Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On the Road

I love to travel.  It's the perfect metaphor for life not being just about the destination, but the journey too.  There is something about carrying with you only what you need and being so self contained that is liberating.  The constant movement between various modes of transportation open unexpected doors and put you into contact with people that you may have never encountered otherwise. 

This is Portland's MAX train at 6 a.m.  There were a handful of other people on it who looked as though they were on their way to the airport too.  I wondered about them--where they were going, if they had just been visiting Portland and were now going home or what fun trip they had ahead.  Any other day I'd strike up a conversation, but this trip was different.  I wanted to soak up EVERY second.  So I stuck my IPod, affectionately named Coco, in my ears, sat back and smiled.

As we were crossing the Willamette River, the sun began to rise and the Foo Fighters came on Coco.  This was something that occurred throughout my trip--moments where music I hadn't heard in years came on at just the right time.  Music that reminded me of independent times in my past--where I was not only happy and connected to creating a life I always wanted but had the presence of mind to also watch as it bloomed.

(P.S. LOVE the lady in the background wondering WTF I was taking a picture of.)

Snapshot of SSG's IPod:  I'll Stick Around (Foo Fighters), Anna Begins (Counting Crows), 29 (Gin Blossoms), On Your Way (EastMountainSouth), Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel), This is the One (Stone Roses), Dream On (Aerosmith), Leaving on a Jet Plane (Peter, Paul & Mary), Surprise Me (Randori) & Passionate Kisses (Mary Chapin Carpenter)

Remember how CALM I was about everything fitting in my suitcase?  Check out my mad packing skillz--my services are available.  ONE carryon and a GRANDE bag did the trick ... as did a triple shot iced americano ... with lots of ICE (something I'd soon learn to miss).

And just as I thought--even with hundreds of songs, television shows and movies at my disposal--I instead spent a lot of time staring out the window and dreaming.  About an hour before landing, I did start talking to the gentleman I had been sitting next to for HOURS.  He was French, but lived in Minnesota for 6 months out of the year, so we had a good chat about France and America, work and travel.  He had French boyfriend potential, but alas was married with kids and SSG doesn't cheat, even in her daydreams.

And then I made it, at 6 a.m. Paris time.  They even had the Eiffel Tower at CDG which made my heart do a little pitter pat.  I wish I could have captured the sheer volume of sounds at this place.  The hustle and bustle of people toting huge amounts of luggage (they obviously need my seminar), the different languages being spoken, the clipping of women's high heels on the floor and conversations on cell phones.  

I found my driver who was wandering around the "Arrivals" area holding up a sign with my name on it.  I WISH I would have taken a picture because I felt TOTALLY famous and wondered for a second if the French paparazzi were going to show up.  But then I got sidetracked by the GORGEOUS man holding the sign and offering to take my bag.  I had just met French boyfriend #1 ...


belladella said...

Oh, this is so fun. I am loving every second of this. It's a travel log/soap starring SSG! Love it! And it's funny, bc I thought about you a lot while you were gone and what adventures you were up to, but it was your departure day I thought of you the most. Funny to see it unfold.

More, more, more about French boyfriends. Remember you have folks living very vicariously through you. Embellish if you have to. We will never know! Of course I hope you don't have to embellish, but rather have to take it down a notch for us innocents out there-ha!

Wah-Dah-Tay said...

I am so happy you went! Your tale brings back a time long ago for me. Ah, moist eyes and a heart full of memories! I tried to explain the way living in Europe changed me, and in one simple post you have made it so much more alive. It was so hard for me to define the incredible atmosphere it has, and you just made the airport look like a nude beach in Maui (yes I want to be there and with a camera!)!

You must become fluent in French, so that you can tote Jimmy and I around Paris. Of course we may have to do Italy as well (I know for a fact they do fantastic things with lemons in alcohol)!

By the way, to those of you reading along; I picked up SSG from the train and even though she was simply exhausted I have never seen her beaming so fabulously bright! Even more then when she found my photo spread in that adult magazine (and how can anything be more exciting then that - well I guess if I was to compete, Paris does look better for her age then I, but she has had work done!)

(Sometimes!) Serendipitous Girl said...

@ BellaDella - There are MANY more French boyfriends on the way! Unfortunately I didn't stand in one place for longer than 30 seconds to meet any of them, but I did get proposed to once! And he promised my friend he'd love me forever as I was practically jogging past him on my way to Sacre Cour!

@ Wah-dah-tay - Your adult photo spread was WAY better than any silly old trip to Paris could ever be.

Living on the Spit said...

I am completely and totally entralled. I am waiting with baited breath for the next installment...I want to hear about the food too, but definitely the boyfriends even if they were only pretend!!! Yeah for SSG!!!!

Big Hair Envy said...

OK. That was just a teaser. WE WANT DETAILS!!! Can't wait to see/hear more about your fabulous trip.

I can't believe you and Wade didn't get your invitation to the pool party. It must be lost in the stack of mail you haven't had a chance to sort through since returning from PARIS!!!

Candy said...

I am so living vicariously through this travel-ogue. excellent.

And I love your taste in music.

Lys said...

I'm sitting on the edge of my seat SSG!!!! More details and I agree with Belladella - more about French Boytoys :)

And Randori "Surprise Me" huh? Paris is full of surprises...

Elaine said...

I can't wait to hear and see more!

(Sometimes!) Serendipitous Girl said...

@ LOTS - PLENTY of food talk and more imaginary boyfriends ahead ; )

@ BHE - Ok, I'm SURE I'll come across my invite by next summer. Otherwise, we're crashing. But we usually bring our own lemon drops so DON'T worry about needing to provide us with drinks.

@ Lys - YES, more on the BOYS comin' up! One track mind ladies, I love it! Do I need to remind you about the ART they had in the city? (Because there was a REALLY cute guard at one of the museums.)

@ Candy & Elaine - THANKS so much ladies! My taste in music is um ... eclectic? Crazy? Manic? Insane? Regardless, I'm GLAD I have company ; )