There was good reason for the condescending woman from South Carolina, on the train from the airport with us, to superciliously remark to her friends that SHE never travels to Paris with more than a carry-on. I wished later that I'd responded that my luggage was mostly filled with gifts for my Parisian family members. After all, I did take (and forget to give) peanut butter (her request) and marshmallow cream (not requested, but makes a peanut butter sandwich the most delicious thing in the whole world) to Nathalie. And, potpourri to my sister-in-law Michele.
I'll leave you with the image of Michele (friend and travel partner) and I lugging this mountain of luggage up and down streets, over cobblestones, and through lines of people waiting to get into Notre Dame. Even though I'd spent a week walking those streets to and from the same hotel a year before, I managed to get turned around and lost going from the metro stop to the hotel. Our hysterical giggling didn't make us any less conspicuous. It was the first of many giggling fits as we bungled our way through Paris.