The Luxembourg gardens, towering with impeccably lined trees with flawless flower beds underneath, were gorgeously breathtaking despite the gloomy day and sputtering rain. Beside my mom on a wet stone bench, we gave our feet a rest and enjoyed the calming bliss within the city of lights, Paris. Outside the iron spiked gates, charming airs wrapped throughout the chiseled stone in the old architecture of the buildings. Passing enticing cafÃ©s left and right, our grumbling stomachs convinced us to pick one and grab a bite to eat. We sat beneath the large awning hanging over the circular tables and wicker chairs; all aligned side by side looking out towards the street, as if it was center stage in a play. Sipping cafÃ© au lait and joining in a light conversation, our eyes were drawn to follow those who passed. After my mom spotted a mouth-watering bowl of beef, gravy and potatoes, we too decided to order the Beef Bolognese.
As the waiter walked away with our Euros and a tip that we later realized was unnecessary in their country, we were out on the streets again on foot to our last sight of the day, the Eifel Tower. The seemingly short walk we anticipated from eyeing the map proved to be longer than first thought. Passing the time became more enjoyable as the conversation grew from small talk about the beauty of the city to our more separated lives back home. Passing MusÃ©e d’Orsay, we spoke of how much things had changed from when I was a kid who only wanted to do as my mom would. Time, we both agreed, was so precious yet forgettable, and because, had flown by so fast that I was already a senior in high school. With the thought of going off to college next year, her voice choked up as she grabbed my arm and muttered how much she would miss me.
The metal beams of the Eifel Tower were woven into the most eye catching twists and turns that I almost ran into a souvenir stand while walking beneath the structure. The crisscross patterns emerged from the ground on four legs, then ran themselves into the same elongated strand to the very tip-top as it ended in the sky. The landmark of France was more than a sightseeing attraction; it was a mind-bottling piece of art.
The long lines of tourists to walk up the structure and see the city were expected during the warmer months of the year, but we both agreed a nice walk back to the Tuileries would end the night in a calmer setting.
As the cool air began to fill the air, the sun was slowly falling in the distance. Stopping on the bridge to admire the newness of the old city, we easily understood how one could become a magnet drawn to a place with those surroundings. After coming out of the garden, we stumbled into The Westin hotel with aching feet and yawning mouths. Following the maze hallway back to the room, our bodies fell limp onto the beds and instantly fell asleep.
It had only been one day, and I was already convinced I would take up French and move back to this wonderful place the instant I had the chance. The three day trip I flew out with alongside my mom was truly a bonding experience as well as an eye-opener. I saw another part of the world, but it also reminded me of similarities I had long forgotten about; Paris had tied and knotted the loose thread linking my mother and me.
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