Monday, January 12, 2015

Hello, Goodbye Paris

Friday evening, after my wanderings and shopping in Paris, I watched the news of the killing of the terrorists and French President Hollande speak.  Throughout the early morning hours, my cell phone rang, and rang and rang.  Family and friends checking in, checking in on me.  Awake at 4am after the calls, I sat up and wrote my previous blog post.  I got a few hours of morning sleep, had some coffee, then met my friends with whom I traveled.  Ok, wait, we didn’t just travel together, they brought me with them, on an airline “pass” as a standby passenger.  Huge luck and thanks and credit to them that we got first class seats, but we were there together, and we met up again at 11am Saturday to spend the day ensemble.  In theory.  Instead of discussing our plans to tour Paris or the flea or which shops to visit first, we talked of the latest loads on flights, how they had changed, how travel was and would be affected between Paris, London and the US if there were a future attack.  I know that sounds a bit negative and all, but it was really a matter of practicality.  My friends were going to leave this weekend and then come back in two weeks when I would join them on the return.  But if there is any major event, it would be likely I would not return on schedule.  The world turns, the world changes….


Across Paris, the signs are pervasive.  And I came to the decision, with my friends, that it was best to get back to California.


And so, we had a nice lunch in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.  I had a beautiful Caesar salad, that looked like this, piled high in a bowl~


We ran a few errands, passing by the Assemblée Nationale, where a car was stopped with five police officers surrounding it, rifles raised and trained on the car and its driver, with smoked windows.  Not completely unusual for Paris, but still, a sign.  Paris is on edge for sure.  We did some shopping together, and I pick up a few items before meeting my friends at their hotel at La Defense.  Hello, Goodbye Paris indeed…this was a quick trip, I didn’t even have time to sample the winter shellfish on offer, but that’s ok~


Arriving home on Sunday evening, Mom said my case looked full of goodies just like it always does.  I brought beautiful items for my cooking class guys and gals….the best French pastry brushes~


The best pastry bags from Mora that are imprinted with a cool digitized figure; indispensible when making gougères or crème puffs~


More hen and rooster cookie cutters, I need these~~


A quartet of Eiffel Towers I bought in front of the Louvre, in a dash to the cooking stores…I know who wants these~


I brought a handful of wood spatulas from Dehillerin.  I didn’t bring one of everything for my cooking classes, but next time I’ll stock these in my store or take orders in advance….


Marked for the Paris address next to Les Halles, these are kitchen essentials….love love love for decades…


Pastry cutters also came home with me, also marked for Dehillerin.  Perfect for making biscuits, scones and sablés~


Running into a few shops along the way on Saturday, I picked up the salts I need in Laguna, at least for a few months to tide me over~


A kilo bag of sel de Guèrande will make do for a few months until I get back~


A stop at the spice shop on Rue de Rivoli on the way to the metro in the rain yielded a generous sachet of herbes de Provence, Quatre Epices and powdered almonds.  I always ask which are domestic and which are California imports; in this case the whole almonds were California and the powdered were domestic.  Sold.


And at home on Monday morning, I had Josephine tea from Ladurée….it is a new favorite and reminds me of this visit to Paris, however short it was….


I will be back soon enough to Paris, and then to Beaune and elsewhere in France.  My best girlfriends, and not to mention R, were all quite disappointed to not make the trip to Marrakech with me, so I’m thinking of renting a riad next time and taking everyone with me.  But this does not seem the right time to be traveling Morocco alone and doing the Bedoin in the dessert thing.  No sense in stressing my travel angels and family this time.  There is word that other sleeper cells are being activated, and there is the unknown.  If you look in the rear-view mirror you can say if you should stay or go, but for now, I will take the prudent route and return to California.  France, I love you, and will see you soon~


  1. Oh my, so you are someone I should have worried about specifically! What an adventure, a quick trip, and you still managed to sweep through some of my favorite shops before your quick exit.

    I am a bit irritated that our "safe Paris" has seen such a shift. Like you, I will be back, but not in the next month or so.

    So glad that you are safely home and can plan another trip soon!


  2. Better to be safe than sorry! You made the right decision!

  3. Never give in to fear, France has been under attack for years the sight of soldiers with weapons on the streets has been a daily feature being searched before entering stores is nothing new...I am french... cannot let this keep me cowering, or they will have won.. I was in Paris when a terrorist attack happened on the subway , Blv St Michel station.. this has not kept anyone from using it.. It is not any safer here (I am close to N.Y) we have to be vigilant but continue with our daily affairs...

    Annie v.

    1. Dear Annie, I agree completely as to not give in to fear; I am not afraid and have lived with the IRA and 911 and was in Paris shortly after the RER bombing. It's not new to see police presence and guns on the street. But I think it would have been selfish of me to stay and travel on to Morocco; mostly because I risked my return flight, and that would mean buying a one way ticket or else missing my cooking classes. It was a nice weekend in any case, and I will be back soon, though to Beaune, and just a few days in Paris! Bonne Annee~

  4. Dear Andrea, it seems you made the best decision for now, with so much unrest and tension in the area. Of course you will be back very soon;Morocco and Marrakech beckon! The goodies you brought back are wonderful!

    Featuring "Inner Spaces"

  5. You made the right decision...Hopefully, your next visit will be less stressful... Missing Beaune and France but May is not far away! See you in Beaune

  6. PARIS will wait for YOUR RETURN with OPEN ARMS.................Now on to the COOKING CLASSES for JANUARY!!!I see we will have new utensil's to try!!!

  7. I too am relieved you will not be traveling there alone and look forward to catching up when you get back! xoxo

  8. Glad you're home safely, and a whirlwind trip has to be better than rien! Welcome back!

  9. Great decision A!!!
    I too am greatly relieved that you are back home safe and sound!! You can always come stay and play chez moi! Let's go to the Alameda Pointe next month!!!
    Love you!!!