Boy, was Audrey Hepburn ever right when she said “Paris is always a good idea.”
The first time I was in Paris, it was a BIG year for me. I had just turned 40, finally graduated from college and left a job I’d been in for nearly ten years!
It was also my first trip to Europe, and maybe because I was hopped up on the aforementioned accomplishments, (NOT the turning 40 part) I decided I would plan the trip myself. For six people. Since I was new to European travel and completely unfamiliar with the arrondissements in Paris, I simply relied on Priceline to book our hotel rooms.
Even though this rookie move littered the road with a couple of extra potholes, I have to say in Paris, Priceline hit a home run! We stayed in the Sofitel in La Defense. A little outside the core, but a stone’s throw from the metro and the most comfy bed I’ve ever slept in. Thank you William Shatner!
I’m a bit of a germophobe. I generally have at least one hand sanitizer in my purse (I love Grove Collective’s Blood Orange), one in the car and a pack of baby wipes near the front door to clean Reagan’s feet after I take him out for a walk.
When I was getting ready to go to Ghana a few years ago, it occurred to me that I might be ill-prepared when I made the associate at my local sandwich shop give me another cup after he inadvertently touched the rim of the one he was endeavoring to hand me.
That first Paris trip, I remember taking a stroll through a nearby neighborhood and ducking into an adorable “mom and pop” type market. My friend and I were getting a bit hungry and noticed a basket of baguettes with my name on it. Ok, it didn’t really have my name on it, since NOTHING ever has my name on it. No keychain, mug or tiny license plate in ANY souvenir shop in any city or country has EVER had my name on it. So, ok, it wasn’t actually emblazoned with “Mysty”, but I did hear its siren call.
French bread and brie. The perfect complement to our first evening in Paris, right?
I watched the proprietor walk from behind the counter, grab the baguette with his bare (read unwashed) hands, break it in two and shove it into a brown paper bag. This germophobe not only took the bag, but upon arriving back at the Sofitel, proceeded to slather it with brie and munch on it like I had no knowledge of the path it took to get to me.
Things are different when we travel.
WE are different when we travel.
I’ve been back to Paris since then, but it’s this next trip that I’m really excited about. The trip that will bring five sisters to the foot of the Eiffel Tower, sipping coffee (me, anyway!) and placing bets on whether my sister Crysty will break her record for most crepes consumed in one vacation.
This trip will also be my first time to see Monet’s Gardens in Giverny. I have long been a fan of his water lilies and I am more than a little amped up to see them in person.
One of the things I loved most about seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland was that I got to see them with my sisters and niece. Seeing spectacular natural sights, or architectural marvels is great even when you are alone, but it takes on a completely different dimension when shared with people with whom you share DNA.
Things ARE different when we travel.
WE will be different after this trip.
Although some might feel that if The Sisters bond any further we may become permanently fused together, I’m looking forward to creating memories that will still make us giggle when we are playing gin rummy and passing around the ginkgo biloba at the Senior Center.
Five weeks and counting…