© 2016, Lisa Weldon, Inc. Atlanta Creative Strategist

I Forgot My Passport

Paris - August 31, 2012 - 20 Comments

Yep, I did.

It was a hell of a way to start this trip. I had so methodically set aside one special box to keep my passport, my computer codes, copies of my drivers license – all the items that were most important to my trip. It’s the one thing I forgot to pack.

There was no option other than to turn around and go back home for it. In 5:00 Atlanta traffic, that was a 45-minute ordeal – each way. Add all that up, and it left me no time to get back to the airport, through security . . . nor did it allow time to check baggage. That meant I had to leave my computer behind. I’d had a hell of a time with my eyes in New York, working all month on a tiny screen so I thought it would be smart to box up my iMac, my big desktop. That idea didn’t work out so well, so off to Paris I went with no computer.

Our flight was miserable, to say the least. Nice professional staff on the plane, but the seats! As soon as we all buckled in, you could hear people all around me complaining about how small the seats were. At 5’9″, I was especially compacted – couldn’t even cross my legs. About 3 hours into the flight, I got my first taste of claustrophobia. Not good, Air France.

Going through customs was a breeze, negotiated the Metro with little trouble and found the apartment after a short walk. La Marais, my little ‘hood in the 4th arrondissement, is ideal. It so reminds me of the West Village in New York . . . well, maybe a few centuries older. Streets packed with young people, old gorgeous façades on buildings, beautiful flower markets, lots of little fashionable boutiques. It’s great.

{ one thing I’ve NOT missed in the US is the smoking, especially in the restaurants. I’d forgotten what it was like ‘back when’}

So, the apartment. Up seven stories in an elevator that was almost as small as that airline seat. Oh, it was a lovely filigreed, round contraption that slowly rose to the top of our building. If I eat one too many chocolate croissants, which I’m sure I will, my fat rear end won’t fit in that elevator. I’ll be hauling up 8 flights of stairs.

As the landlady opened the door, all I could see was wall. Yep. If you stand in the center of the apartment and hold out your arms, you can almost touch each of the four walls. You laugh.

But the view is worth every 1/2-inch of this place. Outside my window I can see, no lie, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Montmartre, plus the one skyscraper in all of Paris.

Had a wonderful lamb dinner at le Temps des Cerises, a quaint little cafe around the block. After stumbling through a translation of the menu, our waitress surprised us with a cherry apéritif. Tasted a bit like cherry cough syrup, but what a delightful gesture–a nice little end to a tough day. I hardly remember crawling into bed.

At 5:41am the alarm went off in my head. Wide awake. But with my sister and my friend, Annie, still asleep, I could do nothing but watch the red LED numbers on the microwave’s clock. 5:42, 5:44…you know that awful feeling when you’re stuck and can’t move, nor flush the toilet. But then I remembered that the Eiffel Tower lights up on the hour, shimmering with light. I waited until 5:58am and quietly maneuvered myself over to the window to await the spectacle.

Instead I saw the most amazing sight. A huge, huge cloud slowly moved west, revealing the fullest harvest moon I’d ever seen. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I realized at this moment that I was finally in Paris and I was here for a whole 30 days. Big ol’ alligator tears streamed down my face. I’m not sure if it was because I was feeling so grateful or because I was so damn tired. Either way it was an incredible sight.

The Eiffel Tower didn’t light up this morning, I never got any more sleep, I still have to deal with the computer issue, but I’m in Paris. I’m here for a whole month and I plan to make the most of every single minute I’m here.

I’ve got so many things to share with you – just from today. But right now, I’ve got to  jump in the shower and meet a friend for dinner.

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