La Ville Lumière

It had been some time since we did something really crazy. In fact, 5 years had passed since we went from high school sweet hearts to partners for life. 5 years since we skipped our honeymoon, packed up the Uhaul and headed south the start a new life in Austin. 5 years since we found a new job for Bryan and moved into a cozy downtown apartment we weren’t sure we could afford. Even though it all felt crazy at the time, looking back, these were some of the best decisions of our lives. 

But that is about when we realized that deep inside our hearts was the desire to disrupt our routine. 

Stir the pot. 

Take a leap of faith.  

Risk it for the biscuit.

Dare to live out a dream.

So we decided to shake things up a bit. B would quit his corporate job. We would leave our cozy apartment in the trees. We would put our money where our hearts where and invest in WyldRoots (whatever this is). And leave for Europe to travel by train and live our life as adventurers in a foreign land. Not knowing where we would stay or where exactly we would go, we bought tickets to Paris. The City of Light. Or as the French would say, "la Ville Lumière”. 

BonJour! We arrived in Paris and sleepily fumbled around in a fog of jet lag as we successfully found our way to our home for the night near the Arc de Triumph. The weather was warm and spring was popping off in explosions of colour and fragrance. It's April in Paris.

As we walked hand-in-hand, honeymooning through life, in our bliss, strolled right over one of those grates on the sidewalk right as the metro blew air up my sun dress and provided the Parisians with the most epic Marilynn Monroe moment in history! My dress flew up over my head and exposed my undies to the world. I tried to pull it down but it would just flip up the other direction. Bryan tried to help at no avail. I leaped out of the gusts way laughing in embarrassment.  Just writing this now is making me laugh out loud!

Strolling in circles and squares, going absolutely nowhere. Up cobblestone allies during golden hour to share a cigarette. A habit we picked up from the French immediately upon arrival.

Inspired by the romance in the air, we created this playlist to convey the vibe.

While losing ourselves in our black coffees together after an evening meal, I scouted out a view of the Eiffel tower from across the Seine River and away from the crowds.

We skipped down Passey Street and peering up over the trees I caught my first glimpse of the glowing in gold Eiffle tower in the indigo sky.

We reach the water and walked barefoot along the river's edge till we came to a weeping willow cascading out over an empty house boat. Naturally, we boarded the vessel for front row seats on the bow to the light show and we laughed at the goodness that always follows leaps of faith. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. And sometimes we're gripped with fear. But right now, I’m in the arms of my best friend on a boat in Paris. ⠀⠀

We've been going to bed at 2am but waking up in time for morning espressos. We can't get enough sleep here but there is so much to see in this city of newness and wonder. 

Fueled by crepes and caffeine we climbed to the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point, the sacred heart of Paris.  

Upon its peak sits the Sacrè-Coeur Bastilla, an ancient roman catholic church dedicated to the sacred heart of Jesus. The views were unbelievable! Encompassing the vastness of Paris.  

Inside the church is one of those places that flood you with astonishment. You really have to be there to experience it. The detail in every mosaic blends with the sun streaks pouring through stained glass to create a feeling that this space truly is divine.

After browsing a local market, we stopped at the corner of Saint-Germain and Saint-Michel boulevard to have a picnic beneath the shade of some ancient hazel, elder, quince and chestnut trees which dwarfed us. White puffs from the floral blooms fell like fairies into our hair. We looked around and read that this magical place was called the Garden of the Unicorns - real life! 

Along the garden's edge stood towering rock walls that belonged to a large Medieval structure. Signs around the area described that where we stood was once dense forrest, and that in those times there was hardly any separation between the city gates and untamed woods. In fact, the tiles that lay on the path still bear the footprints of many woodland creatures  that used to live there including rabbit, fox, lion and, of course, unicorn (I want to believe!)

I had no idea how beautiful the Louvre would be. It's architecture alone is gorgeous but within it's walls are filled with works of art created by God's creation. Artifacts from a span of history encompassing thousands of years before Christ to thousands of years after. Our minds blown by earth and it's humans. We are but a mere speck in this whole story. 

Notre Dame was unbelievably beautiful. Again it's one of those place you can’t quite capture on film, you must simply go for yourself to feel the beauty, hear the sounds and experience its grandeur. 

On this day there just so happened to be a divine Holy Mass taking place to honor the Armenian martyrs who were slaughtered by the Turkish 103 years ago. Bryan and I sat in the pews and listened to the priest, although we could not understand a word. The choir sang, filling every inch of this French gothic architecture with echos of angels. We stood in line for communion, which felt so rare and blessed and I am so thankful for aligned moments like these.

Eventually the time had come to exchange our chateau in the city of light for the sea breeze in French riviera. Au revoir Paris.