Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Spinning Around

It's never easy trying to decide what to do when the parent wagon rolls into town, especially with grandmother in tow. Obviously walking is pretty restricted as grandmother is now 86, so in the no-no category you also have to add dancing, climbing, being in crowds, cobblestones, dark interiors (eyesight problems), so rather a large portion of improvising is required.

It is nice to spend time with family of course, and we did have a rather pleasant weekend in the sunshine. We managed to improvise with a red bus tour, a bateau mouche and another red bus tour; the highlight of which, for me, was seeing the Tongan rugby team licking ice-creams dejectedly near the Eiffel Tower the day after losing to England.

We enjoyed two rather tasty dinners at Au Chein Qui Fume and La Tourelle. The second one, being near to my apartment, I always consider as basic with nothing particularly special to offer. On Sunday evening I couldn't have been more wrong. They brought out plates of mouth-watering, melt in your mouth steak, crispy gratin dauphinois and beautifully cooked cod. The dinner at the smoking dog was good too, but for almost twice the price... but that's Châtelet as opposed to Vincennes.

I had wanted to go to the new aquarium in Trocadéro, but the interior would probably have been too dark for my gran. Fair enough, we have to consider everyone but I think my mum would have loved it. That will have to be a feature of one of G's future Parisian weekends.

We did manage a mother-daughter bonding moment after dinner on Saturday. With my dad and his mum safely ensconced in a taxi back to the Citadines, my mum and I headed down the rue de rivoli towards Concorde. For the first time in the weekend we walked briskly; laughing and chatting all the way to the big wheel. The view was stunning, so stunning that I was in fact a little stunned and spent the first (painfully slow) rotation with my hands glued to the central pole, praying that the tiny metal half-cage we were in would withstand the wind (or what actually was a rather pleasant evening breeze, but everything is yanked out of perspective at a height of 50m). By the second rotation I was fine, and the delighted grin on my mum's face made me relax and enjoy the rest of the trip. Sometimes it really is nice to be a tourist again.

So now it is back to the grindstone once more, with the nights drawing in and G still spending Monday to Friday in Chablis. Maybe I'll pop out again for another spin on the wheel...

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