C'est la vie
I am going to probably be prefacing a few travel pictures with, I was drunk when I took this photo. I took this particular photo after a morning of mimosas minus the orange juice on the way back to my hotel to sleep the jet lag and alcohol away. To many the Eiffel tower is such an endearing symbol of Paris. But, not to me, Paris has been an endearing city for all of the wrong reasons. These wrong reasons were wine, wine and more wine. I used Paris as a grocery store. I would frequently pick up a Paris trip to stock up on Bordeaux and sparkling wine. For 40 euros I could get at least 10 nice bottles of wine. I would take my suitcase with one outfit and fill it up the empty space with wine. Customs is always a treat and coming back from Paris is no exception. As long as you claim what you bring into the USA on your customs form, the entrance is a breeze. But, on this special occasion, I just wrote "40 euros" instead of the quantity of bottles. Dutifully, the customs officer asked, "How many bottles of wine do you have?"
And, I responded, "How many is too many?"
Customs officer, "Wrong answer."
At the time, I was in full blown alcoholism and my response was C'est la vie (such is life.) Wine was my lifestyle. The fact that I was flying to Paris only to pick up cheap wine is so sad to me now. Why? Because it is Paris! Pastries! Shopping! Art! Oh my! So, here it is. My list of what I will do my first trip in Paris as a non-drinker.
1. I want to go to the Louis Vuitton store on Champs-Elysee and use the $20 a day I would regularly spend on alcohol on a Damier Neverfull GM. This will cost approximately 70 days of sobriety. That will be August 18th 2016.
2. I want to experience the Eiffel tower, not just as a passerby on my way to sleep off alcohol. I want to enjoy a baguette with smelly cheese while sitting on the Champs de Mars watching the lights illuminate the Eiffel tower. I want a token Hollywood kiss photo in front of it.
3. I want to walk through the Louvre and see the Mona Lisa. I want to see the Louvre lit at night in its architectural glow.
4. I want to wake up without a hangover and enjoy coffee and a chocolate croissant at a quaint cafe. No cigarette.
5. I want to walk through the royal Tuileries Garden and enjoy the thick African hot chocolate at Angelina.
Life has two choices. My choice for 15 years was to accept things as they existed where alcohol was my life. I blew off bad decisions and said, "c'est la vie." Now my choice is accepting the responsibility to change my life for the better with a smile on my face and a passport in my pocket. In the worst Texas accent I exclaim, "C'EST LA VIE!"