I saw Lucía pass the window outside of our hotel on the Boulevard of Saint Germain, in Paris. She didn’t know it yet, but I was already inside waiting for her arrival. I’d gotten there the night before by my family, who’d dropped me off there from our day trip from Germany. When she came through the door I acted as if I didn’t hear someone come in. I stayed glancing at the guest sign in book. One couple wrote their name in hearts. Eager to get my attention she whistled for me and I turned as if surprised to see her. She’s finally here. Lucía and I planned this trip for months. We’d served in separate posts while in Afghanistan, and this trip was our little celebration for me finishing my tour. She checks us in and three flights of stairs later, we got to our hotel room overlooking the streets of Paris. After we unpack a little and get reaquainted with one another, we decide to take to the streets. There we were, two women walking through Paris with our fingers laced together and no one gives a damn! We got lost in the beauty of the
architecture on the buildings alone! We spent so much time looking up, we had to a break at the Jardin de Tuileries Park outside the Louvre; where we stopped at one of the fountains and watched a mother and her son try to float a paper boat he’d made. It was beautiful moment to have witnessed. Lucía had a thing for heights and had been eyeballing the ferries wheel, so we went to rise above the city. Once we reached a height tall enough to see for miles, we fell in silence getting lost in our own thoughts.
This moment is perfect, even if I were here alone. While gazing out to the Paris skyline, I couldn’t help but be proud of myself. I had worked so hard for moments like this. I couldn’t help but to think back about my dreams as a kid. This doesn’t even compare! I didn’t even know people could even live moments like this. The things you think to yourself in so little time. Hmm.. I wonder what Lucía’s thinking.
We finished our evening with some fair games at the park and an electric blue lemonade vodka. We walked for hours after
dinner. The deeper we got lost in the streets the deeper we got lost in our conversations. I couldn’t even remember half the things we talked about or what streets we all passed, but I can remember that we got candy from a stand on an island that separated the one way streets, a man playing his violin and a younger female dancing before him, other tourists looking down at a map and looking up again to make sure their on the right street, and I remember the crisp taste of my first Belgian Blanc beer. Lucía was exhausted, she’d traveled from the Middle East all night and then all day spent it with me wandering streets.
The next day we decided to wander some more and get lost in the cathedrals. Our first stop was Notré Dame near the love lock bridge where you put your love locks for the love of your life, not the one where you lock it together. Crossing over more walk way bridges and passing through back alleys we found Pont des Arts. Pont des Arts is one of the original love lock bridges, which has now taken down parts of the fence
due to weight capacity.
There at Pont des Arts I dropped to one knee and with our love lock, asked for her hand in marriage. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for. She enthusiastically said yes and now my day can’t possibly get any better. I locked our lock on the bridge, and handed her the key on a chain that asked her to marry me engraved on the back of a guitar. She took the key off and threw it in the river and kept the guitar key chain. Other tourists saw my gesture and took it upon themselves to snap pictures to tell their friends of the romance they once saw in Paris. We continued, newly engaged, onto our next adventure at the Sacré-Coeur, which was the church on the hill that overlooked all of Paris. When we got to the base of the hill we looked up and embraced the beauty of this holiness. Lucía charged up the stairs where I followed and once we got to the next landing, we were graced with a woman in a red dress singing with a boombox to fill in the blank notes behind her. “Paris is Awesome!”
is what I thought to myself, "Can life possibly get any better than this?" Soaking up the hot July sun in front of Sacré-Coeur with the love of my life is something I’d only read in books! After we toured the cathedral, Lucía and I walked through the city to get to the Eiffel Tower; where we waited for it to light up just as the sun set. We spent the next 6 days in Paris together after my proposal.
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