Friday, May 4, 2018

France – Day 8 – 4/5/18 - Picasso and Laundry

This was our last day in Paris until we returned at the end of our trip. We had one day left on our museum passes. The only museum left on Bob’s bucket list was the Picasso Museum. Their current special show featured his painting “Guernica.” This was Bernie’s favorite Picasso painting, so she really wanted to see it.

Larry had suffered from a mild cold for several days and said he’d really like to rest. I like some of Picasso’s work, especially his drawings, but I didn’t feel compelled to go to another museum. We were also running low on underwear and knew we’d be on the road for several days. So, we volunteered to do the laundry while Bob & Bernie went to the Picasso.

We packed all our laundry into our laundry bag and our spare ripstop nylon suitcase. Then we pooled our coins for the machines.

Bob studied the Metro map but couldn’t figure out how to get there. We had also used up our Metro passes, so they decided to take a taxi. (This ended up being the most expensive taxi ride of the trip.)

Larry went to Google Maps and found a self-service laundry about a mile away. The Metro station was about half a mile from the timeshare, and this was another half mile beyond it. Very doable.

We waved Bob and Bernie off and then set out to locate the laundry. We found it easily, and the walk was pleasant. Unlike the laundry at the timeshare, this was clean with sufficient equipment, a change machine, and laundry supplies. We had taken some Tide pods and dryer sheets, so we didn’t need to buy soap or anti-static sheets. (We learned years ago to carry these with us. They have come in handy in the past.)

When we arrived, the manager was present. She tried to help us, but she spoke no English. Thankfully, another couple was doing their laundry, and they spoke a little English. This facility appeared the same as one we had used on our previous trip in 2014. As the helpful lady explained how to use the machines, we realized it was nearly identical.

We had enough coins for the two washers, we but needed to get more for the dryer. Fortunately, the place had a change machine, so coping with the payment was easy.

Unlike the laundry at the timeshare, these machines worked well. They were efficient, and we had clean, dry clothes before lunchtime.

We dropped off the bags at the timeshare before we went back out to reconnoiter lunch. We had noticed a brassiere a couple of blocks away and decided to try it.

As we were seated, we saw a waiter deliver a burger. It looked good, so Larry ordered one. I ordered the chicken with salad and pomme frites (French fries). Unfortunately, my chicken was the worst food we encountered in the entire trip. The serving consisted of a thigh and leg. I don’t care for dark meat, but usually a thigh isn’t too dark. This one was. It appeared much smaller than the same cut we would expect in the US. (I suspected it might have been rooster, but the English translation on the menu said “chicken” not “capon.”)

I took off the skin, as I always do. Then I tried to cut a bite. Even with a steak knife, I couldn’t cut it. I finally tore off a bite, and it was inedible—too tough to chew and with no flavor. Larry tried to cut a bite to taste, and he encountered the same issues.

The salad consisted of frisée and radicchio—neither of which I care for. Fortunately, the basket of slices of baguette provided as good as ever, and so did the potatoes.

Larry’s burger proved to be a bit less tasty than it looked. The patty contained meat plus who-knew-what else. It tasted more like under-seasoned meatloaf. It was supposed to have been a “cheeseburger,” but the cheese consisted of a cheese sauce, which could have been made of melted Velveeta. It soaked into the bun and patty. Very strange. But the brioche bun was delicious.

Larry decided he needed dessert. (Of course, he did.) He asked for the menu and discovered coffee ice cream. It’s my very favorite. I ordered a scoop, and Larry ordered the sundae with chocolate sauce and a huge dollop of whipped cream.

The dessert nearly made up for the rest of the meal. I like a strongly flavored coffee ice cream, and this was delicious. It had an espresso-flavor and contained tiny bits of espresso beans. Maybe the best coffee ice cream I ever ate. Larry loved his sundae, too.

When Bob & Bernie returned, we got a full report on their adventure. After they left the museum, they showed the guard their Metro map and discovered a station a couple of blocks away. They also asked for a restaurant recommendation and ate a couple of blocks from the museum.

They decided to visit Montmartre and Sacré-Coeur cathedral since they were already out. The church sits at the top of a hill. They didn’t want to climb the hill, so they took the funicular. They said the view was spectacular. It would have been an additional climb to the cathedral, and they decided not to make the hike.

We finished up the odds and ends of food instead of eating an actual meal and went to bed fairly early.

Next: Our auto adventure