Les retrouvailles – The reunion
When you leave Paris, you exhale a little more. You breathe deeper. You feel your lungs grow a little pinker. You clear your head. Your eyes are quenched on long distant views of ocean, mountains, prairies… But when you are gone for a little while, you tend to miss Paris, just about the time when you have to start repacking your bags. And you realize that you are excited to be returning home there.
I remember my first trip away from the city my first year in Paris 8 years ago. It was during the winter break. And on the train home, it dawned on me that I was returning HOME to the city of PARIS. Whaaaat!?! That was a mini revelation. And it never fails to excite me to return home to this city that I love and have adopted as my own.
As much as I gripe with the rest of them about the métro commute, or the crottes de chiens on the sidewalk, the inconvenient travaux that are everywhere, the chauffeurs that lean on their horn at 7:30am just before my alarm, or the pushy people in the crowds… I am always thrilled to return.
Upon returning from summer vacation, I took a day to wander the streets hand in hand with my chéri, to reacquaint ourselves with our city. (It wasn’t like we were gone very long but hey…). We wanted to enjoy Paris in a strolling-nonchalant-carefree way for one day before the onslaught of work and tight schedules took over the daily grind.
We took some vélib bikes and rode past Bastille, along the quai pas the Gare d’Austerlitz, behind the Jardin des plantes; stopped at the Sugarplum Cake Shop on the rue du Cardinal Lemoine for a refreshment and to oggle at their incredible cakes; headed by foot towards Odéon passing the Sorbonne on the way, strolled the rue de Buci, had a snack and then took the vélibs back home to the 12th (trying already to work off some of that vacation padding that somehow attached itself to my body…).
Paris was still there, in tact and brilliant under the afternoon sun.
Paris will always be here. And I will always be glad to return.