Tuesday, July 6th
Just back from seeing L’Arc du Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. Had a huge French meal at a restaurant my brother took us to. It was delicious but I’m glad I walked a few miles afterwards. I’ve pretty much given up on being gluten free and today just decided to eat all the bread and pastries I wanted. It is hard to find a grounded place with food when traveling. So much of the time I feel like I have to just be okay with what is. The result of course is that both Cierra and I are having gluten reactions. For me it's a lot about rashes and perpetual itching...
Paris this week has been amazing. So full of experiences I think i could write a whole book just about this week!
Some Paris highlights were spending time with Mical and Claudia, seeing some incredible historical buildings. I'm in love with all the statues and sculptures here. Being in the Louvre for almost 6 hours and only scratching the surface of seeing the art there, using my very very rusty french again which I studied for eight years but haven't used for about 25 years! Pictures will have to wait a few more days because it's too late tonight for me to download. We went to Montmartre today. Saw the Moulin Rouge, the Jewish section, a view of the whole city, some really amazing musicians playing on some stairs, and then tonight Cierra and I went to the Arc Du Triomph AND the Eiffel Tower. When we got there they were sparkling lights on the entire tower, which aparently they do every hour for about 15 minutes. We had perfect timing and got there just around midnight!
I'm wide awake at 2:00 a.m. and have to be up at 5:00 to take the metro to a bus to an airport to fly to Dublin, the Boston, then finally SFO. I get incredibly anxious about traveling so it's no surprise I can't sleep. Had a great and intense last day here. Some things I can't post in this blog but suffice to say this has been quite a week in PAris. Our timing was not actually so great for Mical and Claudia because of how long they have had people staying with them and how much they need their apartment to be their own again. But we all had a good talk today and then went to see more of the city and to get hot chocolate at a famous place near the Louvre called Angelina's. It was by far the best, creamiest, richest, bestest hot chocolate I will probably ever have in my life. Claudia also gave me a beautiful gift today. A green necklace that she got in Rome. It's incredibly beautiful and I think it will attract wonderful things and people into my life.
I am so glad to be coming home! Things I miss most about home:
Ice, electric fans, swimming pools, air conditioning, my car, my cats, gluten free eating, cold things to drink when it is hot, knowing what to expect, convenience, my friends and my family (who are not here), taking a bath, uncrowded spaces.
What I will miss about Europe:
Mical and Claudia, speaking French, really really good food, Pain au chocolate, the beautiful things I see at each new turn, great public transportation, learning new things (sometimes the hard way), hearing several languages spoken all around me at once, things that are more than 200 years old.
I have learned a lot these past 26 days. And there are, of course, so many things I would have done differently had I known what I know now. But the mistakes are part of the whole experience. I definitely got to see my own resiliency as well as Cierra's! I'm very proud of her. She was a trooper and put up with me when I was falling apart. She's a good traveler and really has been able to appreciate all of this. We have about 24 hours of travel ahead, so I'll hopefully write more on the plane.
Bon nuit, or bon matin! it's 2:47 a.m. Mon Dieu!