Scenes Along the Seine
It’s already June, school is out for the summer and I have the chance to go to work with my mom—to Paris. She has a deadhead to the City of Light, meaning she isn’t scheduled to work the flight back and if she gets it cleared with the airline, can find her own way home. The plan is to head up north to Normandy for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day (after a day in Paris of course), but it is all up in the air. I’m lucky to snag the one and only standby seat out of Chicago, so thankfully I’m up in the air, nestled under my cozy navy blue travel blanket in the middle seat.
A couple of hours of shut-eye later, I’m cruising away from CDG with the flight crew to our hotel right next to the Eiffel Tower. After working all night, I know Mom is out for the count for the next few hours, so after my usual shower to fight of the jet- lag, I head out for a walk along the Seine.
Or do I? It is raining buckets, so instead I find myself on Wi-Fi in the lobby for another hour. As soon as the rain lets up a bit, I head away from the Eiffel Tower along the river towards the Statue of Liberty. I struggle to sync taking photos while holding my umbrella and dodging puddles. Lady Liberty is farther than expected, and I’m longing for the walk back for the constant view of the Eiffel Tower.
The skies may be crying, but I’m certainly not whining about the washed out gray day. I’m in Paris again and that in and of itself is perfect.
By the time I make it to Paris’ iconic image, the skies are clearing. I find a café soaked in light and order a vin rouge allowing my mom a few more minutes to rest.
Almost as soon as the sun reveals itself, it begins its decent. Mom and I take the metro to the Luxembourg Gardens, one of my favorite spots, and then begin the grueling search for our suggested restaurant in the Latin Quarter. Well worth the confusion and extra kilometers, Le Coup Chou offers delectable French cuisine amid perfect Parisian ambience.
We would be heading back to the airport the next morning had my mom been working the flight home, but instead we have more time to peruse Paris before Filippo picks us up.
We make the day about sauntering down the Seine toward Notre Dame. The river’s edges are oozing with life today. If feels as if all of Paris is magnetized toward the water. We dodge happy runners and contemplate sitting down at every riverside café, each cuter than the last. Droves of school children weave through the path, occasionally playing tetherball tenis or dancing at the river studio. Art installations color the banks of the Seine, as do the signature booksellers.
As soon as we walk up an appetite, we savor simple ham and cheese baguettes along the river’s edge. Really, this is the life. There’s so much more I want to do— explore the catacombs, climb to the top on Notre Dame, visit Versailles and Monet’s gardens in Giverny. Yet, I suppose that laundry list of what I still long to see will bring me back. I’ll never tire of Paris.