It seems like a very long time ago, sitting in our Vienna flat, when we were asking each other, “Where do you want to spend Christmas?”  It didn’t take us long to pick the City of Light.  As you can see from the featured image above, Father Christmas and Notre Dame were just waiting for us to come celebrate with them.

A quick update on our living arrangements: everything worked out.  Although our new flat costs considerably more than what we wanted to pay originally, it is a nice large place with a VERY comfortable bed and reliable WiFi.  We feel blessed to have found another flat in Paris during the holidays, with only a day’s notice.

Living in Paris for a month in June and now during the Christmas Holidays is very different.  Last June we sweated through a heat wave and enjoyed hours and hours of sunshine.  This time we are all bundled up against the cold and carry our umbrellas with us whenever we venture out.   Since becoming fulltime travelers, we have extended our bedtime to around 10pm.  I guess we are just getting a little crazy in our old age.  Besides, tomorrow is always, “No work day.”  Last summer we seldom were out after dark in Paris because the sun was up for so long and it was bedtime.  Now, we can experience Paris with all her lights twinkling around 5 pm.  The city takes on a different vibe when lit up.  We appreciate Paris as the “City of Light’ while we walk her colorfully lit streets and alleys.  Very romantic.

The image below was a combination of me doing an experiment and playing chicken with the cars on the Champs Elysees one evening.  That bright light at the center is a car heading my way.  I’m still as nimble as a cat.  Marsha gave me ‘that look.’

 

A few nights ago, we took a Paris at Christmas Walking Tour with five other people.  Our guide was a wonderfully entertaining woman who has lived here for over thirty years.  Her mother is French and her father a Brit.  She has grown up in both worlds and told us her father was big on her speaking proper English.  So, we enjoyed our walk while listening to a well-informed, spunky British commentary.  Great fun.  We revisited a few places we had already seen, but getting more Parisian background brought them to life for us.  One of these was the famous Galeries Lafayette department store.  During the Christmas season, they have a lively display  with a unique and colorful tree in the store center, under the beautiful dome.  Their exterior display windows are alive with marionettes moving to music through different themed scenes as herds of children crowd around for a seasonal treat.  It reminds me of the “Christmas Story” movie.  Our guide told us that a father and his daughter create all 125 marionettes each year for this Parisian tradition.  I have included a VIDEO at the end of this post that gives you a peek into these two attractions.

We are looking forward to attending a Christmas Eve Service at the American Church in Paris.  I’m sure the baby Jesus will finally show up in the nativity scenes throughout the city by then.  We have plans to meet with another couple after Christmas.  We’ll share our discoveries, challenges, and plans over a meal.  This should be very enjoyable.

Marsha and I appreciate the time you take to read these posts and vicariously join us on our Great Adventure.  We know you are inundated with emails and Facebook posts, combined with the busyness of this season, so I am keeping this post short.  Below are a few images from our evening walks and then the promised VIDEO with a greeting from us.

  

  

 

 

 

This week’s flat can be seen by clicking on the bed image below.

 

 

 

PARIS weeks 2-4

 

 

 

Invite your friends and family to join the fun by subscribing to the Stowaway Newsletter on our site.  Just click the open Steamer Trunk on the Homepage.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Preston & Marsha

Don’t Retire: Reload – Groovin’ on the Flip Side