My proposed agenda: Start with browsing one of a dozen gorgeous markets. My fave is one minutes from the Eiffel. I suggest picking up anything that strikes your fancy. Baguette? Of course! Cheese? Why, yes. Fresh figs? Don't mind if I do...
What kind of cheese, you ask? Who cares! Surprise me.
With your arms full of goodies, meander towards the lawn of the Eiffel and stake out a nice little spot to chow.
Next, spread your fare on the grass like a feast. If you want to feel really Parisian, use your scarf as a picnic placemat like I do...
Look at my feast! (Yes, I did say 'my' not 'ours'. This was my lunch. There might also have been a huge jar of Nutella somewhere that didn't make it into the photo... And maybe a few bites of Caleb and Dakotah's lunches... And maybe Josh's too... maybe...)
Once you're tummy's full, just sit for awhile and enjoy the ambiance with your love ;-)
And don't miss this bridge just steps from the church, where lovers lock padlocks and throw the key into the river as a sign of undying love...
Paris is lovely...
But I do fear the sun has officially set on my love affair with this oh-so-lovely place...
Why, you ask?
Well, something to do with an encounter with the rudest women I've ever met in my entire life, all my travels combined, times a million. Something to do with her berating and screaming at us for absolutely no reason other than the fact that we spoke English. Something to do with me losing my cool in a way that I've never, ever done before. Something to do with me embarrassing myself beyond belief in front of a dozen Parisians, Josh and my brother and sister-in-law as well, when I got so upset that I literally punched the glass divider with my fist (which the unbelievably rude woman was sitting behind) and screamed such horrible, unspeakable things that they can never, ever be repeated. Ever.
And then she called security on me and we had to run away with a load of luggage to avoid me potentially being thrown in Parisian jail. Nice.
It. Was. Awful.
I can't even believe I'm telling you about it.
I was in a bad place. I hit my introverted max by like, a thousand percent. Jesus was nowhere in the vicinity. (maybe I left Him in that quiet little square in Amsterdam... I think that was the last place I saw Him...)
I can't even believe I'm telling you all this. BUT. True to my commitment to always be transparent about both my victories and failures as a believer, well, there you have it. MASSIVE. FAIL. I apologized profusely to Caleb and Dakotah. (who giggled hysterically and declared it their favorite moment of the trip) I tried to get over it, but I couldn't shake the humiliation and sheer disappointment in myself. There was lamenting and tears and more tears. There was apologies and repentance and more humiliation as I obsessively re-lived the moment over and over and over in my head, tears welling up in my eyes every single time. That meltdown is precisely the kind of thing that happens when an introverted, artistic type like myself reaches their limit. If we don't withdraw to refuel, we begin to fall apart. Period. And boy, did I.
I eventually got over it, once I was certain my family and Jesus still loved me. (and decided to forgive the evil woman behind the glass even thought I really didn't want to at first) But I can't say I'll ever forget it. It goes down in infamy as the ugliest moment of my life, to date. Thank goodness for Grace. That's about all I can say about it.
Having had a few rough experiences in Paris over the years, I just can't say it's a place I care to return to again. Not saying you shouldn't go, of course! Just sayin' I can't imagine that I ever will... I've seen the best Paris has to offer a few times now, and well, I've also seen the worst. Love Europe, but next time I think we'll plan our itinerary around France, if only to avoid the memory of that horrible encounter. ;-)
Tell me you've made a fool of yourself too in some way or another. It will make me feel so much better. I'm in desperate need of affirmation. Please!!