Our last full day in Paris: Tuesday, April 6th, 2010
After sleeping in a bit, Robert, Katrina, and Alexander took the train to Versailles. Since I had visited Versailles with Robert 20 years ago, I didn't feel the need to go again (how much does the history change, after all?).
Through the magic of the internet, I reconnected with a college friend, Eric Stevenson, who lives in Paris (and recently got dual US/French citizenship). Eric was the student body president at the University of Arizona back in the day and he is simply one of the most hospitable, kind, and interesting people I've ever met. He is planning his second trip around the world, inspired largely through his experience as a passenger on the US Airways plane that Captain Sully successfully landed on the Hudson River. Photographs of him on the left wing of the plane and media interviews were everywhere.
I met up with Eric at Le Tuillerie Jardin and caught up on 25 years of living. We had a very Parisian lunch and traveled into some multi-cultural neighborhoods. The people of Paris are quite friendly, contrary to some stereotypes perpetuated in the U.S. Eric pointed out that the custom in France is to greet someone with "bon jour" before diving into a request, question, or statement. American visitors often launch into their question or request without saying hello. That throws the locals off, understandably. I saw it occur many times once Eric pointed this out to me. WE, the Americans, are often unintentionally rude. Imagine that!
Robert and the kids caught up with us in the late afternoon and we had a happy hour in Eric's wonderful home on the 25th floor near the Seine. The skyline views were breathtaking. Eric shared binoculars with the kids and challenged them to identify all the major features of Paris.
We then went to a creperie where we enjoyed savory crepes or dinner followed by dessert crepes. The kids were in heaven and we had fun all around.
That night, we packed up and prepared for a quick flight to Madrid. We are so excited to see my sister Chrisa, her husband Jaime Valero, and their beautiful children. Bon soir!