Back in 2010, when I was still married, we took a five-week vacation to Paris. In the winter. It turned out to be the worst winter in 75 years, so yeah. There was a lot of snow on the ground. Fun for about five minutes. We used to bicker about who would go to the store for the day because it involved putting on longjohns and many layers of coats and gloves.

But I digress.

We stayed in the shadow of the Sacre Coeur, the only slightly less famous church after Notre Dame. I loved the Montmartre neighborhood. It wasn’t touristy, and we felt like locals, if only temporarily. We got to know Abdel down at the kebab shop, who marveled that a six-year-old American boy could be fluent in French. Our AirBnB hosts, who lived a floor above our flat, invited us over for drinks while the kids chattered. They even let us take over the apartment on New Year’s Eve to watch the fireworks that didn’t happen at the Eiffel Tower.

This is the way I love to travel: staying in an apartment for weeks and getting to know the area.