It was October 2006, just one month shy of my wedding, and I, Miss Bee, was galavanting through Paris with my friend Nancy. We had flown there on her frequent flier miles—mine a free companion ticket, thanks to Nancy's constant travels—and were staying with a friend, just a stone's throw away from the Eiffel Tower. By any measure, I'd scored a free trip to Paris. How did I get so lucky?
Nancy had surprised me with the idea of a quick jaunt to Paris one night over dinner and drinks a few months earlier. Certain there were more drinks than dinner involved in her decision to whisk me away, gratis, I waited the next day for her to confirm that her offer still stood... that she had, in fact, been lucid when she'd offered me a free ticket to The City of Lights. She had. And we would... leave in late October—the perfect girls' getaway before my walk down the aisle. I was ecstatic!
There was only time for four or five nights away, but it was all we needed. We logged miles each day, on foot and sometimes by ferry, leaving no stone, shop, or scone unturned. Museums, gardens, cafes, and bars—we couldn't soak them in fast enough. And the shopping! Oh, the shopping. To this day, my favorite pair of boots (espresso brown, soft leather, two-buckle, scrunch-down beauties) were bought in a small boutique in the (oh, which was it again?) la-la arrondissement near our flat. Whenever I put them on, I smile and think back to that wonderful time spent in the apple of France's eye. It was completely magical and my do I have some wonderful friends.
A city like Paris is meant to be courted, cajoled, returned to again and again throughout one's life. I imagine the city I fell in love with two years ago will bring me something new and different when I return, perhaps a year or maybe five years from now. It is romantic and popping with energy and love and light. For now, I'll live vicariously through friends like Deb, and through my vivid memories of walks along the Seine. I can still close my eyes and smell the crisp, fall air now. Paris, je vous adore.