Thursday, December 17, 2009

Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland

I woke up this morning to a magical early Christmas present: two inches or so of completely unexpected, perfect snow. As much as I'd been praying to see snow for the sake of my Nikon and the great Parisian monument shots I knew it would afford, on this particular morning the thought of snuggling in bed was a little too delicious to pass up. The result was that I spent most of the morning in the building, basking in the warm cocoon of my over-heated room and enjoying the view out my window.

Once I finally ventured out to run errands I felt like the incarnation of Christmas in my black boots, red wool coat and white scarf. The latest RER strike dissuaded me from venturing too far into the city to see the monuments I'd hoped for, but it was even better just to stroll around my transformed neighborhood. I'm glad that I've never lived anywhere with enough snow to kill the novelty, because I don't want to lose that little thrill I still feel at the sight of the muffling white blanket (not to mention the juvenile urge to scoop up a handful and toss it at a passerby...)

My stroll through the snow brought me to the local grocery store, which turned Christmas overnight (literally, I was there yesterday) and is now selling Christmas chocolates, small live trees and festive ciders. The patisseries have added the traditional "buche de noël" ("yule log") filled roll cakes and the flat "galette des rois" cakes for Epiphany/the festival of kings, which have a bean or small prize hidden inside--the child who finds it in their slice is named "king" for the day.

All-in-all, I'm in a Christmassy mood. The Fondation added a few Christmas trees to our lobby, so every time I enter the building I'm struck with the woodsy scent of pine and the wave of nostalgia that comes with it. Excited to be home with the family in a few days, but until then I'm keeping busy here and getting into the spirit of the season. Headed out now to a Christmas potluck, and I have a copy of Love Actually waiting for when I get home. This Saturday it's off to Madrid to experience Christmas à la Espagnole before I catch my flight back to the other side of the Atlantic...hasta luego mis amigos!

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