Like everyone, we were shocked and saddened to hear about the terrorists’ attacks on Paris. I have been having a love affair with that city since my first visit years ago. When we were newlyweds, Mr. Right and I lived in Geneva, Switzerland where he played basketball for one season. We bought a little car and spent our free time exploring any city or country we could get to over a week-end. We spent our first New Years as husband and wife in Paris. We had a book called Europe on Five Dollars a Day, and by following its recommendations, we were able to stay in a nice bed and breakfast, eat good meals, and see the sights but yet not break the bank. It was our version of back-packing across Europe.
Work and children and life got in the way, and we didn’t return to Paris until Jordan was in high school. When we became empty-nesters, visiting Paris started to become a good habit. Mr. Right and I love bicycling in Europe, and when it was possible, I would add on a solo side trip to Paris.
Although I love traveling with my husband, seeing Paris alone and on my own is my favorite way to visit the City of Lights. That might sound weird or selfish to many of you, but it works for us. I enjoy museums way more than he does.
We Americans have a curiosity about Paris and France. We read books about it, decorate our houses in the French style, love cooking and eating French foods, love French fashion designers and perfumes, and admire its architecture. When something so horrible happens to something or someone we love, we also have to take time for mourning. The French get a bad reputation for being rude, but I have only met one rude French person in my life. And she doesn’t even live in France. She just happens to live in Lexington but was raised in France.
People watching in Paris is wonderful, and everything they say about the elegance of French women is true. I’m reading a book right now called Forever Chic: French Women’s Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style, and Substance, which is written by an American woman living in a village near Paris. Her mission is to learn the tricks and techniques that make French women so…….. French. (Another of my favorite French reads this year was Bringing Up Bebe. This book is also written by an American living in Paris, and she writes about the ways the French raise their children. I loved it and plan to reread it before Little Miss arrives.) But I digress……
In my opinion Paris is the most beautiful city in the world, and it has a spirit and love of life that can’t be stopped. Although this attack was horrible, Paris and its people will carry on and persevere and win. It’s in their DNA. That’s another thing I love about that city.