Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What to do First?




So here we were, staring at each other, all alone in the apartment. My inner thoughts were so mixed. We were in the middle of Paris so to speak, and now I had no idea what to do first. For the first time since we left America, Scott took charge. He is forever organized and neat, so he began unpacking. It was the one thing he could do to have a feeling of normalcy and control.


I followed Scott’s lead, and began unpacking as well. There was a small dresser in one corner, so we filled that first. We looked around and found some small doors, about 3 ft. high, built into the hallway by the bathroom. These were the ‘closets’ so to speak. We hung our shirts and whatnot, and piled our shoes in the bottom. Now on to the bathroom. Although it was spacious, clean, and shiny, it wasn’t much on counter space. Just a pedestal sink and a tiny rolling glass table (?) about 12 inches square. So happy was I to find a hook on the door, as I had a hanging bag for my toiletries.



All this took about 15 minutes...now what?


Although my eyes were burning and I was beyond exhausted, I wanted to head out. According to the experts, you aren’t supposed to take a nap...you are supposed to jump into the time zone immediately. Scott just stared at me, and sprawled out on the bed. He said he needed a 20 minute power nap. He fell asleep in about 30 seconds.

I roamed around the apartment (which took about 15 seconds) checked out the tiny kitchen area, went out on the balcony, and contemplated the next 8 days. It was slightly overcast and cool. The thing that struck me most, was the peace and quiet. It seemed I was the only person in the entire building. So strange...



There was a laptop in the apartment, and I decided to send an email home, just to let family know we had arrived. This email was the beginning of something big. More on that later.


As Scott snored, (there went the peace and quiet), I finally decided to lie down a few minutes...Wow...the bed was incredible! I sank down into the mattress...heaven!


Three hours later, we woke up!


I jumped up from a sound sleep. I was so disoriented. Where was I? I shook Scott awake, and I was in a complete panic to get going. I felt precious time had been wasted.


It was about 2pm (14:00 on the bedside digital clock). We bundled up with jackets and scarves, a first for Scott, and a look he wasn’t too keen on. He is a man’s man after all. Always living in the south, and now in Florida, neither one of us had ever worn a scarf...ever. It felt like everyone would stare at us. We were so self-conscience. I was determined we would not look like tourists. I have to say, we looked pretty chic as we went down the elevator. Very unlike us!


We stepped out the front door, and onto the street. We literally didn’t know which way to turn, or where we planned to go. With guide book in hand, we decided to explore Montmatre, our neighborhood.


As I think back to that moment, I realize how green we were. At this point of the trip, we figured it would be like any other vacation, only further from home. We had no idea the transformation that was about to take place in our hearts, our relationship, our lives. It would take about 3 days for Paris to truly wrap her arms around us, and for us to embrace her back in the same way.


Once this happened...magic!





7 comments:

*The Beautiful Life* said...

It's interesting to hear that you really can't just go abroad with the mindset that it is just like going anywhere else -- just further; that you have so many other factors and challenges that you just don't face if you take a vacation within your own country.

How you two must have had to grow -- and quickly! You must have been stretched in many ways that you didn't even see coming. But it sounds like you both are pros now! :)

It's so neat seeing pics of the apartment, too!!

Great stuff, Teri!

Ruth

The Flying Bee said...

Teri,

I can't tell you how much I am enjoying this! I had a whole range of emotions when reading this. I was laughing, then felt anxious for you, then when I read your last few sentences I was swooning! Then after all that I just got all weepy! Crazy, huh? I guess it is because this has been a dream of my husband and I's for so long and I just look forward to the day when it will finally happen.

Thank you for this! I love your story and I love your writing!

Adrienne

Anonymous said...

Teri, This is a wonderful telling of your first hours in Paris. I can almost see all this happening and enjoy picturing it all. I so remember the first e-mail and how excited we all were. Boy were we in for a treat.
This is so great, keep up the good work.
Mom aka Char

Debi said...

Teri,
Oh, I can so relate to that first day dilemma when the bed is calling, but you know it's risky to stretch out for just a wee power nap. When I do give in, I'm "done" for the day. I'm enjoying your play by play description of your Paris stay, and anticipate what happens next....

Debi

LuLu & Co. said...

I have chills. I have never been to Paris and feel like I am experiencing with you for the first time too!
to be continued...
LuLu

celiajuno said...

This is going to be a great book. Can't wait for more.

Simply Mel said...

I absolutely love that you are doing this! My husband and I rented an apartment in Paris while I was pregnant with my now 19-month old daughter. It was such an incredible experience, and I can easily recall a few of your feelings about 'the first day'! Trust me, it only gets better...you are not going to want to leave!

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