Come and join me in one of my favorite memories and trips of all time…Paris. Let us wander the streets together. The streets walked by millions of lovers, artists and hopeless romantics searching for that elusive idea of “love.”
Walk where the architecture swoons with every curve and where the Seine is graced by slow moving boats. Stroll where a dress is a masterpiece of art and cuisine melts on the tongue. Why do visions of Audrey Hepburn standing in front of the Eiffel Tower call forth the ultimate in femininity and class? Why is Paris “always a good idea” as she once said?
Ah…Paris. The very name sends a little romantic thrill through my heart. When I was 12 years old, I saw a movie that was based in Paris and ever since then, I’ve been in love with it. After wishing, hoping and dreaming for over 30 years, I finally was able to travel there for a few days. It was both eye-opening and beautiful.
I remember being warned that it was dirty and not as romantic as many liked to think it was. Of course I saw the dirt, the graffiti, and yes, even some vermin (both human and animal). But I also saw everything that people love about the place. There was a boulangerie with fresh baked croissants and bread. Friends sitting with their coffee at charming little cafes, locals playing a game of Boules (a game that involves heavy balls), street musicians and entertainers, and beautiful locals passing on their bicycles. And of course, there was that stunning French flair for fashion that made me a wee bit envious of the beautiful women that passed by.
There were Gothic churches that swept your eye upwards to the sky.
There was opulence in every corner at the Palace of Versaille. From golden gates to painted masterpieces on the ceilings to the stunning gardens…no detail was left untouched.
But most of all, there was the Eiffel Tower.
To this woman, the Eiffel Tower was the ultimate romantic dream. It symbolized the idea of love for me. It was as if simply by being there, that one could find the love one had always hoped for. Throughout the years, hopeless romantic daydreams were often accompanied by the Eiffel Tower in the background.
The day I finally got to see it, I was completely surprised at my reaction. I left the subway and walked around the corner and up to the platform above it to get the best view. When it came into view, I was suddenly overwhelmed by my feelings. The tears started to flow and I couldn’t keep them back. It was one of my first long-held dreams that had come true. (Video below of me and my reaction.)
As the character Sabrina in the movie “Sabrina” said, “Only where the light is pink, does the song La Vie en Rose (Life in Rose) make sense.” Why? Because to see Paris is to see life through rose-colored glasses.
And during these days, when the world seems so full of confusion, pain and darkness, rose-colored glasses help me to find the beauty that still exists.