And then suddenly, we were in Paris.
Looking back at our first two weeks, we seem to have accomplished quite a bit considering we’ve spent most of our time in cafe chairs watching people go by.
First things first, we found a good bar and restaurant, Le Caravane down the street where the waiters spoke English with a big smile and where patrons spilled onto the street to keep cool. The next day we found our neighborhood boulangerie and made pleasantries with the gentleman running the market downstairs, ecstatic to be back in a land where great cheese can be found at the corner store. We walked up the Canal Saint-Martin to Parc du Villette and watched schools of children flood the fields and playgrounds. We went to Roland Garros to see the French Open with the well-hatted crowds. We went to Ivry-Sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris where Molly found an English speaking salon and I ventured into the bars of blue-collar Paris. John and Christine arrived in town and we started our week of traveling together by hopping from one literary-landmark cafe to another, drinking Pernod and white wines until we found ourselves staring up at Notre Dame in a thunderstorm. We took a Seine dinner cruise and we loved it! Well after midnight we found salsa music blasting across Place de La Republique and we sat and watched couples dance across the square. We went to Burgundy and Champagne and hiked through vineyards at sunset. I got to drive like a maniac through the streets of Paris. Aunt Annie and Tom Ireland arrived and we picnicked in Luxembourg Gardens, wandered through the Sunday markets, saw Monet’s water lilies in L’Orangerie and ate hamburgers in a brassserie before having to say goodbye.
We were told to expect anything weather-wise in Paris for the month of June – little did we know we’d see everything. We’ve walked briskly along the Canal Saint-Martin in the crisp late night air, we’ve battled hot and humid afternoons searching for shade and we’ve stayed up listening to extreme thunderstorms launch spears of hail against our windows. Last night we walked home in a warm downpour, completely drenched, while Parisians smiled and pointed at us from under the eaves.
With two more weeks in Paris, we find ourselves with absolutely no plans. I have a feeling it’ll all go by much too quickly.