Our sweet M is exploring Spain! From what I can tell, she seems to be having a wonderful time and thoroughly exhausting herself. We’ve received several lovely photos of her smiling with her friends, and I continue to be fiendishly jealous, especially since I was fortunate enough to travel to Europe with high school friends, myself, and I know how unbelievably wonderful it is. They are almost done with the first week of their trip, playing tourists, and soon they’ll be joining their host families for their second and final week. This is especially fortunate because they’ve all met their host students, so it will be a reunion of all of the kids, and rumor has it that the town where they’ll stay is fantastic and right on the ocean.

So! I don’t share current pictures of the girls, but here’s something M ate:

And here’s a view she saw:

Don’t ask me for details — I don’t know! I am trying not to nag her for too much information while she is so busy and should spend any possible down time resting. But I am grateful for the updates.

This morning, Cute W alerted me about a (not-too-serious) fire at Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, which was an old hangout of mine, back when I used to lead tours there (which I’ve mentioned here and there). I was worried for a minute, but then I was just bummed out that they didn’t take the splendid opportunity to use the outdoor pulpit.

Little did we know what was ahead today. I had been working on a new recipe and listening to an audio book in blissful ignorance before I took a break and sat down at the computer and learned about Notre Dame. I am a bit of a cathedral junky and a Francophile (and peri-menopausal), so I immediately burst into tears. Like, dramatically enough that I scared the cats out of their napping and into another room. Since then I have been alternately checking news reports because I can’t help myself and avoiding news reports because there’s conflicting information and it’s not like knowing the play-by-play will make it any better. There was some video footage labeled, “Watch the spire collapse” and I was like, no thank you, I watched a twin tower collapse and that is not something I really need to see. I don’t even want to watch those fake sequences in action movies since then.

In any case, I am so, so grateful that we decided to wait in that unbelievably long line to climb up the tower of Notre Dame and get a close up view of the spire during our visit to Paris two years ago.

And I am really sorry if you didn’t get a chance. Yet another reason for all of us to travel as much as we can, as soon as we can. There’s so much to see.

Cute W, J, and I will take a few days out of the upcoming spring break to play tourist closer to home to occupy us while M is having her fabulous adventures. I’ll tell you details once we’ve returned.

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