Breakfast in America and Dinner on a Boat

Field trip day #2 for my World Lit. class. I think this means half of our field trips are already done! Holy cow. That makes me feel like time is flying, but in fact we do not have a field trip next Tuesday because that’s Bastille Day. So it doesn’t really mean the program is half over. Whew.

We went to the Musée Carnavalet which is an eternal favorite of mine. It is the museum of the history of Paris and it illustrates the ways in which Paris has changed throughout its history. It’s also a beautiful structure–2 hôtels particuliers put together–and worth going just to see the building:

This was my third time at the Carnavalet so I did not take very many pictures inside but I still love the shop signs:
18C cats: vaguely horrifying, at least when made of metal.

My first take was a barbershop but I’m sure these scissors probably represented a tailor.
Also found this great painting of Voltaire dictating to his secretary while getting dressed:
The audioguide said that the painter, Jean Huber, was a friend of Voltaire’s and did a whole series of paintings of him in distinctly domestic/non-glamorous circumstances. Voltaire ultimately felt that Huber had imposed on their friendship, which is probably true, but I love the reminder that this great philosopher and writer was also a real person and didn’t just look like this all the time:
This summer I’ve been requiring students to participate in field trip planning and execution, including input on where we eat lunch. Today they picked Breakfast in America, a place I’ve known about for years but never visited. Although I am a “When in Rome…”person and don’t choose to eat American food when overseas, I know how evocative and comforting food can be when one is homesick. And I have to admit that B.I.A. knows its way around a burger and fries. The class was pleased with their American-style lunch; the server was incredibly nice and obliging; and now we have a place to go when Daniel gets really desperate for eggs and bacon in the morning.
(But next time we’re going to L’As du Fallafel. Because I’m the teacher and I said so.)
No sooner had we returned from the Marais than it was time to get ready for the dîner croisière a.k.a. Dinner on a Boat. This is the second year we have done a “formal” dinner on the Seine and it is a lot of fun. Everybody got there in good time and looked splendid. Luckily the few drops of rain that started to fall as we were waiting to board did not dampen us or our spirits too much as we boarded the boat. Daniel and I sat with Dr. Guglielmi and his wife and we did so much chatting during the meal that I did not take a single photo. This might mean we have to do another dinner cruise once our friends get here in a couple more weeks, right? Then, unfortunately, the sky opened as we were disembarking and we got pretty wet on the way back to the RER. But by then everyone was in the mood to have fun and took their best “soaking wet in Paris” selfies on the walk while laughing it off and huddling under umbrellas. 
The company we use is Bateaux Parisiens; while I have not tried any others and can’t compare, I think the food is pretty good, the service is pleasant, and it’s overall an enjoyable atmosphere. It’s a relaxed and unique way to see the monuments of Paris. And the students really have an excellent time. After a few days in the routine of classes and field trips it is good to put on a nice dress and be served a nice meal. It’s even better if you bring your dance partner and he gets you out on the floor as dessert is being served. I’ve heard there is video so I’ll see if I can add a link to this post later on.
In the words of Samuel Pepys: And so to bed.

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