Well, in a nutshell, it was wonderful.
But before I get into all the fun moments, the nutty shopping, the great meals, I must share with you the one thing that was the reason I had to do this.
When I left my old job, I wanted to do something wonderful with that little bit of time in between my next gig. And I chose Paris.
Paris was always tantalizingly out of reach. I lived in London for a year after college and planned a trip there, but due to a missed flight I didn’t get to Paris. And well, life just started happening. Jobs, boyfriends, the right boyfriend, the wedding, the baby–it all pushes those little life list things down.
Until you realize life is passing you by and you still haven’t been to freaking PARIS. Which is what I realized awhile ago and I promised myself that I. WAS. GOING.
And I needed to go to Paris, so I could go to the Louvre and see Nike of Samothrace in person.
Now, what is Nike of Samothrace? It is to me the most beautiful piece of sculpture. Ever. It is the reason I decided to pursue Art History in college.
This is her in all her beauty.
I know, right?
I remember when Professor Havelock slipped the huge, old, glass plate slide into the projector. There was an audible gasp in the darkened auditorium. Professor Havelock went on to talk about how this was found in the sea and that is was Nike, the goddess of Victory who landed on the prow of a ship with her linen shift drenched with sea water and clinging heavily to her body. The creases of linen over her body are the best example of Hellenistic sculpture ever. And I remember her final parting comments on this exquisite piece of art– its imperfections–the lack of a head and arms actually enhances its beauty. Perfection isn’t necessary to make something extraordinary.
Lynne, my travel mate and one of my dearest dearest friends, and I planned one of our days in Paris around going to the Louvre. We started with a lovely lunch at Cafe Marly, a divine little cafe right next to the Louvre. Where we watched people outside milling around I.M Pei’s wonderful sculpture.
Prepped with a full belly and a properly fizzy head from a couple of glasses of champagne we headed to the Louvre. This nice fellow let us skip the lines and within five minutes we were in and headed toward the staircase.
But along the way, oh the glorious things I saw. It was like being immersed in my Art History 101 class again.
I turned a corner to go up the stairs and there she was.
I started to weep when I saw her. And weep. And weep. Seeing something you wanted to for twenty years can really impact you. It did me. After 15 minutes of quietly weeping, I walked around Nike slowly three times and tried to soak up every crease in the marble, every feather in her wings. It really was breathtaking in its beauty and craftsmanship.
I took like a dozen pictures and none of them did her any justice.
I must admit, I was in such a daze it took me about a half hour to pay attention to the other pieces of work at the Louvre. But after the whole experience I came away determined to knock more things off my life list.
But I’d say the best gift from this whole Paris trip was the feeling I have more amazing travel to plan in my life.
So, here is to new trips!
PS: Expect two more posts about my Paris trip this month!