Exploring Paris with a toddler is interesting. Avienne has a pretty hefty appetite for physical adventures and human interaction. She enjoys social settings so much, even if only to sit and observe others. Riding the métros, busses and trams all over the city with her by my side has been a much different experience than what I remember from my past solitary commutes. She treats everyone like someone she knows and it makes for a somewhat shocking experience for some Parisians. On our very first métro ride together, we sat across from a woman who made it known that she was very offended that I allowed my kid to sit across from her AND that I crossed my legs which she felt extended into her "territory." I couldn't help but laugh at the poor woman, but managed to keep my cool. Another woman sat down across from me who was extremely and abnormally kind to both me and Avienne, and I reminded myself that Paris is full of extreme personalities such as these. I mean, isn't the whole world somewhere between very kind and very rude? We've thankfully avoided other encounters with the rude since that last atrocious one, but I'm sure it won't be our last.
Besides our adventures on public transportation (and there have been many), we've been bouncing around from café to café in hopes of finding our new coffeeshop hangout. Our weekend mostly consisted of discovering new-to-me restaurants and coffee shops and looking enjoying delicious meals and beautiful places in the process. We spent most of Saturday writing on walls and admiring the Jeff Koons exhibit at the Pompidou museum. We found a nice brasserie [not so] nearby for a very French lunch, followed by a long walk through the Tuileries with a sprinkling of a mini brass band concert and some fountain-side sailboat watching. According to my iPhone, we walked over 9 km (over 5.5 miles) that day, and boy, could I feel it!
This week, Avienne has gone full-time at school and has been loving it immensely. She so enjoys other kids and I she's smiling and happy at the end of each day. She made bread with her classmates earlier this week and was so proud of her baking skills that she asked to eat her "school" bread for every meal and snack that day. It was the cutest thing.
I have been trying to get a bit of routine down for my now unoccupied days. Lately, though, I feel as though I have a gazillion things to do and no idea where or how to even begin. We're heading back to the US this weekend for a couple of weeks, and I'm hoping once we're back in Paris in March, life will feel a little less suspended than it currently feels. I need some momentum to get me going in a forward direction, and maybe a "final" goodbye to Austin will be my catalyst.