So...here I am, about to return to Paris again. It sounds so crazy when I write that. Because I am so frugal, this whole travel thing has been a real stretch. Thank goodness my husband looks at life without quite as much doom and gloom as I do. Without him, I would be like one of those little old ladies that die with a million dollars in the mattress, having had cat food as my last meal.
As I look forward, to only a few days from now, there are a few moments I am anticipating. It’s those certain moments in Paris that wake me back up. Moments that make me know and understand that I really do belong there. I'm American born and bred, but I’ve got Paris in my head.
I thought I’d share a few of those moments with you. Please indulge me...I’m not even sure if I can get it across on paper, but I will try. I’m going to intersperse pictures here and there. I’m sorry Scott and I are in almost every picture. I promise, on this trip, we will take less of us and more of just Paris. Some of these photos deserve a blog post later on, so if you are curious and want more information, just wait...
So here goes...Moments I’m looking forward to...
There will be that particular moment when Scott and I enter the metro. We do it with such ease now, barely slowing down anymore to check our way. We will plop down in those tiny seats, as if we’ve been doing this everyday for years. We will have that same tired expression on our face that everyone else has. But there will be a moment when we look at each other and SMILE. We know exactly what the other is thinking...”We’re actually here. It feels like we belong. We aren’t just passing through, we are a part of the city.”
Paris has a way of making you feel like you belong, just as much as the little old man that was born there. It’s funny...no other place I’ve ever been adopts you quite like Paris does. Sure, you have to work at it. You can't approach it with a long list of expectations, and they certainly don't roll out the red carpet. It takes time, but once you feel that sense of belonging, no one can ever take it away. I think that's why it feels so good...you know you worked for it...
There’s another moment I look forward to. It’s the moment we sit down in a cafe. We are at ease now. No worries about screwing it up. No worries about rules or procedures. We just sit back, and let it flow. The other day I was in a popular restaurant here in our city. The waiter about drove me crazy! He was too helpful, too eager, and in way too much of a hurry. I just wanted to scream, “Can I please be alone with my thoughts for 30 seconds?” I know that isn’t very American of me, but it was honestly the way I felt.
Moment number three is just the walking. I tend to put my arm through Scott’s and sort of lean into him. As we walk, we don’t talk much, which is fine. Our minds are too busy taking it all in. Trying to memorize every architectural detail, smelling all the smells, listening to all the languages as they float through the air. It’s so completely different than our day to day life. It is fuel for the soul, for creativity and possibility...and you never know who you might meet!
One other moment, is sitting in the park. It doesn’t matter which park, any will do. We will sit in those cool green chairs, just doing nothing. No phone will ring. No interruptions. No loud voices.
It’s sheer heaven.
So that’s about it. Notice there isn’t any particular monument or museum or place that I mentioned. All the things we love to do are quite normal. None of the things we love costs a lot of money. None of them require special outfits or tickets or a command of the language. We love just being in Paris, and experiencing it like regular Parisians.