Our Mother-Daughter Trip to Paris (Thursday)
Kelly and I took the 10:09 TGV train from Avignon to Paris. We were excited about having a couple of days in Paris before heading home, and I was looking forward to our first-ever Mother-Daughter overnight trip. But it was sad to say goodbye to Charley and leave him there on the train platform as the doors closed and we started on our way. I won't see him for five weeks, and he and Kelly will be apart for seven weeks. Suddenly that seems a very long time.
I also left my digital camera with Charley, so he can take pictures during his travels. Kelly became the official photographer for our trip to Paris, and as you'll see in these entries, she did a wonderful job. This is the first time I've ever traveled without a camera, and it was a very strange feeling-- I felt empty and a little bit powerless!
The sun was shining in Provence, but as we sped north to Paris, the world outside us changed and the sun disappeared behind us. We arrived in Paris to overcast skies and cool temperatures-- in the upper 60's and low 70's. I was nervous about my wardrobe. I had packed only for summer and hadn't planned for the possibility of this type of weather. I only had cropped pants and open toed sandals and only a few things for days like this: a long-sleeved hiking shirt (that I've been using as a robe), a raggy-looking black sweater, a multi-purpose wrap, and two scarves. You could tell who the locals were on the streets because they were properly dressed. Some people were wearing heavy jackets! I thought I might have to buy some other shoes and a jacket.
We took a taxi from the Gare de Lyon to L'Hôtel des Grandes Écoles . I was very pleased with my choice of a hotel-- it was convenient, economical, interesting, and in a very good location in the Latin Quarter. We really liked the arrangement of the hotel-- almost on its own private street with a pretty courtyard and lots of flowers. We were five minutes from the busy Rue Mouffetard, a street full of shops and restaurants that Kelly found especially appealing.
The pretty courtyard at L'Hôtel des Grandes Écoles (photo by Kelly)
Despite the strange weather, it was great to be in Paris again. This was my sixth trip to Paris: three days in 1991 with two girlfriends (six months before Charley and I got married); a week in 1994 when Kelly was 14 months old; four days in 1999/2000 for the big millennium celebration; two weeks in 2004 during our long trip; and four days in 2004/2005 (also during our long trip) when we came up from Provence for another New Years. I know this city, and I like it. I've forgotten how very much I like it. But I have to say that it was culture shock to arrive in the midst of Paris after our month in the quiet Luberon countryside.