“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”


“Sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written.”- Ernest Hemingway

Write one true sentence.

Paris is always a good idea.

…Or so I’ve heard.

Lately, while I have been away from this blog of mine and struggling with a little bit of writer’s block, I have been spending my time devouring everything to do with Paris.

My fascination with Paris started several years ago.  Paris, more than just a geographical location and the capital of France, always seems greater than that, doesn’t it?  Paris is seductive, and whimsical.  Paris, a destination I’ve envisioned in day dreams while spending an afternoon in a coffee shop, is where I’ve wondered, hoped, wished, that one day, I may find the perfect time and circumstance to travel to.

This coming May is that time, and I am so over the moon excited.

There’s the kind of excitement where you just can’t contain yourself, right?  You tell anyone that will listen that you’re so excited! about this thing.  You talk to your best friend about it, you call your mom, you tell the random person in line at CVS about your excitement; you are so excited about this thing that this thing is all you are talking about all of the time to all of the people!

And then there’s another type of excitement, or at least this is my version and experience currently.  I’m truly ecstatic about this one week adventure that I’m taking at the end of May with my Aunt this coming spring, but I’m keeping it all bottled up.  The excitement is there (it’s so very there!), it’s inside me and I’m so thrilled and I’m thinking and dreaming and reading and pinning my evening’s away, but I’ve been keeping it to myself.  I’m almost so excited, that I’m nervous if I let the cap off of my bottled up excitement, I’ll never be able to contain myself!

Have you ever experienced this version of excitement?

So.  I’m going to Paris.  Oh my goodness!  The Universe has given me this amazing opportunity to spend a week away in this wonderful destination that has been but a mere passing thought of “what if?” for years.  And I’ve been drowning myself in all things Paris ever since we made our reservations.

The Paris Wife was a wonderful novel which I got totally sucked into.  From there, I’ve formed a somewhat alarming obsession with Ernest Hemingway, whose literary works I can’t seem to get enough of.  I recently read A Moveable Feast which I enjoyed quite a bit, and from there I spend my evenings googling the life of Ernest Hemingway, his “spots” in Paris, where he ate and drank and spent his time writing.

Then, of course there’s the first Sex and the City movie from a while back, which I’ve always been in love with, as evidenced by the summer several years back when I became enthralled with French rap music.

There’s Julia child who I’ve always been captured by, her book My Life in France, in a box waiting to be unpacked sitting on my bookshelf.

I have a long list of books and movies that I’m dying to binge on.  I want to soak up Paris even before I go to Paris!

I’m so, so excited.  My version of excited.

Paris is always a good idea.  That’s one of the truest sentences I’ve heard lately.  Thank you, Mr. Hemingway.

Tell me, have you traveled to Paris, or another part of France?  Do you have any movie, book, or travel suggestions to help feed my bottled up excitement?

5 thoughts on ““It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

  1. Oh! How fun! I’ve been obsessed with the idea of Paris for a few years as well…the idea of it just seems so amazing. Sitting at a pâtisserie, eating croissants and macarons and drinking coffee and watching all the Parisians turn their nose up at the obviously American me? I want it sooooo bad!

    I definitely know the type of excitement of which you speak…I get that way every December for Christmas. Every October for my birthday. Every time we plan a trip – from the smallest of weekend trips to a longer, bigger one that requires an airplane. It consumes me. And I’ve had to learn to keep it in control because more often than not? The anticipation leading up to the exciting event ends up making the event itself…less exciting. And for big things? I don’t want that to happen, so I keep it in check. It’s something I’m trying to teach my son as well as he’s just like me…the excitement in the lead up is sometimes more exciting than the event itself.

    Anyway, I hope you have fun! I read a book a few years ago called “Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light” and it made me obsessed with all things French baked goods. This was my review on Goodreads:
    “Pros: after reading this book, I’ve begun to plan my trip to Paris

    Cons: after reading this book, I’ve begun to plan my trip to Paris

    As memoirs go, this was so-so. The descriptions of the desserts and pastries, however, made this book readable. It’s truly a treasure map of great bakeries and pastry shops both in NYC & Paris and I found my mouth watering at the many descriptions of delectable sounding sweets. “

    Sorry for the long comment!

  2. You are going to have the best time and come back ruined forever. 🙂 It’s just as magical as you imagine. There really is no place like it. If you need another book to read, check out Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod (my friend!) She also has a blog about how she quit her job and moved to Paris (aftertheartistsway.blogspot.com) and a blog about living in Pairs (janicemacleod.com). I can’t wait to see your pictures and hear about your experience!

  3. Oh my gosh! You are going to have the best time! I agree with the previous commenter – definitely read Paris Letters as it will add to your excitement for this trip! Also, I don’t if you knew this, but I have a France blog where I blogged about my 3 trips to Paris. So you could scroll through that for inspiration (http://anamericangirlinfrance.blogspot.com/).

    My recommendations are to get the Paris Museum Pass as it’s economical and there is a special line for PMP holders. I also recommend doing the Fat Tire Bike Tour on your first full day in Paris because it will give you a great overview of the city. If you do the night tour it includes a boat ride on the Seine and the guides bring wine! It’s so fun! And you will learn so much! I also highly recommend the company Paris Walks. They do walks every day of the week in the different quarters of Paris. I’ve done 4, I think, and they are so great and you learn so much! I think it’s 12 euro for about a 2 hour walk and I felt itw as worth the money. Lastly, try to go to Angelina’s for a hot cocoa. It’s touristy but the hot cocoa is amazing – they give you this little pot of melted chocolate and a little dish of homemade whipped cream, and you mix the two together. It’s delightful.

    HAVE THE BEST TIME. I adore Paris so so so so so much. You are going to love it there.

  4. It sounds like you are going to have a lot of fun! I have been to Paris a few times and I always have the most fun just wandering around the streets…I did the museum thing and it was good, but it really is not half as good (to me) as a nice ramble down a cobblestone street with no particular place to go or to be, where you can stop on a whim and have a cafe au lait or a pression (draft beer) or a crepe with nutella. It sounds like you are a planner, but make sure you set aside some time to do nothing, because that is what the Parisians do…just watch the world go by from a sidewalk cafe!

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