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the last day

January 17, 2012

The last travel day somewhere is always a little weird. It’s such a mix of wanting to squeeze the last drop and feeling anxious for home and the familiar. It’s been a relaxing trip in many ways. No hurried visits to museums or historical checklist. Just enjoying a city that is so different from home.

There has been lots of lazy cafe time.

Yesterday we strolled in Luxembourg Gardens, and the sun felt so lovely. I’m proud of myself for enduring 10 days of freezing temperatures out and about, but I’m ready for warmth. Jude called to the ducks and loved having the space to run. And it’s a sight I missed last time I was here, so it was great to go. We cut through the Latin Quarter on the way back, and I bought a couple of French children’s books, one for Norah called “Caroline et la Galette des Rois.” It’s old with super cute illustrations, and it’s all about Kings Day and the cake tradition that accompanies it. We got to be a part of this last night when we dined with some friends which I’ll explain in a minute. I can’t wait to explain to Norah one day that she and I had a part in what the book describes.

So once we were here, we were brought to some old friends through the glory of Facebook, and it turned out that Scott has an old high school friend who is now living here only about 15 minutes from where we are. She has been here for 8 years and invited us to meet her husband and baby at their place last night over dinner. The apartment was charming, the food good, the conversation lovely. Jude played with the French bebe (ha) and was grateful for new toys and space to be active. Homestyle dining was so appreciated after 9 days of hotels and restaurants. It was such a lovely evening, and we returned really late on the Metro, but Jude was a trooper and as always, excited to ride the “train.”

It was great to see more of what “real life” is like here, and it made expat life seem exotic but almost easy in ways. Still though, as much as I love to travel, I’m a home girl at heart.

My sweet grandmother took a bad fall down a flight of steps on Sunday, and there’s nothing life threatening, but many broken bones and a long recovery ahead. A surgery last night on both her arms and wrists had me super anxious, and I am ready to be home where I can help and tend and cook and do all the things family does when it’s needed. Keep her in your thoughts and prayers please.

So here we are with about 12 hours left to enjoy Paris and then we leave for the airport early tomorrow. Plans? Stroll a bit, shop, dine, eat too many pastries. Au revoir, friends. See you on the other side of the ocean soon. Think there’s still time for another tarte aux pommes? Of course. :)

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