When we arrived close to 5pm, none of us felt like an urban walkabout with our backpacks. However, there wasn't a taxi large enough for five passengers at Gare de L'est (the train station), so we opted for the metro. Talk about super easy! We used the Le Metropolitain and RER the entire time we were there. Navigating our way about the city was incredibly user-friendly. The underground system reminded us of the metro system in DC - just larger and not once did we get lost or feel unsafe. btw - we ran into a pair of LDS sister missionaries; it was terrific to give'm a shoutout as they went about their work.
Our hotel was conveniently located in a residential neighborhood which had a metro stop barely 100 meters away (the Wagram stop on line 3). At the same time, it was but a 1.2km walk to the Arc de Triomphe. Talk about sensational! After dark, it was lit beautifully ... and crowded. whew! We didn't go anywhere that wasn't crawling with people, but that was expected.
We saw and did so many things, I'm not sure what to include in my blog or what to leave out (Mona Lisa at the Louvre?, Notre Dame?, etc). I plan to post a food exposé on our culinary hits (and misses) along with some photos of the dishes we sampled... everything from pink cotton candy at the Eiffel Tower to the seafood sampler at Le Bar a Huitres Ternes to the crème brulée at Buffalo Bill's.
We are most grateful to all be home safely and in good health. On the train heading back home, it occurred to me that I now consider Heidelberg to be my home - even after a few short weeks. So what makes a home? I know I need a place to call home, even in this quasi-nomadic lifestyle I've adopted. For my good friend Sarah, gypsy life has worked ok so far, though I think maybe she's considering unpacking her bags in the new place (at least for now).
To answer my own question, for me... home is where I'm currently building Zion. It's where I cook for my people and unpack my books. It's where the laundry machine churns six days a week and my husband can put up his feet. Home is the manifestations of the relationships I have with the people I love and call family.
It's a tremendous blessing to travel and see and taste so many wonderful adventures. It's a privilege to experience lifelong dreams with family.
Home is where it's at.