The Giants have just won the World Series – I can hear the crazy fans honking up a storm outside my window as I write this. Is it un-American of me to say that I was over baseball approximately two point five months ago?
Well it’s true, and I said it.
The other truth – and possibly the root of my Giants crankiness – is that I’d just really rather be somewhere else. Where baseball is not the national obsession, because they are obsessed with other things. Such as crepes, dressing babies in tiny berets and striped onesies, and smoking long skinny cigarettes like it will never go out of style, because how could it?
My trip was so wonderful, and I really do mean that in the literal sense of the word. Everywhere we looked there was something beautiful to marvel at, to examine, to really see, and to fill us up with wonder. From a misbehaving Dalmatian setting a photo shoot awry, to waving at passing river boats and watching solitary leaves swoop down from the trees one by one by one, Paris is a city that invites you to look a little closer.
And so we did. Instead of racing around and trying to cram an entire city into three days, we just wandered around and did what we felt like, and went where we thought the spirit of Paris was encouraging us to go. Have paninis now? Oui! Take a nap this afternoon? Indeed! Buy yet another scarf, bringing my total scarf ownership up to an embarrassingly high 19, which I am going to pretend that I did not just admit to the Internet? Well, okay then.
The spirit of Paris is very interested in napping and paninis and scarves, it seems.
The spirit of Paris was also incredibly generous circa October 26th 2010 – my golden birthday. Upon seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time, I laughed out loud in excitement, and then LP and I ran over to the lawn like the giggly girls we are when we’re together. Upon ordering pain avec la confitures – a mystery choice that I chose in that panicked moment between “oui madam” and “et por vous, mademoiselle?” at our first petit dejeuner – I was excited to find out I had ordered a baguette split lengthwise and covered with butter and orange marmalade. Paddington Bear, eat your heart out. If Nutella had been involved, I would have died on the spot. As it was, much foodgasming ensued and I made a mental note to buy both marmalade and Nutella ASAP once I was back in SF.
Also in the Best Birthday Ever category: the Rodin museum was practically free, Berthillon’s sweet streetside glacé parlor appeared out of nowhere just in time for Suzy’s 3:00 hunger pangs while photographing absolutely everything on the Ille St. Louis, and the Notre Dame looked so aflame in the afternoon half light that I was transfixed for almost half an hour.
Paris is also very into both posing for photos and glacé, thank you very much.
It was so freeing to just experience the days and spend time with LP, instead of worrying about time or meetings or work or, well, anything really. It reminded me of college, also known as That Special Time In My Life When I Did Whatever I Wanted To Do.
Maybe that is travel’s greatest gift to us. The gift of freedom. The gift of time. The gift of glacé. The gift of doing whatever it is we want to do. And even though real life can’t be like that always, we can try. I am trying. To look a little closer, walk a little slower, and when in doubt, I just put some Nutella on it.
Á bientôt, Paris. Soon.