I dreamt last night that we suddenly happened upon a really good deal for a enormous apartment in Paris, if we were able to wriggle out of our lease at comparatively humble digs here in the 13eme. I suppose an extra room or two might have come in handy this past week, as we had our first guests swing through town, Christa and Tim Thaler. As it turns out, though, the little place fit four just fine. So those of you who have plans to sleep in our living room, go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief.
It was good to have an excuse to fall in love with Paris all over again. There are some things that you might not go out of your way to experience if you're hunkered down in a city for a while. The Tour Eiffel, for one - we hadn't been to the top yet. However, this week we found ourselves holding our breath as the elevator hoisted our wondering eyes some 300 meters into a windy Valentine's evening. How 18,038 pieces of metal held together by 2,500,000 rivets became a symbol recognized the world over is beyond me, but it holds an undeniable sway over anyone remotely prone to sentiment. Particularly on February 14th. "Geez, everyone's making out," one of our guests remarked. Welcome to Paris.
In all, the week was a delightful blur of homemade crepes, stories from home, Valentine's Day treats, waltzing into museums for free or almost free (in this case, the French penchant to go on strike worked in our favor), stinky cheese and baguettes, hot chocolate on the Place des Vosges, sneaking picnics in before the rainfall in hidden gardens, marketing through the narrow streets, sashaying down the Champs-Elysees, and other frivolities. When it came down to it, we decided to forgo the absinthe for a nice bottle of red wine and a full-fledged poultry dinner. Tough choice, though.
While bidding our farewells at the train station on Friday morning, it was truly as if no time had passed at all. As if we picked them up at the station, walked around for half an hour, and then returned them to the platform. Hello, hello. I don't know why you say goodbye. I say hello.