I stood there staring at the Eiffel Tower. I had seen it so many times before. It’s an iconic image, the star of travel photos and bucket lists. And there I was, staring at it in real life. It was weird.
The wide base almost disguised the height of the structure, making it feel shorter than I envisioned. It actually looks bigger from across town. With coronavirus fears taking hold there was no worry about standing in line to get to the top. There was almost no one else there. It was like me, my 15-year-old daughter and my 20-year-old Godchild had this world-renowned landmark mostly to ourselves. We had the same feeling elsewhere around town.
I had to pinch myself as I looked out from the top. I had talked about this moment for years. I had saved and planned to visit Paris as one of the 50 places I’d never been the year I turn 50. I felt proud that my hard work and sacrifice had come to this. The rain just added to the adventure. Yet, as I watched my daughter’s face light up at the site, I felt a twinge of sadness that her father was missing this moment. I felt sad for both of them. Sad that his choices would mean he would miss more of these moments. Sad that she will never get the joy of sharing these kinds of milestones with both of her parents at the same time.
I haven’t had any family pictures taken since the divorce. I’ve made lots of excuses. “I need to lose some weight.” “I don’t want to spend the money.” “I haven’t had time.” The truth is, I just couldn’t do it. But it was time. Time to celebrate how far our little family had come. So I booked a photographer through Shoot My Travel. They provide professional photographers for one hour while you are on vacation. How genius is that? I mean our selfie is cute, but it’s not this!
It was time to celebrate our little team.
Time to embrace the adventures ahead.
It was a totally fun experience. We loved our photographer! Thanks Beks!
Along with the first official family portrait since the divorce, there was another milemarker on this trip.
It was the first time I had traveled internationally with my daughter. Paris was a bigger city than I expected. It had everything, PLUS, biscuits as good as you get in the South!
Treize Au Jardin is a little gem in the Saint Germain des Pres neighborhood. A Charleston native is one of the owners (that explains the biscuits!). It has southern-ish food with a french twist, boozy teas and jams, and cocktails that taste fresh out of the garden. 14 different nationalities work there! Way cool vibe.
We were surprised to find a little feeling of home half a world away. But life is full of twists and turns, like the fact that our trip was cut short by the coronavirus scare. For the record, we left Paris cleaner than we found it! We wiped down everything in our path (for video proof check this out.) And if you are lucky, along with ups and downs, you’ll get a few “pinch me” moments for good measure.