Bienvenue a Paris! - My friend and fellow blogger Ali holds a French baguette in front of our apartment building's wrought iron gates. Ali came to visit Wednesday during a long layover in her trip from the United States to Maputo, Mozambique, where she lives.
Air France lost Ali's luggage, so she didn't arrive at my apartment as soon as she'd hoped. We had planned to make a quick dash to Notre Dame and a late lunch/early dinner on the Ile Saint Louis. Instead, we walked around my neighbourhood and across the River Seine to St. Cloud. Standing on the bridge, we could see La Defense and the Eiffel Tower, as well as all the lovely houseboats bordering both banks of the river.
Ali also accompanied me to the grocery store and boulangerie and my husband whipped up Spaghetti Bolognaise. At least Ali got to eat a French baguette and drink some nice red wine, during an all-too-hasty dinner. We phoned a taxi service, which typically arrives in seven minutes. Bien sur, last night the driver got lost and we had to phone for another taxi, delaying Ali's departure by 30 minutes.
The good news was by the time Ali arrived at the airport, they'd located her missing luggage. She then had a long flight to Johannesburg, another layover and a flight to Mozambique. No doubt she'll post about her experiences on her blog, once she recovers from all those flights!
It was wonderful meeting Ali in person, after communicating via our blogs and e-mail the past few months! She and I have lived in many of the same places in the United States and have much in common. Besides her work as a consultant and fund-raiser/grant writer for aid projects, Ali speaks several languages and is a talented jewelry maker. You can see some examples of her work in previous posts on her blog "Austin to Africa, Brasil to the Bay." She gave me a beautiful pair of silver, rose quartz and seed pearl earrings, which I immediately put on and am wearing again today. How lucky am I, to spend time with Ali and have a lovely memento of our visit!
We were so rushed, we forgot to take a picture together. It is hoped next time she travels to the States, she can spend more time in Paris - I'll be delighted to be her tour guide.