The City of Love and Heartburn

20120721-152452.jpgFor the first time since arriving in Paris, Kealoha and I are properly relaxing. We're sitting outside at our hotel in Versailles listening to funky jazz and waiting for our drinks. Kealoha has ordered a Mai Tai with real Cuban rum and he's so excited he actually giggled.

So far the trip has been a combination of emotions: stressful, exciting, exhausting, confusing, infuriating, and it's all left me with a mild sense of heartburn. I am not the refined world traveler I thought I'd be. Okay. I didn't think I'd be a great world traveler but I didn't know quite the extent of how LOST I'd feel at times. Not just physically lost, but just out of sorts.

We've done a lot of walking so far and trying to figure out the train system and the RER was a little humbling. The train makes random stops and we still don't know how or why. But we managed to find our way to Norte Dame and the Louvre.

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There's so much to write and say but I'll have to save most of it for later posts or use in a story. A couple of things I've noticed. Traveling to famous places is interesting because you sorta expect a place to make you feel a certain way...like I thought when I walked down the Seine I'd feel like I was in Woody Allen's "Everyone Says I Love You" where the sidewalk is wet and glossy looking and the lights are flickering like Christmas trees and music swells in the background. In reality, I didn't realize I was walking along the Seine until I checked a map later. I thought it was just a random river.

20120721-162334.jpg What I'm saying here sounds depressing but I don't mean it that way. See, a place is just a place unless you fill it with your own story. Paris is just Paris until Kealoha and I have an experience that becomes a story. When we went to "Shakespeare and Company", Hemingway wasn't there but Dom the Cellist was expected.

20120721-162511.jpg There was one place where a story spoke to me. It was a bridge covered with locks. People who are in love take a lock and write their name with their loved ones and then lock it onto the bridge. Seeing all those locks brought me into the love story of Paris. But really you can make any place a love story, even your hometown.

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I am having a terrific time and today in Versailles has been relaxing and beautiful. Tonight we're meeting friends for drinks and then more exploring to come. Every moment here, I feel a little more connected, a little bit less of an outsider. Of course this mojito I'm drinking helps.

More blogs to come. I've got to talk about the food too. And I'm still trying to figure out why our cabbie was listening to Tom Jones and Barry Manilow. I'm starting to think that all cabbies are quirky like that, universally.