My Funny Valentine

On my first trip to Paris I was twenty and in the company of my mother. I had just enough education and maturity to appreciate what I was seeing and in our whirlwind three days I resolved repeatedly to come back. Vividly, I remember standing on Pont Alexandre III and vowing that some day I would come back with the love of my life.


It only took twenty or so years, and a lot of living: a marriage, a career, years of schooling, children, a divorce, and then finding Alan. We came for a week that first time all the while hungry for more. A few years later, we did,  for a six month sabbatical.  Kids, dogs and many friends and family members came along for the ride. . Again, we knew we would be back and now it’s just the two of us. Time for a leetle romance, no (use your best PePe le Pieu accent)?

We decided to have an early Valentine’s and what is the best thing to do for a romantic sortie in the City of Love? For starters, walk along the Seine holding hands, then go to the Louvre and share wonderful art.

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Did you notice how I snuck another boar into this? I’m going to go back and draw that boar.  He is so wonderful under the vast skylight. I love a sculpture court since they create a whole alternative world of stone, and they remind me of Narnia. The French Sculpture court is non-pareil, and what a marvel indeed, were these creatures to come to life.

Continuing on the Valentine’s agenda, we left the Louvre and strolled across the rue de Rivoli to the Jardin du Place Royale, where a perfect heaven of gustatory delight is tucked into the corner off the arcade.


Here, cordial waiters bring you your hearts’ desire.


Perhaps a Kir, while we consider the menu?


Maybe an amuse-bouche of cold essence of lobster with creme chantilly. My mouth is very amused indeed.


We enjoy the special quality of the light in the arcade while we dine on oysters, risotto and lamb.


An odd little piece of sculpture for dessert. Under that warm banana is something crispy with chocolate ganache. The dots are caramel and cream. Sigh. Time for coffee.

We stroll home in the rain, sharing an umbrella. No longer young, not as acute or good-looking as we once were, having been through a lot, and maybe showing the wear and tear, a simple reality comes through. C’est l’amour. C’est tout.