Holy crap, the jet lag is still killing us. We are still having to nap in the middle of the day to make it. It’s so disorienting if feels like we’ve been here over a week as every day is split in half. Partially, I think we are so messed up because since we spend the last two months packing, staging, moving, and unpacking. We were physically shot even before we left home. Probably having multiple days of extra sleep is just the ticket for what we need. I’m starting to figure the Metro out again. Some stations are close enough to each other that it is faster to skip the front line in one and just hike over to the next one. Transfers are easy between stations, but the steps are getting to my knees. Still a side effect of all the moving from home.
Naturally, the weather has been spotty at best. There have been random rain showers the whole time we’ve been here. I’m carrying a small umbrella in my satchel just in case. It’s been just random and short enough that it hasn’t impacted anything we want to do, but we will be looking forward to clear skies in Barcelona next week. I’m letting Yulia and Sasha use the umbrella. Everything I’m wearing is quick dry travel clothing, so I don’t really care about getting wet, and it’s not like I have hair to worry about getting out of place.
We are staying near St Michel. The food markets and shops here are fantastic. it’s a bit touristy, but prices are actually lower than a lot of other areas we have found so far. It also means we are a short walk to Shakespeare and Company Bookstore. If you aren’t familiar, the original bookstore was opened by Sylvia Beach in 1919, this version and location has been here since 1951. It’s crowded and cramped. The shelves are crooked with worn, uneven floors. Books fall on you at random, begging to be read or at least put back more securely. Once of the people working there referred to this as “Book Ghosts” I’d refer to it as “head over to Home Depot for a new bracket. In short, it’s amazing. I’m a big fan of the Lost Generation, and this place revolves heavily around their work. Upstairs there’s a lending library, piano, and a rather old cat. Can’t have a true bookstore without a cat.
Sasha took off into the store right away, and found a book on Design Principles. She’s going to the University of Washington next year, with a major in Interaction Design. She definitely takes after her grandmother, my mom, who has always had a great flair for the arts. (That’s before becoming a Dentist, which is really the most artistic of the Oral Medicines). Sasha also picked up a book by Fitzgerald. I grabbed a small book Hemmingway on Writing and and F. Scott Fitzgerald on Booze. Always helps to be able to consult the experts. Yulia found another mystery book that she thought she’d like, it was from the author of Girl on the Train, so I might read it eventually as well.
Yulia and Sasha took a shopping afternoon. With Zara and Sephora from Paris, the stores here are far better than what we have at home. Yulia feels uncomfortable if I’m hanging around the store while she shops. She feels pressured to get out of the store faster. Since I’m a magnanimous husband, I went across the street and drank beer in a café while they shopped. The sacrifices I make for my family.
Every night we have been able to find a different sidewalk café. The whole concept of Café Culture in Paris is something that we wish we had more of in Seattle. Eating outside in a crowded patio is a great feeling. You can’t help but talk to people around you. Watching others as they walk by is also a great sport. We aren’t quite at the point of relaxing and reading for hours on end, but we’re getting there. I might need a few more trips to the bookstore, for no damn good reason at all.