Paris, and everything is easy. Somewhere on my way into or out of Beirut (where it turned out I had to go through yet another security checkpoint, including frisking, to get from the lounge to the plane) I found myself wishing I was flying to New York, that I had just planned to stay a few more days in Jordan and gone home from there, instead of stopping off in Paris.
I've changed my mind. Paris is never a bad idea, even in February. I love that it's still full of charming little hotels like the one I'm staying in near the Jardin du Luxembourg, with flowered drapes and quilted bedspreads and flowerpots outside the windows. And of course, baguettes with butter and jam served with cafe au lait in a breakfast room with small round tables with floor-length tablecloths and fresh flowers. Even a fellow guest who hums loudly while reading Le Figaro at the next table can't distract from the perfection that is a fresh French baguette -- when I was thinking about how I wanted to spend the day, I considered finding a bakery and just sitting on a bench eating bread until I either exploded or had to leave for the airport.
Instead, I went to Notre Dame, because I always go to Notre Dame. I am not such a traditionalist that I was dismayed to find a Starbucks on the way, a new development since the last time I was here eight years ago. Because while there may be many experiences that aren't enhanced by having a large cup of hot coffee in your possession, it turns out that walking through the Left Bank on a pleasant winter's morning isn't one of them.