Back to Paris, already in progress

I am extraordinarily lucky to get to visit Paris as often as I do. No matter how routine my trips are becoming — or how familiar the city is beginning to feel — I remind myself of my good fortune every time I hear, “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Paris.”

I savored the sense of familiarity this morning as I got off the plane, snaked my way through the gray maze that is Charles de Gaulle airport, and presented myself at the taxi stand for the next available cab.

But as familiar as Paris may feel, this city always has some surprises for me. The first came today when the cabbie’s GPS failed and we found ourselves circling a single block, like a fruit fly orbiting a watermelon.

Thank God I’d remembered to pack my Paris Plan Circulation map. The cabbie was both surprised by and grateful for my wherewithal. The score: Me 1, Paris 0.

My hotel room wasn’t ready yet, so I set off for a stroll. My mom had asked me yesterday morning to say a prayer or two for her health, so it seemed fitting to start my day at Notre Dame. Alas … even on a rainy, blustery day the Sunday crowds are impenetrable. The score: Me 1, Paris 1.

I didn’t feel defeated, though: I still took a few moments to savor the tourists’ antics …

… and create a few antics of my own. (A shout out to my friend Laurice, who is one of the kindest, most creative people I’ve ever met — and who made this crocheted wampire for me.)

Sunday in Paris is also market day, which compelled me to browse the €2.80 wines …

… gawk at the restaurants’ preparations for a busy day, and …

… compliment a florist on her beautiful shop.

Indeed, Paris is in springtime — and in bloom.

From my favorite streets (near St. Julien le Pauvre) …

… to a sweet tribute to George Whitman

… to the tiny details of everyday life …

… Paris is a city that feels at once familiar, and ever-changing. Maybe that’s why I visit as often as I do. Or maybe it’s just for the food. Or the photography. Whatever the reason, I’m back in Paris — and I’m happy.

I’m off to catch a pint, a couple of musicians, and a handful of friends. But tomorrow is another day. Please stay tuned.


    • It’s the little things in life, isn’t it, Marcia? So glad you’re joining me again. You’re one of my favorite travel companions. 🙂

    • ::) << that's me, beaming in Paris with my four eyes! Thanks for your kind words, Reg. I am *so* lucky to be your seester. XO

    • Architecture … history … interesting people … art and music … and cheap wine. What’s not to love, right? I hope you’re able to make it over here someday. You and your camera would have a wonderful time!

  1. I suspected a trip abroad might bump up the HBlog posts 🙂 Travelling (and particularly Paris) is clearly an inspirational trigger for you, and we readers get to savor the results!

    I know what you mean about the magic of hearing “Welcome to Paris” on the airplane. During my first-ever trip here my mom & I looked at each other with giddy anticipation whenever a flight announcement repeated itself in French; those beautifully foreign sounds were confirmation of the adventure in store.

    And yes Notre Dame has already switched into visitor mode! But with your ungodly early morning schedule you shouldn’t have any problem getting in when you return 🙂 At least it doesn’t seem to have dampened your little vampire dude’s spirits. You got him a window seat during the flight I hope?

    • “Ungodly early morning schedule”? Ha! You’re channeling Esteban!

      Actually, the time difference makes me even more of an unholy lark than I am back home — which helps me catch some good sunrise shots, but which isn’t of much use when it comes to visiting mosques and basilicas. (Why don’t they open until 9? Don’t they know that the wampire and I are waiting with baited breath to get in??!)

      Anyway, I’m not surprised to find that we have even more common ground in our mutual glee at listening to the airplane announcements. And if you’ll be half as excited next week to see me as I am to see you, you’ll be a very happy lad indeed. 🙂

      • Haha, “unholy lark”. That definitely needs to be the name of your alter ego, or next book, or put on a t-shirt or something. Love it!

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