Thursday, September 9, 2010

Reliving narrow street at a time

Oh Paris. Do you remember me? The American girl that stood with her mouth gaping open at the base of the Eiffel Tower, so overwhelmed that her mouth got dry because she forgot to shut it?

The one riding through the unfamiliar, french countryside in a van with seven other passengers, headed to Chateau Chambord.....without a map? and a driver on the edge, but still doing very well? and a (friends) mom who never says anything negative in all of her waking hours?

Bonjour. That girl was me. One year ago today I was on European soil. I trespassed your beautiful gardens, and narrow streets, and quaint corner cafe's.

And when I say narrow. I really mean it.

I fell in amour with your pink skies, and your oh-so-fresh air, and your ESPRESSO. See what I did there? You can't write about ESPRESSO that you drink in Paris without giving it a proper introduction, capital letters. I became a capital letter when I drank that awesome.

This is Tiffany on Coffee. =)

This is Tiffany on Paris ESPRESSO.
I've tried to recreate that ESPRESSO taste, and feeling. I fall just slightly short, but Starbucks does do its best. I texted a friend the first time I tasted it, with "I'm pretty sure this could start a car if we ever run out of gas".
Notre Dame Cathedral, (Notre Dame de Paris) is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in France and in Europe.But you don't even have to consider yourself religious to feel a deep connection to this place. I lit a few candles and placed them on an altar there. And stood, once again, gaping, in awe of those stained glass windows. The camera's were complaining to each other, "I can't live up to these expectations!" but the person clicking the button tried very hard to capture the essence anyway.

Between that and Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, I don't know where I felt more humbled or at peace. But I just Sacré-Cœur is located in Montmartre, the highest point of the city they say. You have to WANT this one, because you're going to climb a few steps to get there. (Two hundred and thirty-four) but who's counting?

Montmarte,  I adore your architecture. It's nothing short of amazing. I was always thinking, "how DID they build that? Making that structure come to a point on the end"......then deciding, "I want to live there". And have a flower box outside my bedroom window.
Oh and your fromage crepes. I will attempt to make one someday. But how can I totally capture the initial experience when I'm standing in my kitchen in North Texas? I suppose I could go out on the patio during a slight fall breeze, when the air is fresh, on a September morning. Maybe it will come close?

I had The Da Vinci Code on my mind when we walked all around the Louvre that day. I half expected to see Tom Hanks running as fast as he could across the commons with men chasing him. He wasn't there. Or if he was, he's very slick. Because I didn't see him. But I thought of him.

I've had Paris on my mind since September 1, and we had that one cooler day where everyone was updating social media with status's like "it feels amazing outside".

I wrote this to my family about the shift in perspective that I brought home with me from Europe:

For the change in perspective. I learned that the people that live in Paris are so easily satisfied with just doing simple things. Walking.....sitting at cafe's and sipping espresso with their friends....reading a book on bench at Luxembourg gardens while their kids play in the grass. Buying their dinner at the food shop around the corner that has rotisseries set up outside, roasting chickens, and taking it home. Taking naps, outside, at those same gardens, and not giving their backpack or "stuff" a second thought. I'm not saying Americans don't do these things, don't misunderstand. But I do feel like we're spoiled a little. Or it takes more for some of us to be entertained. (not all, just some) And I'm sure there are people over there that are spoiled too, just saying.

I want that feeling again. Going to Europe is the one trip that I've noticed I can remember almost every minute detail, twelve months later. Because I have pictures, and the words that I wrote, I can get back there in mere seconds, if only in my mind. I can even still smell it.

So I think long walks are in my near future. Simplistic activities. Satisfaction and contentment coming from very little. I don't have a River Seine to walk along, but I do have a duck pond here and there, with spraying fountains in the middle!

And after we walk, let's have breakfast the Paris way.

"Each morning in the hotel, we had free breakfast. They boil eggs and put them in a huge wicker basket and you just grab as many as you want. They're still in the shell, and always warm, never figured out how they keep them warm. Coffee, croissants, jellies, cheeses, cereal, juices, and baguettes"

Au bientot,

PS If you take me with you, when you travel to the city of love, I could be your photographer. I won't even CHARGE you for the pictures. Oui?

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