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12 Of My Favorite Things About Autumn In Paris

12 Of My Favorite Things About Paris

“I don’t think humans were meant to fly,” young Jackson remarked as he, his dad, and I disembarked the plane that had carried us overnight from Panama City to Paris.

“Well, certainly not in pressurized tubes,” I replied with a very sleepy attempt at a smile.

We collected our bags, exited Charles de Gaulle, found a taxi, and set off into the still-dark autumn Paris morning.

I’ve learned that it’s best on these “fuzzy-headed” days, as I’ve come to think of them, to move slowly, to focus on what’s in front of me, and not to try to make any big decisions.

Une tartine or un chausson aux pommes for breakfast? That’s the limit of my problem-solving on these just-crossed-the-Atlantic mornings.

It’d hardly seem worth it except, I remind myself at every step along the way, at the end of the TSA checks, the full-body screenings, the airport food, the sleep deprivation, the lack of oxygen, and the time change… we will be rewarded with…

Paris.

During the taxi ride from the airport to our apartment in the 7th arrondissement, I made mental note of some of the things I’m most looking forward to this October stay in the City of Light… for example:

  • Leisurely walks through the Tuileries Gardens… memorable this time of year when the fallen leaves are crunchy underfoot…

Autumn Tuileries Garden Paris

  • Savoring the autumn sun on a wooden park bench or one of the green metal park chairs this city is famous for…

Luxembourg Gardens and Montparnasse Tower Paris

  • Sipping a glass of champagne at an outdoor café with a sidewalk heater nearby to ward off the autumn chill…

Restaurant rue Mouffetard a Paris

  • Long afternoons browsing in Shakespeare & Co. bookstore for books to help fill the long, chilly autumn evenings…

shakespeare and company

  • Jumping off the Metro two or three stations early so I can walk the rest of the way to my destination… something I enjoy doing regardless of the time of day or the weather…

Jumping off the Metro

  • Walking anywhere anytime… in October or any month…

walking in paris

  • Trying a new bar or restaurant every week and never being disappointed… again, this is one of my favorite things about Paris any time of year…

Trying a new bar or restaurant

  • Seeing a place, a street, a monument, or a park I’ve seen hundreds of times before in the diffused light of autumn and feeling as though I’m seeing it for the first time…

Paris seeing it for the first time

  • Watching Japanese brides and grooms having wedding photos taken on the parvis in front of Notre Dame…

Asian couples taking wedding pictures at the Notre Dame Paris

  • Passing hours of a rainy fall afternoon in a museum…

a rainy fall afternoon in a museum

  • Savoring hours of a sunny fall afternoon on a blanket in Luxembourg Gardens with a loaf of bread, a bit of cheese, a bottle of wine, and a few friends… all of us layered with sweaters and scarves so we don’t mind the crisp temperatures…

sunny fall afternoon on a blanket in paris

  • Taking the bus instead of the Metro and converting a day of errands into a do-it-myself city tour…

Taking the bus in paris

We left Paris mid-August, at the height of the season, when the streets, the quays, the parks, and the museums were overrun.

Returning now in October, we find the tourists gone and the Parisians back at work and school.

Wandering around the heart of the city today I remembered one more of my favorite things about this city this time of year…

It feels as though you have her all to yourself… like you’ve discovered a secret treasure that somehow has escaped all the rest of the world’s notice.

Shhh… mum’s the word.

Kathleen Peddicord

French Course Online

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