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Published: December 13th 2013
Back in Paris, and it is Christmas season. We went to the Arc de Triomphe and then walked down the Champs Élysées. I didn't realize just how big the Arc is. When you stand under it and walk around it, you finally sense hugeness. A few years ago, they cleaned and restored the Arc. The statue/engravings are shining luminous white with sharp crisp edges. It's beautiful. We wandered into and out of stores down the grand avenue, with no intention to buy. It was just fun to watch the mix of tourists and rich. I haven't seen so many good shoes in a long time, and the haute mode for men's pants is a rich caramel coloured jean. Everybody looks like they have come off a construction site; I was privately, quite amused. Once we passed all the big stores, you get to a stretch that is low key gardens and recessed buildings before you reach the Tuileries. This stretch is now lined on both sides with little winter cabins selling crafts from around the world. There is mulled wine, hot chestnuts, waffles, croustilles (a deep fried pastry), crêpes, and candy apples. I believe it is not just for the tourists,
but the prices are ridiculous. It does help you fall into the spirit of Christmas, even when far from home.
I wake up in this sweet little apartment at the rooftops of Paris and watch the sun turn the roofs to rose and then sparkling white before the night frosts melt. On these slower days, where we don't feel the need to see everything and go everywhere, I still feel a kind of magic living in Paris. I love to wander the streets and count how many pastry shops and bakeries are on each block. I watch the faces of people on the metro and tell myself stories about their lives. I am no longer in love with Paris like I was when I was young, but it still awes me.
We went to the Père Lachaise Cemetery. We did not find Jimmy's tomb; we didn't have a map. The cemetery is huge. It's peerage is unparalleled: Collette, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaff. There are too many more. I liked it purely for its peaceful nature, the winding pathways, the overly ostentatious monumental tombs and the simple crosses. We walked till we found a bistro and had lunch, very
French. Jacob had an escalope de poulet à la crème, while I had a croque Madame. There was crème brûlée aux pommes for dessert. In the evening, we decided to be the perfect tourists and took a boat tour of Paris at night on the Bateaux Mouches. It was frosty, but you see many of the most impressive buildings of Paris, all lit up at night. We warmed up, back at home with apple tea, a habit that Jacob formed in Turkey. He went and bought it and he makes it for us. It makes me wonder how many little things will come back to us when we return home next summer, that will turn a key and open the door to so many memories of this year.
Good Night and Sweet Dreams
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