Paris at Christmas

Back in Paris. It was beyond wonderful for me. Reader beware: I’m not even going to try to tone down my joy in being back in my favorite– yes, favorite, as unpatriotic as it seems– place on earth. I won’t do a travelogue, but here are some highlights:

• knowing that the kids were in good hands with Po (and Chloe), Clay and I totally relaxed for the first time in ages. No deadline for getting home; no quick two-hour date.
• Our old neighborhood was virtually unchanged. It was amazing to see it looking just as it was, and to recognize people in stores and even on the street! Even Chloe’s “friend” from the boulangerie was still working there (as was the strict, young proprietress, who sometimes laid into customers if they got too close to the cakes!) Does this mean the world goes on without us?
• We went to the Orangerie Museum, which was closed for renovation the entire time we lived in Paris. It’s beautiful, and the highlight is the two large, oval-shaped rooms in which the GIANT Monet waterlillies reside. I always thought I’d seen the famous waterlillies, in the Musee Marmottan (the one near our apartment, for those of you who went to it). But these– well, they’re truly amazing. The space is perfect for them– and I think maybe Monet himself placed them there long ago??? (extra points to anyone industrious enough to confirm or refute this).
• La Petite Chaise and La Ferme Saint-Simon. Two little neighborhood restaurants near our hotel. We ate (and drank) so well there!
• Walking, walking, walking, and walking. In high heels. And not caring (most of the time) that I was tired, or that my feet hurt. After all, I was in Paris. Parisians don’t know (or care) about practical footwear.
• Breakfast at the boulangerie between our hotel and the Musee d’Orsay metro every morning (save the one we went “home” to La Flute Enchantee in our old neighborhood).

And that, my friends, is where I left off three weeks ago, intending to finish and publish it later. Well, it’s later! I’m just going to let it stand for the curious to find and others to ignore. My quiet little homage to a memorable 5 days…

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