on friends' recommendation, and we wanted to go again. It wasn't a mistake.
I had a salad of mixed greens with thin slices of duck breast and foie gras in it. And then I had rognons de veau aux champignons à la crème (veal kidneys with mushrooms in a cream sauce) as my main course. Walt had bow-tie pasta with escargots as his first course, and broiled sea bass filets as the main dish. The wine was a 2003 Petites Roches Chinon red from Charles Joguet's winery, which we visited last October. It was very nice, I thought.
We ended up leaving Paris at midnight and driving back to Saint-Aignan on little country roads. It was still pouring rain when we left Paris, but it let up some when we were about an hour out of town, near Milly-la-Forêt. We drove down through Bellegarde (nice château) and Orléans.
At that point we thought better of driving through the forests of Sologne, where there are of course a lot of trees as well as a lot of wild animals along the roads. There had been strong winds and there were small tree branches down on the pavement even in the towns. I thought the forest might be worse. We drove on to Blois along the Loire and then south from there to Saint-Aignan. The only animals we saw were some rabbits and a couple of big white owls. We got home at 3:30 a.m.