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On Friday we headed over to the nearby Jardin des Plantes. I had strolled through it before Jared arrived but didn’t really do it justice. We both felt that the central gardens seemed rather thin (especially compared with 2010), and were bored by the repetitive patterns that characterize a formal French garden.

Our impression wasn’t improved by a visit to the quirky little botanical museum.

We were mesmerized, however, by the water drops at the center of these huge water lily leaves, which looked like liquid silver.

The greenhouses (serres) were lush with vegetation, in striking contrast to the central lawn.

Ginkgo Biloba

My favorite spot in the Jardin des Plantes, however, was the English-style Alpine Garden, which I’d somehow managed to miss in all my visits to Paris. It’s both lush and lovely! You do have to dodge the sprinklers but it’s worth the effort.

We had lunch at Desvouges, Jared’s favorite among the restaurants we’ve eaten at this year, and one of my favorites as well.

Jared with Magret de Canard at Desvouges

After lunch Jared did some shopping, I did some blogging, and we both took naps. We had dinner at home, the highlight of which was a blind taste test comparing a baguette from the nearby supermarket with one from the neighborhood boulangerie. I was surprised to find that I liked the supermarket baguette better! But we agreed that both were perfectly fine.

We then headed across to the right bank to see a one-woman performance of Hiroshima Mon Amour by the renowned actress Fanny Ardant. It was, as I expected, powerful, moving, and somewhat difficult for me to follow. The theater was beautiful but we realized that it wasn’t air conditioned when they handed us fans and water bottles! It was warm but not too bad, and the theater made it seem downright cool when we stepped outside.

We strolled up to the Experimental Cocktail Club to have a couple of drinks for old times sake, then over to the Marais to see the pre-Pride buzz. It was a beautiful evening for a walk. We ended up jumping on the métro at Bastille.

Addendum: A funny thing happened on the way over to the theater. As Jared and I stepped onto the métro I felt a tap on my shoulder. Having been recently pickpocketed I spun around with an unfriendly expression, but instead of an evildoer there was Tom, now with platinum blond hair! He was meeting friends for a pre-Pride party but we had a chance to say hello and goodbye. It was nice to see him one more time before the end of this year’s petit séjour.