A Few Days In Empty Paris

On Sunday afternoon, we drove to Paris. On Tuesday afternoon, we drove back. I shared a little report about our visit on Instagram Stories and thought you might like to see it as well.

The main purpose for our trip? Olive is starting college in Paris! She was accepted to a Film Directors program at EICAR and her classes started this week. So exciting!

So we needed to sign her housing contract and confirm her class schedule and begin to get her settled.

It was strange to see Paris empty. In the Before time, if we had happened on the Musée D’Orsay museum and found it empty, it would have felt like a score(!), but these days I find it makes me nervous. The question nags at the back of my mind as I wander the museum: Will Paris recover? And if/when it does, will it be different? On a non-worried note: the art at the D’Orsay still moves me, even in a pandemic

It was a good, short visit, and I can’t wait to tell you more about Olive’s school, and housing and the whole thing. She doesn’t have classes on Thursday this week, so she’ll be coming back to Normandy, and we’ll finish packing her up and run any last errands for supplies. Then she’ll do the final moving in on Friday.

How are your college kids doing this year? Are they doing in-person classes? Digital only? Are they taking classes from home? Living in the dorms? Some other arrangement that helps them feel independent? I’d love to hear.

P.S.— Find more from our quick trip to Paris in the highlight called Paris 10/2020.

14 thoughts on “A Few Days In Empty Paris”

  1. My son is in his second year of college. He had been in the dorms last year, but since his classes are all online (and the school is actually only 30 minutes from where we live) it just made sense to stay home. He’s really been a good sport about the whole thing-but this is definitely not how any of us envisioned college for him. I’m fascinated that Olive is going to be studying in Paris-so fabulous. You must be so happy that she’ll be semi-close by!

  2. Jessica Morrow Halich

    I was just having a private conversation with myself about how cool it would be to be in Paris and at the Orsay museum this past weekend! The last time I was there, I think I waited over an hour to get inside and that was WITH prepaid tickets!

  3. Cathilee Sharretts

    Dear Gabby,
    The photos from your trip to Paris were fabulous–I saw them on Insta. A big congrats, best wishes, & well done to Olive! Another exciting milestone in her life.

  4. So curious about the school schedule there. Is this the usual time to start a college term?
    My daughter is applying to colleges this year, made trickier by the fact that we are unable to visit any of the schools on her list! Hoping for some semblance of normal here next fall!

  5. Congrats to Olive!!

    I had a chance to visit the Musee de l’Orangerie and the Marmottan this summer and at one point I looked around in both museums and realized I was standing there, literally alone, in rooms full of Monet paintings. It was incredible but heartbreaking in a way – and very surreal!

  6. What a neat local opportunity! You’ve got a couple of filmmakers now, we expect great things!
    We were some of the final tourists in Paris in March (at the Louvre on its final night open, and then the Eiffel Tower on its last day open) and it was like an eerie movie set. To walk p to the Mona Lisa with no line, to have no one else under the Eiffel Tower? As Americans in France in early March we still didn’t understand the global impact of Covid-19 as it has unfolded since. And I too worry about everything going forward, and being able to continue. Was Le Corona new for 2020?

  7. I covered my mouth in awe when I started reading your post. My daughter wants to attend that very program. :) I’d like to pick your brain about it sometime…..

  8. Ah — perhaps I should add my son is in University in Scotland…..through we are New Yorkers. He’s settled and happy, but has to be his own tireless advocate as he’s been quarantined twice in 7 weeks.

  9. How exciting for Olive! We can’t wait to get back to normal. Our trip to Paris for this past April was cancelled and rescheduled to November. We cancelled again, and will hope for the best for 2021 travel dates.

  10. What an exciting time for Olive! It’s really like this was meant to be. I love stuff like that.

    My daughter is in her second year of college (although technically still a freshman in terms of credits). Although she could have been on campus this fall, she opted to stay home when all her classes ended up being online only. That’s worked to her advantage because she could take less than a full load (online learning not being her preferred modality) and we could save on room and board. She’s also been lucky in that a good group of her high school friends were also home so she had a group to form a bubble with.

    The spring is shaping up to be online only again and she thinks she’ll probably stay home for that too. Definitely not what she expected, but she’s making the best of it. Happily her school is, thus far, doing well keeping their numbers down. I’m hopeful that will continue.

  11. Congrats to Olive! Our son is in his dorm in Detroit and that is only 13 miles away and he has been visiting us on the weekends. His classes are all asynchronous and online but he wanted to have that first year dorm experience away from home.

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