The pale gray light of a rainy dawn creeps into the room. In my jet lagged stupor, I briefly forget where we are.
The breeze from the fan brushes against my cheek soft as a lover’s caress. I roll over and wrap my arms around the man I have loved for what feels like an eternity, drifting back to sleep.
The shriek of a high/low police siren startles me out of my slumber.
Something is amiss, and then, ‘I remember- Paris. It is our first morning in Paris.’
My lion is, at last, stirring. I am always amazed at his ability to sleep through anything.
He rolls over to me, wraps me in his arms. Kisses my forehead. “Wake up love, it’s our first morning in Paris. And it’s raining. Isn’t it such a romantic way to start our first day in Paris?”
His lust building, he pulls me closer and whispers, “I can think of an even better way.”
The gentle murmurs of our lovemaking mixes with the sounds of a waking neighborhood. Early morning commuters speeding past on their scooters, taxis late for a pick up, the pedestrians rushing on the street below. Beautiful music to welcome us to Paris.
Later, we walk down the 4 flights of stairs and search out a nearby coffee shop. We wander into a tiny store front, order a coffee and a croissant to share. Simple, yet complex with their layers of buttery flakiness. The first bite is the best, the crispy crunch of the pastry fills your mouth and leaves you longing for yet another. We walk to a market, marveling at the selection of French wines, hundreds of cheese choices, assorted fruits, and vegetables. The pièce de résistance? Fraise des Boise, small wild strawberries which are unique, sweet, and as aromatic as the finest of French perfumes. Laden with our bounty from the market, we step onto the now bustling street. We follow our noses to the nearest boulangerie for a fresh-baked baguette, still warm from the oven.
Me at the apartment
View from our window
Paris, still a city where can you stroll down a historic street, gaze at incredible architecture and catch the heavenly scent of fresh baking bread.
Making our way back to our apartment, we climb the 57 steps once again to our comfy pied-à-terre. Here is where we will pretend we are true Parisians for the duration of our trip.
Throwing open the tall windows, we look out at our view of the river Seine. A tourist filled bateaux-mouches floats by in a lackadaisical manner. The once empty sidewalk below fills with people from all over the world. As I gaze out the window, I am overwhelmed at the beauty outside our doorstep.
I am anxious to explore the city together. We are celebrating our 17th anniversary, a milestone we are grateful for. The marriage that wouldn’t last has done so for 17 years.
We have our breakfast in the apartment savoring each morsel of food and sip of wine.
We spend the day exploring the city. Paris is perfect for a Flâneur, to saunter if you will. Wandering and sauntering is our favorite pastime. You never know where you may end up. One afternoon, we find ourselves on a quiet street with small colorful gardens on each side of us. It feels as if we are miles from a city, much less in a city as magnificent as Paris.
We walk most of the days except for a few excursions on the Metro. Interesting fact-it is one of the densest metro systems in the world, with 245 stations within the 34 sq. miles of the city of Paris. On the morning of our anniversary, we ride it to a flea market in the 12th arrondissement, Puces d’Aligre. There we find unique treasures to take back to home. Small trinkets to remind us of Paris. An antique magnifying glass, a gold chain coin purse, a matchbook holder.
We spend the rest of our afternoon in a lovely park on The Ile de la Cité. Spreading our lunch out on the concrete embankment, we break bread, and feed bites of cheese and ham to one another. We remember everything except the wine glasses. Laughing, the bottle becomes the glass we share. We take turns with the wine and watch the boats float by on the river. We savor every minute of our romantic lunch. This is one of the best anniversaries of our lives. Our eyes are for no one else but each other and the city we have fallen in love with.
As the light of the setting sun hits the centuries old stone of the buildings bordering the river Seine, it creates an ethereal golden glow that encompasses the beautiful architecture and anything surrounding them.
In that lustrous golden moment, we fall in love all over again, sitting on the banks of the river Seine.