Three Years

If I was in Romania four years ago, that must mean that, three years ago, I was walking the streets of Paris. If memory serves, and it usually does, I was actually on the way home from Paris three years ago today.

A roving band of American houligans in Paris.
A roving band of American houligans in Paris.

That was probably one of the longest days of my life. The flight from Paris is something like 10 or 12 hours and the flight was delayed somewhat due to overbooking. The Air France people tried to keep us off the flight because we were late arriving at the airport. We touched down in Atlanta in the middle of the evening but it was nearly four a.m. by our internal clocks when we got off MARTA to hike the mile to C’s place. We were, needless to say, exhausted.

We were also barely speaking to each other. After 8 days of constant companionship in Paris, our patience with one another was wearing thin. She’d also tried to teach me how to Salsa on our last evening in Paris. As with most other attempts to teach me to dance, it ended in horrible, flaming failure and a shouting match to boot.

From the paragraphs above, you’d probably think that we had a terrible time. Nothing could be further from the truth, though. I had a blast. As much fun as I had in Romania, I had more fun in Paris, largely because of C. It was great to see all the sights and explore the city with her. I’ll always thankful I got to see the city with her and can’t imagine having done so without her.

My favorite things were the Eiffel Tower, the scenic boat ride down the Seine and Sacre Coeur. I liked Notre Dame but Sacre Coeur seemed much more spiritual. Notre Dame was much more noisy and crowded and touristy. We spent a good 45 minutes sitting in Sacre Coeur just praying. It was very peaceful and still.

Sacre Coeur
Sacre Coeur

Apart from that, just being in the city was great. There’s a wonderful energy about it, as there is with most of the really big cities I’ve been in. It was great to just get on the train and go or to walk the narrow streets and alleyways and see the city. St. Germaine and Montmartre were some of my favorite areas, just because they were so tightly packed and full of secrets.

I visit Paris in my mind sometimes, especially around early March of every year. In my head, I walk the streets again or ride the metro or look out from Le Tour Eiffel. I walk through the catacombs or down the Champs Elysee.

C and C in Paree, atop Le Tour Eiffel. She's wearing both our coats against the biting wind. I was immune.
C and C in Paree, atop Le Tour Eiffel. She's wearing both our coats against the biting wind. I was immune.

Mostly I just remember who I was with and I share it with them again in my heart. It always makes me a little wistful but rarely fails to bring a smile to my face. I guess, no matter what else, we’ll always have Paris!