Friday, March 27, 2015

Birthday Girl

It's easy to forget you are getting older while you're in Paris. The city forces you to walk everywhere, to take the subway, to linger over breakfast, to pay attention. You can't dwell on birthday wishes or what you've done (or not) with your life when you're absorbed with living it.

And isn't that the best thing about traveling? You sort of forget who you are for a while because you are busy leading a life that you don't normally live - sitting in outdoor cafés in strange cities, attempting to communicate in a language you don't speak, getting to know neighborhoods outside of your own.

Rodin's The Thinker at the Rodin Museé.The Rodin Museé is this quiet, museum oasis of sculpture away from the fray.

We started the day of October 17 at an outdoor table at Café Charlot in Marais to watch the Parisian world go by.

It doesn't seem to matter what you're doing in France, you're having bread while doing it.

Having coffee?  
How about some bread?!
Zipping through traffic on your scooter while talking on your cell?  
Why not add some bread to that!
Shopping along the street?  
Here, eat some bread.
Watching half-naked women can-can at Crazy Horse?
You know what pairs well with nudity? A baguette.

I am fully supportive of this because truly the bread is unmatched. It is so delicious it is its own meal.

The 'only' thing I asked for for my birthday was to have a picnic at the Eiffel Tower. Miraculously, it was 75º and sunny that day. 

We got sandwiches from the bakery a few blocks from our hotel – along with chocolate croissants – and picked up cheese and crackers from a convenience store in the Champs de Mars subway stop. (It was basically the French version of 7-11 inside the subway. We fancy.) And I brought a towel with us from the hotel room to use as our picnic blanket.

With our bag full of sandwiches, cheese, croissants and the hotel towel, we headed to the Eiffel Tower.

The weather was so perfect it looks fake. If this were Instagram I'd hashtag it #nofilter.

Picnic blanket or hotel bath towel? You can't even tell the difference.

From there we went back to the Ponts des Arts lock bridge, which we discovered by accident on our first trip Paris three years ago.

It looks terrible. The locks are a blight on the bridge now with so many that parts of the railings are breaking from the weight of them.

Unsightly, like locusts tourists have descended upon it.

This is what the bridge looked like when we were there three years ago.

We were happy to just take a photo and not add to the destruction.

Lock bridge selfie. If you squint, you can see the Eiffel Tower.

Before we left for Europe Ray gave me the Eiffel Tower Tiffany charm necklace as a reminder of our trip. It was perfect.

If you are going to turn 40, the only reasonable way to do so is in Paris with your love after coffee and a baguette for breakfast.