fresh back from my mini-vacay in palm beach, i came hope for a day or two, reshuffled suitcases and got back in the car to head to orlando to catch a flight to good old paris. i’ll admit to being more than a little bit excited for a few reasons, 1) i love paris, 2) i didn’t go to europe at all in 2011, the first year in maybe 6 years i hadn’t been to europe and 3) i hadn’t done much international business since taking the job i am in. we bolted out of orlando, because even though we had to change planes on the way over in atlanta, on the way back we were able to get a non-stop directly from charles de gaulle to mickey mouse land.
the flight over was pretty nice, since we were able to convince the gate agents in atlanta to upgrade us to business class for 25,000 delta skymiles, which as any international traveler will tell you is a steal. i slept most of the way over and while not arriving refreshed was at least somewhat awake when we hit our hotel on the rue de la paix between the opera and the place vendome.
most of the trip was business but i did have a chance to go for a quick run when i got in. i took a 4 mile swing from my hotel, through the tulieries and around the louvre, across the to the left bank and then along the river, crossing back over to the ile-de-cite and running the length of the island around notre dame de paris before crossing over to the ile-de-st-louis and then running back. they were 4 great miles and the only 4 miles i managed the whole trip, going back to that whole momentum thing i was talking about last week.
speaking of the tuilieries, there was a carnival going on, but what really made the stroll through the garden nice was a memory of walking from the louvre through the tuilieries to the orangerie with my mom and dad and daughter several years ago. i’ve mentioned before how much my dad and i traveled before; both on vacations because my dad was such a big family traveler and international traveler, but also because we worked in the same industry and for the same organization for so long. as a result of this, so many places around the world are just deeply imbued with memories of dad. paris being no exception.
my first trip across an ocean was a trip my dad organized when i was about 12 years old. we flew from newark to paris-orly and spent a few days in paris before heading to brussels and then amsterdam. dad made the trip so exciting and taught me about how much fun it can be to get a stamp in a passport. i think i can trace my entire love of international travel; and i do love it so much, to that one trip.
there is no doubt i miss my dad terribly. i really miss traveling with him; i would have loved to have sat on the champs elyesse with him and drank coffee like we did in 2003 on our last family trip to paris. i would have loved to have him along with us when we actually did something i had never done before; tracking down jim morrison’s tomb. i’ll have to be content though thinking that maybe he was there watching me from wherever it is that souls go when they aren’t here any more.speaking of jim morrison’s grave, that was the one thing the big boss wanted to do before we left paris. lacking any free time, we were forced to do it on the morning we left. so crossing our fingers that we could figure the whole thing out, we got up early and grabbed a cab to the pere lechaise cemetery. it took a little wandering around but eventually we found it, with barricades around it of course, to try to keep the stoners out, since apparently people think it is fun to hop the fence at night and smoke pot at his grave. they also think it’s fun to graffiti the graves near morrison’s, which i imagine kind of sucks if your ancestor had the bad luck of being buried there. either way, as much as i think the doors are overrated, it was kinda cool to do and not something i had ever done before.
in the end (heh!) we made it back to the hotel, grabbed our bags and got home. i muddled through the drive back from orlando somehow and reloaded the bag, got up the next morning and loaded the dogs in the new car and we made our way to atlanta, where i am writing this now. the rambling life never stops i guess.
i dropped mom and abby off at the airport this morning and it made me remember that the last time i saw dad was when i dropped him and mom and abby off at the airport to go to aruba; which i guess means that we must be coming up on the the two year anniversary. i miss you dad and wish we were still rambling and roaming together.
it’s not my song to leave you with, but if you have been reading here at all over the last few months you know i LOVE this australian/british indie pop combo allo darlin’ and they recently did a live performance at kexp (which i also just supported financially and you should too) and you really owe it to yourself to check this performance out. it’s a ton of fun.
but to leave you with a song today, i have decided to go with new orleans band hurray for the riff raff, another band i was introduced to by the incomparable bob boilen and robyn hilton on all songs considered. i dig this band way too much since it’s so many things i love; girl singer, americana/country/roots blend and LOTS of songs about traveling. hope you enjoy!!!