In stark contrast to the Amsterdam I've thus far experienced this year, Paris was at her seasonally appropriate best: 30 degrees celsius (86 degrees fahrenheit), long rows of tourists with their feet in the fountains, and city streets alight. Top down, music playing, we were nevertheless in Paris for a seriously good reason: a friend's wedding.
The wedding was familiar and exotic all at once, being held in the Russian Orthodox tradition. Imagine squadrons of Parisian and Russian women in over-the-top hats and perfectly fitted, fancy summer dresses--and sky-high heels. Their companions faintly overwarm in their suits. And all of us standing for the full length of the service, which lasted an hour and a half. There are no seats in a Russian Orthodox cathedral, and the Alexander Nevsky on rue Daru in the 8eme arrondissement granted no exception to this rule.
The couple drove off in a wine-red 1950s convertible Dodge Coronet (with Washington state plates!) We cheered, and that evening, we drank an awful lot of Champagne.