October 19, 2007

Mr. Smith goes to Paris

Posted in Visitors at 2:02 pm by Lauren

With Allen’s parents in St. John all summer, before Friday we hadn’t spoken to them since before Allen left for France. We knew Allen’s dad was visiting in October sometime (or we thought we remembered that we knew), but we had no idea when. But when Allen called his mom on Friday, it turned out his dad was coming this week!

The French couple I wrote about in my “Friend Audition” post had invited us to their place for dinner for Monday, but we cancelled because we wanted to be sure we’d be able to see Allen’s dad when he came. We worried that our reasons for cancelling didn’t sound very plausible, but they were true. (You know: what do you mean you had no idea when your dad was visiting Paris?) They very graciously rescheduled, and on Monday night Allen, his dad, and I went out to dinner at a little Italian place Allen found.

The Italian restaurant is a short walk from our place, and I think Allen is developing an addiction to their lasagna. At least, it is the type of place where you try something once, and it is so good that you can’t help but order it the next several times you visit. Allen’s Achilles heel is the meat lasagna, a large cut of the traditional dish that is just packed with meat and swimming in sauce. It comes with an appetizing and fresh green salad, garnished with cherry tomatoes, black olives, and a ball of fresh mozzarella. The first time Allen and I visited, I had the lasagne du jour, which was salmon lasagna and was impressed at just how much salmon there was within! (Salmon seems to be much more of a commonplace food in France, and much less of a luxury, which is how I tend to view it in the U.S.)

Monday night, Allen ordered (you guessed it!) the meat lasagna again, and so did his dad. I opted for a gorgonzola ravioli, which came out as little purses of pasta twisted closed around balls of gorgonzola. Delicious! We got the update on the house in St. John (finished and ready for rental!), Allen’s mom (she’s in a program to be a curator at the National Gallery of Art), and his dad’s business in Paris. We also pulled out a map so that Allen’s dad could remind him of the places they used to frequent when they lived in Paris during Allen’s childhood, and now Allen and I have a few more places on our list of things to see and do in Paris.

We parted ways to let Allen’s dad try to sleep off some of the jet lag before his conference on Tuesday and Wednesday. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see him again before he left. We had planned on having him over on Wednesday after his conference, but Allen got wind that the transportation strike was going to start earlier than we’d thought, at 8 pm Wednesday night, and we didn’t want to take any chances that his dad would get stuck away from his hotel. Now we’re crossing fingers until we get word that he’s arrived back in the US without any problems from the strike!

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