It’s Christmas as I write this, my favorite day of the year. Family, food, and celebrating the birth of Christ. This is the first Christmas I’ve spent outside the US, away from family and friends, and my kids. LOVE you guys and I miss you!
Day two in Paris continued seamlessly from day one for me due to my inability to sleep. The nine hour time difference and a huge wind storm threw me off completely. Wheee! Good times with sleep deprived nat!!
We started off with a quick shopping trip with the locals preparing for their Christmas Eve dinner. A market (or alley with tons of small specialty shops) for breakfast in our first French cafe, and my first use of the language to order deux baguettes et deux expresso. Merci!
We picked up a roasted chicken and potatoes, some fruit, fromage, and deux bottles of vin! M was so smart to think ahead and make sure we had food for later in the day since shops/restaurants were all preparing to close early. After dropping off the food back at the flat we headed to Notre Dame, and Ils St. Louis.
The rain was a big part of our day, but being a native of Seattle, it was welcome and almost comforting. The cathedrals Notre Dame was everything I had imagined. historic, cold, dark, full of symbolism and mystery. It was crowded, but not overbearing. People from all over the world sat for mass, and quietly, politely and respectfully toured the church. The arches, buttresses, gargoyles, and stained glass was breathtaking. I stood in awe of the work that went into building the structure, and how much love it has taken to maintain it for centuries.
I am not Catholic, so a lot of the symbolism was lost on me, but I can appreciate those who practice and live by the things I saw. I did partake in a candle lighting for the first time. In the last 8 weeks my family has been blessed with two new babies (baby Harrison and baby Parker – you are the next generation and we love you!) , and we’ve also been hit with the cancer diagnosis of one my very young cousins. He is strong, like his father, and he is loved by all of us. He and my cousin and his wife have been on my mind this entire trip – and when I saw the prayer book I knew I had to record a request for prayer for him, his family and all of us during this time. his cancer is treatable, and I know he will beat this!
After Notre Dame we walked to one of two bridges in Paris where you and your true love can profess your love in writing on a padlock, lock it to the bridge and toss the key into the river. The only way to break your vow of love is to find the key and remove the lock. One bridge is for lovers, and the other is for commitment. Guess which one has the most locks!
Ils St Loius is the original Paris. Where it all began, and it was delightful! We had an amazing lunch at Mon Ami (no reservation, I just liked the name so we went in)- and I was forced (gently) to use my French. The restaurant was small so everyone got a kick out of my apprehension, and then success. Oh Parisians, you are so charming!! We walked the island, peeked in on preparations for a holiday performance in one of the oldest stone theaters I’ve ever seen, then taxi’d home. We ate a very late dinner, celebrated Christmas nine hours before our family and friends, and I forced myself to stay awake until midnight. Day three should be much better as far as jet lag goes!
have I said it yet?? I LOVE Paris!!