Brrrr! I’m in Paris this week and took a very long power walk the day I arrived to shake off the airplane doldrums. By power walk, I mean almost 6 miles. That’s a lot for lil ol’ me! I started out east of the Arch de Triomphe and made it all the way to St. Germain – in sub-40° misty gray weather.
It was the first Sunday of the month, and that meant that L’avenue des Champs-Élysées was closed off to auto traffic and super-open to pedestrians. I didn’t know about that and wondered why all of the police vehicles were blocking the road, and the military personnel were checking the bags (including mine) of folks who wanted to walk down this most famous of Parisian avenues. I though maybe a terrorist had created a semi-lockdown situation.
But no! It turns out that first Sunday is actually big for family outings in Paris, even on this most cold and wet day. The people-watching was magnificent. The experience was magnificent. Walking down the middle of this historic street with no cars on it was magnificent. Children and dogs were…magnificent.
I was bundled up, but it was super-cold! I needed to warm up in a café with a cappuccino. I got near Café de Flore and Le Deux Magots, expecting one of them to be my solace place. My son and I visited this area on a trip to Paris (click here) where an experience motivated him to write an award-winning essay, and I was eager to warm up in this area. Les Deux Magots was closed for renovations and Café de Flore was packed and on a waiting list, so I took my frozen bones over to Café Louise across the street. I made a great choice!
Ordering a sparkling water and a cappuccino, I admitted to the waiter that I was very, very cold. I was so very impressed with the hospitality that he and Café Louise provided:
The sparkling water came with a very heavy, beautiful crystal glass. The cappuccino warmed my hands after I removed my gloves. The waiter came right back after delivering the beverages and gave me a complimentary snack, “quiche bites”. Oh. My. Gosh. Rich, simple and delicious, I was cold-no-more after devouring them.
The waiter visited often and made me feel like an important guest that they were just hoping to host that day…as though I was expected. I just love that Parisian hospitality.
Thank you, Café Louise. You made me feel at home on a cold, foggy, gray Paris day.
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