Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Understanding Hemingway's Moveable Feast

One of the best days of my life happened on January 1, 2012.  It came on the heels of one of the best weeks in my life.  Recognizing it while it was happening took me completely off guard!  Usually I recognize these things in hindsight.  Cue the happy tears...
"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." - Ernest Hemingway
No, I was not lucky enough to live in Paris, but my husband and I immersed ourselves in the City of Lights celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary over the holidays.  We chose Paris not only for it's ever expected romantic appeal, but for all the new foodie adventures we would surely encounter.  It seemed obvious to us, Paris should to be our destination.

Take our first date.  John prepared lunch for me making a warming plate of spaghetti.  You've heard the term before, "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach."   That theory works on women too.  I knew from our very first date, he was the guy for me.  From that point forward, food has been one our major bonds.

Predictable as it may sound, Paris in a week lived up to all our expectations.  Paris winters are simply beautiful in all it's rainy glory; especially at night.

The Louvre and Musee D'Orsay are sights to behold.


Musee D'Orsay Dining Room

The smells of roasting chestnuts on every square, the stinky cheese wafting to passersby from the local Fromage shop and the aroma of a freshly baked baguette constantly teased my tummy.

Strolling local parks revealed elegant merry-go-rounds with delighted, bundled up children.

Fanciful chocolatiers are just as artistic as the finest painter in Montmartre.

Corner cafes lured us every afternoon for a lovely glass of Bordeaux.


You can see why this week ranks at the top of my best weeks ever lived list.

Other than being New Year's Day, what was so special that it made it one of my best days?  It was our last full day in Paris. Many things were closed.  We had already visited museums, stood under the Eiffel Tower, walked the length of the Champs Elysees, taken a cooking class and ate like there would be no tomorrow.  John and I decided to have no agenda on this day.  We just followed our hearts' desires.

This day started with standing at midnight on Pont Neuf over the Seine watching the Eiffel Tower sizzle at the stroke of 12.

We moved on to a late night glance of the Grand Opera followed by looking at the Christmas window displays at Printemps department store.

Slept in; what a treat.

Hilly Montmartre seemed to be the right place to spend our day.  We happened upon an artists fair near the Sacre Coeur.  So inspired by their work, we bought a piece for the kitchen.

Wandering deeper into the district with a violinist playing our soundtrack, we daydreamed together what it might be like to live in one of the fancy apartments.

Another charming cafe' beckoned us to enjoy the neighborhood with its spirits.  More strolling to the point of hunger.  We shared a burger, frites and an extraordinarily tasty roasted goat cheese salad. Everyone around us was as relaxed as we were.  Bonne Annee' (Happy New Year) we would hear.   What a perfect day I thought to myself. was to get even more perfect, John disappeared into a Fleurs shop only to come out with a sweet bouquet of flowers for moi!

25 years and it really is getting better all the time.  I'll carry 1/1/12 with me no matter where I am in life; my moveable feast.  1/1/12 proved to me to be just about as perfect as they come.  It also demonstrated it's possible for many more good days ahead.

Bonne Annee' mes amis!


  1. Ooooh! How wonderful. Would love to dine at the Musee D'Orsay cafe. How incredible! Am currently halfway through The Paris Wife (Hemingway's wife) and am ready for a trip to Paris!

    - Barbara

  2. You must go Barbara. And I almost picked up that book before the trip! Sounds like I should load it up on my Kindle.

  3. What a warm and wonderful summary of your week. I loved every word, as I too love Paris. Thank you for letting me re-live it through you!

    I finished "The Paris Wife" in November. Very good. Had a drink in "Hemingway's" ...his bar inside the Ritz on my 50th birthday. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh


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