We were in Paris over Thanksgiving break with my brother-in-law Tyler and his girlfriend Shannen, and discovered our favorite city can be beat, by our favorite city at Christmas.  I mean there where certain points where my feet were wet, the weight of a wool coat was hurting my shoulders and every muscle hurt from being tense against the cold that I would wish through chattering teeth for the sunshine of California, but for the most part I loved every minute of it.  A cup of hot wine under twinkle lights is a cure for all winter ailments.  Trever and I had a couple of perfeclty long walks at sunset where the day was ending and the city turned on, exchanging a thousand shades of grey for the warmth of a thousand amber lights. 

The first morning I was up with my travel companion jet lag, and I headed to our usual spot for a croissant and coffee so I could read under the awning while the rain drizzled and black umbrellas passed by in the sleepy light. We spent days walking and art looking and discovered for the first time the marvelous Picasso museum.  We spent afternoons warming up and drinking organic wine in the apartment while soggy passers-by envied our view. We found some fabulous pastries by Canal St. Martin, which is a neighborhood we haven’t quite gotten our heads around, but I mumbled my way through an order that had Trever in tears over my abhorrent French-like noises resembling a toddler whining and pointing for its toy. 

We drank hot chocolate with a side of butter pastries but always walked it off until our ankles felt like they might detach from our feet if we hit another cobblestone wrong. I started walking along the flat cement edge of the riverbank, willing to risk a fall into the icy river over the risk of another rolled ankle. We wandered around Le Marais while Trever popped in and out of shops, which was all subpar to finding his mother ship St. Laurent where he struggled over a purchase only to leave empty handed and subsequently regretting his decision, which lead to another trip and still no bags. The place bores me, I’m never going to buy anything, so I wandered the streets and enjoyed the Christmas vibes.  We ate Thai food, Japanese food, roasted vegetables at home, and we skipped the yuppy French restaurants this time because they don’t understand a vegetarian and the white linen vibes are terrifying. We crowded into a jazz bar that was too hot and drank sugary cocktails while standing in the middle of a walkway.

Mostly we found peace from a chaotic year, inspiration, slow afternoons and exciting evenings, good food and wine, the joy of good friendships, I finished Gone Girl, and we remembered why we always risk missing out on something better for the same Paris, again and again Paris.