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Monday, March 28, 2011

Travel Tales: Free in Paris

Unfettered & Alive

It might be a good idea to play
this song as you read this post:

A few years ago we were
spending our Spring Break
in Paris.  The kids were still
quite young, I think they
were in 7th & 8th grade.
This was a time when there
were still rules about how
far they could wander from us.
In New York, they had to be
on the same block as me.
In Williamsburg, they could
be within the historic area.
Strangely, at home in Indiana,
they had little freedom.

In Paris, we stayed in the
lovely, old neighborhood called
the Marais, in the 4th
Arrondisement.  They were allowed
to go downstairs to get a
gelato or to run to the boulangerie
for a baguette and they even
were allowed to go around the
corner by themselves to look in
the shops near the Pompidou Centre.

On our last full day, we had a
lovely lunch on the Ile Saint Louis
at the beautiful Cafe Med.
The Cafe Med is a tiny bistro with
maybe 12 tables, filled with locals,
including dogs, with the kitchen
at the top of a spiral staircase
and the food is handed down
to the waitress.  If you have
ever had ice cream at Berthillon,
you have been close by.
After lunch, my brother needed
to find an internet cafe, Rob & I wanted
to wander and the kids wanted
to explore on their own.
We let them go...
After two minutes, I wanted
to run after them and draw
a map so they could find
their way home.

Rob said they had their
Carte d'Orange Metro
passes and could find
their way around the Metro
better then we could.
And they knew their way home
from Notre Dame and anyone
in Paris could tell them how to
get there and we had to let
them go.

Rob distracted me from
worrying by taking me in
shops like this one so I
could buy cafe au lait cups.

We strolled along the Seine,
looking at book and print
stalls, admiring the architecture
and kissing in the street just
like the French.

We crossed back to the Right
Bank and explored our neighborhood
trying to soak it all in and store up
the spirit of Paris until we could return.
We shared a last taste of rose water
flavored Turkish delight ~ my favorite!

We ended our afternoon in the
hardware and major appliance
section of the Bazar Hotel de Ville
Department store.  Dreaming
of how we would outfit our own
Paris apartment.

We were the last ones home
that afternoon.  We all shared
our tales of what we did while
on our own.  I guess that shows
we all need some time to feel
unfettered & alive...


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