I will remember the good times. Or as they say in Paris: “Je me rappelle les bons moments.”
It was late 2002 before Ray and I ever made it to Paris. We had discussed it several times prior to that year, but the conversation typically broke down with Ray having a few choice words for the French. Finally, knowing he’d never been here, I asked him “How do you know so much about the French?” He replied: “They’re from France. That’s all I need to know.”
That struck me as hilarious and we both had a good laugh, pretty much deciding right then to come here for a visit. I suppose we were hoping against hope that they wouldn’t be as French as we’d heard. Once we got here and were on our first walk through the city, Ray’s words were to the effect: “I can’t believe how beautiful this city is.” (Truth is I can’t tell you exactly what he said; this is a G-rated blog you know).
Je me rappelle les bons moments. It was in mid-November when we came here. We were about half way to LAX when he realized he’d left his coat hanging on a dining room chair. For a few seconds we mulled over the idea of having the taxi driver turn around. Then I remembered that I had packed an extra, but light cotton jacket, at the last moment because I had some extra room and wasn’t completely sure what the weather would be here in November.
That was one of the ugliest coats in the world, and it was woefully inadequate for the weather we had. But, of course Ray wore it anyway, and there was no chance he was going to spend the money to buy himself a new coat. Being cold was his “punishment” for being so stupid and leaving his coat behind. He did stuff like that to himself. But, he sure did wear that raggedy old coat in a style like no one else could. The picture above is evidence of that.
I think it was that trip where I started making all the travel arrangements for us. Ray could never seem to “get the Internet to work” he’d claim.
On my first walk this morning I had only walked a couple blocks when I realized that where I’m staying this time is nearby to where we stayed together. I walked past the hotel and it was still there. I remembered using the logic in selecting it that it was a huge benefit that we could pronounce the name in case we ever got lost and needed to ask directions or take a taxi. That ended up being unnecessary but it sure helped me remember which one it was as I walked past there this morning.
I was in search of a guide book with a good map as being in Paris without a map can be daunting. But once I came across this hotel, I remembered a lot and I made my way to the Louvre Museum. It was there that I wanted to leave some of Ray’s ashes. I found the most wonderful spot in the Jardins de Tuileries with a beautiful view of the Louvre in one direction and a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower in the other. Ray loved museums and he especially loved this one. We spent hours there. I know he will like this spot.