Three things have become crystal clear to me this week:
1. I love Paris. Not that it was ever in doubt, but I want to live in Paris and speak fluent French surrounded by the art and architecture that somehow sings to my heart. The crazy thing is, I really believe I will live in Paris one day. It may be far off, but it seems quite real to me.
The trip was amazing, as we knew it would be. We stayed at a very Parisian 2-star hotel and ate at the lovely little Bistro next door for dinner. We avoided all the dog shit in the streets this trip. We discovered the Pompidou Center and were treated to a tour in English there. We wandered into Saint Chapelle which cannot be described or even shown off to its full glory in photographs. We slurped mussels on the Champs Elysses, the street that means Paris for Richard. We followed a school tour through the Cluny where the Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries were every bit as lovely as promised. We also saw a Roman Bath there -- really, the one Emperor Justinian used. It was almost too old to comprehend. We stumbled upon the wine festival for the last remaining vineyard in Paris. We saw our old friend Notre Dame and I cried again upon seeing it. For me, this place is Paris. We mooned at each other and the lights and bridges of Paris from a glass covered boat while devouring a delicious 4 course dinner. We sat in silence in our taxi on the way to the airport, sad that we were leaving, but hopeful that it would not be too long before we were back in the city we love best in the world.
2. I am officially panic-stricken over the fact that I have committed to do a show in Chicago that is WAY out of my league. I have far too much to do and not enough time or money to get it all done. I have to purchase display materials, manufacture enough keepsake books to actually turn a profit, book a room for at least 4, maybe 5, nights in downtown Chicago. I have to order my packaging and business printing from the graphic artist before the end of the month. I have to get my paperwork turned in and most of it reads like it's written in another language. ( From what I gather, I will have to spend more money by the time this show is over and they won't be responsible for anything, at all.)
3. Halloween is only fun for kids. The whole dressing up and candy routine is heaven for the young and hell for the parents. Who can say what Hayes will decide to dress up as this year? He went the last two years as a baseball player (after we purchased the Peter Pan, John and Wendy costumes) and a "construction guy" (after we purchased the Goliath the Lion costume). I didn't buy a costume for him this year; I am not as dumb as it might first appear. He wanted to be a winner for his party at school this week. What does that look like, you ask? Apparently, a winner wears a Yankees jersey, a plastic medal around his neck and holds a trophy in his hand. Amazingly, his teacher said, "Look, Hayes is a baseball player who won the game!" I didn't know whether to be excited for him that she got it or to scream, "Don't encourage him!" And by the looks of Target, Halloween is only the warning bell that Christmas is right around the corner. Cheerful, no?