Tags " aperitif"
Aug 2, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

Paris, Day 2

We slept until 9 o’clock, had breakfast in our room and about 10:30 struck out with the Earlys. They met some friends from Dallas near the hotel on the Madelaine – the Ed Reeds – who will be in Baden Baden when we are.

Today we tackled the bus – from the Opera to the Pont Neuf – it was easy. We wanted to do the Ile de la CiteThe Île de la Cité (French pronunciation: il də la site) is one of two remaining natural islands in the Seine within the city of Paris. It is the center of Paris and the location where the medieval city was refounded. on foot and on our own. So we walked from one end to the other – went through St. Chapelle – which is hard to find but lovely when you do. Then – Notre Dame – I was unprepared for its elegance & beauty even tho’ I’d read so much. It is magnificent. Jeannette walked the 287 steps Interestingly, I found references to the '300 steps' to see the gargoyles, 'nearly 400 steps' and '383 steps'. I guess by the time you get to the top, you lose count! up to the level of the gargoyles but we couldn’t make it. Harry want to buy a candle and light it for the Tiltons – so we did and then walked across to the Left Bank and looked at the boats, stalls and bought cards. We wandered down the street to Place Maubert – past all sorts of food and drink shops. Sat and had an aperitif on the square – I had Pernod/perˈnō/ Noun An anise-flavored liqueur. out of curiosity – it’s like absinthe – & I won’t do that again.

We went to a restaurant behind Les Invalides, Chez les Anges, for lunch – again had a wonderful steak – and wine of course. Harry is a hog about the wine and we’ve developed a taste. However, this restaurant served water!

We met at the Place de Pyramides the tour to Versailles. Our guide had to direct in German & English & was the peppiest cutest one imaginable. It’s about 15 miles to Versailles and the drive & weather were both pretty. Versailles is quite a large town & has some lovely houses, gardens, avenues lined with trees. But Versailles was most impressive – we walked through several rooms & then in the gardens but oh – our feet were hurting. It was most memorable tho’ – very well worth it.

Upon returning, Harry and I went to the flower market at the Madelaine & picked out a bouquet for Mrs. Abeel. At the hotel when trying to arrange for them to be put in her room, we learned that, sure enough, they’d cancelled her room with bath. Harry stewed and argued & we finally moved out of our own and into hers.

We met the Earlys at les Deux Magots (St. Germain-de-Pru) – which Bill Abeel had recommended & had several apertifs. I was determined to go for dinner where there was French music and a chanteuseA female singer; often specifically a popular or cabaret singer. So turned and asked a girl at the next table. She spoke no English but gave me 2 names of places. The first was closed – many places are for August – the second had gendarmes, machine guns, paddy wagons & we thought the Tunisians were at it againThis probably referred to the Bizerte Crisis, which occurred in July 1961 when Tunisia imposed a blockade on the French naval base at Bizerte, Tunisia, hoping to force its evacuation. The crisis culminated in a three-day battle between French and Tunisian forces that left some 630 Tunisians and 24 French dead and eventually led to France ceding the city and naval base to Tunisia in 1963.. But all calmed down & we entered the cave – night club – Le Grand Severin. It was small but elegant. There was music and chanteurs (all Negro), and a tiny dance floor.

I started talking to the people at the next table & they helped us order and were tres amiable all night. The men kissed our hands when we left. We had another excellent meal with wine and were very festive. Harry and I had some kind of fowl in sauce – delicious, but A & J had kebabs and some very tasty rice. My desert was strawberries Alaska – also good. Came back to the hotel in a cab and found Mrs. Abeel already settled. It was so good to see her. We then woke Hugh up & while he dressed I went on down to the sidewalk cafe. I began talking to a young man to prove to Harry I could do all right on my own. The man was from Greece, spoke no English but we conversed in French. He was scared out of his wits when Harry and Hugh joined us but bravely stayed and we had a grand time.

Harry insisted I go on to bed while he & Hugh walked to Cafe de la Paix. He came in much later just delighted with himself – they had had two propositions.

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Aug 4, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

Paris to Avignon

This was one morning we both got up early to pack & dress & eat. I went down to the beauty parlor & had my hair brushed out and redone.

We four met and caught a bus to the Louvre and with the Holiday book in hand, took a very brief tour thru. Saw the Winged Victory, Venus, some frescos of Fra Angelio, Botticelli, the Grand Gallery- Raphael, da Vinci (Mona Lisa), Medici gallery. On our way out – after only an hour, I just happened on the 2 Slaves of Michelangelo – thrilled to pieces over seeing them.

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We had a hasty lunch at sidewalk cafe at hotel and left for Gare de Lyons. Had to carry our own bags halfway to train before getting a porter. Found our car (not a Pullman afterall) and had a restful trip (6 hours) to Avignon – lovely countryside again – fascinating to watch. Bill and JoannThis would be Bill Abeel and his wife. Bill was a childhood and lifelong friend of dad's. He lived in San Francisco and was very successful. His mother is the 'Mrs. Abeel' referred to in Paris.  met us in his Citroen, took us to Hotel d’Europe for an aperitif (vin blanc Chassis) and a brief tour of Avignon & a long drive thru countryside to Le Mas St. siste. We sat in the courtyard for drinks, had dinner upstairs in dining room (above kitchen) – many courses, much wine and conversation. Le Mas is charming – old and quaint – much is unfinished but much has been done.

To bed very late to the sound of Bill’s playing guitar – he’s very accomplished – the setting was very romantic.

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Aug 5, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

Avignon to Cannes

We slept late, had coffee & rolls in our robes in the courtyard – very leisurely & lazed the morning away taking pictures, talk, talk, talking. Toured the grounds – beautiful tress, vineyards, Alpines in every direction. Became very fond of Claude-Jones (the dog), Henri (the 15-yr-old who helps out), Irienne (the maid), Jeanne-Luke (her son) – also cats, doves, ducks! Gave Irienne a pair of stockings, Henri – cigarettes, Jeanne-Luke – American coins.

Lunched very late in courtyard & all took naps. Bill & JoAnn couldn’t have been nicer hosts – everything was just delightful.

We went into Avignon in time to have an aperitif before the train arrived. We only had time to say hello to Mrs. Abeel and Hugh before we boarded. This time there was a Pullman – tables were set up for dinner and we were served in rapid succession a very good 7-course dinner. Harry and I playing gin rummy until we got to Cannes. Harry didn’t think the Pullman chairs as comfortable as the others but I was very comfortable.

At the train station, we found a porter and a station wagon from the Martinez, so had no trouble getting to the hotel. Allen & J were in the bar so we had some drinks with them and a young girl from California and read our letters from Serena, Bud, Kacka and Jesse.

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Aug 7, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

Cannes to Rome

We packed and left the hotel a little after 9am, drove to the Nice Airport. I had time to buy perfume – paid American money – the prices were the same as Paris (if you used travellers’ checks & got 20% discount).

The jet to Rome took less than an hour. We got ourselves through customs easily & caught a bus to town to the terminal. Were met & taken to the hotel – Massimo d’Azeglis Another hotel still around today: 'In 1875 Maurizio Bettoja, passionate about wines, good food and hotels, opened a restaurant just above its wine cellars which today still host more than 30,000 bottles of wines and offer a unique setting for special candlelit dinners. Since the end of 1800 the hotel welcomes its guests in a classic setting that has preserved the ambience and the style of the end of the century despite regular renovations. The exterior is typical late 1800s. The Massimo d’Azeglio has hosted many illustrious historical figures: the King of Serbia, the air force hero Francesco Baracca, Benito Mussolini, General Diaz, Louis Armstrong, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Fausto Coppi, Mascagni and many others.'– which is air conditioned – and the room and the most convenient we have had (soap, toilet paper, stationery, & of course, bidet.)

We had lunch at the hotel ristorante (breakfast and one other meal included with room) – food very good & service extra good. Unpacked & rested until about 6 – drinks with A & J who had adjoining room.

Walked through Plaza de RepublicaPiazza della Repubblica is a semi-circular piazza in Rome, at the summit of the Viminal Hill, next to the Termini station. On it is to be found Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri which has tallest/largest fountain, on to Via Vittorio Veneto – the 5th Avenue or Champs Elysees. Sat at Cafe de Paris sidewalk cafe – had NegroniThe Negroni cocktail is made of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso (red, semi-sweet), and one part bitters, traditionally Campari. One of the earliest reports of the drink came from Orson Welles in correspondence with the Coshocton Tribune while working in Rome on Cagliostro in 1947, where he described a new drink called the Negroni, 'The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.' (an aperitif Abeel told us to order). Crossed the street to Doney Restaurant – found hamburger on the menu & couldn’t resist.

The men had a time watching the girls, & watching the men watch the girls. Bill Moss walked by and talked for a minute – Harry and Allen saw him later while Jeannette and I were at the opera.

The opera was Aida and at the Baths of Caracolla. We went by bus – enormous crowd – the place seats 14,000. The production was magnificent – the setting was simply awesomeYes, mother was ahead of her time and employed 'awesome' before it was cool to do so. I might take this opportunity to point out that I've tried to type exactly what she wrote...I'm able to read 98% and figure out most of the rest. Some of the foreign language names have thrown me for a loop though. Most enjoyable. J & I got home after 1am but twas worth it.

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