I’m back and I already started painting! My wood panels were waiting for me in the gallery, and I’m still freshly obsessed with the idea of the red-tasseled horses, so this had to happen! I’m only posting a detail of the actual painting, as everything I make over the next ten days can’t be revealed until Sky Club Elite have their previews. I have to say, I’m getting pretty excited!
Our room has windows on two sides, overlooking the roofs of Paris, with views of the towers of Notre Dame from one, and the Pantheon from the other. We woke up super early, drank lots of coffees, and outside it was raining. I wondered if we’d be able to have a nice day, but we did. We had an awesome day, in fact! We walked a lot, drank Aperol spritzes at Café Flore, where I’ve always wanted to go (tip: for maximum charm sit inside; trust me!), ate crêpes, took lots of pictures, and laughed a lot. Tomorrow I have an early flight to catch but we’re too giddy to sleep!
After a rather cumbersome flight, and a taxi ride that seemed endless, I’m back in Paris and I met up with Dana from The Amsterdamian! We’re in a room with a view of Notre Dame and it feels surreal to be reunited! After dinner we got caught in the rain, but even that had its charm.
In which none of the pigeons help me pack. Traitors!
This time of year there are purple irises blooming everywhere, the linden trees are starting to bloom, it’s finally warm enough to walk around without a jacket, it’s mating season for the pigeons, and I really really really don’t want to leave.
It’s been a very good day – and a very good trip. Besides all the travel, which was so wonderful, lots of other good things happened, family stuff sort of fell into place, and I feel very satisfied. Now if only I could convince my dad to adopt a puppy – he’s partial to Huskies – everything would be perfect. But I’ll work on that over the next few months, so I can hopefully house train it during my next visit.
Last week my dad and I visited almost every region of the country. An essential chunk we missed though, was the part by the Black Sea. And since thirty-plus years ago we used to spend some lovely vacations there, we decided to go chase these memories on a rainy day in the off-season, knowing full well that the resort town we used to love is no longer popular, and that some of the more spectacular hotels, overlooking the sea, have been abandoned. Ok, so we drove 2.5 hours to look at abandoned buildings and overgrown grass. Maybe that’s a little weird, but the sea was lovely and it smelled salty and wonderful. The overgrown grass still held the tiny white snails I remembered from my childhood. Some of the nicer hotels might not have survived, but the snails did, and that was exciting! One summer night long ago my cousins and I had enthusiastically gathered a bucket-full of these white snails and snuck them into our hotel room. Come morning we were heartbroken to discover our little treasures had wandered off. We had to retrieve them from the hotel walls and carry them back to the grass where they belong. I’m glad to know the little snails have survived the attacks of many children, and overall the tides of time.
I wandered off, amazed that the boardwalk I remembered as being very long, is actually quite tiny. I resolved to walk to the end of it, but then I saw a small stray dog intent on chasing me, so I actually ran. There, I’ve had an adventure!
All in all, the visit was surreal and bittersweet. I suppose change is unavoidable, and alongside the abandoned hotels we saw plenty of new ones, and even, in a different resort town, an old hotel we remember from long ago that has been beautifully restored and turned into a state-of-the-art luxury oasis. The lobby smells like scrumptious spa products with ingredients from the sea, and sprawling gardens full of blooming lilacs descend upon a large pool and then the beach. Each room has its own balcony, the restaurant looks inviting, and there’s an art exhibit in the lobby. I wouldn’t have minded staying there a night or two! But we were determined to drive back, our glimpse into the past short yet poignant.
He said: “Bring me two meatballs for my dog.” These were not regular meatballs, by the way, but the traditional Romanian mici, which include a special combination of meats and spices. The dog, a black mutt, was very fat and sat lazily under the table. “She doesn’t like the mici hot,” he explained, so he cut them up so they could cool down a little. The dog barely moved its head, but finally devoured the luxury treat. We were outside in the park, sitting at a terrace with my dad’s friend, eating mici and doing quite a bit of day-drinking. Afterwards I had to take a nap. It was a nice nap, with the window open, and the sounds of the streetcar just outside outside.
Maybe we’re a little crazy, but although it’s very far, and it meant crossing the mountains, we decided to drive from Suceava all the way to Sibiu, where my aunt and uncle live, and to surprise them. More on our adventure here tomorrow!