From Global Mom: A Memoir
(Continued from last post, “Sitting In A Franco-American Political Hot Seat”)
Randall bought a Vespa.
Creamy lacquer paint job, classic lines, toffee colored leather seat deep enough to take a passenger on the back. With it, he could whip out to Versailles to pick up Parker late at night when weekly youth church activities were moved from Paris to our chapel in that ancient suburb. And the two also sliced through the common knots of Parisian traffic to visit and help young families and widows from our church congregation. At every opportunity, Randall was out scooting and scouting the roads, weaving through stalled traffic, sailing past the honking horns and fists flying out windows.
When he didn’t take the Vespa, he could easily walk to work, either over the Pont de l’Alma past the golden torch that stands as an unofficial memorial to the car accident that occurred there and took Princess Diana’s life, and up Avenue George V. . .
Or around l’Étoile of the Arc de Triomphe and down Avenue Hoche. . .
Or over the Pont Alexandre III, across the Champs Élysées, and then winding his way to the office. . .
These streets also became our morning jogging routes.
We’d leave before morning traffic at 6:00 from our place near Pont de l’Alma and run along the Seine passing drunks stumbling out of the Metro but also centuries of architecture, political intrigue, artistic ingenuity, religious devotion and as much variety as one can get in an hour.
We chugged past ancient citadel prisons and gothic chapels and the hidden apartments of international legends. . .
Past the Louvre at minute eleven. . .
Past the Hôtel de Ville at minute nineteen. . .
Over the Pont d’Austerlitz at minute twenty-nine. . .
And so on for another half hour past the Institut du Monde Arab. . .
Notre Dame. . .
Musee d’Orsay. . .
Trotting at stop lights where guillotines once stood, where revolutions began and ended, over stones where American soldiers and German tanks and English carriages and Italian horses and white-coated monks and destitute writers and hailed composers and defected ballerinas and ermine-cloaked despots passed.
That’s some dense history to cut a 15k through.