*Fours hours there in the car with The Princess and Rosebud. I never knew The Princess could sing so sweetly.
*Passing the giant wind turbines next to the A-75 between Orleans and Paris reminded me of that fact that sometimes in my life I need to stop being like Don Quixote. Sometimes things are just windmills.
*Seeing the joy on The Princess' face when we arrived at her best friend's new house near Paris. I only hope she and Cordelia have each other in their lives just as I've had my friend, The A. These people who mean so much to us at 5 years old can still mean so much to us 30 plus years on.
*Who would have imagined that I would be confidently moving through the Paris Metro, fourth child strapped into her stroller, not worried about getting lost?
*I forgot how much I love the Rue de Rivoli. All the fancy shops right next to the touristy ones. The humanity you see and pass through is mind boggling.
*Why do English speaking tourists in Paris feel the need to look at the books in the English bookstore? And how smug am I to admit the pleasure I get when I use my French credit card to buy things there. "Yes. I live in France..."
*Nothing like leaving my hotel in one of the western suburbs early in the morning only to catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, hazy through the sunrise. Seeing it from a distance and from unexpected angles makes it even more amazing and beautiful.
*A market in the banlieue. Old men and women. People of all colours and races. Each pulling behind them their bag on wheels, filled with fresh fish, leeks, potatoes, and bread. Diversity as it should be.
*The sense of panic I had when I realized that I was driving straight towards the Arc de Triomphe, not knowing if my turning was before or after that dreaded etoile. The relief I had when I found my turning seconds later. Not a moment too soon.
*Four hours home with my girls through wind and rain with the occasional tear from The Princess who was sad to have left her best friend behind.
*Home. To my Hubster. To my beautiful boys. To my poop infested mud patch of a garden that lets me gaze for miles over the hills and mountains.
*Paris and this country amaze me. I count my blessings that all of this is part of my life. God, how lucky am I?