In 1981 my maternal grandmother, who I called Grammy, took me to Paris. It was just the two of us who went and the trip remains very special to me. My grandmother’s first language was French and she had traveled to Paris as a young woman. Always wanting to go back, she asked me if I’d go with her, treating the trip as my high school graduation present. I honored Grammy on this blog back on August 6th on what would have been her 107th birthday.
Grammy and I flew from Seattle to New York and had to hustle through the New York airport to make a connecting flight to Paris. Unable to sleep on the plane, we arrived in Paris exhausted. We took a taxi to our hotel, an old-fashioned Parisian hotel (“We’re not going all the way to Paris to stay in a Holiday Inn,” Grammy told me.). While waiting to check in, Grammy fell, tripping on a tiny “lip” along the lobby floor that separated it from a seating area. She landed on her face, smack dab on her nose. More angry at herself than hurt, she quickly commented, “At least I didn’t land on anything important!” She was just under 5 feet tall and joked further that she didn’t have far to fall.
Still, she was sore and tired for most of our trip, necessitating a few less outings than we might otherwise have taken. Rather than venturing out on the Metro or calling a taxi, we took to having dinner in our neighborhood. Our favorite place, Café l’Escurial, was just across the street. We went there, I’d say, at least five times, often enough for the servers to recognize us and greet us with enthusiasm (Grammy tipped well, too).
This morning in our Parisian apartment, Melinda, Chloe, Ella and I discussed what we’d like to do in Paris. Trips to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and lots of shopping topped the list. I added that I wanted to see if the Café l’Escurial was still around and, if it was, go there for at least one meal. To my delight, we discovered it is still here. And we had lunch there today!
Today’s photo was taken of the restaurant from roughly the same spot I took a photo 29 years ago. That old photo was very important to me. It went with me to Alaska in 1982 and adorned my wall. It went with me to Olympia for college and adorned my wall. As a matter of fact, it was up in all of my apartments. When I get back home I’ll be looking for it again.
Who needs the Eiffel Tower when you have Café l’Escurial??