14. Our apartment
I don't like to brag but....We're lucky enough to be living in Paris even if it were in a refrigerator box and doubly so because of the beautiful apartment my husband's employer found for us. To start with, it's bigger (in terms of area) than our house in DC. The apartment is light and airy and has high ceilings, huge windows that open from ceiling to floor, intricate moldings in the main living areas, and hardwood floors. Plus we have two marble fireplaces topped by mirrors trimmed in gold that extend from the mantle to the ceiling. They're not working fireplaces but who really cares? Amazingly, our very American furniture looks right at home in this turn of the century French environment.
I miss our yard with its flower and vegetable gardens, plus having a private outdoor space but I don't much miss raking leaves or trimming ivy. Nor do I think back fondly on trudging up and down from 2nd floor to the basement to do laundry. And remarkably, unlike apartments I lived in on DC's Capitol Hill and Baltimore, we get relatively little noise from the upstairs and downstairs neighbors. Best yet, unlike many Parisian apartments that come equipped with only a water hookup in the kitchen (no appliances, no cupboards, no nothing) and wires where light fixtures should be, ours was a turnkey operation. It's got a few little quirks (like the fact that you can't open one of the bottom refrigerator drawers the whole way because of the radiator blocking the door) but I'm not complaining.