paris (part one)

i hate to be cliche, but there really is something about paris in the spring. not that i have other seasons to compare it to (yet). my trip was simultaneously all that i had ever hoped for and so much more than i dreamed.

my hotel, familia hotel, was amazing. when i go back i will again stay there. the staff were great, and all the rooms have these amazing sepia murals on the wall above the bed of different areas of paris. the hotel is in the latin quarter, and somewhere in the back of my mind, i had decided long ago that if i ever did get to paris, the latin quarter was where i wanted to stay. sometimes i can make good choices, and the latin quarter & familia hotel are among the examples of this anomaly!

the seine and all the bridges that link the left and right banks together captivated me. on more than one occasion did i feel a wave of envy sweep over me as i saw parisians sitting on the banks of the seine eating their lunch. as good as my imagination can be, the credit river will never be a substitute!

every morning, almost like a touchstone, i walked through the busy streets of the latin quarter, amongst the parisians going to work, school, fathers taking little children to daycare or wherever french children go when their parents go to work, up from my hotel to notre dame. the man at the front desk of my hotel said it takes ten minutes, but an odd thing happens when you walk through the streets of paris, time ceases to matter. or at least for me, it ceased to exist. there was only me, and this beautiful incredible city that seemed to have everything bathed in a pinkish sort of light, making it all more beautiful. anyway, back to notre dame, it was almost as though i had made a deal with myself no day would start without seeing the beautiful cathedral. apart from my hotel and the rue des ecoles on which it was, notre dame was the only thing i saw every day.

on friday a friend asked me if i would ever move to paris, and without hesitation i answered, 'yes.' i cannot explain it more than to say that from the first moment the airplane landed, and for some unexplained reason tears came to my eyes, paris felt like home. even as i sit here in the apartment that has been my actual home for more than three years, i know that somewhere east of here exists a place where my heart truly feels at home.

gertrude stein said "america is my country and paris is my hometown." while our countries of origin may be different, this same sentiment echoes through the parts of my heart that made the trip home with me.


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