Two weekends ago, I took the train up to Paris to visit some very dear family friends. Georges is 100 hundred-years-old. He was my grandmother's guardian in France after World War II. He is amazing. He still goes out every morning to go shopping, and helps out with the housework. When I arrived in Paris, Georges, his wonderful wife Andrée, and I talked for a little bit before their granddaughter Sarah came over. Sarah was ten and I was twelve the last time we saw each other in 2000, so we had both changed a lot. This is us now:
Sarah was so sweet and kind. We walked around Paris for hours, and it was so nice to have a real Parisienne as my tour guide. Our first stop was the Galeries Lafayette, a beautiful and famous shopping mall all decorated for Christmas.
I have a thing for enormous, well-decorated Christmas trees, so as you can imagine, the one inside the Galeries Lafayette tickled my fancy:
Here is Sarah with some reindeer in the Galeries Lafayette:
Here is a view of the Eiffel Tower from the terrace at the very top of the Galeries Lafayette. Sarah explained that it is all lit up in blue in honor of Nicolas Sarkozy's current Presidency of the European Union.
We then looked at the utterly charming window displays that the mall creates for the holidays each year. This year's theme was Alice in Wonderland, which delighted me to no end. I was only able to get a picture of one of the many vitrines (and not a very good picture at that) because I had to elbow my way past about a hundred small children and their parents to make it to the front.
After the vitrines, Sarah and I walked up the Champs-Elysées.
It was absolutely packed with people, but Sarah said it's always like that. We ended at the Arc de Triomphe, and then returned back to Georges and Andrée's.
Sarah's parents, Catherine (the daughter of Georges and Andrée) and Patrick came to dinner, and I briefly saw Sarah's brother Maxime before he had to leave. It was wonderful to see everyone again after 8 years. I had such a nice weekend, and next time I will try to get more pictures. I am hoping to visit again in January, to wish Georges a happy 101st birthday!