God am I slow - it took me three visits to Paris in five years to get it: PARIS IS BEAUTIFUL! To think I did not want to go, did not feel up to being in a bustling city - so much for my abilities to predict the future. But now that I am back in the cabin, part of me still remains in Paris.
I was happiest wondering around, watching the people, taking in the architecture, and of course sitting in cafes sipping coffee, accompanied by a baked goodie - which I would never (almost) allow myself here. What's not to like?
Don't know if I believe in ghosts or not, but there is something left in the atmosphere by the presence of the great artists, writers, thinkers. Picasso's studio of many years, where he painted Guernica, is on the same block as the apartment! Every block seems to have historical significance. Yes, there are the magnificent cathedrals, statues, public spaces, but I am in love with the day-to-day way of living:
Number One: Manners
Which translates to having a connection with those one meets Bonjour Madam, Merci Madam - All comings and goings are acknowledged.
Number Two: Appears to Be a Good Place to Be Older
From an outsider's viewpoint, does not look as if one must be out of sight if older than Thirty. From what I could see, all ages have a place (especially women who do not color their hair).
Number Three: Appears to be a Good Place to Be Older and Look Good
There must be something about living in a beautiful city that brings out the beauty in the citizens. All sexes, all ages. Believe me, I rarely see a good looking man in the U.S. - no exaggeration maybe once a year tops. It took me some time to figure out the difference: In Paris, the men seemed to be interesting, as if one could actually have a conversation.
It goes without saying, but I will anyway, the women are gorgeous. I have heard for years they look fantastic but do not actually spend that much on clothes - a few great pieces and that's it. I doubt if I will ever get over the heels. I cannot deny the beauty of a high heeled shoe, but it is a mystery how one could navigate a cobbled street.
My heart is in Ohio as well - getting on a plane (not good for my carbon footprint balance sheet) this Friday for my daughter's college graduation. A bittersweet time as she steps deeper into her life, and away from mine. Of course that is the best gift I have been given, to see her thrive and be independent - and it would not be possible without all the family and friends who have helped over the years. Thank you village!