Thursday, March 10, 2011

I love Paris

Eiffel Tower by litlesam
Eiffel Tower a photo by litlesam on Flickr.

It sounds trite.  But its true.  I do love Paris.  Paris was always a fantasy for me.  From the time I was a child I always wanted to go to Paris.   I remember watching the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on the old Saturday Night At The Movies on NBC when I was a kid.  I watched Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell sit at a sidewalk cafe singing When love goes wrong, nothing goes right.  I knew then that I too wanted to see Paris and sit at a sidewalk cafe.  Maybe I couldn't sing with Marilyn and Jane, but in my mind they would be right there with me.  It was a fantasy that stayed with me.

I married in my twenties, had two daughters, bought a house and any fantasy of travel was far from a reality.  I finally was able to travel to Europe for the very first time when I was forty nine years old.   The person I was traveling with had a business conference scheduled for Marseilles.   I was going to France!   Although Marseilles is no where near Paris.  But I was not going to France for the first time and not seeing Paris.  So we flew in Paris for three days and then took a four hour train ride to Marseilles.  I literally traveled from once corner of France to the other on that trip.

Paris was everything I had hoped for, the city of lights.  I sat at sidewalk cafes.  I walked along the West Bank.  I saw all of the sights.  And then there was the Eiffel Tower, the crown jewel of Paris.  I will never forget my first view of the tower, the elevator ride to the top, and the view of the Seine from the Tower.  My mother used to sing the song "I Love Paris" when I was a child.  It was a favorite of hers.  She never got to Paris.  But when I climbed up the Eiffel Tower her voice was with me singing that song all the way to the top.

I returned to Paris again eight years later.  I was concerned that it would be a let down.   I was afraid it was not be as magical the second time.  I was wrong.  I have done a lot traveling between my first visit to Paris and the second. I have seen many beautiful cities.  But for me nothing compares to Paris. 

I will return to Paris again.  And I know it will woe me and charm me once more.  Marilyn and Jane will be a the cafe. My mother will be singing.  And I will be making the fantasy a reality once more.

"Every time I look down on this timeless town
whether blue or gray be her skies.
Whether loud be her cheers or soft be her tears,
more and more do I realize:

I love Paris in the springtime.
I love Paris in the fall.
I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles,
I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles.

I love Paris every moment,
every moment of the year.
I love Paris, why, oh why do I love Paris?
Because my love is near." (Cole Porter)

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