Stealing a page out of the Gwyneth Paltrow handbook, I decided that I should be the first girl to go with Jonah to the City of Lights and the City of Love.
So in the first half of my mom, Micah and Janelle’s visit to see us, we decided to spend three days in Paris. I am not sure which story you want to hear.
Perhaps it is the one set to an Edith Piaf song that involves the best quiche I have ever tasted, baguettes and cheese that will make you cry, gorgeous cafés with chain-smoking romantics, perfected steak tartare, charmant Metropolitain stations, the Moulin Rouge up close, sweeping views from Sacré Cœur, the Eiffel Tower that begins to sparkle at six heures exactement, gardens and artists and berets and boulevards and little dogs and escargot and bicyclettes and beautiful women and the hilly, magical streets of Montmartre where Amélie herself once roamed.
Or do you want the one set to the sound of constant drizzling rain that involves each member of my family individually fighting with every staff member of our hotel on multiple occasions, misunderstandings over breakfast inclusions, a cockroach on my soupe l’oignon, a mouse scurrying back and forth on the tiled floor of that one restaurant, chain smokers at cafés, bad quiche and bad baguettes and bad croque monsieurs and bad attitudes, a taxi driver Bryan called a jackass, touristy places with too many Americans, a lost purse, showers with no shower heads, stinky Eurostar cars, heaving a stroller up and down neverending flights of stairs in Metro stations, gray skies and cranky attitudes and a Euro that crushes the Dollar. And almost missing two departing trains in a row and immigration detaining us for possibly kidnapping a child across international boundaries.
And so it is. In the end, Paris is like one of my nights out at age 22. Thrilling and intoxicating and surreal. But at the end of the night, my hair just smells like cigarette smoke.
Hotel des Artes in Montmarte, across from the oldest still-active cinéma in Paris
Sacré Cœur and views of Paris (and my favorite-ever buskers)
Cimetière du Père Lachaise (Janelle’s stunning photos)
Le Louvre and, sigh, the Mona Lisa
Eiffel Tower et une bateu on the Seine