T-minus 4

Watch out. Crazy woman snapping photos of anything that appears remotely interesting.

I’m obsessed lately. French mailbox. Click. Trash can. Click. Oddly-shaped building. Click. Flowers on the oddly-shaped building. Click. Metro station. Click. Metro station sign. Click. Tom buying tickets at the Metro station. Click. Inside the Metro station. Click. Eiffel Tower from behind the Metro station. Click. 12 million photos of Eiffel Tower. Click.

Perhaps, in my psychotic way I believe all these photos will end up in a beautiful photo book. All 15,000+ photos. I mentioned this number to my friends at lunch last week. One of them questioned my number and I said, “I just took seven pictures of your food.” No further explanation was necessary.

Today included a bunch of “lasts”. Tom leaves for a business trip tomorrow and when he returns early next Monday morning, Elizabeth, Julian, Chili and I will have gone. Sarah, our almost-an-adult-but-not-quite-yet daughter, will take on the unbelievable responsibility of remaining in Paris without any other family members for slightly less than 24 hours. Yes, of course, she is staying with another family during this time. But still. Due to the inconvenient timing of all this travel, she will also be the only family member in Paris to greet our next guests when they arrive Sunday morning. She will serve as hostess and tour guide and will probably do so in a way that is far beyond what she should be able to at her young age. But ever since she started proclaiming, “I do it!” at age two her tenacity (and stubbornness) for independence has been quite clear. There are times we need to remind her “it takes a village” as not everything can be accomplished alone; at least not well. But I have no doubt she will not only be fine but thrive on this opportunity.

In any case, today was the last day Tom walked the kids to school (perhaps forever but I didn’t mention that to him). Today he and I went to our favorite Italian restaurant for lunch where the owner gave us a shot of something as our toast good-bye. It made my eyeballs sting. Tonight we shared our last dinner together until July 19th. We were together for our last bedtime prayer in Paris and then Tom took Chili for his last evening walk across the bridge. I tagged along, too, not saying too much except, “Well, we did it.” I did make an announcement after school today that they better be prepared for some tears! And, of course, as we ended our prayer before dinner Sarah made sure to look at me, smile and say, “You’re gonna cry, aren’t you?” They think they know me so well. Geez.

Despite that, it was a fun day. I had a great run this morning between delivering kids to school. Tom and I shared the best bruschetta EVER. I walked to a market I have been wanting to go to only to discover them packing up. So I just decided to take a picture of the mess left behind and move on. I ended up walking on a raised pedestrian walkway above an old viaduct that now houses great design stores in the east part of the city. Long Metro ride home to be at the school on time. Elizabeth went to a friend’s house to make crepes so I met them on our bridge a couple hours later and enjoyed talking with my good friend (Elizabeth’s friend’s mother) for about 30 minutes. We were all kind of lazy tonight. In fact, this is how we spent part of our final evening together:




They put in a request for quiche so I obliged with a light and late dinner followed by a French card game. It felt early, due to these long days, but it was time for bed when we wrapped up and sealed the night with prayers and hugs.

I love this family. I smile when I think about where we will be the next time we share a table.

Until then, do not be sad; there is lots of fun and excitement to be had. I’m feeling a little bit “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”-ish right now. Because who better to conjure up thoughts about adventure and joy of life than good old Dr. Seuss.

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” – Dr. Seuss’ One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish


This is a little dried goods store I have been wanting to go to. Closed between 13h – 16h. Pooh.


Remnants of the market I was hoping to get to.


This is for you, Jody!


Noter Dame from the far east side.


I museum I want to a couple months ago but walked past again today.


Loved the clock inside.


It’s like a facade…but not.


Started the meal with bruschetta.


Ended the lunch with Tiramisu.


It doesn’t take much to get everyone to eat outside for lunch.


Eiffel Tower from the Metro.


In the Metro.


Looking for the Metro.


Buying tickets to the Metro.


Entering the Metro.


From the side of the Metro.


Looking back at our bridge (under the Metro).


We don’t have sodas in the house, but Sarah thought this would be a special treat considering it says, “Share a Coca-Cola with your family”.


Family card game!


She is not winning.



This is the result of Tom’s attempt at our own portrait.


Moment saved by someone that took our picture.


Looking back at our corner.


Just doesn’t get old.


Tom and Chili’s last evening walk.


Down the bridge.

Categories: Kelley's Kilometers | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “T-minus 4

  1. Pat

    Oh am I going to miss reading your posts. Maybe you could continue when you return a votre maison, non? I am curious about the card game. Can you tell me the name of it and who makes it? Thanks.

  2. Colleen Hartman

    We will miss these blogs…. your writing, point of view, quotes, sometimes quirky photos☺, little moments of life, big moments of life ( e.g. the Sahara ☺), the opportunity to vicariously share Paris, and more. Travel safely. Hugs. C.

  3. Karen Hoffmeier

    I’m in deep thought wondering where Sarah might get her independent streak. She reminds me of someone I once knew who dreamed of taking a family trip to Paris. Thanks for the blogs and the great photos. I’m so proud that you and Tom have set such a high bar for the kids!!!

  4. Christian Conte

    I’m going to miss these blogs. I can’t believe that you, Elizabeth, and Julian are leaving in a few days and that Tom and Sarah are leaving in a few weeks. This has been a very exciting year for the whole family. You have traveled to so many different countries. From climbing a mountain in Switzerland to riding a camel in Morocco. What a wonderful experience! Travel home safe.


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