The photos from the adventure have been posted.
The stories remain to be told, like secret jewels tucked away in safe pockets that I pull out a few at a time, to hold in my hand, to touch softly and turn over and over, re-examining every aspect of them... and I will share some of these lovely gems with you.
Mr. Black and I saw and did just about everything in Paris. Almost everything I didn't do the last time I saw Paris... I am still wandering through these memories every single day, so lovely are they, and so absolutely treasured.
We walked through Montmartre and climbed the steps to Sacre Coeur. When we reached the top, we watched the sun setting and I made that photo of the Eiffel Tower in the pink light of days end. We wandered through the basilica, looking at every detail and immersing ourselves in its beauty. We ate in a little bistro just a block away from the basilica, and the musicians there indulged my request for "La Vie En Rose"... in French, which I've never heard before. When we left, we stopped to watch the Eiffel Tower shimmering and sparkling like a diamond at the top of the hour.
A violin player (you'll see him in the Paris post) was very sweet and played "Con Te Partiro (time to say goodbye)" by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman for us, when I stopped to photograph him. We rode carousels, made new friends, walked in awe and reverence through St. Chappelle (which is my favorite chapel in the world), and through the halls of Notre Dame. We had lunch at a little outdoor cafe in the Latin Quarter and suffered a truly snobby Parisian waiter, we walked along the Seine in the early afternoon light, past the pyramid at the Louvre, through the Tuileries, and barely escaped the traffic around the Concorde with our meager lives. We made wishes in countless fountains and admired the grandeur and loveliness of Paris. Two hours in line at the Eiffel Tower was no sacrifice at all for the moment that we stepped out onto the top level and watched the sun set over Paris from that breathtaking vantage point.
Mr. Black and I wandered through the Musee D'Orsay and marveled at the works there, and then I introduced him to Mona Lisa and a few corners of the Louvre. We wandered the city of lights in the evenings, up and down the Champs Elysees and throughout so many neighborhoods.
We left footprints in the gardens and hall of the Palace of Versailles, looking, laughing, enraptured, taking it all with us as we walked away. There was a very special dinner cruise down the Seine in a glass boat, and we saw the city all over again in a whole new light, and it was completely different and utterly amazing. We stood in wonderment and gazed at the glory of the Palais Garnier; the old opera house, when it is flooded with light at night, which is nothing short of stunning... and then we walked all the way around it, to see it from every angle.
Paris captured our hearts and held us spellbound with its beauty, mystery and treasures. We didn't want to leave at all, but on the way out of the city, she gave us one last sweet gift. I'd been on a quest to hear someone play "La Vie En Rose" on an accordion (both trips, hadn't happened), when lo and behold, our train was almost at the airport when I looked at Mr. Black and said, "That was almost perfect. Just one thing... where's my musician to walk through the train car and play this song for me on his accordion?" ...and not a minute later, a man walked into our train car with an accordion and played my song for me.
"...hold me close and hold me fast, the magic spell you cast, this is la vie en rose... when you kiss me, heaven sighs, and though I close my eyes, I see la vie en rose... when you press me to your heart, I'm in a world apart, a world where roses bloom... and when you speak, angels sing from above, every day words seem to turn into love songs... give your heart and soul to me, and life will always be la vie en rose..."
We'll walk in centuries old footsteps through Scotland soon...