Yes, to gilded, beautiful, Paris, France. We had something of a big family occasion that needed celebrating, so economy be darned, we girded ourselves and went.
For me, it was a week of much gawking and taking in the major sights -- the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Versailles. I also had ample chances to take my schoolgirl French out for a spin. It was once reasonably respectable but is now, after years of neglect, rather rusted out. (I once knew verb conjugations other than the present tense. Sigh.)
No matter, the people I tried to communicate with were commendably tolerant of my lapses, and often ridiculously helpful.
I stayed too busy sightseeing to do much shopping, and so I have something of a consequent dearth of fiber-related news to report (this despite the temptation offered by one guidebook that for mysterious reasons takes the trouble to point out a shop where whatever wool one might need can be had).
I will say, though, that among three women in our party who embarked on the airplane, there were five handknit garments being worn. Not a bad showing.
And, based on my observation, Parisian women do wear scarves with unmatched style. They make it look so good, it's really inspiring to try it out at home. I may have to think about adding a light-weight scarf somewhere not too far down in the knitting queue.
And of course I had to have a small portable knitting project for the trip. I did have a couple of books for the plane, but it's nice to be able to switch between reading and knitting at whim. So I also carried along some yarn from home.
I was reading Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast, about his years in Paris, so that I could catch references to places that we might see. But honestly I am no great fan of Hemingway. Those stark, stripped-down sentences that he strives for -- searching self-consciously for "one true sentence" -- don't paint much of a picture for me. And his descriptions of other writers seem rather cruel. I wonder what they thought of this arrogant newcomer.
So now I have a very well-traveled sock-in-progress.
You'll have to take my word for it that these are the stones of the pavement beneath the Arc de Triomphe.