Travel

From Paris with Love

A few years ago I had the pleasure of visiting France and fell in love with everything about it.  My dearest friend Mo and I had such a spectacular time.  This photo, taken in Paris inside the Musée d’Orsay, looks out on the Sacré-Cœur Basilica (to the left) and the Musée du Louvre (to the right).  The Grande Roue de Paris is at the very center. 

I love (love!!!) this picture.  The view is spectacular.  The memories even more so.

I thought it was a few years ago but after checking my records – it has been eight years.  (Eight?!?)

Oh how time flies! What better symbol of time flying than the view from this gorgeous clock?

I will also shamefully admit that I drafted the beginning of this post in March, at which time I crowned this photo as the reigning background on my laptop.

I received a bit of a nudge when Mo gave me a heads up yesterday.  She informed me that it was on this day eight years ago that we had visited the Musée d’Orsay.  So, I thought it only fitting and right that I share this photo with you today.

Ahh..Paris!!

The City of Light.

The City of Love.

It is a breathtaking city and the proof lies in this one simple photo which only showcases a portion of its beauty. (By the way, that is ‘Pa-Ree!!’ in case you are struggling to hear my best French accent. If you say ‘Pare-ISS’ it just sounds like you are from northern Minnesota and are dreadfully boring. If you say ‘Pa-REE’ it sounds like you are actually in Paris which involves Chocolate Pastry Bliss, café au lait and all things French. You can decide what you are hearing. I hear only ‘Pa-Ree’.)

If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend a visit. 

If you have ever dreamed of visiting, I highly recommend you make it happen.

For our adventure, the year was 2005 and it was our third trip overseas. Our first was to Australia and our second was to Ireland, with both countries speaking a form of English that we could easily wrap our heads around.  In France, our language skills proved sketchy at best.  Sure, we utilized the proverbial learning language CD’s and practiced our speaking skills for months while driving to and fro (lots of one hour car trips at that time for me as I commuted from my love to my job).  It was extremely important to be alone during those times. To repeat the French language.  (While there are certain noises my mouth and throat are not made to repeat in any language, I can tell you that singing and poorly speaking French both sound better when you are alone in your car, isolated from any other human ears.)  It is a shame neither Mo or I had taken one lick of French in high school or college.  We tried to speak French.  Really, we did.  Each time we would sit at a café to be served, we would honorably encourage the other person to show off her skills.  Sadly, we had none.  None.  While I can’t speak for Mo (in French or English), I know what I was really doing in these dreadful moments.  I sat, as if mute, as long as I possibly could, hoping, praying, willing through intense telepathy, that Mo would speak first and be the one to flail about hopelessly in front of the waiter.

Paris was tough for that reason but worth it in every way, despite our too-English mouthpieces.  Sadly, Parisians are not known for their incredible warmth and keen sense of knowing the exact moment a struggling American needs help with their tongue.  I realize French kisses may be another matter entirely.  In our experience, helping foreign visitors speak French or using their own (presumably affluent) English is simply not their strong suit.  So, we did our very best and miraculously, we managed to dine on amazing cuisine, enjoy delicious wine, and drink in the city in spite of our lack of language skills.  Oh, what we would have given for the technology available today!  My iPhone would have been a welcome assistant in every situation from French-English translation to maps.  Alas, we made our way without Siri because well…she wasn’t born yet. 

The food, drink, and city were a joy to partake in.  Most of the time I felt as if I were walking around about a foot above the ground.  Floating.  Dreaming.  Drunk on the city.  High on the culture.  Alive.  Enamored.  All the while waiting for someone to pinch me and for me to wake up and be forced to dust off the intoxication. 

As I write this, I realize that my love for Paris is even greater than I ever really knew.  So, it is with great pride and deep, heartfelt admiration for Paris that I share with you this photo. 

Bon nui mon chere!

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