Thursday, June 7, 2012

It was...Paris

Bigger than life
The above photo kind of illustrates how I feel about this trip- La Tour Eiffel all lit up at night, a beautiful sky, a cool evening, a trip with people I love.
I've been home for a little over two weeks, yet haven't said a word.  I thought about what I would tell you when I got home.  I journaled long-hand each day in a notebook I carried in my bag.  I shot over five hundred photographs.  Thank you so very much for those of you who have written to me to ask when I was going to write again and share my photos.
Re-entry has been difficult.  I've been in a funk, getting by.  First was jet-lag.  Going back to work.  Laundry.  Normal life.  I had trouble loading photos to facebook.  This evening, they went up for this post just fine.  Little by little I'm getting there, but it has been slow going.

So I will begin to tell my story.
If one is the sum of all experiences, and I believe we are, my sum is just a little greater.  Never before, with the exception of Canada, the Bahamas and flying to Hawaii, had I really traveled internationally. (Not that Hawaii is international, but it is over a huge span of ocean.)  Before this trip, I never had a passport.
I was terrified when we went to Dulles to check in and our boarding passes wouldn't spit out.  We went and spoke to a man at a podium where we were directed to the counter.  We stood in line and were informed that we were flying stand-by because of the baby.  Actually when you fly with  a baby you are treated as if you are a celebrity by the airlines.  Finally we were seated.  AirFrance feeds you great food, bread, free booze- you can have a pre-dinner drink, wine or champagne with dinner and a post-dinner drink.  I drank champagne with dinner and leaned over to lift my glass to my daughter- "I'm drinking champagne and flying to Paris."  This country mouse felt like she was Cinderella, transformed.  (And just so you know, I did not drink all of the booze that was offered.)  (But I did have champagne and some sweety after-dinner drink.)

We tried to rest, passed the baby around, watched movies and prior to landing were served breakfast.  I vowed to try everything I was served on this trip.

Finally we landed.  We collected luggage and waited on the stroller.  After a long wait,  we found it in over-sized luggage.  Then we waited for a taxi.  We rode from De Gaulle to the Marriott at Boulogne-Billancourt.  It was a lovely, newish place to stay and we were treated so kindly by the staff.
By the time we arrived it was 8:30 a.m.  (2:30 a.m. our time).  We thought we would take a nap.  Shedding shoes, I fell across the bed over the blankets.  At some point I woke and was cold from the AC and I burrowed beneath the blankets.  Using Baby Bee as our alarm, we awoke six hours later!
I threw open the window and took this photo- our view from room 214.
our view
We showered and went to eat and set out to explore.  Everywhere we went I could barely take two steps without shooting a photograph.
The photo below is my screen saver at work. 
They sell happy in Paris
I looked up and loved the terraces.  I was taken especially with the ones that had flowers.  I like to imagine if I lived in one of these my terrace would have flowers.
Years ago in high school my French class went to a French Restaurant at the top of the Indiana National Bank building in Indianapolis, La Tour.  I ordered duck and it wasn't very good.  It was greasy and well, yucky.  Undaunted, I ordered duck confit in Paris and it was melt in your mouth delicious.  If you are in Paris and want to experience a very delicious duck confit, try La Campanella.
We ate and ate and ate.  Everything our little hearts desired.  And we walked and walked and walked.  At the end of our trip, we wished we had worn a pedometer so we could know how many miles we walked.  Before going to Paris I dieted and exercised for nearly four months and lost fifteen pounds.  Because of all of the walking, I only gained one pound and I've lost that and maintained the fifteen pound weight loss since returning.

Little Bee walked all over Paris, too.  We took her stroller and she rode some and napped some in it, but she just took off with walking and she has so much fun toddling along.
Little Bee and Mommy Bee

me, little Bee, my daughter-in-law

my daughter, little Bee and me

Family- my daughter, granddaughter and daughter-in-law
 Shot the photo below because I loved the big brass key door knob.
me and the key
One evening we had gelato from this stand.  The store behind the stand was filled with all sorts of beautiful, delicious treats.  Despite all of the wonderful food, I didn't see many overweight people in Paris, and really no obese people.  People walk a lot.

Martine Lambert delices glaces intenses
While we were in Paris it was chilly- I don't think ever over sixty-five.  I think the first evening it got down to thirty-eight degrees.  I said "wouldn't it be magical if it would snow?"  It didn't snow but it was misty and poured on our last day.  I love rainy weather and grey skies so it was fine with me.
There I am in my pink tennis shoes

I shot this because of the pink umbrella
Here is little Bee at an ice-cream stand at La Tour Eiffel...she loves to play the game "where is Little Bee?" She is at the cutest stage and one day when her Mama was leaning over her stroller singing the chicken dance song with her, (they dance to it at daycare and she does the motions) a man came up and started flapping his arms at her.
Where is Little Bee?

This is the beginning of my be continued.


Kris said...

Cheryl, I have been patiently waiting for your story. I was getting little tidbits and photos on fb, and couldn't wait for more!!!!
Love the pink shoes!!! Can't wait for more!!! Can't wait!!!!
XO Kris


A dream come true. So many magical moments. A lifetime of memories. Love Little Bee's coat. And you were pretty in pink. Awesome shoes. Thanks for taking us along on your journey. Those views. And buildings were spectacular.

ain't for city gals said...

If only our lives could be one long vacation in Paris! Not that I have ever been there but...glad you are home safe..xo

Holly said...

Do you have any idea how hard it was to keep from emailing you and demanding photos? Thank Goodness for Facebook! Loving the photos, keep them coming!

Jen Kershner said...

I've been waiting for this post! I'm betting it's hard to put into words. It sounds like you had a lovely time. Perhaps you are now suffering from ennui? It's french so it would be appropriate..

Donna said...

Finally! Part 1 of your amazing journey. Little Bee is just precious. What a gift to have shared this experience with your girls. Standing by for Part 2.

From the Kitchen said...

Wonderful!! I can't wait for the rest of the story. How lovely to spend time with Little Bee and her mom's in Paris!!


joan said...

I've never been to Paris, but I've been to Europe, lived there two years. How do you readjust? How do you let go of Europe and move on? It is so hard!

I look forward to the rest of the story. =)

Chatty Crone said...

You are so dang lucky - What a dream Paris is - I can't go so I am so glad to see these photos and go with you. Wasn't each day just so dreamy and wonderful? I have been there once a long time ago. Love, sandie

Karen said...

How absolutely wonderful! and you wore the Pink SHOES!!!!.....

I've never been.. thanks for the tour.

Mary Jo said...

I want pink sneaks.

Heidrun Khokhar said...

Little Bee is certainly growing up very fast! She must be a joy for all of you. What a grand place for such a family group to visit!!

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