Friday, December 13, 2019

Paris, Here I Come

For many of you, this might be the first formal announcement of my planned trip to Paris for the month of April to celebrate my 75th birthday.

Gregory and I spent 10 days in Paris ten years ago. Our going was in part thanks to friends Chuck and John who were going in April 2009 and gave us an enthusiastic YES when I asked if Gregory and I could join.

We would not need to be with them all the time and would strike out on our own but being there with them gave me the strength and bravery to go to Europe again (had been to Italy twice) especially as Gregory was progressing with his Alzheimer's Journey.

While Mexico, Italy, and Spain were wonderful adventures, Paris was the most monumental and best adventure on which Gregory and I had ever been. Funny aside, so monumental (literally) that in the beginning, I had trouble taking photographs because nothing would fit into the frame of my camera! Eventually, I learned how to see smaller monumental components of the monumental buildings, streets, cafes, museums, Metra, etc. that are Paris.

For Gregory especially, Paris was part of a bigger dream come true which would be for any architect who was also pretty much an expert in historical sites. One adult life long ambition of his was to visit Vaux le Vicomte, just outside of Paris, which we were able to do.

I just finished watching some old programs about Paris by travel expert Rick Steves. I found myself crying fairly often as he moved from one important place to the next. I realized that my upcoming April in Paris adventure will be wonderful but at times difficult.

First because of the memories of being there with Gregory yet this time not being able to physically share the emotions of the adventure with him.

Next, I will be there alone and will have to navigate the language, the food, the Euro, the Metra and other transportation, the museum tickets, and timelines on my own.

Also, while I will remain positive, there are always the possibilities of personal health issues making the journey a little more difficult than it was ten years ago.

Finally, when I haven't traveled for a while, a sort of ennui or fear settles in and causes me to doubt myself being strong enough to get on a Metra, find the way to the museum, on the right day, purchase a ticket, navigate the crowds, experience the important exhibits, find meals, be out after dark, take risks, get myself lost in exciting unique neighborhoods, find my way out, and get myself back to the Paris apartment again.

That being said there is also the reverse fear that I will miss out on things, not be in the right place at the right time, etc.

There are a number of things that I did not do last time while in Paris with Gregory because of my mild claustrophobia and I am determined to overcome them this time and not to miss out.

Bless XANAX! Bless finances not being an issue. Bless my having purchased my airplane tickets and renting an apartment despite my fears! Watch this space for more.

Click here to see the apartment

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