It was a very long flight from Buenos Aires to Paris. So long, in fact, that we went from fall to spring, just skipping over that pesky winter thing. But then we were in Paris. Without my luggage. Yes, for the first time since the adventure began – for the first time in many years, in fact – Mark’s bag showed up on the belt and mine didn’t. It’s one of those things you just don’t think of much, but if you travel with everything you own and your suitcase is lost, you’re left with not much at all.
Air France was really good about the process. Told me immediately that I could spend up to €100 on clothes and other necessities, that they normally find lost bags pretty quickly, and that they’d deliver it to my hotel. So after checking into our hotel I went to Banana Republic and bought a shirt, pair of shorts, socks, and underwear and it came to €102.79. Later that night I learned that they’d found the bag and by the next morning we were reunited. A little bit of worry, but in the end I have a free shirt, shorts, underwear, and socks. Not bad.
Now, as for Paris in the spring? It’s pretty nice. Within an hour of getting into the city we were at this great little sidewalk café having wine and steak tartare. Of course, everywhere you turn you see another little café that probably has great food, too.
We’ve had a lot of rain, though; in fact, it has poured for at least a while all three days we’ve been here. That was a problem the first day, when my umbrella and raincoat were in the lost suitcase. And kind of a problem today when the Yahoo! weather forecast indicated a 0 percent chance of rain. That’s zero, as in no chance at all. Couldn’t happen, so no need to bring an umbrella, right? You know where that’s going: while I was walking home sure enough the heavens opened up.
But … it’s spring in Paris. There are still some lilacs in bloom. Lots of other flowers and trees blooming. The parks are lush and green. Besides getting some errands done our highlight so far has been a long walk along the Promenade Plantée, a 3-mile elevated linear park along an old railroad viaduct. Mark & I first discovered it in 2002 and it remains one of my favorite places in Paris. And it’s not just me; the Promenade is the inspiration for New York’s High Line, among other linear parks in the world. Now in the spring, 14 years after we first walked along the park, it’s more lush and filled in and beautiful than ever. I couldn’t have been happier.
Then it started raining again. When there was zero percent chance. Sad.
That’s the first three days of our 14-day stay in Paris. When we get to Week 2 we move from our hotel in the southwest corner of the 10th Arrondissement to an AirBnB apartment in the 11th where our old Cambridge neighbors will be joining us so we’ll have lots of time in this part of Paris where we’ve never stayed before. I see lots of walking in our future.