Tuesday, January 1, 2013

All signs point to allez


Above the clouds on the way back from Kansas City a couple of weeks ago.

Happy new year. Welcome 2013.

Believe it or not, and I don't quite believe it, I'm thinking seriously about going to Paris for my 60th. It's ridiculously extravagant. I live low on the food chain; it is rather insane to even consider this idea, but I am, I really am.

The idea is as compelling as it is irrational. I would rent a tiny apartment (they all are) with a kitchen so I could indulge in the spiritual experience of buying and cooking French food. Grocery shopping is one of my favorite things, but in Paris it is a transcendent experience. The last time I was there, in the early 2000s, my aunt sent me out to buy a few things at an épicerie around the corner from her apartment. It was one of the best parts of my visit.

I know, I am so weird.

I have no interest in rushing all over the city to tourist destinations. What I want to do is ... no drum roll needed ... walk around and take pictures. I want to sit in cafes and listen to people speaking French, I want to connect with that ancient, earthy culture. I'd like to eat some shrimp with their heads still intact, drink wine, oh and drink coffee. Coffee is another transcendent Parisian experience.

If possible, I mean, if I can find it, I would like to visit my aunt's grave, after which I would pack my things and get back on the airplane, home to DC. Is it crazy? Is this urge of mine an early-old-age crisis similar to a mid-life crisis? You tell me.

I did find a RT airfare that is no more money than it would cost to visit my sister in Oregon. So far I have not had the nerve to click the "buy ticket" button on the Air France website. But I did find my passport.

There are so many other things I could be thinking about.

Turning sixty is huge, good lord. Comments on my last post from others my age confirm that this birthday is a serious rite of passage, not just for me. I have a very short bucket list of places I would like to visit before I die. I hate traveling, as a rule. But I would really like to see Paris again.

So what am I waiting for? Age 70? 80? It feels like now or never, but I am the dramatic type, hence I am going to think this through just a little longer before making the commitment.

I have to decide tomorrow, because I need to renew my passport and if I'm going I need to study, find a place to stay, figure out how to get from the airport and such. Every time I think about this possible trip, I smile widely, inadvertently. When I imagine being there, a nice chill runs up and down my spine. The body never lies. I really want to go. But ...

Oui ou non? I'm going to sleep on it. Morning is always more clever than evening.

Shalom.

16 comments:

Pam said...

Do it.

ellen abbott said...

That's what I say too. Do it.

steven said...

fly high reya!

tut-tut said...

Always have a current passport. Step 1. Buy the ticket. Step 2. Step up . . . Step 3 and beyond.

Steve Reed said...

We all say do it! Why wait? Why run the risk of never doing it? Make the leap! I'll be here to join you for a day of wandering! :)

mockingbirdsatmidnight.com said...

It's important to honor travel wishes. I hope you go.
Maggie

kbrow said...

I think this is a good idea. Paris is a nice place to just hang out, too. I have been 3 times, and have seen relatively few big tourist attractions. But I have drunk a lot of wine and coffee there...

A food easy to find there, but a pain (in my mind) to make is cassoulet. I am hungry for cassoulet now. Go. Enjoy. Take pictures!

Also if you do need a peaceful little museum to go to, I recommend the Rodin museum.

Meri said...

Go. Click the button. The last time I went to Paris (almost 10 years ago now), I found an apartment to rent online in the 6th aron. near Eglise St Germain de Pres. It was a perfect location -- everything was within walking distance. Unfortunately, I hadn't converted to a digital camera then, so my photo library from that trip pales in comparison to later trips. But go. . . yes, this is a rite of passage, but there's something more at work here. Answer the call.

Linda Roberts said...

You don't need me to urge you onward, but since you ask... sounds as if you want and can without regret. Signs point to holding the mail and getting someone to water the plants! I'd be happy for you, too.

Linda Roberts said...

You don't need me to urge you onward, but since you ask... sounds as if you want and can without regret. Signs point to holding the mail and getting someone to water the plants! I'd be happy for you, too.

Moonroot said...

I think this sounds like a fabulous idea! And if you want to do a side-trip to Wales while you're this side of the Atlantic it would be amazing to see you again. X

The Pollinatrix said...

Well, if you're "so weird," I guess I am too, because grocery shopping in Paris sounds like heaven to me.

I too say turning 60 is huge, and doing something as huge as going to Paris alone makes absolute perfect sense. Oui!!!

Pam said...

Have you bought the ticket yet? I visited the Rodin museum in Paris when I was in my twenties. It's still one of the highlights of my life - it made me go straight aftwerwards to Philadelphia U.S to see for myself that wonderful sculpture The Thinker.

Pam said...

Have you bought the ticket yet? I visited the Rodin museum in Paris when I was in my twenties. It's still one of the highlights of my life - it made me go straight aftwerwards to Philadelphia U.S to see for myself that wonderful sculpture The Thinker.

Margaret Gosden said...

Renew your passport anyway! I am attracted to the Met's tour package to visit Russian art and places but can't find anyone who can afford it. I am 80 (try imagining being that age) but I feel as young as I did
at 70 and 60. Do go to France! I hitched to the south in the 50s - I wouldn't do that now, tho!

Margaret Gosden said...

Renew your passport anyway! I am attracted to the Met's tour package to visit Russian art and places but can't find anyone who can afford it. I am 80 (try imagining being that age) but I feel as young as I did
at 70 and 60. Do go to France! I hitched to the south in the 50s - I wouldn't do that now, tho!