We couldn’t have asked for more picture-perfect weather this weekend for Chris and Stephanie’s visit and we did our best to spend the entire time outside eating. On Saturday we went on a wild goose chase searching for a highly recommended restaurant. Despite a hostess taking our reservation and trying to give directions on several phone calls we made along the way, we couldn’t find the place even when we were supposedly right in front of it. By the end, we expected to look up and hear, “Smile! You’re on Candid Camera.” We were slightly panicked only because it was approaching 2:00 and in France lunch is served between 12:00-2:00. No exceptions, except at touristy places like Brooklyn Hot Dog, which on second thought Chris might have enjoyed just as much 🙂 But we realized we were not far from Brasserie Chavant, and they were still accepting diners at 1:55. We ended up spending a truly delightful afternoon there. How the owners get away with this I don’t understand, but instead of building one of those platforms in front of their restaurant, they moved a bunch of tables across the street and took over a section of the beautiful Place des Celestins. My father-in-law gets credit for finding this spot for us, since it was conveniently located a few doors down from the hotel where they stayed. And both he and Adriana get big thanks for treating all of us to that unforgettable lunch!
We had to check out Velo bikes since Stephanie works at Citibike, the New York equivalent. I wouldn’t say she was happy to see how frustrating it could be to rent a bike here in Lyon, but these companies could certainly learn some things from each other. We need better touch-screens and more bike parking spots in Lyon and cheaper prices and more bikes in New York. I see a return trip in Steph’s future as a consultant to Velo.
And while Steph is consulting on bike-shares, Chris can pursue his great idea for Lyon. A sports bar. It’s hard for Americans to believe, but the night the city soccer team, Olympique Lyonnaise, was playing a huge game, we had to search high and low to watch “le match.” One restaurant we found had plenty of room around the bar, but the waiter was very annoyed that people were only there to watch the game, and sent us off. This is what happens when waiters don’t get tips. So we walked across the bridge and found a place with a few TVs, but there were no seats left and we noticed this table outside at a bar across the street where we had a great view of the screen. OL won 6-1, but by the subdued cheers of the fans, it was hard to tell. I guess all 60,000 of the real fans were at the stadium, even if the tickets by the time we checked were $200 a piece.
Of course we enjoyed more food and drinks – along the river, back at Brasserie Georges, and at Chez LaRaja. We decided to pass on those cute rabbits for sale next to the potatoes and Ray made a delicious fish stew instead.
Ray’s colleague Vincent and his wife Barbara invited us for wine and these delicious appetizers one evening. After filling up on those we decided to skip the Buchon in Vieux Lyon and have a “light” meal closer to home. Good thing because the gorgeous weather finally ended and we found ourselves walking home in a “light” rain.
After we waved goodbye to Chris and Stephanie who were headed to the station to catch a train south, Ray noticed Stephanie’s phone on the table. That was the phone that we had been using to communicate all weekend. Chris could only use his phone on wifi which of course he didn’t have in the Uber. We emailed Chris telling him we had the phone in case he signed in at the Starbucks at the station. Maybe they were on their way back, but minutes were ticking by and there was no sign of them. The train left in 30 minutes. I decided to hop in an Uber to try to find them at the station, but a few minutes after I pulled away, they arrived back in front of our apartment. At least Ray and I could communicate at that point, so I continued to the Starbucks meeting point. With less than ten minutes to spare, phone and owner were reunited at the station. The fact they are both laughing in this picture is a very good sign for their marriage.