Paris in one week: I’m already packed

Exactly one week and one hour from this moment, I hope to be landing in Paris. Is it wrong that I’m already packed?

To say that I’m excited would be a ridiculous understatement. I’ve been looking forward to this trip every single day since I impulsively cashed in my miles last October.

Yet, every single day I’ve also wrestled with some guilt. “Am I selfish for wanting to go by myself?” I’ve wondered. I’ve worried that my husband Esteban might resent me, or that people will talk. (“It’s just not normal for a married woman to go to Paris by herself,” is how it sounds in my head.)

But that internal dialog stopped abruptly when Esteban had a heart attack: There was no way I’d be able to go to Paris. I was heartbroken (pardon the pun) but there was also no question in my mind about what mattered.

Six weeks later, Esteban is fully recovered. He’s back at work, exercising every day, shoveling our front walk … and he’s urging me to hit the road. “Live your life,” he said the other day. Good advice from someone who has just glimpsed his mortality.

So I’m going to Paris.

I was ecstatic yesterday evening to find out that I’ll get to tour an abandoned métro station, after all. (More to come on that …)

And I sent a note to the apartment rental agency this morning, confirming the details of my arrival: “Mon vol arrive à 7h30, donc je prévois arriver à l’appartement vers 9h30. (Comme on dit en anglais: Wahooo!)”

I’m all set for my first photography class ever. I’ve scoped out several concerts, including an organ recital in Notre Dame and Mozart’s Requiem Mass at La Madeleine. I’ve gotten permission to tour a private museum about Frédéric Chopin. And I’m still trying to negotiate a tour of some artists’ studios in Belleville. I’m hoping for a clear sky on the 19th so I can shoot the full moon rising behind the Eiffel Tower. I’m also hoping to make a day trip to Chartres and tour the cathedral with Malcolm Miller. I’d like to have dinner at Dans le Noir, where blind waiters serve your meal in  total, utter darkness. And I know exactly which markets I plan to visit, and on what days.

During my second week …

Well, you get the picture—and I can assure you there will be many, many pictures to come.

In the meantime, here are some blog posts from my last Paris adventure. Enjoy!

Montmarte photo safari with my friend Chris
Touring Père Lachaise Cemetery with a cheeky Brit
Montmartre revisited
(Mis)adventures in creative photography
Behind the scenes at the Hôtel de Ville
An early-morning visit to the Luxembourg Gardens
My last solo day in Paris


  1. Bravo!
    I’m going next month. But I have so much to do between now and then that I haven’t really started to focus on it yet.

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