Subject: Paris at Christmas
Greetings, fellow Ziners,

I must admit Brian and I have been to Jim Morrison's gravesite, but we did not know Edith Piaf was there, also. I would have stood beside her grave and thought a few lonely thoughts, had I known.

We went there in the cold week before Christmas in 1987. Brian and I were living in London for the school-year '87-'88, and took a 3 week Christmas break in Paris. We were alone the first week, and walked everywhere we could. We had a fine room in the Lenox Hotel on the West Bank, walked to a tiny shop for breakfast, saw the museums easily...not many tourists at that time of year.

Archaeologist friends flew in from Greece for the next two weeks, and we found an excellent 2-Star restaurant in the Bois du Boulogne for Christmas dinner. Finding *any* good restaurant open for Christmas dinner was a big problem! Most of them are closed that day. But, we managed, and it was a sheer delight. We were a party of 5, and there were other tables of diners in the big dining room. When the main entree was served, we were all 5 simultaneously served a covered plate, each of us having our own waiter, and they grandly lifted the covers in unison. Delightful dish of pheasant, as I recall.

The moment that amazed me the most was towards the end of the meal, when a party a table or so away finished and rose to leave...and out from under the table came several beautiful dogs on leash. They walked quietly out with their masters and no one took any notice of them but me. There had not been one sign there was a dog within miles, much less with us in that elegant dining room until golden retrievers began their exit. I was so amazed I failed to notice what other breeds were there.

Christmas is a wonderful season in Paris. The Champs d'Elysee is beautifully lit, the giant ferris wheel is amazing to ride at night, there are no crowds, no waiting in lines, you can book a table indoors just by walking to the restaurant in the afternoon and inquiring...which is a good thing to do, because then you know the way there when time comes in the evening!

I'd return to Paris for Christmas any time!

Pat McKinney Orinda, CA