Where Am I?

(This was the serious of clues I provided to J about the biggest gift of our year. I wonder if you’ll guess before he did?)

Where Am I?

Imagine how delightful it would be if you actually lived in the busy urban street scene you are in, with its iconic tower looming tall. Whaa? Sure, it would be a fractured lifestyle as you would prefer to be across the body of water that separates you from your deepest (home-related) fantasy, but you’d still be delighted to be here.

The weather at this time of year is cold compared to where you grew up (pick a location, any location, it’s still colder here) but snow isn’t guaranteed. Wet, gray, absolutely, but not a lot of the white stuff. Good thing we don’t ski, and even better that we know how to layer our clothes so we’re warm, but not restricted from walking easily.

These vibrant streets are begging to be trod, the food is pleading to be devoured. Roast chicken prepared by the people who made it a thing of sublime perfection, perfect French fries (of course), deceptively simple looking pastries. We’ll need to walk – a lot – just to balance out all of the delicious food we’ll consume.

One of my favorite TV shows was filmed here (and Vancouver BC, providing a decidedly English flavor while masquerading as an American city), and I’m hoping to find the floating river barge that was the main character’s home while in this location.


Hint #1

The largest institution in the country, focusing on the Humanities is right next door (essentially, across the street) from where we are staying.  If it weren’t winter break, I’d be afraid the 23,000 students would keep us awake with their centuries-old habits of high-spirited discourse (they helped the revolution succeed, after all). But the walls of this medieval building will be silent, although the streets will be thronged with happy celebrating people on the eve of the New Year.


Hint #2

New Year’s is one of this cities biggest festivals, lasting two weeks, starting with the kisses at midnight, fireworks (even in the chocolates!), and continuing through the weeks of greeting cards and well wishes for the new year. The city’s biggest (and most photographed) architectural structure explodes in a sparkling dance of light at midnight. (We will probably miss it, being too tired from our travels, not to mention our incredibly wonderful prix fixe holiday meal.)


Hint #3

Go find your present on the bookshelf.

(The present was a wrapped book — a tour guide of Paris. At which point J exclaimed “You’re not serious!” It’s *still* not real. I am as pleased as punch, and I will never make myself go through the months of misdirection and secret keeping again. {happy sigh})

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