Can it be…

Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time rewritten every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we, would we,
Could we, could we?

No no no, that is not what I meant to write, but as soon as I typed those words, it was inevitable. The way we were. That movie makes me sob every time. For her sake, I wanted them to be together, but he was such an asshole. A really handsome asshole, but still an asshole. They weren’t meant to be together.

Blue Eyes knows better than to let me watch that movie, but sometimes he is not around. He will never agree to torture himself by watching it with me. We did that once, in a motel room beside a babbling creek in Sedona, Arizona in 1985. We were 21 and he was trying to figure out how to work the hot tub that was in our room, and I sat on the edge of the bed having never seen the movie before, eyes glued to the little old television. I wanted Hubbell to be different. I wanted him to change because he loved Katie, and Katie loved him and she didn’t need to change. She was true to herself. And, I guess, in the end, he was true to himself. Sometimes love doesn’t win. Sometimes people are assholes.

So, back to what I really intended to write about. Can it be that the low dose prescription of Zoloft my doctor prescribed for me and which I have been taking for a couple months now is actually helping, or is it that I am finally truly healing from the worst of the trauma and I am learning to live in my new normal? Whatever the case may be, I am doing well. Really well. I am much calmer. I have far less anxiety. I don’t feel the blood gushing through my heart, stopping and starting, any more.

As previously mentioned, I have been traveling A LOT. I had barely unpacked my suitcase from San Diego, when I turned around and re-packed it for Paris and London. It seems I have a number of “favorite” cities and Paris and London definitely fall on that list. Paris because, well, it is Paris. And London because everything is in English and the tube is maybe my favorite form of transportation, and of course London is full of history and loveliness.

arriving Paris

Arriving Paris.

Here’s a glimpse of my short, but very sweet three days in Paris. I love reminiscing happy times and glorious days in amazing cities with the one I love. We were on a plane for most of Mother’s Day. No triggers, no anxiety. By the time we arrived to our hotel, Intercontinental Le Grand, we wanted nothing more than to get to our room and relax a bit. We had a lovely Junior Suite on the top floor with two balconies.

building across the way

Apartment building across the street from the hotel.

hotel view of eiffel

Eiffel Tower view.

Blue Eyes had pre-ordered a gorgeous bouquet of Mother’s Day flowers and the hotel had provided champagne, fruit, and a plate of beautiful macaron. We commenced unpacking. There was a knock at the door… special delivery of one decadent chocolate birthday cake for me.

mother's day flowers

Mother’s Day Flower Bouquet.

birthday cake

Pistachio, Caramel, Chocolate, and Raspberry Macaron, plus a chocolate birthday cake filled with layers of chocolate sponge, mousse and ganache, trimmed with marshmallow cream and topped with drops of ganache and gold leaf. There’s no place like Paris!

We had a romantic dinner in our room, enjoyed each other, and then slept for about 10 hours. We didn’t want to sleep away our short time in Paris, but we also didn’t want to walk around like jet lagged zombies. Tuesday was dedicated to business meetings… this is how we afford to travel, after all.

Wednesday we set out walking to some of our favorite Paris landmarks. Even though we only had a couple days this trip to really enjoy the city, I love it that I have been to Paris before, so I don’t feel like I have to run around crazy seeing everything, and also, we can focus on seeing our favorite places and choosing maybe one or two new adventures.

green tea

I found that a nice pot of green tea really helped me get through the day.  The Cafe de la Paix at our hotel was really quite gorgeous and all the food was delicious.

We decided to walk to La Grande Epicerie at Le Bon Marche by way of the Tuileries Gardens outside the Louvre.

ferris wheel

Ferris Wheel next to the Tuileries Gardens

tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries fountain

musee d orsay

Musee d’Orsay from Pont Royal

avalanche of roses

Avalanche of Roses just past Pont Royal

La Grande Epicerie at Le Bon Marche had been recommended to me before and had been on my wish list from our trip in 2013. It’s really somewhat like a fancy Whole Foods, but with all the fun that comes with Parisian delicacies.

spices

I fell in love with these spice jars. I am kind of obsessed with dried spices.

sandwiches

The perfect place to pick up sandwiches for a picnic in the park.

reeses

I was pretty disappointed that this was on display under the heading “USA.” What the what? I have never seen most of these Reese’s products at home.

We grabbed some drinks and headed out to Luxembourg Gardens. I really wanted to see their magical display of seasonal flowers, but it seems they had just started the planting.

garden

Luxembourg Gardens

From the gardens we headed back across the river as our next stop, our home for three weeks in May 2013,  was The Marais district.

notre dame

On the way to Le Marais, we passed Notre Dame Cathedral.

the marais

Heading into the Marais always feels a bit like going home.

cakes

On the way to our favorite lunch spot, we passed this gorgeous cake store, Aux Merveilleux. Next time I will surely try one.

las du fallafel

For us, a trip to Paris is not complete without a L’As du Fallafel sandwich. I have noticed the guidebooks and travel sites trying to steer people away, saying there are better places in Paris to eat, I beg to differ. We crave the falafel and the shawarma sandwiches from this place. When we stayed in the Marais, L’As du Fallafel was our go-to late night snack.

shawarma sandwich

Lamb Shawarma Sandwich.

While we were eating lunch, it started to rain, so we ducked in around the corner at our other coveted hangout, right outside the door of our old apartment rental, Le Voltiguer Cafe.

chocolate chaud

Chocolate Chaud at Le Voltiguer.

We then hopped in an Uber and returned to our lovely room at the Intercontinental Le Grand Hotel.

On Thursday we had planned to tour the Palais Garnier, which was on my wish list for my last two trips to Paris, and which this time was right across the street from our hotel. We opted for the morning guided tour. The Opera House is amazing and the guided tour provided us with so much information, I doubt I would have had the patience to figure it all out on my own. (Palais Garnier)

palace and hotel

Opera House on the left, our hotel on the right.

palais

Palais Garnier exterior building detail.

opera house

Opera house stairs.

opera house hall

Opera house foyer, fashioned after the hall of mirrors at Versailles.

opera hall ceiling

A bit of the foyer ceiling detail.

looking out

Looking out from the foyer to the streets of Paris.

ice room ceiling

Ceiling of the Salon du Glacier. This room was designated for refreshments including ice creams, sorbets, and iced champagne for the luxuriously adorned ladies who frequented the opera.

DL_Paris

I had to borrow this photo from the website as there was a performance practice going on while we were at the Opera House. We were allowed to view the luxurious room, but photos were forbidden. The interior is gorgeous and was the inspiration for the Opera House in Phantom of the Opera.

After finishing our tour and leaving the Opera House, I was bound and determined to see the fabulous ceilings of the Galleries Lafayette, what I would like to call, the fanciest mall anywhere. We were also incredibly hungry. We found a lovely place to eat at the Printemps Brasserie.

printemps

Exterior of Printemps department store at Galleries Lafayette.

ceiling of brasserie

Ceiling of Printemps Brasserie.

ceiling reflected on table

The ceiling of the brasserie reflected on our lunch table.

inside the mall

Inside Galleries Lafayette.

Across the street, the Galleries Lafayette also had their own fabulous food hall. All of this fabulousness was about 2 blocks from our hotel.

chocolat

Alain Ducasse chocolatier.

more spices

More glorious spices at La Route des Indes. These are all flavored salts.

And sadly our time in Paris was up. It was time to head back to our hotel, gather our bags, and head for Gare du Nord and the Eurostar that would transport us to London.

leaving Paris

Gare du Nord.

I had an amazing time with Blue Eyes in Paris. I am so grateful that I no longer live my days in pain and agony. Whether it is the anti-depressant or merely just my own healing, I’m not going to mess with anything right now. I have learned to embrace my new normal and be thankful for all the amazingness that is my life. I am loved, and I am blessed.

Next stop, London, England. Au Revoir. ❤

36 thoughts on “Can it be…

  1. Pingback: Seven days in Paris | try not to cry on my rainbow

  2. My goodness, there is so much wonderful stuff here. Eye candy galore. Daaaaahling, maybe it’s not the Zoloft, maybe it’s all the fab food and travel. That would do wonders for any woman LOL. I see so many things that I remember from my own travels, and also quite a few that I have never done. I feel like I missed out by never seeing the opera house, the pictures of it are completely stunning… And your picture of shawarma almost made me want to cry (happy tears).

    P.s. Aux marvilleus (?) de Fred is also in NYC now. I tried it. It was nice, but not life changing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Who cares what the reason…The point is that you are enjoying life again. Can’t wait to hear all about everything. As always, beautiful pictures and commentary to go along. Loving you always. me xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What amazing pictures Kat- I love your travel posts, you have such a gift of capturing a place so beautifully! I love that you’re doing so well and that you’ve healed well enough that these times can truly be enjoyed and appreciated! Thank you for sharing your journey- travels and healing ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kaye. I love being able to travel to beautiful cities and not want to bury myself under the sheets in fear and pain. Looking back through the pictures brought a big smile to my face. I am working on London now… we had such an amazing time. xx

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  5. What beautiful photos! It’s been too long since I’ve seen Paris! So, so happy that you and BE are in such a good and healing place and are able to enjoy a trip together like this. Wonderful new memories have a way of expunging old hurtful ones. Thanks for sharing this Kat…looking forward to your London post….Oh how I miss London!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Two years ago I never could have imagined getting on a plane without having an anxiety attack. Didn’t know if I would still be married in 2016. We have come a long way in two years. I adore London!!! I love reminiscing. xx

      Liked by 2 people

      • Your journey has (and still is!) so amazing and so inspiring. I count myself so blessed for “knowing” you and selfishly drinking in your wisdom. So, so glad that you and BE had this time and that you are able to find such joy. Much love to you! **hugs**

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you, Leigh. I felt like I was walking blind and broken for quite a while, but happy to say BE has kept his word and we are doing well. I wish this for you and Will too. I know sometimes it feels like blind faith in the most painful of circumstances, but knowing I will be okay, either way, and learning to live in the moment has been a real blessing for me. xoxo

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  6. Kat,

    This is amazing! Love seeing how much you did in your short time there. Love the beautiful photos (I feel like I am watching the travel channel). But I love your last paragraph the most……..

    “I had an amazing time with Blue Eyes in Paris. I am so grateful that I no longer live my days in pain and agony. Whether it is the anti-depressant or merely just my own healing, I’m not going to mess with anything right now. I have learned to embrace my new normal and be thankful for all the amazingness that is my life. I am loved, and I am blessed.”

    You are healing. We both are. We are becoming able to embrace our new reality. We are feeling blessed and we are feeling loved! This is huge!

    Reading this confirms what is happening in my own life and I know it can be a flicker of hope for others working hard to recover from this devastating journey. Well done!

    Big hugs,
    Kit

    P.S. Can’t wait to hear about London!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kit, as always for your kind and beautiful words! 💖 I am so happy we are in this healing place together! I will be thinking about you this week and knowing you will feel so much better in just a few short weeks! Cheers to a speedy recovery and for you to be treated like a queen during this time. 👑😘

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      • We have a two week trip to Europe planned for our 20th anniversary in October. I’m planning the details and now I know why the Europeans seem so laid back- the whole area exudes romance and beauty- even the food! I have an iPone 6 and filters. I do not have your awesome perspective and eye for composition. I must get better before October! 😘

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        • Ooh fun!!! Where will you be visiting? You cannot take a bad picture of such beautiful things. I used to work for a commercial photographer back in the 80’s. One of my tasks was sleeving all the slides for him to view with a magnifier (when they did that sort of thing!) I remember looking at my first photos of Paris that way. I may have picked up a few tips from him. He photographed for a cruise line in French Polynesia. I am still planning that trip to paradise! You must be very excited! Congrats on 20 years! 🍾 xoxo

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh wow! I have covered a trip on the Paul Gauguin cruise line in French Polynesia for years. One day- it will happen! My husband studied architecture (before law school) back in the 80’s and all of his Europe pics are on those slides. We need to get those out again so that our boys will appreciate the ability to edit on the spot. He and I are taking a cruise that will have us in Tuscany on or actual anniversary💗. We are extending the post cruise in Barcelona.

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            • Likewise coveting the Paul Gauguin, A. I actually looked into it for our 27th anniversary this July (next month? wow, time flies), but we opted to spend the money on an Azamara cruise to NZ for next March. I contacted Paul Gauguin and now I can’t get rid of them, ha. They call and email daily! So far I have not stopped them as I sort of like dreaming about it and feeling like it will happen some day soon. I love the style of their room decor.

              How fun sharing those architectural slides with your sons. What an interesting undergrad topic for your husband. We were boring business majors in the 80’s. For our 20th, we took a Mediterranean Cruise on the Celebrity cruise line with our boys, my parents, and my brother (GQ) and his wife. It began and ended in Rome and visited a number of greek islands plus the Amalfi Coast, but I had contracted pneumonia at the very end and was unable to leave the ship for that last excursion to Pompeii and Amalfi. We need to do another Italy trip that includes Tuscany, Florence, Venice, Amalfi… so many beautiful places, so little time (and money). 🙂 We probably need to plan a whole month!

              We loved Barcelona. We took this interesting Celebrity inaugural cruise (can’t remember the ship) that started in Amsterdam (maiden voyage–our son was on his college junior year abroad in Amsterdam while we were there, that’s actually why we chose that ship/itinerary) and ended in Barcelona. We celebrated my husband’s 49th birthday at the Abac Hotel and had dinner at their amazing restaurant, I think the dinner ended up being 14 courses!! So good. You will have so much fun!!! Barcelona is such an amazing city. When we drove by La Sagrada Familia I thought how strange is that. Then we did the full audio tour and I was just mesmerized. One of the most interesting places I have ever been. We were also there in October and the weather was glorious!

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