It is a wonderful feeling to be somewhere and think to yourself, “There is absolutely no other place on earth I’d rather be right now.”  Shane and I arrived at Charles de Gaulle this morning, weary and jet-lagged from the 12-hour flight, but as soon as we climbed the steps up out of the Metro station and onto the sidewalks of Paris, I was instantly rejuvenated.  One quick glance at the streetscape and I knew that this city is every bit as beautiful as I remembered it to be.  After a short bout of panic at the bank when we found that we couldn’t change our traveler’s checks into Euros for our apartment’s security deposit, we arrived at our place on Rue Pastourelle (where before we could explain our currency dilemma, the landlord shrugged and said, “Nevermind.  Don’t worry about the deposit.”  So French.)  The apartment is quaint and comfortable, with a great view of the surrounding Parisian rooftops and the courtyard of the Archives Nationales.  I could get used to opening my windows onto this every morning:



We quickly unloaded our stuff, freshened up, and before you could say, “Bienvenue”, we were back out the door, ready to enjoy the city.  Got lunch at a corner brasserie, wandered for a little, realized that we were both feeling a little zombie-like, and returned to the apartment for a much-needed nap.  That was two hours well-spent.  We woke up hungry and grabbed a wedge of brie, a few slices of salami, and a baguette and had a simple (but quite delicious) dinner at the apartment before heading out for a glass of wine and some dessert.  Ended up snagging a table on the terrace in front of Les Philosophes in the Marais.  It was a chilly night, but the heat lamps, the carafe of red wine, and the chocolate espresso cake set before us made us quickly forget about the weather.  The terrace was packed – this is one of the many things I love about Paris: no matter the weather, the time of day, or the state of the economy, people here always find time to grab a seat at one of these tiny sidewalk tables and linger over a drink with friends.  We polished off our wine, chatted for awhile more while we waited 30 minutes for our bill (when in France…), and decided to take a short stroll across the river before heading back to the apartment.  Stood in awe of Hotel de Ville, glowing in the night; reveled in the splendor of Notre Dame; and grabbed a couple of crepes in the Latin Quarter to warm our hands and satisfy our craving for a second dessert.  And then, we were pooped.  Ready to turn in for the night.  Can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds…