Today is the first day that Europe has caught up with me and truly kicked my ass. What I mean is that I am finally exhausted from the miles and miles of daily walking (we estimate 8-10 miles per day, or more) and the hellacious world of daylight that Paris is enveloped in.
Think back to your elementary and middle school science classes - where we learned about the slight tilt of the earth that leads to 22 hour days in Alaska during the summer. Now, let's review the globe for a moment....
Paris is not too far from that bright aqua colored splotch next to England. Now, follow that line of latitute back around the the US and what do we notice? It is so FAR NORTH!!! We are talking mid-Canada here. Las Vegas is nearly two full lines of latitude further south. That translates into a lot of daylight. According to the weatherman, the sun rose this morning about 5:45 am and sets just after 10pm. To compare, the sun will rise in Las Vegas about the same time (5:32 today) and set at 8:01. Nearly two full hours earlier. By 9pm it will be fully dark -- still over 100 degrees, but at least we will not have to watch the heat waves rise off the pavement anymore.
So what ends up happening is I stay up much too late, because I am waiting for it to get dark like an 8 year old. It isn't dark, so I shouldn't have to go to bed, right? Finally, about 11pm, it is dark-ish. It still isn't dark, but it is dark enough. Less than six hours later, it starts getting light. I wake up to the sun shining and the birds singing and think "oh my god, it is so early and I am so tired!" Why? Because it is early. The light starts pouring through my windows around 5am.
Now, add to this last night's tourist extravaganza. Yesterday, my former exchange-daughter, Sarah, came to visit us from Germany. We have not seen her in a few years, so we were very excited to have her come for a few days. After she arrived at our local metro stop, we took her to the Latin Quarter for dinner and some touristing. We took some obligatory photos of the Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. I got some macaroons, which were perhaps the most delicious macaroons that I have ever tasted. We also sampled some Tunisian pastry, which is essentially fried dough soaked in butter and honey -- and how can that ever be bad? All of this was so incredibly wonderful, except that we stayed out much later than normal.
Typically, Mike and I do some afternoon touristing and then return to our apartment in the early evening to unwind and relax. It is very reminiscent of our American routine and feels very comfortable. It is especially important because of the sheer amount of walking we do every day.
I wrote all of this to say one thing... I am exhausted today. And I blame science. :)