Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Thought of Leaving

The picture above this post is the evening view from our Paris apartment-swap.

The thought of leaving Paris on Saturday makes my stomach drop. When I think about it, I feel queasy and sad. Here are just a few of the small things about being in Paris this summer that I've grown to notice and love: the way our wooden staircase smells, and the way it curves up to our apartment. Our small apartment and it's wooden floors, old moldings, separate kitchen, French windows that are always open, lacy wrought-iron gates across them. Of course, the pastries, especially the almond chocolate croissant. The way the cobblestones form these u-shapes in the streets (and in Rome, for that matter). Cobblestones, not potholes. Cemeteries stuffed with the beautiful graves of writers and dancers and artists and thinkers. Chimneys; who knew you needed 50 terra cotta chimneys on every rooftop? The markets. The sun (which we inexplicably had nearly every day for the last 5 and a half weeks). Not just Versailles, but Marie-Antoinette's little house and gardens, including the farm animals and happy French vegetable farmers. Waking up early while Jim and Jamie sleep in everyday. Taking a nap. Pink and red geraniums in the windows. Drip coffee, not machine made, and not sweating over the time it takes to make it. Not understanding what people are saying, but smiling and nodding my head idiotically. Reconnecting with the sweetest and oldest of friends. The sweetness, and patience, of Parisians once you open an exchange with their native tongue. Choosing which way to spend the day: park, walk, walk through the park, museum, cook, bookstores, writing about bookstores, getting lost? Not watching TV, or watching bad, dubbed TV. Reading a dense, non-fiction history. Le Metro. Climbing up and down the hills of Monmartre for hours. Evening walks taking us up to the Sacre Coeur, again and again. Listening to Jennifer pronounce Sacre Coeur. Watching Jamie play soccer with the future World Cup champions of Roma and Paris. Watching his new teeth grow in this summer. Watching him see Europe for the first time. Forgetting what day it is. To be continued...


  1. Love love this! I'm missing you guys already. I just linked your site to mine.

  2. Congratulations! You are the only person in history to write up a visit to Paris without using the word "baguette."

  3. I just read this--lovely recap of your summer, and makes me want to follow in your footsteps. Do you think Alice is too young? I want to go now.