Packing and…

I am now officially 8 wake ups from getting on the plane.

I have the duffel bag packed, weighed, zipped.  The big Eagle Creek bag is half full.  The carry-on has sacks of stuff surrounding it and the backpack is pretty much limited to what I need on the plane  and all the electronic stuff.  Sitting by the door are two boxes ready to mail back.  I can’t mail them the same day.  If they arrive at the same time in Customs in the US, I will exceed my duty free limit.  So one goes tomorrow.  Not today?  Well, of course not.  It is Easter Monday and all the post offices are closed.  So one tomorrow, the other on Thursday.

A third box will go on Saturday.  Yes.  One more.  Full mostly of stuff that is returning to the US.  This frees my suitcase of extra weight.  I am limited to 50 lbs per suit case.  It’s a giant puzzle.  Weight plus value of item that is going back to the States for the first time.  I say that because my suitcases are full of things I bought here but bring back and use.

At this point, I think I will be fine.  And if it doesn’t fit, I guess time to toss things.  Sunday it all must be in the suitcases for the move to a hotel.  Two nights in the hotel and Tuesday off to the airport.  This is not my preferred way of doing things.  I have to live out of a suitcase for two nights.  But I can suck it up and survive.

Is it time to go back?  Yes.  The last weeks here are bittersweet. I do love Paris.  But I also focus on the future and am eager to get back home.  Thoughts appear in my head unbidden.  The dishwasher is better than this one.  More light in my house.  My dryer! OMG Fluffy clothes.  The air in Sacramento is less polluted.  I have air conditioning.  An office in which to work on my computer instead of the dining room table.

And after four years with the majority of my time spent here, I know Paris.  I know French.  And I am not ready to tackle French bureaucracy to move here full time.

And, are you ready for this?  I have a checklist of place to go before I leave.  Some I haven’t been to yet.  Some to go back to in order to say au revoir.  And as opportunities to stop at these places occur…  I am on the bus and see the College des Bernadines right there.  I don’t jump off the bus.  I think, nah, it’s ok.  I don’t need to go.  Same with Sainte Chapelle.  This Medieval scholar (applied loosely) suddenly finds Paris to have a surfeit of medieval sites.

I do want to go see the famous table in the Louvre.  I have lunch planned this week for the d’Orsay.  Notre Dame was on the list – clearly, it’s not now.  I don’t need to go back to the Cluny – I can visualize most of the important objects.

Instead, I am making more time for seeing friends.  Dinners, drinks, lunches.  Kir Royale (cassis with champagne).

I still owe you a blog about the three chateau road trips, how I started on Infinite Paris in the first place.  And, maybe more for me than you, how I have changed since this experience.  In fact, I’d welcome any of your opinions on that, dear readers.  Just leave a comment.  Or email me if you have my email.

Now I must go get ready for the first of three tango lessons this week.

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