Saturday, April 28, 2012

Paris Journal: Day One

Here, I'll share excerpts from the meticulously detailed journal I kept of our trip to France.  Since the journal itself was a gift, I was extra motivated to record my thoughts.  And I'm so grateful.  The memories and the images of our beautiful adventures will remain with me for a very long time, but the details and the impressions are also forever mine to treasure in this book.  Most nights in Paris, I fell asleep, trying desperately to catch up in my memories of the day trailing off into a squiggly line on the page...turning into dreams.  But I always went back to catch up, because each day was overflowing with treasured moments and discoveries.  I just couldn't bear to lose any of them.

This was our first night in Paris.  We arrived in the late afternoon, checked into our hotel, and anxiously took our first metro trip into the heart of the city.

Once we arrived at "Chatalet" metro stop, we wandered towards the Seine...Notre Dame appeared before us with Palm Sunday crowds and tents for a special Baptism celebration.  We walked a bit, across the river and back, taking in the beauty and shock of it all...the markets, the flowers, the vendors, the language, the architecture, the shops, the bridges.  We came back over the river and walked down the right bank, toward the Louvre.  We were cold and hungry, exhausted and rather disoriented, but mesmerized by Paris and our first soiree in the city.  
A cafe with WIFI allowed us to finally have 'facetime' with the girls and Nana and Papa.  We sat at a little corner table by the window and watched the people pass along the Seine.  We had our very first Parisian crepes au nutella with cafe.  
On the way back to our metro stop, we walked along the river again, and I got to take "the picture I've always wanted" (it was the first of many) ~ Ryan and I on the bridge with the river and the Eiffel Tower far in the distance...evening light sparkling on the Seine.  

The picture isn't really that amazing.  We took a lot better ones later.  But this moment was so beautiful.  Beautiful partly because I was so dizzy with excitement (and lack of sleep).  I also remember feeling emotional, almost upset, feeling the pressure to make every moment 'perfect', and wondering why I was  feeling so sensitive... I was just. so. tired.  Undeniably happy and full of anticipation.  But very, very tired.

We slept soundly that night in our little double bed and awoke on Monday ready to conquer the Louvre.

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