Last night I had a wonderful dream. My husband and I had decided to purchase an apartment in Paris so that we could spend several weeks there each year, taking in the culture, food and general ambiance of this beautiful city we spent our honeymoon in. We made a trip together scoping out properties and then I was going to return on my own to settle on one apartment we loved and get it set up. For some reason my sister and niece tagged along on this trip and we stayed in a hotel where I lost over 700 euros I had withdrawn from an ATM. But there was a general good feeling and I could almost smell the freshly baked, buttery croissants and the decadent chocolate Parisian confectioners are know for. And then I woke up.
Paris is a bucket list item even though I’ve been there twice. Once on the aforementioned honeymoon where we tried to fit in as much of the sights (particularly museums) as possible while recovering from the frantic weeks of putting the final touches on our wedding. It was a blissful trip in which we sublet a small apartment around the corner from Rue Cler which is well known for it’s abundance of food stalls, restaurants, and bakeries. Some nights we’d collect dinner by visiting several of these shops for a rotisserie chicken, loaf of bread with buttery cheese, a carton of strawberries and a portion of chocolatey goodness to round it out. A bottle of champaign or a nice french bordeaux to accompany it.
The second time we visited could almost be called a drive by visit as we spent four days with our four year old strolling him around the streets while doing not much else. We found a carousel and playground near the Louvre and a street performer creating giant bubbles by the Pont Neuf. There were no museums on this trip and the days were fraught with meltdowns except when we visited Disney Paris for the day. Lesson learned.
The third time I visit Paris, I intend to do it on my own. For a few months now, I’ve been dreaming and planning about my bucket list item where I immerse myself in another city and culture for a month. I put the idea in my head as I was writing out my master bucket list last fall and the idea grew and grew until I could ignore it no more. While my husband and son walk the Camino de Santiago next summer, I’ll be exploring the City of Lights and it’s surroundings as a native would experience it. Sitting in cafes, walking the rues and boulevards, collecting my meals as we did on our honeymoon. When you see a city with someone else there is much give and take to appease each other so everyone gets to do with what they want. In a way, this is a very selfish thing in that I have only myself to please. To be honest, I’m a little nervous and worried it won’t live up to my expectations. But it’s my dream and I’m going to do it. The gauntlet has been thrown.
What is your big bucket list item?