There is something almost soul stealing about long flights. You start the trip so excited… then the excitement gives way to zombie-like lack of sleep and exhaustion from changing planes, schlepping luggage, never drinking enough fluids, meandering around soulless airports, seeing what quickly seems like the same faces over and over and over again until you pretty much hate all humanity, if you believed they were human… or that you were still human.
And my butt! Can anyone ever invent a bottom cushion for an airplane seat that doesn´t create pressure points that just make you want to cry after three hours?
Compound that with taking one 18-year-old and one 21-year-old with you for their first trip to Europe and you get… it was great! From their lack of sleep and drooping eyes to their horror at whether they would survive the ride through Paris to out hotel, their first cup of coffee at an outdoor café in pouring rain while we waited for our hotel room to be ready (is there a conspiracy that most flights land you in Paris between 6-8a and no hotels have your room ready until 3 p.m.?) Letting them go off to explore so the 18-year-old could drink his first legal beer. Even watching him fall asleep on the couch in the hotel lobby and softly snoring, much to the hotel staff´s horror, was priceless. There is nothing better than taking your kids to Europe for the first time.
Now it´s 1 a.m., I´ve managed to get maybe 8 hours sleep in two shifts, and I´ll manage to get another 3-4 before we start a big day tomorrow, and it is raining buckets outside. My snazzy internet card that was supposed to work internationally is… well, not. I´m hoping it will find its signal somewhere, but if it can´t find one in the middle of Paris… well, I think AT&T oversold me on this card. Tomorrow it will be a mission to find a cyber café so you´ll actually ready this post on Thursday. Hey, mission accomplished, the cafe next to the hotel has a wifi spot.
But what do you contemplate at 1 a.m. Paris time with the sounds of rain outside your window? (And which makes me laugh after reading March’s post about cheap bangs for your buck from yesterday) Shalini. At my son´s graduation, I wore Apres L´ondee pure parfum, and my sister was sniffing around and saw my bottle of Shalini and does the… “Whaaat´s thissss??!?!: that just unnerves me so. She spritzed it, and I remember just how beautiful it is… and more expensive than any perfume should ever be. It´s a ridiculously priced perfume… beyond ridiculous. All day, I kept smelling the most ephemeral and gorgeous smell. I knew it wasn´t me, though I did smell great. I finally figured out it was her. Tuberose wrapped in sunshine. We went to the driving range the afternoon of my son´s graduation, and I kept whiffing that smell. For some reason, I always thought it disappeared or was too light on me. Oh, no, not true, it haunted me every second of the day, wafting over from the one spritz on her neck.
First thing the next morning, I had my own on so I could haunt myself. It is lovely, and there really is nothing else that smells like it. Beautiful, buttery sunshine, that´s my best description. It´s still priced obscenely.
And what perfumes do you think I brought with me to Paris? Nada. I still don´t know why I didn´t even bring a decant or two in my suitcase, but maybe it´s just time for a three-week perfume holiday, and the only smells I´ll write about are the ones I smell during our trip.
Today´s smell is rain. CB does some scents that come close to capturing it, but he gets more of the earth in the rain. Rain itself is like no other smell. It slices through all the other smells around you and somehow makes them better without completely obliterating them. And thunder? Can I tell you? my idea of heaven is thunder and lightning rolling across a night sky. I used to lay on on my daddy´s truck on the farm when I was a girl in Kansas, watching thunderstorms roll in, the air ionized, bolts of lightning dancing sometimess up and down and sometimes just in the clouds, staying far above us. And the smell… Lord, that is the smell I want bottled to take with me everywhere.
Tomorrow´s adventures is some sight-seeing, though we may need an umbrella or two. Notre Dame and St. Chapelle if the rain keeps up, and probably just some aimless meandering around the St. Germain district after that and a visit with my Uncle and his family. I can´t wait to see my son´s eyes as they take all this in for the first time. Yes, there will be pictures, and check for me on my photoblog, the link is on the left.