The 8th Annual South Florida Book Festival shined brightly as authors, writers and poets came together to share pieces of their work with readers and booklovers who came from all across the USA. Event was held at the African American Research Library.
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.
Successful Millennials led by Gina Hargitay, Miss Jamaica World 2013, Dr. Claire Nelson ICS, with Dr. Shelly Cameron, and Roxanne Valies, Candidate for State Representative, District 95, at The interamerican Development Bank (IDB), Washington DC