Julie, Julia and Christine

Julia didn’t just transfix Julie; she held sway over my recent vacation in France as well. We left for Paris and Normandy after having just seen Julie and Julia. Reading My Life in France in France, it felt as if a spectral guide was along on the journey. Lunch one day followed by a long walk on the Rue L’Université; only to read the very next that Julia and Paul Child lived at number 81. Wandering through Montmartre, we searched for Rue Lepic, but missed it among the curvy and hilly streets leading to Sacre Coeur; only to be asked that night by Oncle Marc: “Did you walk the Rue Lepic” (but he said it in French). Since we had missed the Lapin Agile as well, he took us for a Sunday morning drive to see them both. According to Marc, Sunday morning is the best time to drive around Paris. He was right. The streets are quiet as shops are closed. Only the florists and boulangeries are open to pick up gifts on the way to visit family and friends. Quaint (or antiquated, depending on your point of view) as it may seem, it was truly delightful to enjoy a day of true leisure, brunching at the homes of family and walking in the Parc Monceau.

Back to the ghost of Julia. Sitting on a beach in Normandie, I read of her discovery of sole Normande. I smile at the continuing string of intersections. When on vacation, we love to go somewhere ultra FAB on the last night, to liven spirits that would otherwise be dampened by the reality of our holiday coming to an end. We choose Les Ombres, under the Eiffel Tower. Luc and I went out on the roof to take photos. When the sun set, we watched the sparkling lights put on their hourly show. I thought it only fitting to have my first sole meuniere.

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