Friday, July 08, 2016

leaving Warsaw, returning to Paris

It used to be that I regarded a stop over in Paris on the way home from Poland to be a good transition from one continent to the next (because believe it or not, even though I have transitioned between continents too many times to count, these shifts are never easy). But this time I confused myself silly by going to France first and to two very different places in France at that, weaving my way through Paris to boot, returning to it now, all the while keeping a close pulse on stuff back home, with updates on Snowdrop shenanigans and updates from Ed on storm damage and chicken laying habits (or not laying habits) at the farmette.

Trying to keep one foot in the Wisconsin door has meant that I've slept very little, as most of my tracking of that world -- my home after all -- took place in the late hours of the night. And with only two days in Warsaw, I wasn't going to waste any time catching up on sleep in the evening or early morning. (Both my sister and I get up very early.)

Added to all this is the otherwordliness of having Obama in Warsaw right now, addressing the American nation from a hotel room up the street.

Where am I anyway?

At least breakfast is calm. The usual. And that is a good thing. (Three honeys to choose from!)


My sister continues to make it all so easy for me, even though she has plenty on her own plate to deal with.

But immediately after, it's time for me to leave. I take a taxi to the airport. We have been warned that with 28 leaders of NATO member nations, plus another 27 statesmen and women from partner countries arriving in this very time period, there will be chaos at the airport and spot checks and searches for anyone coming in to catch a flight.

Ah, but what you fear is not what will undo you. I have a very easy arrival at a very relaxed airport.

And my flight is on time.

(Warsaw's skyline: it isn't a city of skyscrapers.)


And the train ride to Paris is without incident. And my Paris hotel is the same old, same old (Baume). All this is so good. Reassuring me that all will continue as before. That no worlds are that disconnected. That we all live on just one planet and the divisions between one continent, one country, once city and the next are constructs that are eventually overcome or absorbed.

Still, it was a very full ten days. As I step out to walk the streets of Paris, I think how good it is that I can have these full days and still, at the end of it all, I will return to the Wisconsin and Ed will pick me up at the airport and we'll go home to the farmette.

But for now, I walk the streets of Paris. And it is a gorgeous afternoon for it! The one sundress I brought with me can finally come out of the suitcase!

The Luxembourg Gardens first. Five photos that tell me that this, at last is summer:






On the streets again, with the usual array of tempting shops (I don't plan on really stocking the kitchen there, but surely I need coffee cups for my Warsaw apartment)...


(...if I asked Snowdrop these days to find the Eiffel Tower, would she still be able to do this? On the dress for example?)


(Here's a young couple plus child, making improvements to their shop's window display...)


(And here's a grandma doing what I so often do to Snowdrop: telling the little one that the actual crossing of the street requires the imposition of a different set of rules...)


(And finally a selfie: proof that I did take out a sundress and that I did pick up a few coffee cups and the dress for Snowdrop.)


Dinnertime. I go back to Semilla -- my new favorite within a ten minute stroll of the hotel. I had reserved and asked for the spot at the bar (there's only one and it gives you an intimate one on one with the work in the kitchen).


A new cadre of  sous chefs! (I always wondered if one criterion for securing a job in the kitchen here is that you have to be intensely good looking...) Oh, and this is new since last I checked: several of the chefs, including the appetizer, the lead dessert and the lead fish station ones are women.

(This one instructs an even younger cook on the art of appetizer presentation.)


My meal is excellent. And as I watch the intricate dish preparation played out before me, I feel a deep appreciation for being able to witness that quest for excellence. (Here's my cherry and almond ice cream dessert.)


It's a beautiful evening here, in Paris. And I hope it is that way for you, wherever you may find yourself right now.