I was twenty-one years old pacing back and forth in my backyard from sheer boredom. I had a little extra money from tax time and a thought pops into my head. I thought wonder if I die tomorrow, I thought if I don’t go to France soon I may never get to see it. I didn’t want to go alone. I didn’t really. I called my sister and to see if she wanted to plan a trip to France, destination Paris. She agrees. We plan to go in a month.
I found some cheap airline tickets online, this was ten years ago. My sister’s friend who is a travel agent set up our hotels. We had two destinations Paris and Nice. We agreed to see a part of the north and a part of the south of France. I packed a lot, one of those gigantic suitcases, another small suitcase, and a large book bag to bring on the plane. This bag contained everything from my bedroom and then some. I have since learned that all this stuff is unnecessary. I cracked my foot as a result of too much luggage in the Charles d de Gaulle airport. Nowadays I just bring a small backpack and a small carry-on utilizing the laundry at whatever destination I have in mind. I packed a lot, this first trip to Europe.
We flew on Air France and have a pretty decent meal. I loved the free wine offered, of course it was in the cost of the ticket, but it felt good anyway. What a luxury, little eye patches and free tooth paste, too. This was all before the airlines got really cheap. The hardest thing about flying to Europe was the time. Sleeping is virtually impossible for me in a plane, because I am about five nine and there is just no room. Sure I am able to sit, close my eyes and rest, but I am always aware of the rumbling of the plane and the cramping of my legs. It is all worth it though when I walked out of the airport and breathed in the beautiful French air.
Wine time in Paris, we arrived at like four in the afternoon France time, but it was another time to our bodies, oh well. We found a little wine at a small store; they are all around, just like any major city. We took some time to map out our itinerary Notre Dame, Champs Elysees, The Louvre, The Eiffel Tour. My purpose was artwork. I wanted to see it all. I thought. This was until I saw how many art museums there were and pieces to see. I realized I would have to come back. I also didn’t have the most willing travel partner to walk all over the place.
I got to see my fair share and loved every minute of it. The Louvre was cool and I was able to see works of art that I have learned about in art class. There was no comparison to seeing the real thing. Muse d’ Orsay was another spectacular museum full of gorgeous artwork. I got to go through the Picasso Museum in Montmartre. My absolute favorite was walking through Eugene Delacroix’s house. He just happened to be my favorite artist at the time. I had already seen enough Picasso, Dali and such in school that I was looking for different artists to love. I did appreciate all of Paris but I was a tourist into an art world that had already been. I realized I wanted to be like them and create my own artistic life. I needed to keep seeking my own unique experiences to truly honor these great courageous people of the past.
My sister and I continued to love Paris. We walked in the Latin Quarter, had escargot and duck in a cute little restaurant. We got a wonderful table as if on center stage with flowing white curtains. We drank lots of wine, and I ma sorry to say that it all ended up on the floor of one of the tunnels in the Paris subway. I think it was because the ticket people made me sick when they were laughing at my French. I was trying to respect the language.
The trip was amazing, the sights are beautiful. We stayed in the Negresco Hotel in Nice. Our room had pure white fur comforters and pink taffeta wallpaper in the bathroom. We had an ocean view and that was the most I have ever paid for a hotel and ever will. I think all the hotels I have stayed since then totaled the amount for staying at the Negresco. It was grand though.
What a vacation. Paris is beautiful. I recommend anyone going there once or twice. There is so much to see and you can’t do it all in one a vacation, but it is always fun to try.