It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas! The Holidays! Whatever you call it… to me its the most wonderful time of the year! People are kind, joyful, generous, smiling, pretty-all dressed up for those office parties, and family gatherings! There’s sumptuous food, Folly jolly chocolate delights, gifts and so much more! Yes, I know there’s always the Grinch but they’re just a few, so let’s not let them spoil it for us too.
Music of the Season
The season kicks off with holiday music… and today I would love to share them all! Hey, I’m just kidding! I will just share 11 of my favs!
All I want want for Christmas is you (Mariah Carey)
It’s the most wonderful time of the year (Andy Williams)
Holly Jolly Christmas (Burl Ives)
Feliz Navidad (Jose Feliciano)
Mary did you know (Pentatonix)
Silent Night (Temptations)
Last Christmas (Bing Crosby)
Let it Snow (Dean Martin)
This Christmas (Chris Brown)
You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch (Thurl Ravenscroft)
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (Johnny Mathis)
Am I missing any of your personal favs? Do Share! We would love to hear!
Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life—and travel—leaves marks on you.” – Anthony Bourdain
If you’re physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go. ~Anthony Bourdain
Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain
Mid-life she decided to move to Paris. A dream she always had. With kids grown and little or no responsibilities she decided to take the plunge! She bought a house exclaiming “it’s my first time”.
I thought about that. I have had many first times. An explorer and lover of adventure, I have sky-dived for the first time. I have moved to different states and countries for the first time. Not to mention my first time at writing and publishing my research on Success Strategies. A book that has many others for their first time.
I remember the first time I experienced childbirth…exhilarating yet humbling experience. 14 years later I did it again for the first time and the experience was no different. Wonders of the world! A little me was born again for the first time.
I now look forward to my own personal travel to a Cafe in the French Quarters…a dream to feast, ponder while I write, and ride the gondola in neighboring Venice. Now that’s a first time that I can hardly wait for as I did in my Weekend In Paris…
Is there something you’d like to do but because it’s the first time you’re afraid? Why not take the risk? Try it. Step out in faith. Who knows you may experience Success for the first time ….all over again.
Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. ~Dr. Suess
I have always wanted to visit Paris. This was the promised gift to myself when I hung up my student cap after years and years of continuous studies. Then the workaholic that I am, saw 4 years go by in a flash embarking on community initiatives, writing, and more.
A month ago my oldest surprised me with a Birthday Weekend trip to Paris. But how can I visit Paris for just a weekend? That’s when my youngest ‘scolded’ me. “Go”, she said. “You have always wanted to do it. Just go.” I agreed and made it into a long weekend. Wonder of wonders! I discovered I even had time to spare. Time to watch the rain, the people, and the waves of the Seine River go by at sunset.
Travel Across Continents
The flight was long but it was far from boring. I read. I wrote. I watched movies. I chatted with my oldest, slept, and I ate. Before we knew it, the descent was upon us.
Reading in Flight
Travel’s Cultural Differences
Cultural differences are everywhere. In Paris the hotel rooms are tiny spaces. Just enough to get by, yet absolutely comfortable. TV channels are in le francais. Plugs for chargers, electrical items and such differ. Disappointed, frustrated for sure I was at first, but then it’s not about me. I travel for new experiences and that’s what I got.
A polite society…bonjour, merci, pardon, were among the basics to know in that language and will serve as the basic entre to service. They are curt and offer no apologies. So do your research before you go and you’ll be just fine (smile).
Food in Paris is divine. Delicious. Sumptuous. Absolutely satisfying. But don’t rush….it ain’t fast food. When you visit the unique restaurants among which my fav is the Cafe, you dine, taste the delectables, and chill. No rush for the check. You ask, you eventually receive.
Getting around you have the choice of the cabs, buses, the metro. But may God help you if you do not understand the linguistic pronunciation of the place where you are going. When you arrive at your stop, you may not even know. So ask, ask, ask information before you board. Then read as you progress at each stop.
Speaking from experience…do I need to say more? Hint…frustration (smile)
Paris Sites To See
You haven’t been to Paris if you haven’t visited La Tour Eiffel, Notre-Dame, Le Louvre and smiled with Mona Lisa. Sites …beautiful. Historically meaningful. Mesmerizing. Long walks. Tired feet, but worth every minute.
So that’s a tiny glimpse into my Parisian journey for the first time. The trip was memorable. The photos provide the stillness of the moment. A dream come through. Would I go back? Yessss definitely!
I encourage you to take the time to step out and achieve your own dreams. Big or small, they will come through despite the odds.
It’s peak hour. Early morning. Light’s green. Bottle-neck. Car turns slowly. Suddenly, driver comes out of nowhere and cuts me off. Oh, I’m going to be late. Late for meeting. Late for work. Disappointed. Angry. GreenLight changes. Turns orange. About to turn red. Late for work. Unnecessary delays. I hastened to not let that light catch me. But then it did …because of the irresponsibility and carelessness of others.
I drove through angrily!
Oh what did I do?
Then I started thinking that for sure I am going to have to pay the penalty charge for running-a-red light. The slow driver. The driver that cut me off. None of them will have to pay. Just me. I began thinking… is it worth it? Is it worth it to react in a moment of delay? In a moment of impatience? Just to get to meeting/work on time?
It’s my practice to urge my girls and others to be careful on the road. To be patient. To exercise that patience. Yet I ended up doing the exact same thing. I am thankful that I did not have an accident. So often it is the same reaction that causes serious accidents. But I got lucky. Even though I knew better, I did not act accordingly.
Pursuit of Goals and Dreams
How often does that happen to us in the pursuit of our goals. For me it was the distance to get to my meeting/work. For you it may be goals such as further studies, marriage, starting a family, purchasing a car, house, career change, or other. Then things go awry and we think twice. In some cases we give up.
Today, I encourage you to never give up. Hold on. Be strong. Keep going. You will be glad you did. Need help? Lets connect