Saturday, September 18, 2010

We have to go back to Paris

Well actually, if truth be told (and why not?), we have to go back to France. That’s right. This Christmas and New Year’s Susie and I plan to return to the land of our rebirth. (Though we were reconceived in Italy.)

(Place Clichy, Paris,  c. 1890-1900)

Now, as some of you might recall I was scheduled to join Susie this past spring in Paris. But new employment altered those plans, for me at any rate, and so I remained here in Providence while Susie spent a wonderful month enjoying the sights, sounds, smells of being, being, being in Paris.

(Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris, c. 1890-1900

Not to let the airlines simply walk away with my money for no service, I opted to reschedule my ticket for the end of the year. (Even then it cost me extra but, and this is key, going back is worth it.)

(Chamber of Deputies, Paris, c. 1890-1900

And so the other day (God how I love just saying with such a matter-of-fact air), the other day I bought Susie a ticket for the same flight: Air France from Boston to Paris. We leave Christmas Day and return on 8 January.

First stop is Paris for and then, we hope, a week in Brittany. TGV to Rennes, rent a car and drive to a tiny cottage just northeast of Vannes, at a little place called Le Gohic. To be followed by plenty of cider, galettes, crepes of all shapes and colors, white wine from the Loire, and whole fields of stone sculptures and megaliths older than the pyramids to explore.

The one sour note is, we have round trip tickets. But then life is full of tradeoffs.

Friday, September 17, 2010

France in Providence

The weather has changed from slothful summer to spritely fall, from humidity and heat to cool breezes moderate temps. Autumn is definitely on its way here in Providence and apparently in much of Rhode Island as well; color changes have begun while the days shorten.

Susie’s business plans continue to evolve – the French Tart is well on her way to something special and it’s all about great food. She’s producing fresh tarts for the Gamm Theater in Pawtucket several nights a week (it's located right next to armory). 

Wendy Overly, who took Susie’s short-lived pastry chef job at Tazza, runs the food and beverage concession at the theater and thought Susie’s mini-tarts, fresh out of the oven, would be just the "ticket." 

Susie's also supplying the local chapter of the Alliance Française with fresh croissants and other assorted French pastry treats. Other irons in other fires continue to heat up -- things are looking pretty good for la tarte francaise who came to France and the French by way of Fremont, Michigan.

 And speaking of the Alliance Française, they have become more a part of our life of late. We were fortunate to be part of the grand opening of their new space, their very own building in fact, on Smith Street in Providence. A wonderful little part with plenty of bread, cheese, wine and lots of conversation, mostly in French. I continue to swim against the current, though and prattle on Italian when pushed, otherwise it's English for me -- a language I'm still trying to get the hang of.

As a continuing student Susie is, of course, an AF member and is back in the swing of classes this fall: Grammar with Gersende on Monday and Conversation with Magali on Friday. She’s also providing sweet treats for the Friday morning AF coffee groups (just like she did so many years ago for her monthly staff meetings in the ER). 

And there is some discussion of Susie teaching a class of kids how to bake French pastries in French! And she's been chosen for the (French-only) team overseeing the food for the AF Gourmet Club. 

As for me, well most of you know how obsessed I am with archiving old photos so I couldn't be happier -- for the moment, and that's probably all we can ask for, eh?  

Aside from a day trip to Westerly and Watch Hill, RI, down along the ocean nestled against the Connecticut border, we've stayed close to home, spending most of our free time roaming the East Bay Bike Path. The view from Watch Hill:

And one from the East Bay Bike Path, just south of Providence:

It’s a strange world we’ve found ourselves in these last few years – our journey certainly continues to take its twists and turns, leaving us in a constant state of amazement at what we’ve gotten ourselves into. We're equally puzzled about what's next. Aren't you?