Everyone has a bucket list, you know what I am talking about? A collection of dreams, enchanting places and extraordinary spaces that occupy your imagination for years. Just like every thing else in life, everyone’s list is different. Some people wish whole heartedly to have a family, get married in a castle or be a part of a fairytale love. Others are saving up for that tattoo or concert, sky diving or zip lining through jungles or moving up the corporate ladder. We are all searching for something that makes us feel alive, that steals our breath and reminds us of the inexplicable romance of existence. Just the possibility of achieving a dream makes life all that much more exciting. My Mom had long dreamed of the Eiffel Tower, baguettes and cheese. In fact, it was the only rule I had while planning this trip, to get her a picture in front of the Eiffel Tower and you know what I was going to help my Mom catch her dream, cause nous restions à Paris.
When arriving into Paris we didn’t account for the fact that there would be bumper to bumper traffic, or that there would be nearly 3 transfers if we took public transport. An hour passes and we nearly suffocating the driver with our excitement when there it was, it call came back in flashes. The buildings rose with delicate grace, awnings in shades of sapphires and ruby’s defied gravity over the buzzing sidewalks. Croissants and boulangeries filling the air with an ephermal aroma of bread, butter and sugar.
We had arrived, the key to the apartment was ours and we were told we were on the fifth floor. But where the fuck was the elevator? Oh there was none?? These Keebler Elf stairs won’t fit my feet, let alone my luggage. Oh shit, they look steep… am I going to kill my Mom before we even see the damn Eiffel Tower?! I could not catch my breath because there were heaps of laughter spilling from my mouth. It seemed that neither my Mom or I could breathe as we inched our way up the spiralling staircase. It was like the damn Shining, you know the hallway that never ends?? But this staircase just increasingly steep and dizzying. The pattern of the carpet alone was treacherous. By the time we arrive at the door our sides are split and our faces are wet from the tears. My hands started to shake because I swear to God I could not get this key to turn the lock, and for fucks sake if this is the wrong key they are going to have to do a key exchange through the window on the fifth floor of the god forsaken place. WELCOME TO PARIS MOM!
Luckily, the lock eventually caught and we stumbled into the most adorable Parisan room. The walls were painted with sunshine, the french windows doused the room in a golden glow and behind the bed the Eiffel Tower was sparkling. We dropped our luggages and devised a plan. It would take an hour to walk to the Eiffel Tower, but we would be able to walk by the river under a sky filled in twilight and then arrive at the top of the hour. It was a lot of walking but after a day of travel, bootcamp was back in session. Our bellies were filled, walking shoes were on and our eyes were wide with excitement as our adventure in Paris began.
My phone was out and with Google as our guide we started to saunter down the Seine. It was nearly 9PM, on a Tuesday and the riverside was buzzing with people who whiled away their day swilling glasses of wine. Smoke from cigarettes swirled through the airwaves taking part in a dirty little dance with seductive sounds of French. All of it was so captivating and alluring that our pace slowed so that we could soak it in. The crowds began to dissipate as the river brought us closer to the tower, our race with the hour was getting to close so I made my Mom jog, even though it might break her. We had four minutes to make it a couple hundred meters, climb some stairs and find a seat with a view and then three, two, one…
I don’t know if you have ever seen it, you know that moment in someone’s life where they are living their dream? Their eyes reflecting the world before them and somehow that’s all you needed to see. For years my Mom built castles in the air about Paris and the Eiffel Tower and right now it was coming to fruition. I could see the glitter of the Eiffel Tower sparkling in her eyes and I was filled with an overwhelming and indescribable emotion. I had a smile that stretched from ear to ear, eyes brimmed with tears of joy and happiness wildly flowing through my veins. In this moment, everything was enough, sitting upon a ledge of the river bank watching at 10.00 the Eiffel Tower shimmy and shake it’s lights for us I knew that from here on out all would be well. And to think we had four more nights in Paris…
Enjoyed that immensely Erin, thanks