For two days, we had planned a bike ride to Julia's Pizza, the most highly rated pizza restaurant in Paris. We expected a large, sit down restaurant to accommodate the hoards of people wanting a delicious pizza. What we found instead was a teeny tiny takeout or squeeze in and eat-if-you-dare, pizza counter.
We were a little stumped when we saw the sign and peeked inside. This was the best pizza in Paris? How could this be?
We were warmly welcomed by a happy pizza baker and a kind cashier, who worked less than a foot from each other. We ordered our pizzas and were offered a free drink. When are drinks ever free?
As we waited, we caught on how the pizza place could be so successful--take out! A stack of waiting boxes waited for their customers, and they moved in and out as we waited. It was raining and we were quite a distance from our apartment--our only choice was to squeeze in and enjoy. It made for good conversation with the pizza baker and the cashier.
"Are you Julia?" I asked the beautiful woman.
"She is my daughter."
So the cashier and the baker were the owners and the parents of the restaurant's namesake.
After two delicious pizzas and surface conversation, Tony asked the inevitable, Why didn't they have a bigger place? Certainly with the honor of best pizza in Paris, they could afford to expand.
Ahhh, but they'd already had the big place, the big success, the big headaches. They had chosen the simple life. Make and sell pizzas, make time for family and fun.
Perhaps Julia's Pizza was voted the best in Paris because a customer's money buys more than dinner; it buys an unexpected lesson: slow down, be simple, be happy.
As we bike home that night, the rain has stopped, the night is cool.
"I love happy people."
"I love happy people too."
Room enough for happiness