Constance’s Art Studio
by Andrew Stein
Instead of finding a hostel or a nice bed and breakfast, Gabe and I use airbnb.com to find our one night’s worth of accommodation in Paris before heading to the Loire Valley. Gabe found us a small apartment located behind a small art studio. The pictures and reviews on airbnb looked promising, so we were prepared to take our chances.
The apartment is more than perfect. No one is there when we arrive, but we drop off our things, find some baguettes and cheese, and when we return, Constance is in the art studio waiting for us. Constance is gracious and welcoming, and over tea, the three of us end up talking for about a half an hour before her daughter also joins us. Both of them can speak perfect English as we discuss what the rest of the day holds for everyone.
The apartment is filled with knick knacks and the like. There are drawings on the chalkboard and the shelves are made from vintage wine boxes. Anything that can be is organized in old jam jars. Supplies such as egg cartons, wine corks, pastel colored yarn, and ink stamps of all sizes sit waiting for the next creative inspiration. There are matchbox wind chimes, drawings and paintings pinned on the walls, and photos secured on a line with clothes pins. The apartment has charm, character and a convenient laundry mat just next door.
Right around the corner from the apartment in almost any direction we can find fresh baguettes. And when we venture a little further, there is a delectable smelling cheese shop and other markets. To start our French experience off correctly, for lunch, dinner and then breakfast, Gabe and I enjoy bread, cheeses, foie gras, and fig jam. This reunion with cheese strongly confirmed how much it has been missed over the last couple months.
Cheers to good food, good accommodation, good company, and good fortune.