Au Revoir France

October 17 – 24, 2013

After an outstanding visit with the girls, reality started to sink in as I began to realize it was almost time to move home.  I don’t think I could have handled saying goodbye to Grenoble all alone, so luckily my amazing Mom came all the way back over to help me pack up and move out of the apartment that we had grown to adore.  In addition to a whirlwind few days of packing and cleaning, we managed to sneak in one last visit to Paris before making the move back home.

In my last month or so in Grenoble, I had started doing a weekly morning run up the Bastille with my good friend Danelle. Seeing the sun rise over the city is an amazing way to start the day, and made me wonder why I hadn’t been doing it all year long. This was my last view from the top of the Bastille, a climb I had made many times over the year and hope to do again soon.

After an impressive job packing a ridiculous amount of things (including my beloved Motobecane bicycle) into our rental van, my Mom and I said goodbye to Grenoble and made our way to Paris. We were exhausted when we arrived so had a relaxed evening before our day in Paris, which began with a visit to the Jardin du Luxembourg.

We spent the afternoon wandering the streets and checking out the sights. A highlight of the day way our memorable lunch on the patio of the café Les Deux Maggots, sipping rosé in the sunshine.

We crossed over the Pont des Arts, a bridge with a chain link fence that is covered with padlocks from lovers over the years. The tradition is that each lock is engraved with a message of love before the keys are tossed in the river as a sign of eternal devotion. It struck a chord with the romantic in me, and I look forward to returning with Paul one day to add a lock of our own.

As the sun was setting we boarded a river cruise along the Seine, and took in the sights from the comfort of our vessel. Our voyage was perfectly timed, as we saw the Eiffel Tower’s first light show of the night. Definitely a good omen!

For dinner we went to the Centre Pompidou, which is famous for it’s bizarre architecture that features multicoloured support structures, piping and shafts on the outside of the building, liberating more space inside for a museum and cultural centre. On the top floor sits Le Georges restaurant, where we enjoyed a chic french dinner overlooking the lights of the city. C’était magnifique!

As sad as I was to be leaving France, having one final day to appreciate the beauty of Paris with my Mom was the perfect way to say goodbye.  Thank you Mom for helping me through it, and showing me such a great last day in France!

Check out the rest of the photos here!