We got off the airplane on a cold and darkened February night. As we waited for our bags I stopped at the airport Starbucks and told them I get a free birthday drink on an app on my phone. The lady looked at me and said "we don't do that here". I laughed and said okay I am definitely not in the US. Alize, Adrian, Asia and myself got in a cab and rode to the hotel looking at the lights and wondering if this trip was going to be all we expected it to be. We got two rooms one for them and one for myself. I needed a real get-a-way and I wanted to have time to mediate and unwind. The next day I was 40. I got up early and thought about all the things my 20's and 30's had brought me and I was extremely proud of myself, but at that moment I was the most proud. I had finally taken my family to a place I dreamed about for years.
I wanted to feel free, undefined and excited so we went to Disneyland Paris. We rode rides, ate the pastries and engulfed ourselves in the atmosphere. I watched them show excitement and interest in the shows and it made me feel like as a mother I had reached an all time high of brownie points. We ate dinner they gave me gifts and we were off on the train back to the hotel. As I laid in bed I thought there is so much to see and do but I want to feel the culture of Paris.
Within the week we toured Saint Germain Des Pre's, Pantheon, Catacombes De Paris, Arc de' Triumphe, Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and a famous spot from Me Before You, L'artisan Parfumeur and many more places. I told myself after I saw that movie that I would "just live" and go to Paris and no matter what visit this store. I didn't care for the fragrance mentioned in the movie, however; I did get myself a bottle of perfume that suited me. The culture was elegant and simple. People sat out at cafes and actually talked. No one was on their phone and people took their time. The museums were large and open and they made you feel like you were apart of something extraordinary. The food had great flavor depending on what you got. Some of it just wasn't to my liking. The pastries and deserts were excellent. You feel like you're on another planet. Things seem simple. People take time to sit and sip. The buildings are simple yet elegant. The people were helpful in most cases. No matter where I went I couldn't get my free birthday Starbucks.
Overall this trip sparked my vision of life. It made me realize there is more than money and material things a person should keep dear to them. Trips, family time and memories are things that no one can ever replace or take away. Paris is a must-see. It is romantic, vibrant, exciting and sheer electrifying. By the end of the week we knew what train to take were and how long it would take us to get there. We visited every place on our to-do list. We went to the high end malls and shopped at farmers markets on the streets. The last night there I looked out the window of the hotel and thought WOW I am really sitting in a Paris, France right now and when I get home no matter what I am never going to let this feeling of enlightenment go away.