Homeward Bound

And so we headed home…with a stopover in Paris en route. Karen’s brother, who had lived in Paris, had advised us on choice of hotel, located near the Eiffel Tower. We negotiated the RER (Réseau Express Régional) trains and Metro with aplomb.  Having survived the unpronounceable streets of Warsaw, we scoffed at a few simple accent marks. We dragged our suitcases from the Metro station to the hotel, navigating cobblestone-free sidewalks. It was easy. We were seasoned travelers.

As it begins, so it ends — with suitcases dragged through the city streets.  No cobblestones, no rain — but sidewalks crowded with people. What, we wondered, were all these people doing wandering around on a Thursday evening? The restaurants were overflowing.

Exhausted and ready to be home already, we retired to our room at the Hotel Muguet and were just settling down when something happened.

What next?  Make your choice:

Option one:  We heard explosions outside the window.

Option two: We heard explosions outside the window.

Yes, there really were explosions. We opened the drapes and discovered that we had a view of the Eiffel Tower — silhouetted against fireworks. It was July 14, the anniversary of the 1789 storming of the Bastille — also known as Bastille Day.

We watched the fireworks. We laughed. We flew home.

Final questions to consider:

This trip report is written in the form of a “choose-your-own-adventure” tale, but all choices lead to the same place. Is this a cheat? Or does it reflect a belief that many paths can lead to the same end?

Is the writer (that would be me) trying to get away with something? If so, did I succeed?

Do the questions above far exceed the reach of this report? If so, why? If not, why not?

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