Tuesday, May 18:  Science Museum

The journal has suffered greatly, the previous two and a half days are not written at this point (though hopefully something appeared and you just read it!). In any event, today will be brief and thankfully, there’s not so much to write about.

Grave disappointment first thing this morning. I called to inquire about the Paris Canal tour, just to check on departure time for the afternoon trip from the edge of the city into the Seine, and to see if reservations were advised. The recorded message said it was sold out for the afternoon, but the morning outbound trip had room. But it had left from the Orsay Museum (right nearby), just fifteen minutes prior. I guess canals and locks will have to wait evermore.

We headed out to the northeast corner of the city as planned anyway, to visit the big science museum, Cite de la Science et Industrie, taking a very long subway ride. The boys enjoyed the main exhibitions and the Cite de Enfants, which ran right up to 12 years old. Still disappointed, and exhausted by all the recent arrangements, I spent much of the afternoon sitting on benches and couches.

Back home, I took care of some thank-you’s and then we headed out to dinner. La Fetes Galantes (17 rue L’Ecole Polytechnic) had been recommended to me by Ellen Maycock, a colleague from some of my official Mathematical Association of America duties, and was a charming “hole-in-the-wall” with just a few tables. We were early enough to get the “early-bird” special for the boys, which was only available if you arrived before 9:30 PM. My oyster mushroom soup, made with foie gras stock, was outstanding, as was the warm pear tart dessert. And the steak with rocquefort sauce was pretty good, too. Pat reprised her escargot from a few days ago. 1.25 Latini units

The Metro rides back and forth were almost second nature, certainly on the #12 line, though the #10 was new to us. After dinner, we cruised by the Hotel Grand Ecoles, where we had planned to stay, and it did indeed look like a very charming place to stay (another Ellen Maycock suggestion). The weather has been very warm the past two days, almost too warm for a native Northwesterner like me. I expect London will be cooler. Our Paris stay is over, and so too, our stay in France. Au revoir.