OohLaLa, Avery and Bella in Paris

You should plan to get all the way through this posting because the ending  is worth waiting for. But here is the beginning. I am in Paris, which would be heaven all by itself but I am in Paris with Avery and Bella. Who are Bella and Avery? If you don’t actually know them, you just need to know they are 12-year old girls with wildly different personalities who are nevertheless fully sync-ed with each other pretty much all the time.

I congratulate myself for my good judgment in asking Avery and Bella to travel with me to Europe. I realized how well our threesome was going to work out in the first 24-hours of our journey, when the two of them remained calm and blamed other people for my two unrelated but equally embarrassing tantrums. Lost luggage and dirty sheets on the sofa bed in our apartment.

Paris needs no introduction. It is as remarkable as it was the last time I was here, although it is a lot richer now. So it is cleaner, greener and foodier but it’s also more crowded and more expensive. If  you found a cute little undiscovered neighborhood last time you were here, it’s now full of boutique hotels, bars with artisan cocktails, and $500 baby strollers.

Our threesome isn’t quite as Paris chic as our neighborhood that, in fact, used to be a Jewish ghetto. We are all short and either too old or too young for little black dresses. But Avery bought a black beret and we are good tourists. We have visited the Eiffel Tower, Shakespeare and Co., and Notre Dame, and taken a boat ride down the Seine. We have had gelato, macaroons, croissants and crepes.

All of this would be wonderful enough but it”s better with the Avery and Bella overlay.

For example, today at the Louvre, we saw the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and Winged Victory, three of the world’s most famous art treasures. 

But you know what they liked most? The rainbows on the ground in the entry hall under the glass pyramid.

They have made our corner of Le Marais their own and, like good Parisians, chose to spend this afternoon at a little park near our apartment, reading, writing and people-watching with bags of falafels.

They giggle day and night, and sing a lot. For example, do you remember this song?

Now listen to it as everyone in our apartment building heard it today.

This is la vie en rose….


  1. If you are still in La Marais, don’t miss the quirky Musee Carnavalet. It’s free! But might be closed for renovations. Steve thought that was the best fa-la-fell (as the French pronounce it)he has ever had. I wasn’t as enthused, but then jet lag was making me ornery that day.

  2. I love your writing! How wonderful to experience Paris through the eyes of two fabulous 12 year old girls. Of course, Paris in any way, shape or form is better than almost any place on earth. Lucky you.

  3. Thank you Kim for taking my granddaughter and her friend Bella. Memories made for a lifetime. Grandpa Ken.

  4. They will remember this trip all their lives! How wonderful to see the world again through 12 year old eyes. Avery singing reminded me of doing my Liza Minnelli impression (Money,Money,Money) at a similar age to the great delight of my Mum. Something I would never do now!

    1. Yes — this trip is putting back the surprise factor in a lot of familiar things! And Jane, you might consider a reprise of your Minnelli act at book group next time you visit

  5. The video is the best, not that I need another reason to read to the end of one of your posts! One of my best memories from our visit there last month is scarfing falafel in beautiful Place des Vosges before an epic rainstorm drove us under the covered arches. Enjoy!

  6. Kim I enjoyed this blog and read in between the lines….of course it has some parallels to riding horses in Mongolia right? It’s all a part of your amazing story….write on my friend….

  7. How fun to travel with 12 year olds. I hope you are sharing their lightheartedness. It’s life-changing for them.

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