Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Bastille Day!


Today is Le Fête National in France. Not too much celebrating going on, however, since it's been raining all day. In fact, it's rained almost every day that we've been here, sometimes buckets like today and sometimes just a steady drizzle. On Monday evening I wanted to get out to get some evening air so I went to my Les Grands Ducs café to get a salad for dinner. Shortly after I grabbed a table under the awning near the front entrance the rain came pouring down. It was blowing inward so the awning was only the most minimal protection. When some people finished and left, I picked up my food, camera, book, and newspaper and moved away from the edge and closer to the center. The rain came even harder. I didn't get the blowing rain too much, but there was a steady drip . . . drip into the center of my plate and in my glass of coke through a leak in the awning. This is what I saw as I ate:

You make ask, "Why, in heavens name, did you continue to sit out on the sidewalk instead of retreating into the restaurant?" Well, first, I was not the only one sitting outside eating. The rain was a minor inconvenience because the French rarely give up an opportunity to dine al fresco. The astounding French waiters never stopped serving, even though most of the tables are out the door and around the corner of the building in the large Place de la Liberátion. They just took an empty tray and held it over their head as they hustled food and drinks out to the people sitting under mammoth sidewalk umbrellas. Second, by the time my dessert arrived, I had moved to a perfectly dry spot in a corner up against the building. I went to that café specifically to eat on Monday so that I could get a Bastille Day ice cream dessert. This particular café always finds some way to dress up the most simple bowl of delicious, freshly made ice cream. Here's my banana split:

I got a few photos of the town decked out for the holiday before the skies opened. I wish I had some firework shots, but they postponed that. By the sound of the thunder and the look of the lightning, however, I don't know if they'll even be able to do the fireworks on Wednesday night.

Place de la Liberátion

Rue de la Liberté


Melinda said...

Julie, can you bring one of those banana splits back on the plane with you?

Julie Farrar said...

I need to eat nothing but broccoli for the rest of the summer after I get home. Their ice cream is so delicious and fresh that I eat it almost every day -- with no restraint. I'll have to buy a second seat on the airplane to have room for my butt.

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