My first Bastille Day Celebration was in 1966 when I was living in Paris working au pair and filled with the enthusiasm of youth. I stood with the crowd on the Champs Elysee watching then President Charles de Gaulle ride in the parade, a towering figure above everyone around him. Later that night I danced with the party-goers at the Hotel de Ville.
This year was more subdued with the added perspective of age. My brother and his daughter arrived in the morning of the 14th to celebrate with me on the last leg of their trip to Egypt and Rome.
They were booked into a hotel near the Eiffel Tower, so I took the Metro in to meet them and we went back out to Montreuil to join my friends at their favorite cafe where there was a free buffet and a local all-girl band. A real Parisian celebration far from the tourist mobs. My brother and my niece went back in time for the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower, while I stayed on at the party.