About two months ago, my girlfriend and I went on vacation to France for about eleven days, six of which were spent in Paris. We’d been together only about three months at the time and were already very much in love with one another; since we’re both still almost young, we thought a trip to France would make for a very solid foundation for everything that comes after it.
It worked perfectly. Paris lived up to its towering reputation. The City of Love, and about a million other pithy utterances that would be cliche were they not so wholly accurate. I must admit I can be a bit of a pessimist, but not for those eleven days in France. My pessimism didn’t even make it through customs.
We did all the touristy stuff, too. We went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, climbed the stairs of the Arc de Triomphe, waded through vast seas of tourists in the Louvre, kept our wallets in our front pockets at Sacre Coeur, indulged mankind’s morbid fascination with mortality in the Catacombs, and continued to do so at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery. I got to speak functional French to people who actually spoke French back. I took something like eight years of French classes, and never even got to use it before this vacation. The extent to which I still remembered it made me feel a kind of pride for my brain that remains to this day. And my girlfriend Thais…she’s the reason we did that touristy stuff, and thank God for that. I would never have gone to any of it of my own accord, but she likes to have fun and she showed me how to have fun as well. Were it not for her, I'd be sitting here right now kicking myself for having not gone to the very top of the Eiffel Tower and seeing one of the world's great cities from an impossibly-high vantage point.
It was the best vacation I’ve ever been on. I’ll never, ever forget it. Absolutely nothing can change that.
Paris, je t’aime.