It is time to leave Paris, France, and Old Europe and to head back to the United States, where - one hopes - summer has finally arrived in Seattle.
Le Husband has survived just fine; as have the furry children, Hailey the Yellow Dog and Felix the Cat. I know the estate yard (or garden, as they say outside of the United States,) looks wonderful, and it'd better, since the Pacific Northwest has just endured another wet, very wet, June.
It looks like Junior and I are ready to take the long trip back. We have a fun American summer to look forward to.
It's been a wonderful three weeks. We have done so much; seen so much; it was almost overwhelming at times. But we are used to the fast pace. We have been doing this on a regular basis for the last sixteen years. Junior is sad to leave his grandparents, his cousins, and France. So am I.
Time to look back at some fun times as we pack our bags, but first things first: Thank you to all my faithful readers for following the Summer 2012 travelogue. Thank you for your comments. I did not have time to reply to all of them, but know they were always appreciated, cheered me on and often made me smile.
For now, au revoir, Paris. Au revoir Old Europe. We will miss you, until next time.
Remember the day we spent at Disneyland Paris? This year, the park celebrated its 20th anniversary. We had to go. Le Brother, Le Husband (then known as Le Fiancé,) and La Sister-in-Law were all there, in the spring of 1992, when EuroDisney (as the place was known at the time,) opened its doors. My former employer, American Express France, was one of the park sponsors. All of us Amex employees were invited before the official inauguration, and we went back often as a family over the years. It's been an eventful - and often rough - first twenty years, for Mickey-land in Paris, France. But they stuck it out. Joyeux Anniversaire, Disneyland Paris!
|La Famille chez Mickey|
Remember last Sunday, when the family met in scenic Vincennes and enjoyed a delicious meal at a local restaurant before we all headed out to le Parc Floral for a leisurely afternoon?
|The keep of Château de Vincennes, a town I once called home|
|La Table des Troys - a trusted address for locals|
|Vincennes' renowned Parc Floral|
|The two older cousins inside "L'Araignée" (the spider.)|
That's my kid, the Fedora boy, up there, at the top!
|The youngest is also the fiercest!|
Remember the meals, apéros (apéritifs,) cafés gourmands along the way? I do. This is France after all.
|Life is a café terrace in Paris...|
|A favorite Tex Mex restaurant, surrounded by dance studios in a courtyard|
The Studio restaurant, 41 rue du Temple, Paris 4e.
|Junior and his grandma, Mutti, enjoying a refreshing "Evian Menthe"|
on a sunny afternoon
|The perfect ending to a great meal: Le Café gourmand|
(espresso + "sweet bites")
Remember the shopping trips in favorite stores and boutiques? After all, the bi-annual sale started just last week (hear that, Macy's?)
|"Soldes:" A magical word in the French language!|
|Antoine et Lili 95 Quai de Valmy, Paris 10e.|
|Colorful, fun apparel and accessories - made in France, bien sûr!|
|I have no willpower when that label is concerned!|
Remember the miles we walked, above ground and inside le Métropolitain? Good thing we brought good shoes. [Merci, Joseph Siebel !] Good thing my favorite sidekick, Paris Pratique tagged along, too. If it is good enough for les Parisiens, it is still good enough for this French Girl!
|As all my French students know, you a.l.w.a.y.s.|
get the pocket size edition!
Oui, it was fun exploring Paris, the city that was once our home, so many summers ago, and looking at her through tourists' eyes. Most tourists love Paris, and why wouldn't they? Paris never disappoints and [mostly] lives up to the legend.
|Velib rental bikes and accessory boutiques, |
rue du Temple, Paris 4e.
|Happy boaters see Paris from the water on Canal St Martin|
|Homemade iced tea in "Boboland"|
Merci concept store, 111 bd. Beaumarchais, Paris 3e.
But it was good too, as former residents, to know that Paris is not all romance and glamour; that beyond the clichés, it is one big, quirky, often stressed out and packed, city...
|Les tags - That's Paris, too!|
|That's François Hollande, the new president, looking down at us|
all over Le Marais neighborhood...
But when it is all said and done, Paris is a unique and special place, as the city kept reminding us over the last three weeks.
Alors, au revoir, for now, Paris. We can't wait to see you again.
|Promeneurs, Bois de Boulogne|
All photos by French Girl in Seattle
Please do not use without permission.
HAPPY JULY 4TH TO ALL OUR AMERICAN FRIENDS!