Friday, May 3, 2013

Recharging in Paris

Would it be a surprise to say that the "stars aligned" in Paris this week?  After four months of traveling the beauty of Finland, I came to Paris to interview Andreas Schleicher and to spend time with my family.

The interview with Andreas went well and then my holiday began.  A dear friend of ours, Valerie Burdick Humphrey, arrived on the Eurostar from London and we promptly fell into patterns of old times and chatted and giggled away.  We decided that one of the reasons it's so fun to get together with childhood friends is because in youth, "You do stupid things...and at the time you do them you think you're making good decisions."  Well, Valerie and I have those kinds of memories.

My brother, Bob, and my Mom arrived and we settled into our Parisian apartment. (Found through  Here are Bob and Valerie getting re-aquainted - we all went to high school together but they haven't seen each other in a few years. (And we all have fond feelings for this Cleopatra couch - it feels so exotic to sit in it.)

It was the perfect alignment of past and present, with people who love each other, love spending time with each other, and are simply positive, caring, interesting people where there was no ego, no agenda, and no inclination other than to spend time with each other and enjoy Paris.

We walked and talked and laughed.  Here we are walking around the park by the Eiffel Tower. Coming on a Fulbright program is a profoundly rewarding and challenging experience - but at this point I am filled up but deeply exhausted.  Having a dear friend and my family here is exactly what I need to get recharged for the next six weeks.

View from the mid-level of the Eiffel Tower.

Mom and Valerie at dinner at Ober-Salé. The food here is exquisite!

Cherry tree flower blossoms on the grass by Notre Dame Cathedral.

This art piece in the Louvre is a painting on a mirror, and as I was trying to capture Bob in the reflection I realized he saw me taking a picture and he posed for me.   He almost looks like he's part of the painting!

Finnish advertisement (in French) in the metro station.

Bob being silly at the Museo D'Orsay.  I don't think she knows he is hovering over her head!

We traveled around the city on the Hop-On Hop-Off bus and here in the middle of the Champs-Élysées were two lovers smootching!

At the Musée Rodin is a block of concrete just waiting for someone to pose.  I tried to get Bob to stand on top of the concrete block but he opted to pose as his own version of "The Thinker."  

Ste. Chapelle.  Ahh.  Need I say more?

As I've been told, the Louvre is an overwhelming experience.  There are so many pieces of art that most people seem to wander through them, barely stopping to look at anything in detail.  Here I caught Bob and Mom taking a break and looking out the window together. 

At the Muséo Rodin, the curator positioned these small chairs around the gallery as if Rodin could walk in any minute to view his work.

At the Muséo Rodin, this tour guide captivated the French children with tales of the Gates of Hell, the original location of, The Thinker.

Looking down at the street from our apartment: the meat market is across the street, the grocery store is up the street, and the bakery is directly below us.  :)  We went there every morning for fresh baked goods for breakfast...until they went on vacation!

Looking at the metro line stops - and figuring out when to get off.

We took an elevator up to the top of the Eiffel Tower but this picture is looking down from the mid-level.

Some days you get lucky - and on this day we got to see a classic marionette show in the Luxembourg Gardens. The story was in French but the young children (4-5 years old) would enthusiastically exclaim, "Oui!" when asked a question by the puppets.

The Marrionnettes du Luxembourg, a favorite in Luxembourg Gardens since 1933.

They look so Parisian!

The circular pond in Luxembourg Gardens where children (and their parents and grandparents) enjoy the sunshine and sailing boats.

Trying to fetch their sailboat with sticks.

Now on the other side of the pond, she awaits her sailboat's arrival.

A happy mother to be spending her time with her three "kids."  :)

Alexander Sojfer's umbrella store.

Mom's favorite umbrella from Alexander Sojfer, Paris.

THE MOST AMAZING HOT CHOCOLATE at Angelina's, Paris.    (Thanks, Marjorie Beale for the recommendation!)

I borrowed these flowers from the woman who took our picture at the Jardin des Tuileries.  :)

1 comment:

  1. I love Paris! Thank you for sharing your beautiful adventure!