Before we welcome in the New Year, let’s take a closer look at Christmas in 2018. Remember, this is now CHAPTER 8. Chapter 7 concluded in August, 2018. Now, it is all new. Every Christmas since I have lived in France has been different. The first Christmas 2015, Steve was still alive. He wanted me to see Christmas in Paris, so we spent five days walking everywhere our legs would take us in Paris. Oh my goodness, did we have fun!!! We got a bed and breakfast in the Marais. It was then that we bought a lock to seal our love forever, and Steve threw away the key into the Seine. The lock was placed on a bridge that may have been torn down by now. I don’t know. But, it was so romantic, and we were so happy. Little did we know what was coming.
Christmas 2016, Steve was gone – heart failure, August 31 – and I was alone. Thankfully, a Facebook friend of Steve’s – Christopher Putney, and his husband, John – invited me to spend Christmas Day with them. They are both WONDERFUL cooks, so we ate a feast and gabbed for hours. I was so thankful to have somewhere nice to go. It was a very thoughtful thing for them to do for me in my hour of need. That Christmas, I did not take many pictures. I was not in a good space.
Christmas 2017, Chris and John had Christmas Dinner again and included friends Andrea and Slav to the gathering. It, too, was great, delicious, and lots of fun.
So this year, Christmas 2018, we decided to play it by ear because Chris’ father – who lives nearby – was declining rapidly, and they needed to spend Christmas with him. I am glad they did because he died on Thursday, December 28. Very sad for all of them.
Since Andrea was in Canada with her family. I was on my own to make plans. I contacted my friend Pamela. We both knew we wanted to do something special that was not too pricy. Our friend Margaret – who has places in Paris and Nice, was coming to Nice on the train, travelling on Christmas Day. Most of the restaurants were closed. But, some were open with a set menu and a set price. ALL required reservations. My first choice was The Negresco Hotel in its main dining room The Chanticler.
But, it was too pricy for our pocketbooks.
But, they had a new dining room- Le 37 POP – that had a five-course Dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day that we felt we could afford since it was Christmas!!
& DÉJEUNER DE NOËL
Escargots en persillade, concassée de tomates
Snails in parsley butter,
Carpaccio de noix de Saint Jacques, glace aux oursins
et fenouil croquant au curry
sea urchin ice
and crisp curried fennel
Dinde farcie aux marrons,
gratin de blettes et champignons Turkey with chestnut stuffing,
chard gratin and mushrooms
Brie aux noix
Le délice de Forêt Noire du Negresco The Negresco’s special Black Forest delight
RÉVEILLON DE NOËL LUNDI 24 DÉCEMBRE AU SOIR
DÉJEUNER DE NOËL MARDI 25 DÉCEMBRE À MIDI
We made reservations for lunch on Christmas Day.
First of all, I had NO IDEA of what to wear. What would fit? All my clothes are from Los Angeles and out of style here. Ugh. So, I spent hours trying to figure out what would work with my current body, my hair style, my new knee, one cane and ugly shoes (Asics and socks). I tried on my boots. Wouldn’t fit. My right foot was still too swollen. AND, the slacks I had planned to wear did not fit. Ugh. Disaster. Memo to Self: address wardrobe immediately!!
I finally got dressed, took my fur jacket out of the hall closet, threw Steve’s silk scarf around my neck, put on Daddy’s gold watch, got my cane, and left. I called Uber to pick me up in order to meet Pamela in the Bar at Noon. Before I left, I took a selfie. I don’t have a full length mirror in this apartment so I had NO IDEA of what I looked like.
The Negresco Bar was gorgeous. I immediately felt right at home and remembered another lifetime when things like this were part of my lifestyle.
At 12:30 p.m., we segued to the Dining Room to our table. It went well. Five delicious courses!!
Margaret joined us, coming from the GARE, having arrived from Paris. I kept hoping I would be able to handle all of the emotions I was having, the fun, the wine, the champagne, the beauty of my surroundings, good friends, and still get back home in one piece.
Needless to say, it was a lot of fun. And, these days, I count my blessings when I am able to walk from the table to the toilette without stumbling. (Just kidding!!)
SO, there we have it!! Christmas 2018. Chapter 8!! And, now on to New Years Eve. New Years Day and a BRAND NEW YEAR!! Happy New Year, Everyone!!! What Chapter are you in? Think about it? It needs to have a defined closing of the previous Chapter and a defined opening of the New Chapter. Maybe a tad of looking back, but focus on the excitement of the new. Time is precious. We must make the most of it.
Love all of you!! Hang in there. 2019 – The Best is Yet to Come!!