Paris today with the Move Goddess. We took the high speed train from Amsterdam Centraal. Those great deal emails from the Dutch Railway always reel me in and indeed, that’s how I had found tickets to Paris. Paris is so much larger than Amsterdam. It is beautiful in a very neo-classical way but so enormous compared to Amsterdam. And I will admit to missing the Dutch sense of orderliness and organization. I did get a chance to try out my high school French, which was fun.
My mom moved to Paris when she was 18. Being there today, I gained a new appreciation for her frequent references to having to learned to drive in Paris and so she was therefore unafraid of anything on the road. Looking up at all the old buildings with their garret windows reminded me of her stories of the families she was an au pair for. Having to go all the way down to the ground floor to use the bathroom and the overly friendly mannerisms of the men in Paris. I could imagine her there as an 18 year old, rebelling against the structure of the Netherlands and living in her little apartment. Of course, she didn’t stay an au pair for long, she went from there to working at the Dutch embassy. Definitely a wise career move.
After walking from Gare du Nord to Montmarte and wading through the tourists lined up for Sacre-Coeur, we had a lovely lunch of crepes in a tiny creperie up high above the city. And although the throngs of people were less than a block away, you couldn’t hear them at all. It was delicious!
Earlier this week, we had a little urban adventure. Rather than throwing my guests into the madness that is biking to the Centrum, we have been taking journeys with increasing amounts of traffic and stuff going on. On Wednesday, we rode to the Centrum and met up with Joanne and Eliza at a very special brewery, De Prael. From there, we took a walk through the famous red light district, while savoring bonbons from Puccini. And after souvenir shopping, we went to dinner which was really great. It was an evening full of laughter and good conversation. And I enjoyed seeing so many people from different parts of my life interact.
Rupert and Meredith arrived this evening after stopping over in Dublin for the day. We will pick them up tomorrow and then get on a big tour bus going for 6.5 hours into the country side, stopping at wind mills, a cheese market and a historic fishing village. You could say I am really getting my inner tourist out. I am looking forward to it, strangely enough. It will be really good to squeeze my little brother. And to seeing Meredith be the voice of reason for all of us.