La rentrée, end of summer in Paris

6 September 2011

Dragibus, the cocker spaniel

That’s it. Summer’s over. The scarves have been pulled from hibernation to combat September’s first gusts of autumn wind, backpacks are packed full of notebooks, pencils and other accessories for proper trouble-making, the rhythmic clickety-clack of women’s high heels has returned to the streets, and questionable body odors have seeped back into packed metro cars for enjoyable morning commutes.

Last call for summer sandles...

Despite sporadic heat waves that have let the taste of summer linger, Fall air in Paris was palpable the minute we entered September. As much as I have fond memories of autumn in the States, even with back-to-school nerves, it depresses me a bit here. The city foliage lacks the vibrant display of reds, oranges and yellows I loved so much on the East Coast – highly anticipated seasonal beacons. Here, I count the days until my heavy jacket makes its unwanted but necessary return and the semi-sunny skies are replaced by a 6-month haze. There’s no good way to prepare for this inevitability other than by taking advantage of every sun-soaked second with friends and family in champagne-imbued festivity.

Champagne break

I rounded off the summer by celebrating my father-in-law’s 70th birthday. My niece was revved for la rentrée (back to school/back to work/back to reality, as the French call it) and the rest of the family and I were happy to enjoy a nice birthday brunch together followed by an afternoon of champagne, chatting and snacking (and more drinking) at my sister-in-law’s house in the suburbs (which is so beautifully decorated, I could spend every weekend under her roof).

The warm sunshine returned after a torrential rain storm and so did Dragibus, the Cocker Spaniel of my sister-in-law’s next door neighbor. Dogs barking while lounging on a patio….it all felt more like an end of summer mini-bash that I was likely to have in the States than anything else, and that’s exactly what I needed. A last hurrah with rainbow champagne flutes, open-toed shoes, sleeveless tops and wide-open windows to cushion September’s blow.

How did you bid adieu to summer? 


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