Last Friday was the first day it was truly warm in Paris, so I set out on one of my longer walks—north from our apartment in the 4th arrondissement, into the 11th, and straight through to the 19th. My destination was the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, an oasis with winding trails, a manmade lake, and grass you can mostly sit on.


My route brought me to one of the quieter entrances. I knew the park was large, and I knew I wanted to find a spot to sit near the lake, so my first stop was a bench where I could check the map and figure out which path to take. (Of course, immediately after doing so I saw a fork in the trail, one branch leading tantalizingly upward and the other continuing on in the direction that I knew would lead to the lake. What is it about human nature and the desire to climb to the top of things? I obviously chose the branch leading upward, away from the lake.)

When I finally ended up at the lake (spoiler alert: all trails eventually lead to the lake!), the grassy hills were dotted with Parisians basking in the sun. Many had pique-niques, most with wine or champagne, despite the fact that it was 2:00 in the afternoon. I was clearly doing it wrong because I had brought no food, no wine, no picnic blanket, only my laptop.

Speaking of picnic blankets—oh, the irony. For our wedding, Colin and I received three, on top of the one we already had. Now you can’t really ever have too many picnic blankets, but of course all of ours are currently packed away in a storage unit in Maine, 3,400 miles away from where we need them. But because picnicking is such a Parisian thing, we couldn’t imagine the next few months without one and went out Saturday morning to buy another. Then, because the store was having a sale – one for 20€ or two for 30€! – we bought two. Obviously.

So we might be living in a blanket fort when we come home, but I’m okay with that.


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