If you want to be a writer (whatever that means), you’re supposed to write every day. Every. Day. Every day? Like even during vacations? I think so. And yet I didn’t, not every day, not on my vacation. I’m not completely sure why, but I’d like to blame it on the absence of my beloved Mac.
Writing on my husband’s Mac didn’t feel right. The small journal decorated with a bold vintage-modern design, it didn’t feel right either. Or maybe it was the reminder that my hand writing is not very pretty and I like things to be pretty. Like the letters of the Courier font, which remind me of my mother’s typewriter that I used as a child to create poetry.
Obviously, if I’d been more diligent, I would have pulled out my journal, or my husband’s computer, every day rather than only a handful of times across the 16 days we were traveling.
I don’t regret it. Because of the way I feel today. Peaceful. Content. Inspired. Even if it means I am slightly frustrated with the mere 24 hours it takes the moon to move around the earth. If only there was more time in the day. If only I wasn’t jet-lagged. There’s so much to do. From mothering to cleaning to laundering to writing to blogging to editing to making teas to cooking to loving…
In Paris, I didn’t feel like this. In Paris, there was absolutely nothing I had to do but love on my baby girl and my sweet husband. Yes, at times, I was insanely frustrated with both of them. Yes, we fought. But we also hugged and kissed and held hands. We spent every sleeping and waking moment together, and it was sweet.
We didn’t worry about seeing many tourist attractions, James and I had both seen most of them in our pasts. We didn’t worry about seeing the big things. Instead, we looked for the little things. The prettiest gardens. The best croissant. The richest coffee. The lightest bread. The tastiest chocolatier and sweetest parfumerie and coolest concept store.
We were inspired. By the French art of tea. By the food. By the romantic language. By the apartment where we stayed. By the boutiques we discovered. By the architecture and the history and the greatness of the city.
We continued to walk a lot, avoiding the metro as much as possible. Some evenings, we could barely make it up the four flights of stairs to our apartment, our bodies yearning to be horizontal and our feet screaming to be propped up.
It was because of all this walking that we saw Paris the way the Parisians do. The cobblestone streets not marked on the map, inhaling the scent of freshly baked bread, cigarette smoke and espresso wafting from sidewalk cafes. Tucking into a brasserie where we were the only foreigners, I practiced my French while Giovanna flirted with anyone who would give her a chance.
To burn off energy collected from sitting in the stroller for so many hours, we took Giovanna to run loose in the parks.
We climbed the hill to Sacre Coeur.
We spent time with our friends from Amsterdam, who came down to spend two days in Paris with us.
A love of all things French kept us fascinated by every person, every boulangerie, every grand building hiding around unsuspecting corners.
Instead of returning to the Louvre, we looked at galleries, enjoying the work of undiscovered artists. We relished in anonymity over fame, admiring the Eiffel Tower from afar.
And each other from up close.