It’s early on Sunday and Tuvia is engrossed in his NY Times and waiting to serve me my coffee. Just a week ago we had our bags packed for Paris and so pumped to get to our plane and fly off. Just a week ago.. It’s actually early on TUESDAY (SOLT) and we are moving back into our home routine slowly. I always forget about Jet Lag and it’s worse on the return side. I have been lethargic, spending more time than usual on the couch reading Paris still in an effort to remain with a leg in both worlds. Often I’m back from a trip on one day and back into life by the next morning. It was nice to glide back into life but then it was a unique and an abrupt return.
This is my third attempt at a post about our week away. I don’t want to focus on our abrupt departure, but rather, our romance in Paris.
We both had separate memories of Paris and now we were celebrating my upcoming 65th together. I remember a gorgeous city, but one that was unfriendly to non-French speakers. Not so anymore. Still a uniquely gorgeous city AND the French were friendly and warm. What a make-over!
Funny, but I didn’t bring a camera with me that first trip and now, of course I moved from iPhone to Nikon often.
In our four days to experience the city we hopped on and off the tour bus, we toured some key museums, we drank lots of coffee in cafes, drank wine in local bars, loved the bread and ATE French.
It seemed that we moved around the city without the need to see it all. With the Arc de Triomphe just up the block from our hotel, we spent what energy we had left that first day exploring her and the neighborhood without officially doing too much more.
Serious touring begins…
The Louvre was a mass of people on the move. We had both seen Mona and there were too many steps for Tuvia to climb to see her again. Given the size of the crowd we wouldn’t be seeing much of her anyway. We opted instead for a short ride to the D’Orsay and with our Museum Pass we had no line to get take on. I remember my first visit here, on Sharon’s recommendation. A renovated railway station, the space was bathed in lightness and of course we weren’t alone but there was no racing. The galleries were dark focusing on the art now to focus, well lit. And to our surprise, a new exhibit on Van Gogh/Artaud: The Man Suicided by Society. LOVED IT!
We needed a change of pace for the afternoon and with so help from the hotel clerk we headed to the metro nearby and rode in style to Montmartre,a hilly community in the north of Paris, famous for its churches, its nightclubs and the many artists who lived and worked there. For us it was the change in pace that mattered. Everyone walked slower and filled the outdoor cafe spaces as the sun appeared and I could finally take off my winter jacket. Unfortunately, there were way too many steps to exit the metro for Tuvia but he didn’t complain.
We had time the next morning for one more museum and we opted for modern art at the Pompidou Center. It was a new experience for Tuvia and a total hit! Our museum pass once again, jetted us right in and the teacher in my exploded as we watched groups of kids of all ages touring the museum. The space was totally wonderful to experience: art and the city. I got the views I thought I would be getting at the Eiffel Tower that afternoon. We moved through just one floor with ease and pleasure. Sadly, the permanent collection was closed but that didn’t seem to disappoint us.
We meandered through the funky neighborhood in a chilly but sunny morning. Winter coat was on again on MAY 15!
We had one last afternoon to experience the Tower. I don’t think I had ever been there during my first visit and I was pumped as I was reading a novel centered in Paris and the tower was a character that I was intrigued by. Now I could see it and document it! We had reservations for lunch. Pricey but it moved us out of the crazy long lines to climb up the tower. Actually we were using the elevator to the first level. The lunch was okay, a bit touristy and by August tourists will be getting a upgrade with a renovation that promises a fresh look. I loved being there but my best views of Paris came from the Pompidou Center.
We were back at our hotel for an afternoon nap and then one last walk around our neighborhood with a stop at a bar we came to enjoy, DaDa- great Cosmopolitans!
Okay, we were ready to pack for Normandy. Done! We watched a few episodes on the West Wing, Season 7, and then the news from Tuvia. Everything okay? NO! And we were off to Charles De Gaulle Airport and hoping for seats on the first flight back home. Seems like what’s called for these days is FLEXIBILITY and enjoying each day and you know, WE DID!