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Bastille Day from the Air

I floated on a raft on my sister’s pool thinking about how different my life had become since moving to France.

When we lived in one of those big American homes with all the latest conveniences (like instant hot water, garbage disposals and laundry rooms) complete with pool and hot tub, spending all weekend at the pool floating around (just as I was at that moment), drinking whatever and thinking about nothing…seemed so normal — THE thing to do and we did it. It felt normal here on the raft, too…until I started to remember how different life in Paris is to this.

There is no pool in the back yard. There is no car waiting out front to take me wherever I want. There are no big discount stores.

Instead, there are open-air cafés where people congregate to communicate with one another. There are Métro and regional trains, buses, taxis, bikes and every sort of public transport at my toes to get just about anywhere without having to go back to retrieve it. There are specialty shops that sell expensive little treasures produced in France with loving care.

My body has expanded a full dress size in just one week thanks to lack of physical exercise (except for getting in and out of a car) and high-calorie, high-carbohydrate foods that everyone eats with a gusto — not caring how many years they are removing from their lives — because it tastes so good, even if it’s anything but nutritional. Food like this is addictive and it would be easy to succumb to the temptation if living in the U.S. full time just as I gave into it all week long.

New York City is one of the few American cities where walking is more the norm than not and where one can be naturally physically active and possibly eat healthier. Californians will tell you that they can eat healthily there, too, and have a physically active lifestyle thanks to the paradisiacal weather and abundance of outdoor sports. Still, all that takes a lot of effort as it’s contrary to the kind of lifestyle most Americans lead on a daily basis.

The question is, would I ever want to lead that lifestyle again? As I floated on the raft, thinking that it was my favorite thing to do in the world (period), I remembered that in about one month’s time, I’d be floating on a raft in the Mediterranean off the island of Corsica. It’s a hop, skip and a jump from Nice and from Italy (by ferry or flight) — something I couldn’t do so easily and inexpensively if living in the U.S. In fact, all of Europe is there at our feet for the taking and that’s a tough thing to give up.

Yesterday while all of France was celebrating Bastille Day, I was flying across the ocean back to my home in Paris, on a less expensive fare thanks to the holiday (what sane Frenchman would travel on Bastille Day?), and looking forward to all that awaits me there.

Thanks to Tom Regan in Paris, I didn’t entirely miss this special day — as he was sharing lots of great photos from the day for us to enjoy!

A la prochaine,

Adrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group

(Floating in Corsica ((2014))

Respond to Adrian


P.S. Make your arrival and departure to or from Paris a whole lot easier and hassle-free! Book your private car transfer to and from Charles de Gaulle Airport — just 89€ one-way or 175€ roundtrip. These special rates are only available to Parler Paris Apartments/Paris Sharing guests. Book your stay and transfer today through our partner Paris Sharing.

P.P.S. It’s not too early to begin planning your trip to Nice for Carnival. Mark your calendars now for February 12-28, 2016. Enjoy Carnival even more by staying in my own apartment Le Matisse. Hotels and apartments book several months in advance, so don’t wait until it’s too late. Make your reservation today


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