Saturday, August 24, 2019

a gentle Paris

An Ocean commenter said it well -- "we are so lucky." I don't ever forget that. Perhaps this is why I pushed us (me included!) so hard yesterday: this is not time to go easy on yourself. There will not be many times where we all can be in Paris together. I do not underestimate the magnificence of this journey.

But we do slow down today. We are again a group of five and we have to pay attention to all of our whims and inclinations. Of course, the first part of the day is easy:a morning visitor!


Then my walk to the food halls to pick up breakfast foods.

(Parisian cafe, of which there are maybe a million.)


(Bon Marche, the department store which houses the food halls often has clever window setups.)


(Home at last...)


Travel demands of us greater flexibility and inevitably -- adaptation. There are no bathtubs in the apartment. No problem! Today, I take both kids into the shower with me. Breakfast is wonderful, but is there a high chair? No! Again, no problem!


(Morning play...)


(Snowdrop helps me take out the trash. It's a complicated business: we have to go downstairs, leave the house, then make our way back again. The girl knows all the tricks of entrance by now...)


And after? There are many things on the table, but we are mindful of the heat and of the fact that the adults went to sleep too late and for idiosyncratic reasons, both kids woke up too early today. There will be tiredness as the day progresses.

So we opt for a gentle day. Not unimportant, not unimaginative -- just gentle.

For this, we walk over to the Luxembourg Gardens. We haven't a plan, but we know we'll always find something sensual and lovely there.


And indeed, we see that they are just saddling up the ponies!

Sparrow is too young for his first pony ride, but Snowdrop is the perfect age for it. We wait patiently 'til they saddle the horses...


(It's surprising how much Sparrow enjoys just watching Snowdrop get close to the horses...)


And then she's off!


The parents are happy to have gogs lead her around. And I'm tickled to do it.


I remember how two years ago, on her first pony ride, she was so apprehensive! This time, she is completely comfortable. So in love with the experience, that she cannot believe it when it ends. Tears of genuine sorrow follow. "I loved it so much! I'm going to miss Dewdrop!" (The ponies are obliging: they don't mind it when a rider imagines their new name.)


But the Gardens do not let you stay disappointed for long. So many distractions!  The girl takes her daddy to the mega playground to show him everything that she has accomplished this year (and to get a little help with the zip ride).


It's lunch time. We're not too far from a very good pizzeria ("Arrivederci") and we are in luck: it's not closed for August!

Snowdrop keeps us going with a never ending game of I Spy, and Sparrow, as always, flirts with the waiters. And say what you will about Paris eateries -- the waiters have never failed to respond enthusiastically to her attempts at French and his big (and repetitive) "hi!" and wide grin.




The afternoon is even more leisurely. I offer a walk to the little park, but one kid is napping and the other is absorbed in a story on the couch. In the end I go off by myself, stopping in a store or two and finally ending my afternoon at Poilâne. Ed had forwarded me a recent article on their sablé -- a cookie inspired by American cornbread. I buy a tiny packet, though I am certain they'll be all crumbs by the time we make our way home.

In the evening, we split up: the dad takes the kids to dinner at Leon (a place of a previous father - daughter dinner) and my older girl and I go to Semilla. It's been a while since I dined there with someone sitting across from me!


We walk home late, but it's not dark yet. Every country is unique in how much daylight and night time it gives us. You adjust.


See the Montparnasse tower? There's a train station within it, with service to the north western districts of France. We'll be leaving from there tomorrow.