Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Paris in 48 Hours... With 5 Days Notice

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What do you do when you get a phone call and your boss is on the other end, asking if you want to go to Paris and Stockholm? The answer should be obvious, but in case you're wondering... Answer: You go. And what if said trip is in five days and come to find out the last time you left the country was in 2005 and hey, your passport is expired?

Answer: You buy the ticket anyway and make shit happen.

And that's what I did.

Turns out, the passport agency in Philadelphia is an absolute dream world filled with angels. Which goes against the entire purpose of bureaucracy as far as I'm concerned. A friend who'd experienced nearly the same thing answered my frantic texts and let me know there's a will-call service expressly for people like me, and like the other people I waited in line with at 6am the Thursday before my trip, heart in stomach, lump in throat. As much as it didn't feel like I would be boarding a plane bound for Paris in 72 hours, sure enough three days later I was (with passport in hand).

This trip was entirely unexpected and completely out of the blue. It was a whirlwind, with only 12 or so free hours in Paris, and just a bit more in Stockholm. But it was wonderful. The kind of trip my over-planning and nervous heart needed, an exercise in flexibility if there ever was one. My only wish was for more time, but since my hours were precious few I made the most of them: I walked. A lot. In Paris, I walked "home" from work every day, stumbling upon Notre Dame and the Louvre. The Arc de Triomphe de l'√Čtoile and the love lock bridge. And just the top of the Eiffel Tower beyond some trees. Yes, I went to Paris and didn't see La Tour Eiffel. I tasted all the food I could, no holds barred. After visiting Japan as a vegetarian back in college, I made the decision to always throw most food restrictions out the window while visiting another country and/or culture (while no longer a vegetarian, I avoid most dairy, gluten, grains, and refined sugars for health reasons). I ate pastries and baguettes, drank (a lot of) wine and ate copious amounts of cheeses. I was pastry-shamed by a Frenchmen in Stockholm (I had a plate of Swedish meatballs plus two pastries and a glass of wine and you know what? NO REGRETS). I tried pickled herring... liked it!

I walked miles in each city because it was the best way to see as much as possible. To take a visual tour of the architecture and the people and the landmarks. I did what I could in the time that I had, but there was so much more I wish I could have done and seen. A river tour of Stockholm, the Louvre. The freaking Eiffel Tower.

What a wild, wild thing to have happen. I learned a lot in that short amount of time, most importantly: If your passport is expired and you're leaving in just a few days, come to Philly. They'll take care of you.

Stockhomn photos soon. There are too many.


The Littlest Smitten said...

Gorgeous photographs! So glad you were able experience Paris even if it was a short trip. I've been three times now and all trips have been brief. The second to last time I was there was in November. We did so much walking around the city which I think is such a great way to experience a place. In July we were there for Bastille Day Eve and day of. Also it was my husband's birthday. What a fun time to experience the energy of Paris and its people. Looking forward to your thoughts and pictures on Stockholm.

Liz Lauren said...

love these photos -- Paris is the best!


Laura Go said...

heck yes!!! Glad that all that passport stuff worked out in your favor because these pictures are magnifique!

Nancy Wilde said...

Love these photos. The attention to detail, wow! :)

Abby Jones said...

Awesome photos from your whirlwind trip! I'm glad you got to experience and enjoy all of the food too. To me, trying the new food culture is the best part of traveling. Recently, I went to London and loved eating meat pies which normally, I wouldn't give a second thought to :)

Karren WSisco said...

Twitter is in was like wet businesses eventually kind of thought it was kind of silly interested existing understand it one way for them they are ever happened to her and snake people started telling me Lumare Skin yeah I really thought it was set on theme have a well this is kind of contraband ka traffic in cell naturalist face but um you know and Google class and my.


Brittany PG said...

This is awesome! Sometimes you just have to do it! :D

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