Chestnut in RL: The Crew and Getting Away From it All
I have been away from my day to day responsibilites for two and a half weeks. I am relaxed, and I do mean from my head to my toes relaxed, for the first time in ages. I feel great.
I went to Paris for 6 days with my daughter to celebrate her 16th birthday. It goes without saying that Paris is a lovely city with enough history, art, music, gardens, and tourist attractions to keep you busy for a very long time. As is our habit, we didn't spend a lot of time doing what people do when they go to Paris.
Yes, we went to see the Eiffel Tower light up one night and yes we went to see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. I barely looked at the painting to be honest. I was much to busy laughing at the crowd and people with their cameras over their heads trying to take a photo of the painting from a room away. That is the tourist's Paris - throngs of people pushing and shoving to get a glimpse of the top 10 places of interest the guide books say you MUST SEE when in the City of Lights. I have a hard time with crowds and if I am being honest I have a hard time doing things people tell me I MUST SEE so we passed on most of those.
Instead, we walked and talked. Sophie tasted wine for the first time and hated it. We ordered in kindergarten French at street cafes and ate delicious cheese and the best bread in the world. We browsed street markets and bought lovely lace scarves from an ancient, wrinkled grandmother who patted my hand as she counted out my change. We cruised up and down the Seine and pondered living on one of the canal boats and biking around Paris. It was an amazing trip and I have to say I am blessed to have such a sweet, intelligent fun travelling companion.
When we got back to NY we packed up the car and the entire family took a trip to Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Please take all of your "what exit" jokes and notions of drunken guidos and toss them out the window. My Jersey shore looks like this.
When we go to LBI we stay at the same little apartment every time. It is right on the beach in a section populated by families. The beach is nearly empty, the sand is like sugar and the water is delicious. We were entertained by pods of dolphins nearly every morning We lay on the beach and read books all day. At about 10pm most evenings one of the neighbors set off a short but fabulous fireworks display.
You don't have to tell me how lucky I am to have had this vacation. Believe me I know.
Now? Back to real life.
ETA: Long Beach Island is exit 63 off of the Garden State Parkway, for those who need to know!