January 3rd, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Dear President Obama #349: Bonne Annee!

Reporter's Note: President Obama is dealing with a good many international issues as we launch into this new year. And that’s the subject of my last little holiday story in my daily letters to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

It’s been a lovely week off and a rare one as well, I must say. Feels like the past year was far too busy, so it has been nice having some days to hang with the family and write about things I enjoy instead of politics. As promised, I will return to more serious topics tomorrow, but I wanted to wrap up the down time with a little story about the start of a new year a few years back.

My wife and I, in a rare Thurston Howell III moment, took our girls to Paris to welcome the new year. We had some friends who were going and they asked us to join them, and the next thing we knew we were strolling along the Seine, visiting Notre Dame, eating mussels and pain au chocolat. At midnight on the 31st, we joined the massive crowds hovering around the Champs-Elysees, and afterward we crammed into a metro that was so crowded my younger daughter was nothing more than the top of her hat in a sea of people. Several locals found her quite amusing and I tried to make a joke, calling her my little champion. As it was, I ended up calling her my little mushroom which struck them as even funnier. Ah, we Americans are tres, tres amusant, n’est pas?