Today I left with some sadness the apartment that we called home on Rue de la Liberté for the past 6 days. But I must admit I am excited about our next abode: a houseboat on the River Seine with the Eiffel Tower on our backyard, or better said back river (Is there such a thing?). I wait for my taxi and say my final good-byes to the street I am familiar with and the neighborhood I did not feel alien to. Our 4 bags and I are alone on the cobblestone enclosure on the first floor. I am to move to our houseboat alone and will be met afterwards at noon. A few hours before a visual adventure that I will tell you about soon.
I have an address composed of only two words: Port Debilly and a phone number to call the owner of the houseboat just in case the taxi driver does not know where it is. I am happy that I have that because the driver did not know where I was going so called Jean and was directed how to get to the péniche (barge).
Jean greets me at the garden and helps me with the luggage. I would not have been able to do it alone and am happy that he is there. See the plank I have to cross to get to the boat. I go in to a boat with classical music on, a view that is to die for, a living room that invites reading and marveling at Eiffel Tower, flowers in the kitchen (or galley), a porthole through which I still can see the Eiffel Tower, and a bedroom with a skylight so that when we open our eyes we can see the leaves of the weeping willow above us, (and yes, I still get incredible views from here).
I want to share this and the only one available right now is Tutu so I sit him on a chair akin in color to his. He complains he can’t see the tower so I place him on a table. More complaints so I make him the captain and he seems to be happy!
I go out to encounter first hand one of the many tourist boats that will be gracing my back yard. Most of the tourists are facing the tower but some are facing me and the boat and taking photographs. What conversations will I be included in with a “How lucky is that Parisian to be where she is?” What I didn’t expect was two Parisians walking on the Ave. de New York (the street above the dock) and as I look up, one saying to me: “Madame, vous etes privilegie!” and pointing at the tower. Yes, I consider myself very, very lucky! And if the Eiffel Tower view weren’t enough, the Sacre Cour is off at a distance. The Eiffel Tower, the weeping willow (the only one on the dock and the one that is in on the other side of the boat), and the deck. Oh my!!! And then a surprise as I look to my left. A young little cat that seems very much at home on this boat. I have a feeling she will be another house guest while we are here.
Dean returns from the first shoot on his film and takes it all in quickly since we have reservations at the restaurant at the Eiffel Tower: Le Jules Verne. The day is only at its midpoint and I don’t know if I can take any more excitement! But we head out there walking since it is only about a 10 minute walk. Eiffel is even more impressive up front. The entrance to Le Jules Verne where you get into a private elevator that catapults you to the second floor 213 meters up.
The food was acceptable. The view beyond compare. We get some madeleines as a gift when we leave to go out to the viewing deck. More amazing views.
And we return to the boat with even more excitement on the way. A wedding…
A photo shoot (with a car as its protagonist). We make a side trip to buy stuff for dinner so we can sit on the deck and watch the Eiffel Tower twinkle. We take the underpass, up some stairs, buy our stuff and later that night sit on the deck as the tower surprises us by being multicolor in honor of the South African season in France.
I have to go to sleep now because I really don’t think my heart can take any more excitement. Nighty, night!