Call Verizon to add international package. Check.
Call the bank to authorize shopping charges. Check.
Check with airline for flight changes. Check.
Confirm hotel reservation. Check.
Holy cow. I’m actually going to do this. The day after tomorrow I’m getting on a plane to Paris. Without my husband and kids.
Please, God, don’t let this be a dream.
I have never done anything this self-indulgent before. I rarely do anything self-indulgent. My idea of a big treat is lunch with a friend squeezed between errands and carpool. So when this email came back in May, I didn’t even know how to respond.“If I bought a ticket would you be interested in going to France for a week in mid-October? A translator would be nice.”
“What a lovely idea…” was my immediate thought. But I decided not to say ‘no’ right away. To live the fantasy in my head for a day or two before I squashed it.
I pictured myself sitting in a café with a cup of coffee glass of wine and my camera. I practiced a few lines of my long-forgotten French to see if I could even pull off ordering a glass of wine. I mean, it’s been over 30 years since my summer in Quebec, so offering my services as a translator would really be a joke. But it was a lovely thought.
I hung on to it for a few days. And then, in a moment of uncertainty, I mentioned it to my family at the dinner table. It took my husband a moment to speak. He said, “Have you said ‘Yes’ yet?” And without overthinking it, I said, “No, but I think I will.”
And the planning began.
A few months passed, and (even though my plane ticket was proudly displayed on the refrigerator) I refused to allow myself to get excited about it. There are so many wildcards in my life right now, and I feared something would crash down and force me to cancel if I blabbed all over the internet months in advance. So I waited cautiously. Realistically. Hopefully.
And the Universe cooperated, as if to tell me that I was worth all of this. And now, here I am, ready to take off to Paris with my cousin on a Bucket List sort of adventure. To drink in (pun intended) all that Paris has to offer. Art, history, architecture, food, wine, music… all by myself. (Well, by myself meaning without my husband and kids.)
About a month ago I started talking about it. Making it feel real. Shopping for something chic to wear.
For the last week I’ve been mumbling to myself en francais, picking up travel bottles for shampoo, and sporting a grin that just won’t go away.
Today I’m making a list for Mr. Wonderful of carpool schedules and cross-country meets and sending emails to make sure every detail is taken care of.
Tomorrow I’ll pack the suitcase.
And the next day, I’ll get on a plane and fly across an ocean and arrive in a place I’ve been waiting my whole life to be.
And I’ll take pictures and drink wine and visit cathedrals. And I’ll thank my cousin a bazillion times for asking that question back in April.
And I’ll come home a better person for having said ‘yes’ to myself.
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I am really, really looking forward to hearing more about all of this!
Because you asked. 🙂
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have a great trip!! enjoy everything!! 🙂
Thank you, K!
Enjoying living out an Audrey Hepburn-like adventure through your eyes and words. Amuse-toi bien à Paris! I just Googled that and I hope it doesn’t translate to something like, go fly a kite. Have fun in France!
The Google served you well! Get ready for the posts and pics. Here they come!
I’m thinking of you and I hope you have a lovely time!
Thank you, El. As you would probably expect, many lessons were learned. Here they come!
You are on your way, and I can’t wait to hear and see all about it when you return. What a wonderful gift for yourself, much deserved! Yahoo! XOXO-SWM
I don’t know about ‘deserved,’ but I certainly needed it!
I’m so excited for you! Have a wonderful time!
Thanks, Donnell. I learned a lot, and enjoyed a lot. One of the most interesting: Charles Beaudelaire, quoted in today’s post, an essayist and pioneering translator of E.A. Poe. 😉
SO awesome! I have always wanted to go to Paris, as well. Have a fantastic journey.
It is magnifique! Definitely put it on your list!
So, so happy for you! Have an absolutely fabulous time!
Thanks, Heather! I had a great time, but I did miss my dudes, just a little!
Aaah! So exciting! Bon voyage.
Bon Voyage, sounds like the trip of a lifetime and a great place for some blog material! Looking forward to the pictures.
There will be many, many pictures. And perhaps a blog post or two!
I’ve been exploding with joy ever since you told me you were doing it! I’m so excited that you are going on this adventure.
And Mr. Wonderful is truly wonderful for getting how much you needed this time to fill yourself up.
Take pictures. Write. Lounge.
Tu es magnifique! C’est vrai! Bon voyage, mon amie.
Yes, Mr. Wonderful really is wonderful. Because being me ain’t easy!
I’m bringing my mini-netbook with me, so if my fingers can handle the itty-bitty keyboard you may hear from me while I’m there!
WOW!! Holy wow! Have a tres fantific’ time! (I forgot all my high school french 😦 can’t wait to hear all about this wonderful dream come true 🙂 Michelle w
I’m hoping I remember mine enough to dine, shop, and travel! Thanks for stopping by, Michelle!
Lisha ~ Have a fabulous time! I’m sure that you will have some great posts upon your arrival home, but until then, ENJOY!
Thanks, Carol! I’m going all-in for this trip, so I know it will be wonderful!
Fantastique! Je suis tellement excité pour tu. Paris a volé mon coeur de San Francisco, vraiment. En fait, j’étais là il ya une semaine. Si vous allez au Louvre, essayez la Porte du Lion abord pour une saisie plus rapide. Et oui, boire tout po je suis impatient de lire tout cela. ~molly
PS: Be sure to look at the Tower at night •on the hour•. 🙂
I’m not even going to try to answer in French, although I did read it with no trouble! I have not heard of this Lion Door. I know what I’ll be reading up on during the flight! Thanks, Molly!
I can’t think of a better person to deserve this. Enjoy and please leave all worries at home. Love Ya!
I am so proud of you!! Have a wonderful time!
Thanks, Bekr. I know I will. Did I tell you I cut my hair off, too?? Kind of Sabrina-esque, n’est pas?
I read that you cut it off. Was waiting for pics 🙂
I am waiting for tons of photos!!! Hope you are having a blast! or had a blast. Not sure if you are back yet Will have to look at your blog to see what’s up 🙂
I am so excited and happy for you that you are doing this for you. Have a wonderful time and can’t wait to read about it when you return. Have some wine and cheese for me:) xoxo
In no small part because of a thought you prompted. I suppose I owe you a big ole “Merci!”
Enjoy your fabulous trip! Can’t wait to hear some of the details in future posts! Bon Voyage!!
Thanks, Kathy! You’ll hear all about it. And probably see a lot of it, to. 🙂