Well, I haven't written a single post since February seventh. Since that time, I spent ten days in Paris with Marsha and Jane. Before the trip, when I was working like crazy to be able to get away, I thought ten days would seem like an eternity. Little did I know it would fly - just fly - by, and now with each passing day, I recall another precious memory and hanker just a little bit more to go back to that beautiful gray city.
We stayed in an elegant apartment, with a lovely kitchen, on Rue du Cherche Midi, in the same block that houses Poilane, the famous breadmaker. We had gloriously buttered toast every morning and wonderful bread to top with the amazing cheeses - all raw milk and unavailable here - that we ate every night while drinking copious amounts of white Sancerre. (We had to drink a lot of wine since it was the only cheap thing in the whole city. We absolutely owed it to ourselves.) We ate in on four nights because we found luscious food to buy and cook, never mind that Jane and Marsha had a fit when our rotisserie chicken from the Sunday outdoor organic market on Rue Raspail cost the equivalent of $30. (I think they're still talking about it.)
There's too much to tell; too many wonderful museums; the young American who proposed to his American girlfriend in front of a Monet and caught the rapt attention of everyone in the gallery and bowed when we all clapped after she said yes; the Berthillon ice cream I finally got my hands on (not for long); the tour Mike gave us of his fifteenth century restored home in the Marais (the freaking fifteenth - did you hear me? - century), etc., etc., etc. It was more fun than I could ever have imagined, and we plan to do it next year when we will be armed with Clotilde's newest book.
The other great thing that happened is that Mandi arrived on Easter Sunday for a ten-day holimoon in New York. What's a holimoon, you might ask. It's a vacation you take with your 6-year-old daughter because you promised to take her to Disneyland as soon as she reached the height requirement. But it's also a honeymoon because you are both with your husband of 23 days. There you have it. Six-year-old Reagan was absolutely beautiful and so much fun. My heart was captured immediately. And Scotty, who Mandi calls a spunk (I won't go into that one, but you can probably figure it out; it rhymes with a word that begins with h and has three more letters), is fabulous too. We waited and waited for that ten days and then, in the blink of an eye, it was over. Mandi vacationed the whole time; didn't spend one day working while she was here; ice skated at Wollman, went to the American Girl Place, spent an evening at McSorley's hosted by Geoffrey, went to the farm for the weekend, which included having a beautiful dinner at Margaret and Tom's in Vermont on Saturday night and tobogganing down Walter's field on Sunday morning. Mandi, Scott, and Reagan cleaned my entire apartment before flying back to Australia on Tuesday and left me enough licorice to last a normal person six months. (I won't tell you how long it lasted me; suffice it to say, it's all gone.)
Why after so long did I finally sit down to write? It's because today, at long last, is ice cream day! The sky is September eleventh blue (sigh), the temperature is in the high sixties, and everyone who is outside is strolling around with a smile on her face and an ice cream cone in her hand.
I won't wait so long again. Welcome, spring. I hope you stick around a while.