I apologize for the missed post- unfortunately, internet in the big city is not free and easy like it is in the small towns I have been up till now!
Before I left Maule, I decided to visit their world-famous "chocolaterie", or chocolate store. This store, Colas, is known not only for the unmatched taste of their fine chocolates, but also for the fact that they use their chocolate to make art! Their chocolate shoes (not to be worn, obviously!), their mini chocolate pianos and chocolate African masks are bought and sold all over Europe. Take a look at the pictures- all chocolate. I bought a chocolate tool box with chocolate hammers, wrenches and screwdrivers for the family I will stay with in Geneva, and of course a little assortment of dark chocolates for myself and my husband.
Then on to Paris. Ah, Paris! As I walk down the streets, I cannot help but hum the tune "I Love Paris" and feel like I am living in a movie. As it turns out, I am staying with my two comanions so far (Andrew and Sarah) in a fantastic apartment right next to the Latin Quarter, an old section of Paris which is full of book stores, shops and cafes. The streets of this city are so packed with history, and I find myself constantly wondering, "Did Victor Hugo ever walk down this alley? Did King Louis ever wander these gardens? What conversations could be overheard on this corner during the French Revolution?"
A couple of popular things for kids to do in Paris are 1) sailing boats at the pond in the Jardin de Luxembourg- a big garden, and 2) play with their friends in one of the million parks around town. In fact, last night I saw some kids playing tag. Instead of saying, "You're it!", they say "Touche!"
Last night I walked along the River Seine, where people young and old, French and very un-French, rich and poor, claimed their preferred picnic spots. For nearly a mile, blankets were spread right next to the river and friends chatted with friends. There is even a little section of the river where there are nightly tango lessons. Wow, could those people dance!!
Today is a really special day in all of Europe. It's called "La Fête de la Musique". Apparently, bands from all over the city play in the streets all night long! I can't think of the last time that I stayed up past midnight, but I think that this would be a worthy occasion. I'll let you know how it goes!