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Those ocoffee_yellow tablef you who watch my occasional Facebook posts know that I just got back from a month in Europe. First on the list was a 10-day stop in Paris, alone, to celebrate a milestone birthday. Pourquoi non?

I rented a lovely apartment around the corner from the Eiffel Tower with the idea of taking 10 days to see what I would discover about Paris and about myself. After that, my husband would join me for travel to Spain.

What do I love about Paris? The architecture, the grand boulevards, the balconies, the flower shops, the sidewalk cafes, the great museums, the soaring cathedrals the flea markets, the farmers markets. But what I love most is wandering, which I did every day.

The French have a name for such a person: flâneur. Which means one one who saunters around observing society. And though I did not exactly saunter (I am a fast walker), I enjoyed observing, stopping in shops, watching people, looking at art, making pictures. Everything. And I enjoyed pausing for a cup of coffee, which I rarely do in my Seattle life. It was a time to just BE.

I had such a wonderful time that I decided to try to bring a bit of the flâneur back with me. So the other day I took the bus to downtown Seattle where I walked around, went to galleries and shops, and strolled through the Pike Place Market with the eyes of a visitor.

I filled myself with art and beauty at the Rovzar Gallery, the Lisa Harris Gallery, and the wonderful Watson Kennedy store near the Inn at the Market. I even stopped in a café to enjoy a crème brulée. Later I joined my husband and friends for dinner on Capitol Hill.

Voila! I discovered that I do not actually not have to go to Paris to be in a Paris state of mind. For the price of a bus fare, I was there.

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