Brother, Sister-in-law, and mad genius Nephew sadly returned home the day after our sidecar adventures, leaving a trio of Connecticutians wandering around Paris. Dad and Stepmom took the day to head off to the Christmas Market in Brussels and I was able to catch up on some well needed rest and computer work. For whatever reason, we were cursed with cold weather for the remaining two days of their voyage, but we made the best of it even so.
Monday afternoon I had a student (for the first time in ages) so we made a plan to meet up afterward. We sauntered past Shakespeare & Co, looped around Notre Dame, and hunkered down in a café on Isle-Saint-Louis so that I could finally get a bit of lunch and we could all escape the freezing wind for a few minutes. We then slowly made our way down to the Latin Quarter, Rue Mouffetard and yet another afternoon libation to stave off the cold. Our rollicking adventures ended back up in Montmartre where we dined at the delicious Southwestern French restaurant we have long since known and loved for its decadent salads topped with sliced friend potatoes. This time, however, Father and I at least took the opportunity for a little feasting adventure in the form of Boeuf Bourguigon.
Our final day was the most classically posh and sophisticated us rowdy crew had during our trip. Apparently my stepmother had been pushing to try a Michelin Star restaurant (thank you, ma'am!). After a bit of research, we found a moderately priced one-star establishment called Agapé in the 17th Arrondissement. It was a small venue but very chic and clean with a cozy atmosphere. The wait staff was highly accommodating and enthusiastically utilized their english skills to help my parents along. We chose the basic lunch menu but my dad and I opted for the wine pairings as well. Much of the food had some seafood flare so I had to notify the maitre'd that I am allergic to shellfish. Happily, they were very quick to acquiesce and I was able to salivate and satiate along with everyone else. From appetizer to main to dessert, with interludes of amuse-bouche to enhance our experience, I can't say there is much else like a fine dining experience.
After our luxurious lunch, we moved along to the Musée d'Orsay, a museum that I particularly love and my dad particularly wanted to see. I never tire of gazing around the beautiful old train station housing my favorite impressionist masterpieces. I do, however, get tired of museums in general, so after a couple of hours it was time to depart, much to the chagrin of my dear old dad.
Our final stop would be at the dumpling place I seem to take all of my relatives to, though never often go myself unless some lucky chap gets dragged their on a date. We were early for the opening so we sat at a local café in the 20th arrondissement and threw back a couple of glasses of wine as well as any of the natives do. After dinner, I accompanied the parental units back to Montmartre to pick up some bottles of wine they had been storing for me and to say our bon voyage. It's never easy to bid my family farewell but luckily for me, I will be seeing them in just another day or two back in the States for those oh so necessary home for the holiday hugs.