Love in Paris On Our First Home Exchange
From the moment the plane touched the ground at Charles de Gaul airport, I felt a flutter in my belly, a thud in my heart and a smile that split from ear to ear. Love in Paris On Our First Home Exchange – yeah! We are in Paris again. Bill reached for my hand with a squeeze and beamed like a kid. We picked up our luggage and headed down to the metro that zipped us into the city in 35 minutes. This was our first home exchange and the french family we were swapping with were on their way to our home in Palm Springs. We exited the metro, texted our contact and made our way over the bridge to pick up the keys.
Everything went smoothly and we walked for a few minutes in the sunshine to our new home, a fabulous modern, dare I say sexy apartment with an incredible view overlooking the Seine and the Statue of Liberty.
The apartment was open plan, filled with art objects and books, a cool turntable and record collection. Bill slipped Miles Davis out of its sleeve and the space came alive.
We were more than pleased and any anxiety Bill had felt doing the exchange, vanished. I opened the large glass windows and popped my head out for a view of the Tour Eiffel. Yes, there she was in all her glory, standing tall into the clouds.
A nice bottle of red wine and french chocolates awaited us in the compact kitchen and the master bedroom beckoned us to bed where nous avons fait L’amour as a cool breeze drifted off the river and through the open windows. A giant chestnut tree shaded the bed in speckled light and we rested a while till that little voice in my mind said ”what the hell are you doing sleeping, Paris awaits.”
We walked the path along the tree lined river Seine hand in hand without a care in the world,
and stopped into a boulangerie for a baguette, the first of many and Bill became french just like that. Every day he bought a baguette that became an edible accessory.
We picnicked in the magnificent Jardin des Tuileries created by Catherine de’ Medici as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564. It was eventually opened to the public 1667 and became a public park after the French Revolution. In the 19th and 20th centuries, it was where the Parisians strolled, met friends and I’m sure relaxed with a good book. And here we were, kicking back with the rest of the french. It is easy to transport yourself back in history here.
I left Bill on a bench to watch the people at play, yoga groups on the lawn, little kids running wild on the grass with their parents looking on.
Muslin women looking carefree their heads covered in bright scarves and the men pushing strollers. Young hipsters sipping wine on the lawn in deep conversation, and lovers everywhere you look stealing kisses, pouting or having words.
Feeling the jet lag we walked back home pressed the shutter down and fell into bed in the pitch black room.