As I remember, I always loved traveling. All I needed was time and money. I had worked after school for several years to save enough money to travel to Europe. I always wanted to visit Paris but was reluctant because I could not speak the language. So, England was my first choice, Paris my desire.

I jumped for joy and burst into a state of exhilaration at the thought of being in Paris. I asked my mother if I could travel to Europe as I was only 17. Mama knew I loved history, arts, and Paris. Mama encouraged me to pursue my dream(s).

So, off I went first to England, then I took the hovercraft across the Channel to France. In Paris, I was stunned by such a majestic city. After four days being alone, I began to feel sad. After all Paris was the city of love, light, and laughter. Not being able to speak their language made me feel somewhat estranged.
One day as I was walking along the Seine River, I saw a beautiful bouquet of flowers on the bank. I looked around and waited, but no one was in sight. I figured it was discarded. I did not know it was a wedding bouquet. I picked it up and kept it.

As I was walking along the Seine, I saw a lovely young girl reading. To my surprise, the book was in English. I gingerly approached her, and asked if she was English. No, she replied, I am American. I lit up like a Roman candle ready to explode. She was stunning. I was 17. I felt like a bar of soap melting in a hot tub. I held the bouquet of flowers behind my back. I asked her if I could sit down. She said yes. I asked her name. Michele, she said. I’m Vincent. Hello. Nice meeting you. How are you enjoying Paris? This question opened a concert of a conversation. Then, I asked her if I could take her to lunch. Off we went.

At the café, I gave her a bouquet of flowers. Suddenly, a group of waiters who looked like penguins surrounded our table playing guitars and offered us wine, while congratulating us on our wedding, as they thought we were newlyweds. We played along giggling, joyfully, cheerfully and laughing. We had so much fun.

Off we went to tour Paris together. We remained together for two weeks. I think I fell in love, as the experience was breath taking. The weeks passed quickly. We had to go home depart, work, school, and youth.
She lived in Washington State, and I lived in New York City. We thought we would continue our encounter and meet again. Youth, work, and school put a damper on our future encounters.

One year later, she met someone. Perhaps she was my first love. It’s hard to say goodbye to someone so fine, a first. At 17, it did not take long to accept. I moved on.

Paris is truly the city of love, light, and laughter. I will always have Paris only eight hours away.
Next month Paris.

Viva Paris!