May 20, 2009

Theme Thursday - Vacation

My dream vacation. What's yours? I have so many. But here’s just one. No siren song of Lorelei leading me to the Rhine this time. This time I have the gall to stay in France.

Since this is a dream, I don’t have to fly to get there. I wake up in Paris with the birds chirping and the curtains gently billowing into my room at the Hotel Grandes Ecoles in Paris’s 5th Arrondissement.

The air smells of fresh brewed coffee. I get up, stretch, shower and throw on a cotton sundress, maybe periwinkle blue. I don’t need comfortable shoes because it’s a dream. I have a fortifying coffee on the terrace but I shun the continental breakfast in favour of a Crêpe Marron that I buy from a nearby window.

Then I head a little west to the Cour du Commerce Saint-Andre. There I sit and review my maps. In my perfect dream-French I’ll order an espresso. Feet away is the Café Procope which claims to be the oldest operating restaurant in Paris. Aparently the guillotine was perfected just out in front. Procope’s regular visitors included Molière, Voltaire, Napoleon, Georges Sand, Victor Hugo, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin.

Colette and Picasso once lived within walking distance. I head in the right direction and gaze at their respective windows from the street. I’ve found myself on Rue Bonaparte. Look - there’s Laduree. Maybe I’ll have one of their famous macarons. Yes. A Cassis Violette. Can I afford it? Yes, it’s my dream vacation.

Back towards the hotel I pass the two cafes on the Boulevard St. Germain that were popular with the Existentialists and the Surrealists; Café De Flore and Les Deux Magots. I reflect on the on the writers and artists that must have mused on the terrace - Hemingway, Andre Breton, Sartre, but I don’t go in. I’m heading to the Musee National du Moyen Age. The National Museum of the Middle Ages has conserved the most magnificent examples of ancient textiles in the world. The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries are here.

Wandering around in the Medieval Garden outside, who do I see but the Italian Actor Sergio Castellitto. He’s not French, but it’s my dream and he finds me delightful.

He agrees to accompany me up to the bouquinistes on the Left Bank of the Seine. The antique books and prints are fun to browse through. At one of the stalls I find a first edition of a Colette that I haven’t yet read. A real deal too. Sergio and I enjoy an ice cream cone while walking along the Seine, each picking out our favourite houseboat. He’s wearing a nice summer suit and looks great.

I consent to an invitation to dinner on a Bateau Mouche. Sitting astern I enjoy the asparagus cream and the seared breast of duckling. What will I have for dessert; Crepes Suzette with Raspberry Butter or the Chocolate Mousse with the praline and Hazelnut Crisp?

The candlelight serves to enhance my enjoymnent as I sail by Notre Dame, the Louvre and the illuminated Eiffel Tower. We disembark at the Pont Saint-Michel near Shakespeare & Company. Adieu. I have to get back to my hotel. I have an early start. I'm going on a train trip. But that's for another day.


giulia said...

I cannot believe I am awake. 'Tis ridiculous. But when I saw this come through, I had to make preliminary statement.

You better believe you bid adieu to Sergio. Don't you know he's with me?!

I have major fantasy that Sergio C. consents to do the Inspector Montalbano series in English for BBC/PBS/CBC. There is an Italian version but...he would be great.

I love everything you wrote but as it is an absurd hour, I shall return. No doubt humiliated at my public hoohah over an actor. (In discussions about his films, I don't think I've seen 'Caterina in the Big City' recommended. I highly recommend. I saw as soon as it made it to the theatres here a few years ago in DC. Really good,another 'this is real Italy.' I shall dream of gelato...xo svs/gg

Brian Miller said...

wow. nice dream. one you would not want to wake up from...

Ima Wizer said...

Oh, oh, oh!!!!! Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Poetikat said...

That's a wonderful dream, but I think I would like to go back in time a little and have the tour with Louis Jourdan (circa 1959)or Daniel Auteil (circa anytime).

I'd love to stay in Dijon for a couple of weeks.


willow said...


Candie Bracci said...

Hi,these are really nice vacation!And macarons...oh yeah macarons!!Have a nice day :)

vicki archer said...

I love the way you are thinking - this is the perfect holiday, xv.

Wings said...

Nice 'dream' vacation. Wish we could wake up wherever we want at least once in life! :)

Premium T. said...

I'm there!

I've always wanted to stay at Hotel des Grandes Ecoles, but, alas, it's always been booked months in advance.

Fun (and dreamy) post!

Diane said...

ooo la la! Lovely. And inspiring... a dream vacation I can afford! I think I'm going to Las Pazos, Mexico. Or Hawaii... I'll send you a postcard when I get back.

Leah said...

I think I will have a heaping helping of that vacation.

Solid Frog said...

I love France!

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

I would drop everything for Paris!

Kelsey said...

you paint a beautiful picture:)


and yes you can call me that

otin said...

I'm buying my tickets as we speak LOL!

Kerry said...

Last summer I actually had the chance to go to Paris. I lacked the periwinkle sun dress, but I did have some of those macarons: mmmmmm.

Ronda Laveen said...

MMmmm! Sergio, macaroons, and Cassis Violette. Sweet day in heaven. Pup. I have had trouble for weeks gettin to your site. Tonight I just typed part of what showed on your link and got here. Yeah!

lettuce said...

i LOVE those little macaroons

(not that paris doesn't have other things to offer....)

Bee said...

We may not agree on books, but we are united on the concept of DREAM vacations. Yours sounds swell. Ever since I've been reading Merisi, I've also wanted to visit Vienna. (I like city vacations best; I'm very cafe-oriented.)

books,coffee,etc.... said...

Bonjour! The Clever Pup,
This is most definitely, a "clever" Thursday Theme post!...I really enjoyed reading your "dream" vacation to
ahh!..."Beautiful Paris, France"Merci! For sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

corine said...

Let's do this!

what.. I wasn't invited?

David Engel said...

Hello Again CP,

I've been browsing through your blog and having fun. Thrilled to see Laduree, where I enjoyed their -

"Ispahan - Biscuit macaron moelleux a la rose, creme aux petales de rose, framboises fraiches et litchis


Smooth rose flavoured macaroon biscuit, rose petal cream, fresh raspberries and lychees"

I came back another day for a beautiful lunch. Funny how one of their stunning menus found its way into my bag? It seemed the epitome of things Parisian.



secret, fragile skies said...

What a beautiful idea! My dream is Paris. Love your post!