I want to write a lot more about our Paris trip, including a handy guide for families with young children. One thought just struck me, however, and I’ll post it for posterity: we were together for two weeks as a family, 24 hours a day (except for the 4 hours that Grandma and Becky watched the kiddos so that Jana and I could have a date night in the City of Love). We slept in close quarters and endured the stresses of hauling luggage, rushing to meet trains and planes, trekking through museums and fighting serious jet lag. Vacations are the ultimate test of family togetherness. And we passed. We were just as amicable (and no less testy) with each other at the end of the trip than we were before we stepped foot on European soil. (This is solely from my perspective, of course.) It is a joy to travel with my family! I hope we have opportunities to explore many more places, exotic and mundane, in the future.
People are actually asking to see pictures! Wow!
I’ve narrowed down our 1100+ Paris photos to the best (or at least most representative) 120 pictures. I hate to inflict home slideshows on the wide world via the web, but here goes the first batch. (1 of 4–check back soon for the others)
I’m back from Paris.
It’s been four days, and I’m still waking up before the cats. I’m ravenous, so I eat a bowl of cereal and a scoop of premium vanilla ice cream with Trader Joe’s “Midnight Moo” chocolate syrup poured over it. A jet-lagged marketing exec must have come up with the name some sleepless night.
William Gibson, in Pattern Recognition, muses that jet lag is the soul trying to catch up with the body. Since I’ve been getting up for the past three nights at 5:30am East Coast time, my spirit must be partying in Manhattan. Or it’s frozen over Greenland.
Perhaps it’s in suspended in shaky orbit halfway between Los Angeles and Paris, captured by powerful gravitational influences of each metropolis. I know it’s just a matter of time before SoCal wins out, but some piece wil break off and fall back to Paris.
I’ve experienced this before. After spending 7 years, off and on, in Japan, I am never completely whole on either side of the Pacific. Maybe this is why I always struggle with sleeplessness. I imagine parts of my soul scattered about the globe like parts of Osiris’ torn body, and I am a willing, globetrotting Set, and writing is my Isis, collecting and putting the parts together again, to live and breath in temporary wholeness.
Leaving for Europe (mostly Paris) in just under 9 hours.
- to eat baguettes so crisp on the outside, so soft on the inside that I will become embittered about American baguettes for the rest of my life.
- to try to smuggle a really stinky cheese back to the US in a pair of old socks.
- to fly 5000 miles to Paris where good chefs are treated like royalty, and order le Big Mac from a McDonald’s on Champs Elysee. Just kidding.
- to sit in a cafe with cigarette, a cafe creme, a beret, a turtleneck and no deoderant, and practice not smiling at the passers-by.
- to reenact part of the Da Vinci Code by lying naked and spread-eagled on the floor of the Louvre with pagan symbols scrawled all over me.