“Ne me prive pas de ce petit plaisir de la vie de patronner.”
In 2010 we took a family vacation and spent some of that time in Paris, France. Our apartment VRBO ( vacation rental by owner ). It was sight unseen, central location as we only saw online photos and a description. When we arrived tugging and toting luggage like the typical tourist, we found this little door that was in between shops. I thought we had the wrong place. I looked at the paper in my hand for the address and I looked back up at the door. Yes, it was the correct address in a very typical Parisian building. As we entered we saw a very old narrow stairwell with no elevator. We, were on the top floor! As we were we making our slow journey up the stairs, we passed other apartments, the walls in the stairwell and the wooden steps have definitely had signs of people moving in and out over the years with its bangs and bruises. Furthermore, the paint was peeling off the walls. I said aloud,” I am sure it was vibrant 75 yrs ago.” Each step upward led us to think that maybe the inside of this furnished apartment , well , maybe it was not what the ‘online photos’ looked like and we were getting nervous with each step. When we finally reached the top floor, we literally held our breath and slowly opened the door. Almost squinting, assuming that the war torn stairwell was going to lead us to a flat in similar shape. I opened the door, I could see light, lots of it. There was a warm yellow haze cast over the flat. The light was beaming in from two glass doors leading out to a very old cast iron balcony, filled with flowers, offering you great comfort overlooking Paris in all its beauty. In awe, we all stood staring at the most elegant French provincial furniture with wood trim, admiring its curves, it was so inviting. As our eyes scanned the room, we saw a welcoming bottle of red wine. We dropped our luggage at the door, two wine glasses were perched beside the bottle of red. We sat, smiled and sighed………. Ah, Paris!