It was March 9, 2008, my 16th birthday. We had travelled from California to Paris and we were staying in the 16th district a few blocks from the metro. Soon we would make our transfers and be on the train to Versailles, the official residence of the Kings of France and of course the home of Marie Antoinette. As soon as we turned the corner and the estate was in view I was in awe. Each room was more magnificent then the next and when we arrived in the Hall of Mirrors I truly felt like I was the only one in the room. I knew then what it meant to say something is breathtaking. I thought about the history that had taken place in this very room and all the people who had graced these magnificent halls surrounding it. From the very place I stood decisions were made by the king that would shape European history as we know it. None of the details were lost on me. During the entire tour my eyes scoured every inch of the estate. I saw where Marie Antoinette had her children and where she dined and had her parties. I would visit the Petite Trianon and Grande Trianon and stare out at the endless gardens and in a word the experience was transporting. It felt like my books were alive in front of me and everything was as I had imagined. The opulence and extraordinary thought that was put into each room, each painting and the grounds of the estate are forever in my heart and mind.
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