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Trip Report Running away from home: Nikki's trip to Paris

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Home after two weeks in Paris, I am awake in the middle of the night trying to sort my thoughts and experiences and put virtual pen to virtual paper while those thoughts and experiences are still fresh. This was a trip that had been planned as running away from home, a time to do the kinds of things I can not find other people to do with me. But I did not end up being alone very much.

Of my fourteen nights in Paris, I spent eight of them at performances of various kinds and the other six going out to dinner with large and small groups of friends, some of whom I had never met before and others whom I have met many times since becoming acquainted on the internet message board to which I am addicted.

I attended three plays (two classic and one contemporary); two dance performances; a chamber music concert; a night of music, silent films and history at the Opéra Comique; and a concert by the singer Bénabar at the large venue Le Zénith out in the Parc de la Villette. Then there were four art exhibits; four classes at the Collège de France; a flea market at the Village Saint-Paul; and the Omnivore World Tour, a food festival with demonstrations by chefs making everything from scallop pasta to smoked shrimp to chocolates.

Somehow I also found time to relax at my rented apartment and explore the neighborhood around it, learning which cheese to ask for at the corner fromagerie and which pastries at the bakery. Going out for some lunches and cooking a bit at home.

By the time I left Paris, I was ready to come home. There is only so much culture and so much excellent food that I can absorb, and I came home feeling I was ready for a break from them both.

When I started to plan this trip six months ago, I assumed I would be completely alone. I started researching events and buying tickets. As time went on I started to learn of friends who would be in Paris at the same time, and it became a jigsaw puzzle meshing my schedule with theirs so as to be able to enjoy time together in Paris.

Restaurant suggestions were flying across my e-mail inbox at a dizzying rate, and the more people joined in the plans, the more complex they became. This gave more structure to my trip than I usually have planned, but there was still room for enough spontaneous decisions to make running away from home a luxury and a pleasure.

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