Au revoir

<This was written on January 10 and 11 – my last evening in Paris and during the day of my journey back.  I have been back in the States for a while but haven’t found time for blogging until today and I discovered this blog finished but not posted.  Enjoy.>

As I rode my last metro and bus this evening, I was looking at all my regular landmarks with a careful eye, wondering what will be different when I come back.  It’s what happened in the states in the 9 months I am gone – I return and see huge new buildings replacing small old ones that I can’t even remember very well.

And this time I don’t know when I will be back.  It truly feels like a new stage, new chapter in my life. Full of possibilities…

My last vacuuming of the apartment.  Stripping the bed this morning for my landlady.  Looking at how I arranged my stuff for the plane.   And knowing I will immediately forget.

The taxi was on time actually early.  But I was in the other room and didn’t hear the message ding.  We left at 720 not 715 but still made good time to the airport.  By 8.  Checked my bags by 815.  Paid for the extra bag by 820.  In the security line by 825.  And through there and waiting now in the comfy chairs by the shops at 9.  Boarding starts at 952.  Enough time to blog a bit and then find the toilettes and stand in line again.  That’s travelling these days, isn’t it?  Standing in line…. Endless lines.  In Europe you don’t have to take your shoes off through security.  Every little bit helps.

Weird.  No plans to return.  Open ended.  I know I will be back.  But when.  So I will do the things I know of – remodel my bathroom at home – help my sister sell her house, toss and sell excess stuff in my house.  Which is funny because I am bringing home excess stuff!!!  But some are gifts.  Oh well,  decorations.

While I felt like I was done with lines, I was  not.  I went through Police Frontiere here and got my passport stamped.  But I have to go through that in Salt Lake City for the US authorities.  I will see how easy Global Entry is this time.  Last year it was a snap.  Just put my passport down on the reader and stared in the camera and good to go.  Then I collect my bags and transfer them to Delta for the flight to Sac.  And once again go through security.  This time I hope to remember.  Every other year, after the 11 hour flight, I totally forget and am surprised I have to find my electronics again.  One Laptop, one Ipad, 3 Iphones, one Ipod (yes!) and my kindle.  AND take my shoes off once on US soil.

I had a half bottle of water in a cool small bottle – fortunately I remembered to drink it in the security line so I could take it through.  I then just ask the flight attendants to fill it for me on the flight.

In Paris I got up at 6 am after what I thought was a fitful night – well, I thought I woke often but went back to sleep.  My Fitbit Alta says I got 6 hours and 5 minutes of sleep so I will trust in that and feel rested.  I will arrive in Sac at 3am Paris time tomorrow.  So a long 21 hour day ahead of me.  And of course, flying west you are in the daylight and who sleeps?  Not me.  I have the Fire and the Fury to read.  Or watch movies.  The options these days are numerous.  Time to catch up on the movies I have missed.

Will you keep reading this blog I wonder?  Can it morph into Infinite Paris in Sacramento?  Or just the US?  In a way I think it can.  Because Paris will always be part of me now.  I know the city like the back of my hand.  Rarely do I  get stopped for a question that I cannot answer.

I have never been so organized for a return trip before.  I even made some breakfast today.  And packed some GORP  (Gobs of rotten peanuts for those of you who are not hikers).  So no need to visit any shops except to spend the coins in my pocket.  But then it’s another thing to have to carry home.

Counting Down

<A very delayed post!  I am back in the States and life has kept me from blogging.  So I sat down this afternoon to write and discovered two posts that had not yet made it to the internet.  Enjoy.  This was written around Jan 9, 2018.>

A week from today I leave.  Still packing.  Still mailing home a box.  Shipping a suitcase tomorrow with many concerns about the tags for it…

And sitting at the laptop figuring out values of things for the suitcases that go with me and the box that goes via la poste.  To make the drudgery palatable, I started listening to Amazon Music.  Cool.  Found the relaxation stations.  One station had too many words.  So I clicked on Brinkman whom I recall maybe plays the piano.  The first track was great.  Then the music  stopped.  Sometimes it does that.  I guess it gets to the end of the playlist.  Yet I kept hearing things.  Sort of staticky noises.  I had just had problems with my hearing aid but fixed it.  Was it going bad again?  I took it out, put it back, changed the volume.  Always that noise.  Then I looked at Amazon music to find something to drown it out.

Brinkman was playing indeed.  And the title was Rain and cicadas.  OK.  Let’s change that station right away.  Now, soothing music, no static or cicadas.

This morning I slept in too late to go to the d’Orsay during my private time.  So I headed off to the Louvre.

So many tourists!  Someone said the Louvre is always busy.  Well, yes.  But after the attacks in Nov 2015 things changed and the normal became less tourists.

That’s over and done with.  Restaurants crowded.  Shops packed.  I’ll go to the Orsay before I leave at 9 before it opens to the hordes.  As a member I can go in at 9.  Empty!  Wonderful!  All these great works of art to myself!