This is my last post as the person I’ve been for nearly 48 years.
On Tuesday, I will get the first stamp in my passport and fly across the ocean. I will land for 50 minutes in Iceland (which is a lot farther than I thought) and then I will fly to Paris.
I took French for all 4 years in high school. I even won an award at graduation, Best French Student or some such. Granted, there were only 3 of us in 4th year French. I always thought I’d make it to France before this ripe, old age, but the exchange student thing didn’t happen and after college, when we had the money and time, it didn’t occur to us as a possibility. I have no earthly idea why.
Then kids and business ownership came along and it really became a pipe dream, something other people did. And then in January I got a text from Fred & Ethel saying they wanted me to go with them to Paris to celebrate Ethel’s 50th. They bought a ticket and got an apartment in the Marais. And I commenced Intensive Paris Planning.
I have a Paris Pinterest board. I made a Google map coded with sites and vetted restaurants. I downloaded apps. I practiced my very rusty French. I annoyed a lot of people (except maybe Kate, my planning sidekick) with my enthusiasm.
Because this is a big deal. Realistically, it may be my only chance to cross the pond. I surely hope not, but I’m going like it is. Which is why Fred and I are taking the train to London for one day, and why I considered taking the train to Frankfurt to see friends, even though it would mean one day less in Paris.
I will sit in many sidewalk cafes and annoy waiters with my bad French. I will enjoy many glasses of wine and cafe crème, tradition baguette, chocolat, Lillet. We will cruise the Seine to celebrate a milestone birthday and go on a private food tour. We will sit on our apartment balcony on the 6th floor and watch the world go by. We will visit a magical chateau built for kings and one built by a mouse. I will figure out how to get from CDG to Le Marais via train with a suitcase and jetlag. I will enjoy champagne and try snails with my boy friend’s boyfriend. I will search for treasures in the flea markets.
These things will seep into me, filling the cracks made from missing something you didn’t know you needed, or that you knew you needed but had given up on ever finding. Fresh eyes and new perspective based on someone else’s reality.
I will try not to stand under le Tour Eiffel spinning in circles making puppy dog eyes. And big smooches to The Geek for letting me go and dealing with the home front by himself for ten days. I will miss you hard.