It is good to be home.
It was good to be away. It was all so so good. Except the air travel. Oh, the hours stuck in a small metal tube! There are parts of my body that I hardly ever gave a thought to that are still aching, days after. Did you know you have a tail bone? Well, the vestiges of a tail anyway. Did you know that 17 hours on a plane makes one acutely aware of this small but important spot on the body? When I rise - ouch. When I sit - OUCH. But enough of that.
It really was a wonderful adventure. From Paris, to Provence, to Barcelona. Each had its own treasures. Le Pick Clops in Paris, around the corner from our apartment, was our morning coffee and croissant place. The 'kids' who ran it were fun, spoke petite Anglais, were hip and cool. The sound tracks they played - all American music from the 1950s. They soon learned that Steve loves his chocolate. On the first day, our waitress made a special trip to a boulongerie to get pain du chocolate for him. For the rest of the week, they had it on hand.
It is a neighborhood thing. All the regulars come by. They sit at the bar, drink their beverages (sometimes beer for the night workers) and have great gab fests that elicits much laughter. They are young and old. Elites and street sweepers.
Dogs are everywhere in Paris. Big and small. Many, many dachshunds. Seems to be the dog of choice. It's great to watch them trot furiously on their stubby legs. They've got to work to keep up, and there was not a fat dachshund to be found.
Le Pick opened earlier than all the other cafes in our neighborhood. That's what first got our attention. But within 2 days we realized that there were just so many things to love about this place. The people there embodied joie de vivre. Just watching them at work and at play was instructive.
We found the French people to be friendly and kind. In Paris. Steve noticed a remarkable shift in their demeanor towards tourists and travelers. We can't account for it, but it is welcomed.
The mister and I will be editing images for months to come. The urban scenes of an ancient, great city. The pastoral pastels of the southern countryside. The old city of Barcelona, boasting the oldest Synagogue in all of Europe.
My, it is good to be home.