Saturday, February 25, 2012

sharing the love

We hosted our first visitor this month.  A dear friend of mine from Seattle booked her ticket soon after hearing news of our big move.  At the time, the idea of life in Paris was still an abstract notion.  We had no idea what the future would hold; but as luck would have it, her timing couldn’t have been better.  She showed up in Paris just when our lives here had begun to take shape, at that moment when the rhythm of life signaled the end of the honeymoon.  We were grateful for a change of pace.

the best guests are the ones who give piggyback rides

Living in your favorite city is like turning your hobby into a full time job.  It has its rewards but doesn’t leave much time for the hobby itself.  Parisian life is grand, but we aren’t frequenting museums every weekend or dining in Michelin star restaurants.  We are too busy grocery shopping in a foreign language, helping our child with mountains of homework (in French, no less!) and trying to keep our sanity in a very small living space. 

prettiest bridge in paris: pont des invalides

We have come to accept that our washer is our dryer.  It’s a combined thing.  One dirty load takes two hours.  One dryer load, which can only run when the washer is not in use, takes 90 minutes.  Towels clock in at a whopping three hour dry time.  Our countertop oven is good for roasting vegetables and baking chocolate chip cookies but has serious limitations when it comes to baking a cake or roasting a chicken.  These minor irritations are a small price to pay.

DSC_7082  eiffel tower drive through

We are living our dream and taking on the challenges that go along with it.  The fruits of our labor are unmistakable.  This is Paris, after all.  During her recent visit, my friend summed it up well when she marveled, “Everywhere you turn in this city, there is something beautiful to see.

hello, beautiful.

We take great pleasure in the little things:  stumbling upon a charming side street, the well-deserved croissant after a day spent traversing the city on foot, the rare good cup of coffee, quirky shops filled with delightful odds and ends… There is never a dull moment in Paris. 

walking home from dinner at allard

Hosting a visitor gave us our first stab at playing tour guide but it also afforded us the opportunity to be tourists in our own city.  It was the best of both worlds for my friend, who saw the sights as well as an intimate portrait of Parisian living.  For us it was more of a juggling act, playing tourist while tackling the chores of daily life but we managed alright and had a good deal of fun in the process.

DSC_7097 pint-sized tour guide in repose

Quote of the week:  Annabelle to our guest, “You’re not really Parisian until you’ve stepped in dog poo.”

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