A Bird Pooped On Me In Paris
When I began my previous job several years ago, we were asked to take a personality test to better understand what motivates us as well as those around us. I had several categories stand out: family, food and beauty — being the top dogs.
The description of the beauty category included the following:
Beauty is very important to me.
I tend to notice and appreciate beautiful things.
I love art and/or music and find experiencing them energizing.
I enjoy spending time decorating my environment.
I am profoundly moved and energized by being around beautiful things or settings.
I seek to surround myself with beautiful things and people.
I notice, appreciate and tend to comment on what I find beautiful.
This probably explains why my day in Paris captivated me so. Bird poop and all.
We left our hotel in the morning to begin our jaunt around the city. The buildings were like nothing I’ve ever seen; everything looked like a movie set. We began our walk past the shops and cafes and found ourselves in the middle of the Place de la Concorde. Staring up at the obelisk, the fountains, the Ferris wheel — just a typical Tuesday, right?! It was a warm spring morning with the sun shining through the spray from the fountains. The beauty of it all was already overwhelming and we hadn’t even had breakfast yet. Although I’m pretty sure I read that Marie Antoinette and others were beheaded there… I chose not to focus on that part.
We continued our walk in search of breakfast and found the prettiest Parisian restaurant and bakery. Everything in this place made me feel girlie and giddy. The keepsake tins with charming little prints on them; the cases of colorful macaroons and chocolate treasures; the exquisite murals on the walls, and sparkling chandeliers on the ceiling. It was utterly adorable. After our delicious brunch of cappuccino, tea, eggs benedict and duh — pastries, we continued on our journey.
On our way towards the Louvre (no biggie), we came upon a park area with dogs running free and playing. Now, if you’ve met my friend and me, you know we’re probably two of the biggest dog lovers you’ll ever come across. Watching these guys run and play anywhere would make our day. But add the Eiffel Tower in the distance — wowsers. Seeing the Eiffel Tower peek out from various points throughout the city is incredible. Talk about sensory overload.
After making our way across the idyllic grounds of the Louvre and that iconic glass structure, came one of my favorite moments of the day. We were on a bridge over the Seine and an older gentleman was playing the most quintessential Parisian song on the violin. It was almost as if we walked into an old movie, or a painting, or right back in time. In hindsight, I wish we just sat there and watched him longer. I dream of being back in that moment. I sent the video to my parents later that night and my mom told me the song was called “La Vie en Rose.”
Naturally, I googled:
“La vie en rose literally translates to life in pink. However, it would be better translated to life through rosy (pink) glasses. The idea is to depict a state where everything appears rosy and cheerful to you. It’s about a state of bliss when everything around you is a source of joy.”
Man, if this didn’t exactly describe my feelings at that moment in time. This needs to be my new life motto. I know what you’re thinking, the whole “rose-colored glasses” saying is typically describing someone who is oblivious to a situation and disconnected from reality. I’m choosing to take this Wikipedia definition for what it is — choosing to see the beauty and be joyful.
After that perfectly pink moment, we visited Notre Dame. Like, THE Notre Dame. I’m normally not big on dark and gothic stuff, but it’s hard to not be moved stepping into a place like this. The history and grandeur of it all continued to overwhelm me. This is even more meaningful after the devastating fire this past year; I’m so thankful we were able to see it when we did.
We walked back along the river watching the ducks and dogs enjoy the day. We stopped for a treat and a spot in the sun in the parks outside the Louvre. We continued along the Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe. Landmark after landmark, two Minnesota girls walking through the streets of Paris — was this real life?
We’d seen the Eiffel Tower from various points around the city and were making our way back to it. I think one of my favorite views was through a tiny side street in between the gorgeous architecture and picturesque balconies. There it was peeking through like it’s no big deal; it almost looked like a toy.
It was only when we sat down to dinner, after walking through the people gathered on blankets with wine and baguettes, that I realized I had bird poop on my jacket. A bird had pooped on me in Paris! If anyone were to literally be sh*t on, in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, it would be this girl. But it was real hard to care, it was the perfect end to a perfect day.
There was only one thing left to do — see the Eiffel Tower sparkle. I was adamant that we were going to see it sparkle. We were having a drink at a sidewalk café with it in view, waiting. My bestie told me to run across the street when it started to get a better view; she knew how much this meant to me. Probably because I wouldn’t shut up about it, and wouldn’t allow us to go back to our hotel without seeing it. When the clock on my phone turned to 10, it happened. My friend said: “Go, Kate, go!” So, I ran across the three lanes of traffic in the roundabout, leaned against a tree, and watched. It’s funny how seeing certain things in life can stir so many emotions in you. I was insanely gleeful and grateful to be experiencing this. It made me want to be a part of something bigger. To feel this energy, and excitement, and happiness every day. As another one of my BFF’s said: “It’s magical AF.”
So that was it. My magical day in Paris. I realize how lucky I am to be able to have such an experience, and that many people aren’t as fortunate. But I think we all find beauty, energy, and inspiration in different things. For me, it can be anything from the Eiffel Tower, to the ocean, to a vase of fresh flowers. For my dad, it’s a well-manicured golf course. For my mom, it’s a secluded road in the woods. I’m going to try to live by my new philosophy — to look through the pink glasses and appreciate the beauty in the every day. To find the extraordinary in the ordinary if you will. So, whether it’s the clouds sweeping across the sky, the leaves swaying in the breeze, or the grass glistening with dew — I notice it. And I’ll always remember fondly, the day a bird pooped on me in Paris.