Thursday, December 27, 2007

Paris Like Home

When the chillun' are chillin' in Paris for college break, we usually have a couple of modes for lodging. If it's just the two of them, they can camp out at my one-bedroom apartment, as I have two (count 'em!) sleep sofas in the living room. Granted, it gets a little dicey stepping over suitcases. And maneuvering in the one tiny bathroom (accessed via my bedroom) is another challenge: it is a salle de bains and a WC, a combination practically unheard of a decade a go in Paris, but increasingly common in apartment rehabs these days. But we're family; we can deal with close encounters and personal idiosyncrasies.

However, when the kids want to bring some friends for a visit, or plan to do a lot of Paris socializing, my apartment (and my middle-aged nerves) just can't absorb the tsunami of extra adolescent bodies and concomitant belongings. Last year I was fortunate to find a weekly rental apartment a few blocks away, overlooking the dome of Les Invalides. There they can hang out sleep until noon, have some independence, and still head home to my place for meals, laundry, and all the other creature comforts that a Mom provides. A great solution, and cheaper than renting more square meters than I need the other 340 days a year.

Jean-Patrick, the easygoing, affable owner of the apartment, showed me some of the other flats that he rents. I've been recommending them to my friends ever since. Now -- a boon to all travelers -- he has a website and an official name for his short-term apartment-rental business, "Paris Like Home."

In fact, I like the apartments so much I was torn over even writing about them, for fear that our favorite wouldn't be available next time the kids are here. But Jean-Patrick is such a great guy, so cheerful and accommodating (and speaks perfect English). So I just had to pass along the tip. But we get first dibs for next Christmas, I hope.
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