It rained the afternoon we arrived back in Paris but that did nothing to dampen our pleasure at being back. There's no question that it's home for us, or at least one of our homes. Arriving at our friends' house before she returned home, we were told to pick up the key from her butcher, in the front of the building. Rue Mouffetard, at least at the market end, is still a little village; the neighbors, residents and merchants, all know each other and look out for each other. Stepping out of the front door was like stepping into the market street of a village in the south of France, one visited by a lot of tourists, to be sure.
We made phone calls, arranged to see friends who thought they had seen the last of us (no such luck!) and hit the streets. I wish I could remember all of what we did, but the giddy happiness of being back seemed enough. I know we saw the Lisette Model photo exhibition at the Jeu de Paume, which we had not had a chance to get to before we left a month before; we had a lovely sunny lunch in the Palais Royal garden and shopped the increasingly chic boutiques under the arcades; we had dinner with friends in St-Germain des Près at "21", a tiny, expensive, but very charming fish restaurant run by Paul Minchielli, who had had an eponymous resto in Paris several years before; before dinner we wandered the galleries of St-Germain for the "Art St-Germain" event, which made clear once again that people gather most where the champagne flows the most freely.
I must admit however that beneath all the pleasure at being back in Paris was the restlessness to be gone; we were marking time until our plane back to San Francisco. Part of this was living out of suitcases in someone else's guest room after traveling for nearly an entire month, but it appears that nine months might be the limit of our willingness to not be in our own house, among our own things, seeing our own family.
Now that we're back in that Berkeley bosom, we'll see what the limit of our tolerance for being somewhere other than Paris might be. We've got tickets back in mid-August.