Monday, June 23, 2014

Checking In to Check Out

The weather gods are doing their best to make us want to stay.  The sky is perfectly blue, the air is soft and warm, there is light in the sky until past 10:00 P.M. and dining outdoors is practically mandatory.  We have had drinks in the tiny garden of the apartment with two separate sets of guests and the birds continue to wake us in the morning.

On the other hand, June 21 was la FĂȘte de la Musique, a countrywide celebration that goes on into the early morning.  In the past we have wandered around the city listening to street bands in many areas and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  This year I couldn't walk too far, my twisted ankle having resolved into a fractured metatarsal, and we got as far as the church of St. Eustache, with its incredible organ.  An organ concert was just the thing and we really liked it.

After a horrible dinner (Pied du Cochon, next to St. Eustache, used to have quite good onion soup despite its tourist bent.  No more!) we went home only to discover a very very loud private concert in the courtyard next door, complete with lights and bands.  It went on until about 3:00 Gene tells me.  I zonked out about 1:30, noise and all.  Sunday was perfect until we came home in the afternoon to discover a little girl's birthday party in the apartment upstairs.  About a 9 on the Shriek-o-Meter.  Luckily it didn't last as long as the concert had.

The most annoying thing that happened this week however was the decision by a number of the unions representing French air traffic controllers to declare a five day strike, beginning tomorrow, the day we were scheduled to fly to London to pick up our homeward bound United flight.  We heard of the strike plans while we were in Normandy, called a journalist friend to confirm the online rumor, and immediately bought tickets on the Eurostar.  We did not get, as you can imagine, a budget price buying at the last minute.  Nevertheless if all goes well we should make our flight as scheduled.

We will be happy to get home, where we will spend the rest of the summer without budging from Berkeley before a return to Paris and to Italy in September.  See you then.

Photos are at www.instagram.com/shellioreck

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