Joining in collective prayer and sadness for Paris and Beruit and Baghdad and the thousands of families reeling in horror.
Also feeling the collective sense of helplessness and fear that accompanies terror. What can we do? How do we stop this? How do we ease this global pain?
Not feeling at all capable of articulating anything decent, and frankly, preferring to get lost reading other’s thoughts and reflections.
Been thinking a lot about happy memories from Paris.
David and I visited a few summers ago during a multi-city Europe trip. We got engaged a few months prior, and celebrating engagement in Paris makes for a pretty blithesome trip. We kind of just bumbled around the city, awe-struck that we were in a place that could just make us so happy. Re-reading some of my memories of the trip, I thought I would store them here, as a note of gratitude to the city:
Sunday afternoon, Day 5, we arrived in Paris and David navigated us to the flat in the Marais with ease. The flat was simple and bright, and on a beautiful sun drenched residential street. We relaxed and refreshed and got ready for our bike tour.
I was pretty sleepy going into to the tour, so the fast ride, whipping through the streets and cars was Paris was a perfect energizer. We zipped past the Eiffel Tower, through St. Germain, and stopped for ice cream on the fancy island. My favorite part was riding through the Louvre complex at night.
It was totally empty except for a man playing a violin and we flew around the central courtyard on the bikes three times. It was a great moment. Later, after zooming through the little Arch de Triumph, while we rode along the Seine on the way to out bike tour, I made up Edith Piaf songs in my head and hummed them with My Fair Lady music and just soaked up all the magic.
Europe Day 6
We were once again blessed with spectacular weather, so we walked through the Tulliary Gardens. I got a pan au chocolate from Paul and read while David napped in the shade. Refreshed, we began the long walk to the Arch de Triumph along the Champs Élysées.
David planned a beautiful walk through neighborhoods to dinner. It was a nice long walk, early in the evening, and the sunshine hitting the white buildings was gorgeous.
One of the streets, Rue due March, is closed to cars and has markets and vendors lining the sides. We explored a bit and sat down for dinner at Cafe du Marche. It was so classic-little French patio chairs all lined up and squeezed together full of people drinking beer and people watching. I started with a glass of Savingon Blanc and should have just ordered the bottle, because David and I had such a great time sitting and people watching, we sat and sipped for hours. We also enjoyed the pan fried duck and potatoes. Buttery and delicious!
On the walk back we continued to admire the French for their energy-many people were out enjoying dinner past 11 on a Monday! We tucked into one of the bars, Cafe les Flores, for another glass, and dreamily walked home.
It was another special, postcard day.
Europe Day 7
We decided to take it easy on Tuesday, and only really made plans to picnic at the Eiffel Tower and have steak frites for dinner.
We began the day in the Marché des Enfants Rouges, a market in the neighborhood. Filling up the backpack with blueberries, grapes, tomatoes, Camembert, roast chicken and a baguette, we walked through the neighborhood and enjoyed another croissant for breakfast. We passed through a lovely quite park by a school filled with families and professionals enjoying lunch in the sunshine.
After a short metro ride, we found a nice spot in the grass and set up our picnic. It was a pretty special thing to enjoy a Camembert-blueberry sandwich while watching the Eiffel Tower and I soaked up every minute of it. David took a nap after lunch, and I guess I people watched-maybe I napped, too?
The walk along the Seine was like a movie. Tons of people, peppered along the boardwalk, enjoying glasses of wine and picnics. It was all very casual and everyone had a happy “I’m done with work for the day and enjoying time with friends,” glow. We walked by a group enjoying a big bowl of pasta salad and rose, and it makes me want to go back to DC and recreate their picnic. Paris even has a bit of boardwalk that resembles the Highline design and pop-up bars and restaurants along the water.
We made our way to dinner at a steak frites restaurant.
Eventually, we made our way back to the hotel, amazed again at the livelihood in all the neighborhood restaurants and bars we passed along the way…
As the world is hurting, thankful and still in awe of this beautiful city.