DRESSING THE DOG
Chapter 9 (Part One)
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
– Albert Einstein
Mummy and I had a few days to get ready for our next guest to arrive in Paris. Ms. Claudia would be here soon and we needed to clean up the apartment and ask Ms. Lopes to wash the sheets and towels. In the meantime, we spent some quiet time exploring the 16th arrondissement where our apartment was located. Our street was actually a large, divided boulevard with huge shade trees along the edges of the sidewalk and down the center of the street. At the corner of our block was the Town Hall, and several times a week, a wedding took place inside the building. When everyone streamed from the massive front doors, flower petals or confetti was thrown around by the guests. Sometimes there were special food vendors on the sidewalk, making little hors-d’oeuvres for the wedding party. Mummy and I loved to catch a wedding in progress! Everyone was dressed so stylishly and it was just a happy occasion to witness. The sidewalks on the main street were nice and wide, with plenty of room for lots of people to walk. Once you turned down the little side streets, they became very narrow, and only one or two people could walk side-by-side… sometimes requiring you to turn sideways so that someone could pass. One of Mummy’s favorite café’s was just around the corner from our apartment and she liked to go there every afternoon for a café au lait and a croissant. They also made a great soup a l’oignon, which she frequently ordered! Her favorite florist, grocer and wine shop were only steps away, so this entire area was like a one-stop-shopping place. “Le Tabac” was just across the street and that was where we picked up our Metro tickets. They came in books of 10, called a carnet, and it was easier to get them in advance than to have to deal with it once you were down in the subway tunnel. Whenever a friend was due to arrive, we would stop there and pick up a carnet for them, so they would be ready to go once we set out to explore. It was springtime in Paris and the flowers that were blooming from the window boxes and tiny front yards looked like a watercolor painting. Mummy was stopping every 10 feet to take a picture of someone’s little garden… you have never seen such beauty! The outdoor flower markets were overflowing with everything under the sun. There were flowers that we had never even SEEN before, and Mummy would often buy a little bouquet to brighten up our apartment.
Ms. Claudia was another “doggie designer” friend of mine and this would be the first time that I had ever met her! She lived in Spain and even though she and Mummy chatted constantly on-line, they had never actually met… so this was an exciting moment. When she arrived, kisses and hugs were passed around and the chattering began in earnest! Ms. Laurence met us at the apartment, and we headed off for lunch at Ralph Lauren’s famous restaurant, “Ralph’s.” This place was KNOWN for their hamburgers, which was GREAT by me because I am KNOWN to love hamburgers! We were seated on an absolutely gorgeous center courtyard with lots of huge canvas umbrellas scattered about to keep the glare of the sun off the diners. There were plants and flowers decorating the patio and it looked more like an outdoor garden wedding reception than a restaurant!!! It was incredible to believe that I had been refused admittance at the now boycotted “Ladurée’s” outdoor sidewalk café, but I was allowed to dine HERE! We all ordered the burgers and before long, the table was filled with gigantic plates of food. The burgers were humongous so Mummy, as any proper Southern lady would do, cut her burger in half so that she could manage it in a more lady-like fashion. She picked it up to take a dainty bite from the halved burger and proclaimed it EXCELLENT! Giggles erupted from Ms. Laurence and Ms. Claudia. WHAT?!?!?! Was there food on her face? She had tried to eat it very carefully. Had she dripped catsup on her blouse? No. That wasn’t it. They both laughed and said that in France, you are not supposed to pick up your burger with your hands. You need to cut each bite with a knife and fork and eat it that way. ARE YOU SERIOUS??? A burger? You eat a BURGER with a knife and fork??? OH MY GOODNESS! I wondered if I would also have to eat it with a knife and fork or if it would be OK for Mummy to just hand me a little tidbit with her fingers? Mummy shook her head and took the “when in Rome” approach and ate the burger with her knife and fork, but she complained the entire time. After the meal, Ms. Laurence said that we needed to see the bathroom before we left… it was beautiful! So, Mummy and I headed off to la toilette where she took my picture in Ralph Lauren’s bathroom! TRÉS CHIC!
The four of us spent the rest of the day shopping all over Paris. Would there ever be time to see everything here? Every store welcomed me inside and swanned all over my little outfit. We took the Metro over to “Galeries Lafayette” and when we walked through the front door the security guards slowed us down to get a better look at the little yorkie peering over the top of her carrying bag… that would be me! Mummy had to take me out and show them my little harness while they Ohhhhh’d and Ahhhhh’d over it. TRÉS MAGNIFIQUE they exclaimed!!! As we took a few more steps into the store, there stood before us floor after floor of open balconies overlooking a central shopping area, and topping off the whole shebang was the most beautiful stained glass dome. THIS WAS THE MOST FANTASTIC STORE WE HAD EVER SEEN!!! Mummy just stood there with her mouth hanging open, while Ms. Laurence and Ms. Claudia laughed and grabbed her by the arm to pull the two of us further into this shopping mecca. They took us up the escalator up to the designer’s floor where we could see all of the fantastic gowns and dresses out on display in glass cases and along the marbled walkways. I was making mental notes of a few things I might like to add to some future harness while Mummy stood speechless. The prices of the outfits were soooo over the top that only the ultra-rich could afford them, but it was still fun to look and imagine wearing one. I wonder how much Dior would charge me to make a teeny tiny doggie harness. I would need to look into this!!! When our arms were full of purchases from various departments, we decided to call it a day and head back to the apartment. Mummy had scored the cutest little bracelet today… it said “best mummy,” and she was most excited to wear it, claiming it to be her NEW FAVORITE BRACELET!
The next morning, we took our time getting ready because everyone was tired from the day before, but soon, our tummies started to rumble and we began to make lunch plans. Ms. Laurence called and said she knew a perfect little spot that we would love in the Saint-Germaine area, so we hopped on the Metro and headed over to meet her. Mummy and I were PROs at this Metro-thing now, and could read the maps on the wall pretty easily to determine which line we needed to take, to get to the different areas. We already had our tickets so we didn’t have to deal with the ticket window, which was a good thing… because Mummy had never learned how to do that! The tiny restaurant wasn’t very crowded when we arrived, so we got a table right away. It was a delightful little sandwich shop with lots of organic breads and veggie items to choose from. We were sitting along the outside wall that overlooked the sidewalk, and this way, we could enjoy lunch and people-watch at the same time. While we were engrossed in our own conversation, a crowd of people had gathered outside the restaurant. A very large crowd… of photographers, mostly. What were they doing here? Ms. Laurence looked around the restaurant and that’s when she saw her. Seated at the table just diagonal to us was Ms. Natalie Portman with her little son and a friend!!! We didn’t want to disturb her but we all wanted a picture, so Ms. Laurence pretended to be taking pictures of us at the table, when actually, she was taking a picture of THEM! The photographers weren’t allowed inside the restaurant so they had to wait outside until she was finished, and THEN get their picture. All-in-all, it was pretty exciting to be that close to a real, live movie star! What other surprises did Paris hold for me? My time was running down and I only had a week left… what would I do? Where would I go? I didn’t have enough time to SEE everything left on my list! But Paris had plenty more beautiful surprises for me… and new friends, still to be made.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
***All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photography and information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author.
***There is a delay in the posting of comments due to the way our system is configured. We love hearing from our friends and hope that you will be patient with us. Your sweet comments will be posted as soon as the system has run its checks.