I've had many of these experiences in my travels and even in my own back yard. You know the moment...you see something beautiful or moving and it stirs emotion somewhere deep within and you want to own it, savour it forever...transcend maybe.
I had never been to Paris and from what all I had heard about it, I was expecting it be cliche, so to speak. I saw the Eiffel Tower from the airplane as we landed and I nodded my head in approval like an engineer admiring his work. After settling in our quaint hotel, we strolled down a tiny street in the Rue Cler district to scout out the great French food we had heard so much about.
We sat a tiny restaurant table, jammed with natives and tourists alike, all jabbering in French, English and all manner of language. Our table mates - I say that because the seats were so close together - were two women, who by coincidence had ordered the same dishes that we had on our plates. Not being shy people, we struck up a conversation. After brief pleasantries and lively critiques on the food, they learned that I had never been to Paris and that we planned to go directly to the Tower the next day.
"Oh no," our table mates exclaimed, "you must go tonight! It's lighted. And it's only a couple of blocks. We will take you!"
Who ever said Parisians aren't friendly? We finished our respective dinners and headed off into the night. Chatting and laughing, we took in the moment - the smells, the stars, the people strolling arm in arm...everything. It was magical and I felt my heart starting to pump a little faster. As we rounded a street corner lined with huge trees, we entered the plaza and there in all her magnificence was the Eiffel Tower. sparkling like a heavenly Christmas tree. Huge. Towering. Stunning.
|My Eiffel Tower...manipulated to look like what my mind saw in Paris:)|
I feebly took my camera out of my purse and snapped some pictures. We rode the elevator to the second level as the ride to the top was already closed for the night. I bought a little Tower replica in the tourist shop and took in the beauty of the Paris skyline, trying to capture it in the recesses. It was a magical moment and I was thankful. Humbled.
I doubt we will see anything that majestic on our road trip, but there will be moments, experiencs and scenes to savor and file away. I am sure of it.
Laurel. Take a moment to have a moment!