Next Thursday I am going to Paris; city of lights, love, fromage and everything worth mentioning. I have never been this time of year or even when I was of age, and I want to believe it is just as I’ve seen in the most romantic movies I know (the ones in my head): blustery, sparkling, boots clicking, eyes cast in smoky cafes, pens in mouths, fingers stained with ink, brilliance solidified with each stroke, meeting of the minds, that sort of thing.
Of course, my brother, bless his teenaged heart (“K, no offense but your taste in music kinda blows. I mean you don’t even have the first Linkin Park CD!”) may cramp my fantasy itinerary just a touch. Unless we possess a shared and yet-to-be discovered love of absinthe and Christian Dior, I imagine we won’t exactly be spending every moment together. Nor with my parents, as this is a family vacation we’re talking about, spending Thanksgiving in France (my parents: cool but weird, right?).
So other than dusting up on the nearly ten years of French I lost in the months that followed, I’m doing clandestine research. What could be good? For all of us, or maybe even just me? Can I wander the streets by myself and discover things that are not simply meant to be shared? Is this the next phase of social experiment, me, on a pretty and romantic quest all by myself?
As always, I could really use your help, suggestions, advice. Have you been to/lived in/studied near Paris? And other than the usual, can you tell me where I should go? Do you have a place, a friend, a restaurant, anything that I can look up? Or even just your own take on carving out some time alone on a trip with others, where I could map my novel, sketch the sky, take a leap from navel-gazing and turn to something else entirely…