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Each year it turns out that friends will be visiting Paris while I’m here. This has become so predictable that I call it an “expected surprise.” Usually we just meet up for meals, drinks or activities, as with Brian, Sheila, Rick and Cheryl in May. But not infrequently my not-very-surprising visitors will stay with me for a few days. Thus I wasn’t actually surprised when I learned a week or so back that my old friend Stan would be arriving with “Q” the day after Andy left.

Stan, Q and me

They ended up staying for two nights, before jetting off to Ibiza for their first-ever beach vacation. They treated me to a couple of drinks and breakfasts, and most kindly took me out on their last night to La Bocca, an Italian restaurant I have eaten at just about every year. I had exactly the same meal as in 2016 with Zhizhong, and enjoyed it just as much.

I had gotten farther behind on my blog than ever before so I spent much of the weekend catching up. While blogging takes time away from experiencing it’s part of my Paris life that I’m not (yet?) ready to give up. If you’re reading this, thanks for your attention. You are the digital flâneurwho is necessary to complete my project.

The sun came out on Sunday afternoon, so I strolled over to the 7ème, to which I have given short shrift in prior years, to visit the magnificent garden of the Hôtel de Matignon, the residence of the French Prime Minister. The garden is open to the public only three days each year. Security was intense but after emptying my pockets I entered a lovely hidden garden. The full photoset is here: [Hôtel de Matignon Photo Set] but a few samples are below.

Panorama of the garden of the Hôtel de Matignon

Lawn of the Hôtel de Matignon

Hôtel de Matignon

Update: Here’s a Google photo set with full-sized versions of all my photos of the Garden of the Hôtel de Matignon: Garden of the Hôtel de Matignon