Isn’t this the cutest little restaurant? It’s situated on the Promenade in Santa Monica, California. I discovered it while visiting my son Patrick who is in graduate school at UCLA. One evening while Patrick and I were taking a stroll, there it was with its twinkling lights – a fairy tale-like structure, inviting us to step in and enjoy fresh flowers, candlelight, white tablecloths, and French food. Yes! This was my kind of place.
We dined here more than once while I was in L.A. because I liked Cafe Monsieur Marcel so very much. It was just as delightful on a sunny afternoon for lunch. Of course good company makes most any place delightful and I had great company, a son I don’t get to see often enough – and here he is.
As I write this post on the first day of Spring in Hudson, Ohio I’m looking out my window at snow flakes drifting down from the sky. Punxsutawney Phil is on the wanted list in these parts for he predicted an early Spring and got all out hopes up.
To think at this same moment some people are walking about in shorts and short sleeve shirts (maybe even my husband who is on a business trip in Sarasota, Florida, but could be sneaking in a little golf about now.)
At least I have my photographs of sunny California to keep warm memories of my recent trip fresh in my mind – not only to help me remember lovely times in charming places, but also to share some of those moments with you. Why share? You know. Sharing doubles the joy.
To sit with a favorite person, partaking in good conversation while munching delicious food in a delightful place, well, to me this is what the good life is all about.
As I look at a photograph of our French-speaking server doing his job I can almost imagine I’m back at that cafe, and my mouth is watering as I think of the yummy dishes he could be bringing me, if only I were still there.
But good food was not the only thing this charming restaurant delivered to me. It also presented me with a new pen friend. Yes. It’s true! I do love to meet new people, and if they’re really nice I love to stay connected with them by suggesting we become pen friends. You notice the lady and little girl in the picture above? Well, I’m delighted to say after asking this nice lady to take a picture of me and my son which she did, and here it is
we began to chat. I learned that her name was Deborah and that she’s a social worker. Her little daughter had an interest in mythology and that is one topic my Patrick knows quite well so the two of them embarked in little quizzes for each other. It was great fun. I asked Deborah at the conclusion of our lunch if she had any interest in corresponding, for as you may know, I am an avid letter writer, and to my great delight she said “YES”!
Some people enjoy coming home from a trip with a new piece of jewelry or some other keepsake, but I’m most thrilled to return home with a new pen friend from the place I visited. A person can’t be in more than one place at a time, but with pen friends in lots of different places a connection to those places can be maintained. I find this very exciting.
I’ll be writing Deborah soon and I’ll send her a copy of my pictures, especially this picture I took of Deborah and her daughter. So sweet!
People are very nice! Do you reach out to strangers? You should. Strangers are simply great friends we haven’t yet met. I feel very lucky to be an outgoing sort of gal who enjoys people very much. I’m happy alone with myself, but to feel best, I also need people in my life, and though I love my old friends I’m always thrilled to make new ones.
You know what they say – People who need people are the luckiest people in the world. I feel lucky. How about you?
I hope you have lots of old friends in your life, but I also hope you are open to new people who can become friends even if they live far, far away thanks to the beautiful Art of Letter Writing.
I’m so excited to add Deborah and her pretty little girl to my family of pen friends, for as Sarah Orne Jewett wrote:
YES’M, OLD FRIENDS IS ALWAYS BEST, ‘LESS YOU CAN CATCH A NEW ONE THAT’S FIT TO MAKE AN OLD ONE OUT OF
So if you find yourself in Santa Monica, California on the Promenade, I highly recommend Cafe Marcel for some good food -and maybe you’ll be lucky as I was to find a new friend there too.