From the Ground Up

Hugo saved Notre Dame with Hunchback, so writers can have great impact, but what am I going to tell you about Paris?  Writers and artists and photographers for ages have captured her spirit better than I ever could.

It was rainy and chilly, which dampened not our enthusiasm, our energy or our exuberance for Paris.

Only there seven days we did not see it all, but checked off many of the greatest hits: the Louvre, the Orangerie, Versailles, the Rodin, les Invalides, the Conciergerie.  Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle. The Eiffel Tower, The Arc de Triomphe.

We delighted at Deyrolle, received a C- from our guide on the Fat Tire Bike Tour, ate our weight in bread and pastries and bowed down to the French teacher who was our guide; she made the entire visit both spectacular and spectacularly easy.

And through all of it I marveled at the floors and steps, some tile, some marble worn into indentations deep enough to offer a dog a good, long drink.  After all those feet upon those treads, what can I tell you of Paris?

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14 thoughts on “From the Ground Up

  1. Patricia, a fabulous trip I am sure. You notice floors like I notices all of the unique doors and windows in Europe!


    Art by Karena

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  2. What did your boy think? I'm guessing it must have been incredibly interesting to see the city through his eyes.

  3. Oh, it sounds wonderful–and all those days with No. 1 son to set his brain a whirling. Coming home must have been a bit of a culture/reality shock, but well worth it.
    Need I say–you were missed! Mary

  4. Patricia-
    My 15-yr-old son and I were in Paris at the same time as you and your son! You are a good sport for not allowing the dismal weather to dampen your spirits. Naturally the sun finally came out again after we left!
    Unfortunately for us, my son was stuck inside our hotel room sick as a dog for the entire trip, venturing out only to take the long cab ride to the American Hospital (twice).
    FYI for your readers who find themselves needing medical attention in Paris, The American Hospital is exceptional and the fees are very reasonable. The staff were attentive and the doctors well-trained and thorough. After our first visit, my son's conditioned worsened, but his Doctor was very responsive and had us come back in immediately to be seen by a specialist, who happened to be a sharp, young native of Connecticut, trained at Yale & Johns Hopkins — now an expat living the good life in Paris! He determined my son had Mono.
    One last useful tip for your readers: Keep in mind that in August Parisians go on vacation, leaving many businesses closed or short staffed – even the hospitals.

    Better luck next time!

  5. love that you capture floors, or they capture you. I think, so often, we look up and around and fail to look down. So much of the story is right there, under our feet.

    glad you're back.

  6. Sounds like a marvelous trip!! Hope the boys enjoyed it as well. Love your well trod take – so many different views to enjoy!

  7. Grayson – I like you already. The bike tour takes you through the streets of Paris and our crew left basically at rush hour. The groups are about 25 people. We got a C- (it was more of a progress report than a final grade) for being too spread out. You can see the concern of the 24ish guide when his crew is spread out over two busy city blocks. He was nice not to single out the 45 year old woman who had not been on a bicycle for 30 years.

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