Destination Focus – Paris
By: Tracy Murphy, March 2016
I heard a popular country music singer say on the radio this morning that his family would not be joining him for an overseas tour because, “the world is crazy”. It was only a week after the terrorist attacks in Paris that I had to make the decision on whether or not my 15 year old daughter and I would take a scheduled trip to Paris for a week. After much discussion with my husband, we decided that we would still go.
Many people thought it was not a wise decision for me to take Emma to Paris. They agreed with the famous singer that the world is crazy. I agree that the world is crazy in some ways.
It is crazy beautiful to see the sun peak through the clouds and shine perfectly on the graves of the soldiers that fought against the Nazi regime in World War II. What an honor and a privilege to hear some of their stories and pay our respects, as well as he incredible connection this visit made with what Emma is learning in her world history class this year.
It was crazy to take a behind the scenes tour of the Eiffel Tower and learn that hydraulic elevators, although modernized over time, are still used to power the elevators to the top. The “selfie” above is at the top of the tower.
Even crazier to wonder the Louvre and see masterpieces come to life that we have only seen in pictures or movies. My daughter saw first hand how very small the Mona Lisa is in person and was blown away by seeing the sculpture of Aphrodite. Art is most powerful when seen in person.
We explored Notre Dame and joked about the Disney movie. But how crazy to be able to lay under the bell that you thought was only made grand in the movie and to feel so small.
Although I resistant to social media and the extent to which it drives our society, I saw the true beauty in Facebook. I agreed with all of my nervous and loving family and friends at home that I would post daily during our trip so everyone knew we were OK. An old friend from high school noticed on Facebook that I was in Paris and we were able to meet up for dinner. She lives in Oregon. I have not seen her in years. How crazy that it took us both being in France at the same time to reconnect.
The world is crazy and full of amazing history, culture, food and beauty that you can only experience by seeing first hand. I gave my daughter a gift that trip. I gave her all of the above, but I also gave her the courage to not live in fear and to embrace the crazy world in which we live.
A special shout out to Hotel Le Six. The staff was fabulous and treated us like family all week. They guided us daily and welcomed us warmly back each evening. We could not have asked for anything more perfect!