Posted by: lolalately | April 23, 2013

City of light and love

Despite doubts and fears, I boarded a jet last week and together with my sister, flew to Europe leaving my husband to his own devices as he himself headed to Asia. I had two choices; stay home being miserable and sad and disappointed that the trip I’d spent a year planning and dreaming of had been trashed by my friend and then my husband, or pack my bag, grab my camera and head out with an open mind. In the end, I chose to go … and I’m actually quite happy that I did.

As our plane taxi’d out from New York, for a fleeting moment I was seized by a sudden sense of panic as I wondered what my husband was up to his hotel room, knowing I would soon be out of range. And then, just as suddenly, I silently told myself I had to let it go. Then I turned to my sister, raised my glass of Chablis and toasted to her and our upcoming week in Paris.

Six hours later, we landed at Charles DeGaulle airport a bit bleary-eyed, but excited to be there. After meeting our driver and checking into our hotel, we tidied up, slipped into less stuffy attire, and hit the ground running. We’ve each been to Paris before – though not together – so we wanted to make the most of our week. By sunset we were exhausted, so I hailed a taxi and we returned to our hotel neighborhood, where we picked up cheese, a baguette, some salami, a couple of cans of iced tea and walked a short block to our hotel for an impromptu picnic, followed by a much deserved nights sleep.

The following morning I awoke just before dawn to the ringing of my cellphone. It was my husband calling to say goodbye before his flight departed for Southeast Asia. He sounded restless, said he hadn’t slept well the night before, and that he wished he’d come with me. Too little, too late I thought to myself. I told him to have a safe flight, and to let me know when he was safely in country. Then we said our goodbyes, and I quietly walked out onto our hotel room balcony to watch a beautiful Parisian sunrise in peace.

Most of that day was passed with my sister and I sightseeing and shopping, peppered with stops for people watching and lunch at two of my favorite cafe’s. There’s something really relaxing about sitting at a little table in a Paris cafe sipping Cappucino, and just watching people going about their day. You don’t even need a lot of conversation. I mean, what is there to say really? I guess we could comment on how chic Parisian women are, or how well behaved French children seem to be, but neither my sister nor I felt the need for chatter. I think we were both just happy to be sitting there, thousands of miles away from our “real” lives, spending quality time together.

And as I sat there watching the city of light and love pass by, I wondered if I’d have felt this relaxed if either best gal pal or my husband had come with me. I probably would’ve had a nice time with either of them, but the truth is; I had one hell of a great time with my sister. She’s easy going, totally flexible and open to anything. If we started out headed to the Louvre and suddenly decided to detour to Galleries Lafayette, she was cool with it. If I said I really felt like Gelato instead of lunch, she was okay with that too. She’s like that, and I love that about her.

In the end, we visited every spot I’d wanted to visit, and a few I’d not really planned on but in the end was delighted we’d stopped at. We had lazy breakfasts and relaxing lunches, we had numerous coffee’s in pretty little cafe’s, and cocktails in fancy hotels. We had a picnic at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, and ate chocolate filled croissants in the rain while walking back to our hotel. If it wasn’t the trip I’d originally planned, in the end, it was better. It was exactly what I needed and better than I could have imagined. I can honestly say I’m thankful things worked out the way they did. My sister and I have decided to make traveling together to somewhere new an anual event, and we’re both looking forward to the next trip.

If I took anything away from my trip to the city of light and love it’s this reminder (paraphrasing a quote from Joseph Campbell); Sometimes we have to let go of the life we’ve planned, to have the life that’s waiting for us.  

Going forward, I’m going to try to be more open to embracing what life has waiting for me instead of planning everything out. I’ve wasted way too much time planning only to have someone else f*ck up my plans. I think it’s time to adopt my sister’s “whatever” attitude and see what life has in store for me. At least that’s my plan. 😉  




  1. Delighted to hear what a good time you & your sis had. I too love Paris, and try to visit at least every few years. You’re too right about letting go of the need to plan everything out. Much easier to simply let life unfold as it will.

    Bravo for you! I look forward to hearing about your next adventure.

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