Americans in Paris

I think this might be my favorite way to wake up in the morning.

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We went a little crazy on our first visit to the boulangerie down the street, and this picture is the only remaining evidence of three bags of pastries.  Croissants, kanelles (cinnamon rolls), pain au chocolate, cream cheese twists, raspberry danish, baguettes, and the kind of almond croissants that only existed in my dreams.  The best part about being a big group is that we get to try a little bit of everything.

Here are Tiger Eyes, meringues, and mini lemon meringue pies.

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Maybe this post would make more sense if it was titled “Americans Who Have Been Living in Africa For Three Years in Paris.”

That is a whole different ball game, one that explains why we feel so crazy with joy just to walk out the door.  Metros, sidewalks, recognizable body language, and the most amazing food to be found on every corner.  Everywhere we look there is logic!  And something beautiful to see!  Maybe it’s a cliche, but I love being an American in Paris.

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Especially with all these guys.

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Paris is the most beautiful city.  I think I’ve read that other people think so, but I didn’t really understand how true that was.  When I came here as a college student, we were hitting the sites and trying to find cheap places to stay, missing a lot of the details.  In between dashing from one famous landmark to the next, we were focused on trying to cash traveler’s cheques and keep track of how many days were left on our Eurail Pass.   Now we’re trying to keep track of these:

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Since then I’ve also seen a lot more of the world’s cities.  Probably more than I can count, and some that I’d rather not remember.  So when I see a place like Paris I understand now how unique and beautiful it truly is.  I understand why the French don’t like fighting wars.  How could they risk ruining the most beautiful city on earth?  Like the Judgment of Solomon, they would rather give their city up than see it destroyed.  I think there is some nobility in that.

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How could anyone allow this place be destroyed?

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How could anyone let this FOOD be destroyed??

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Every morning after our coffee and pastries, we planned a journey to see whatever sounded interesting that day.  We started on foot and eventually moved to the metro when everyone got tired of walking.  Five miles?  Eight miles today?  No wonder we are able to eat all those pastries and still feel hungry for dinner!  We saw Notre Dame and decided we were content with taking pictures outside, since the line was so long we couldn’t even find the end.  It was cold with the wind.  Mom helped my buy a new hat!

At Place de la Concord, the sun was so bright and the line was so short that we rode the Ferris Wheel.  Wow, what a view!

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We visited Le Musee Des Invalides, played with a typewriter at Shakespeare and Company, took a boat ride, tried the Eiffel Tower but turned away when the line was HOURS long.  By the time we made it to the Musee D’Orsay we were getting a little tired.

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Time for a snack!  Nutella for Jake and Mommy, Butter and Sugar for Eli and Oma.  I think we will never get tired of these.

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One night, after warming up and taking a little break at home, we bought tickets to hear Beethoven’s 9th at L’Eglise de la Madeleine.  It was the boys’ first orchestra performance. Huge choir, violins, percussion, woodwinds, trumpets, soloists, a conductor with straight white hair that flopped around when he waved his arms.  Eli has decided he wants to play the French horn.  I think that sounds like a good idea!  Neither of them made it through the entire concert (it started at 8) but both woke up in time for the Ode To Joy.  The choir was a little weathered and looked sort of shocked and lost toward the end, but the music had all of us leaning forward.  I think even Jake and Eli liked it.  I will tell myself that, anyway.

Another wonderful evening,  Up past midnight, wandering through Paris with my favorite people in the world.

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