Paris: Back in the USA.


I still have a few more posts to write about my abbreviated week in Paris (I left Tuesday and returned Tuesday but really had only five days on the ground in France), but I'm sitting at the airport in Charlotte just happy to be home. And I'm not even…home, really. Flight home.But in less than four hours, I will be.

My "knight in shining Camry," as one of my friends calls him, is coming to O'Hare to collect me, and I am so excited to see my apartment that it's really…sort of ridiculous. Being homesick after just a week in one of the most beautiful cities in the world means one of two things: that I really love Chicago and have amazing, totally missable friends, or that I'm totally pathetic.

Maybe a little of column A and a little of column B. Either way.

I found out yesterday morning, when attempting to read a French newspaper (horoscopes, en français!) that rail workers on some lines, including the one that goes to the airport, were going on strike today. (They do that a lot; I think they get bored because they all have such great lives, so they have to invent problems and stage protests or strikes.) So I had to improvise a new route. Which meant: THE BUS.

The trip out of the city wound through more places I hadn't seen. But near the end, we climbed a hill that felt familiar: It was an area of Montmartre I'd explored on foot the first morning I was in town, totally delirious after a long flight and stinging a bit from the culture shock. Full circle.

My God, what a wonderful trip this has been. Rejuvenating and exhausting all at once. Yesterday was the best day of my entire visit. I will write about it later — in great detail, or as much as I can remember from everything I saw and did — but for now I'm just going to soak it up. After four hours of sleep last night (I'll write about that, too, oof), I wound up sleeping for almost my entire flight, waking up only to eat some surprisingly delicious chicken and watch Bride Wars, which made me cry and filled me with shame.

What a rude awakening, though: This morning, even the prerecorded announcement on the bus to the airport seemed beautiful and romantic; here in North Carolina, some people could read Shakespeare in their twangy, Dirty Southern accents and still sound common.

Still? Elated to be back on American soil.

Now, if you'll excuse me, there's an iced chai somewhere in here with my name on it.