Tuesday September 8
Agnès left for her office. This was a very busy time for her because Parliament reopens next week, and she works for a senator. J-M had bought fresh croissants for our breakfast, which we enjoyed while talking about what we would like to do that day. At home, we would typically buy half a dozen croissants in a plastic box and warm them up daily as needed, but not so in Paris. Each morning Jose-Maria went to a different bakery, trying to find the best, freshest, flakiest croissants, which were not part of his and Agnès’ typical breakfast.
Being as the weather was warm and wonderful, we wanted to do something outdoors. J-M suggested the Jardin des Plantes, because its route began nearby. We loved his idea! Nick grabbed the pedometer, and off we went, with J-M accompanying us. On the way, we stopped at the Muslim Institute of Paris Mosque. We learned that it had been built between 1922-1926 to commemorate the thousands of Muslims who died for France during “the World War.” During World War II, hundreds of Jews were hidden in the mosque to keep them safe during Nazi roundups. Its style was based on the Moorish buildings in Spain, with terraces, patios, fountains and mosaics; its goals were to promote peace, tolerance, and friendship.
The site of the Jardin des Plantes houses the Mineralogy Museum, the Paleontology Museum, and the Etymology Museum. Nick would have wanted to see them all, but national museums are closed on Tuesdays, so we walked on through the lovely gardens. We discovered birds similar to the monk parakeets we have at home in Fairfield County, eating sunflower seeds that were still on the sunflowers. We crossed the Seine, observing its many shopping stalls. We passed Notre Dame, remembering having carried Carla to the top when she was six months old. It was time for a snack, and we just happened to be near a favorite glace (ice cream) shop of J-M’s: pistachio for me, and dark chocolate with hazelnuts for Nick and J-M. We walked on to the Louvre, which, like the other museums, was closed on Tuesday. We remembered our first visit there in 1976. At that time I asked Nick how old he thought Mona Lisa was. He replied, “Twenty-nine,” which was my age then.
We continued walking past the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and arrived at the Tuileries Garden, where we stopped for lunch. Nick and Jose-Maria ordered salads, while I chose a Croque Monsieur, which is French grilled cheese and ham. Yum! Why haven’t I ever thought of making this at home for lunch? It came with a salad instead of fries; I didn’t even have to ask for a substitution.
Back at their apartment, after a refreshing nap, we enjoyed a delicious dinner that included local sausage, potatoes, salad, and cheese, with chocolate for dessert. Nick is in heaven. Bonne nuit!
We took 10,297 steps today!