If you had’ve asked me a year ago where I would be at this time I think my answer would have been pretty spot on – sitting in a sidewalk cafe in Montmartre, washing down un éclair au chocolat by sipping hot, mulled wine. And the reason that I’ve had to pinch myself every five seconds to believe this is real is because these last three days have been too perfect to be true.
How often do you dream big dreams only to live them out exactly as you’d hoped?
Mes amies, I am here and I am having the time of my life! We landed in Paris three day ago; tired and cold and totally in awe of every single thing that we (sometimes literally) stumbled upon.
On our first full day, we decided to see the city as we imagined the Parisienne spirit would have wanted us to; we meandered the cobblestoned streets with fresh, steaming croissant in hand and giant grins on our faces.
The vibe here is infectious. It’s a smooth, gânache swirl of quiet chic and obvious arrogance that I can’t seem to resist. Dragging me behind him while I move at a child’s pace (Must. Look. At. Everything.) is my boyfriend; also in awe and disbelief at our being here but aware of the incoming storm and the fact that neither of us can barely keep our eyes open.
He led me deep through the streets, taking the odd left and right as we passed countless boulangeries and quaint street corner cafes. We walked for hours (and paid for it the next day. Sorry feet, Mama loves you!) until I asked if we should ask someone for directions back to our apartment.
“Totally lost”, he led me to a street corner.
“We’re about to see the river. Are you ready?”. Well, ‘duh.
The moment that we turned that corner is one that I will truly never forget and when I recount this story for the millionth time to my grandchildren, they’ll be sure to tell me to, “quiet down”, while they play on their hover-boards.
Towering above us, in all her glory, was the mistress of Paris – La Tour d’Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower. It is infinitely difficult to explain just how magnificent she is, and I can assure you that no amount of studying her picture online is going to prepare you for how she looks in person.
Tall, elegant and proud she is a lattice of lace and steel as ornate and delicate as French lingerie and just as mysterious. Stark against the grey sky, she was strong and seemed to ooze that smooth gânache of Parisienne spirit that I had found in the streets.
The tower is enormous and humbled in pictures. No matter how many I took and from whatever angle, she appeared coy and much smaller. But that is all part of her charm.
Wandering the streets, she would reveal, just briefly, her steeple above the buildings before disappearing once again in a very French version of cat and mouse. She hides away behind the rest of the city until she chooses to show herself and when she does it is a breathtaking statement reminding you of where you are.
I couldn’t control my emotion and neither could Jayme. While I wept, he laughed. While I watched her, he watched me and on that day we had both achieved something great. I had finally arrived in the city I had only dreamed about and I stood before the monument that embodies everything about it. And he – that gorgeous, kind young man – had successfully tricked his girlfriend into blindly following him as he “lost his way” until he finally led her to a place where her biggest dream had come true.
Reliving those moments are precious, and we have so far visited the Lady of Paris two more times since then (yes, it has only been two days but we can’t stay away!). She is as beautiful at night as she is in the morning and I get to appreciate her with my best friend by my side. I’m the luckiest girl in the world, right?
I certainly think so.
Votre amie dévouée,
La femme de faim x