Thursday, January 06, 2011

Wednesday - Departure but not goodbye, Brittany to Paris

Wednesday morning began as usual: gray and cold. After a leisurely breakfast, we packed up, paid the bill and climbed into the Ford Focus one last time. Less than a half hour later Richard pulled into the parking lot at the Vannes train station, parked the car and the four of us went inside to have one last cup of coffee together before our two companions headed south for Mouchan and we boarded the train for Paris.

We lingered over the morning chatting about travels yet to come for us all. But the time arrived, as we knew it would, when we said au revoir to Richard and Pauline. Watching them pull out into the Breton drizzle Susie and I both agreed that our time together had been far too short, that we had seen so little of Brittany -- but we both knew and know that we were  lucky to have any time there in the first place.

The Paris TGV was on time and as full as the one that brought us to Brittany on Sunday. We settled into our seats and took up our stations of watching the foggy French countryside slip by at high speed. Three hours later we awoke from our hypnotic stupor and began the climb out of the train and down the stairs of the train station into the bowels of Gare Montparnasse heading for the Metro and home on rue General Renault.

That evening we retraced our steps to the Metro and headed back in the direction of Montparnasse to our friend Val and her new husband Hubert's apartment. Susie had been lucky enough to have attended their civil wedding service last spring but I had not met Hubert and we weren't about to let the rain dampen our excitement over seeing the two "newlyweds" in their new home.

Having gotten turned around coming out of the Metro, we arrived a bit late but Hubert, like Val also an engineer,  was running late leaving work so the three of us sipped wine, ate some incredible Camembert and caught up on the news. (We also got to see the wedding photos and learned that at many weddings in France the bride and groom sit down during much of the service, in chairs especially placed at the front of the church for that purpose.)

After Hubert came in out of the dark and rain the four of us sat down to a scrumptious dinner and chatted about life in Paris, marriage and the wonders of being together.

The night slipped away from us and eventually Susie and I slipped out into it -- and into the rain. We soon found our way to the Metro, and before long were back in the 11th walking across rue Parmentier and onto rue General Renault and home.

Wish you had been there -- but of course if you had, you'd know all this already.

Steve

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