My father used to tell me, when we were on the precipice of a ski trail too steep for my sensibilities, “Come on, Wen – a few more turns and you’re down.” I listened to, and trusted him as he coaxed me safely to the lodge for a hot chocolate. It’s a memory that popped into my head, just now, from a long list. Part of how he remains with me.
As far as Paris is concerned, on our next to last day there, we are seeing Sacre Coeur and the Opera House. La Basilique de Sacre Coeur is in the Montmartre section of Paris. The area is lively and outdoor cafes dot the sidewalks with sections of color and sound, the architectural design – a sightseers delight. Sacre Coeur is located high on a hill, and in a very priestly manner, overlooks the city.
The buildings in Paris bring me eerily back to a book I read first to my brothers on long car rides, and then to my children as bedtime stories. I can recite the book by heart; “In a house in Paris all covered with vines, lived 12 little girls in two straight lines. In two straight lines they broke their bread, they brushed their teeth and went to bed.” I can go on but I will spare you. The name of the book is Madeline and I read it enough times that my brothers and children could probably recite it as well. I took many photos of these buildings and each time, without the conscious use of my brain, I’d softly utter the word, Madeline.
Next stop, the Opera House. The Opera National de Paris is exquisite and reminded me, vaguely, of the edifices of our own theater district in NYC. I’m not especially fond of Opera, but I would have enjoyed the experience of seeing one here. Part of the fame this opera house enjoys comes from being the setting for Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel, The Phantom of the Opera.
The following day, we’d be returning to America. After a couple of weeks away, I cannot think of a sweeter ending than returning home. And that, my friends, is a wrap.