BootsnAll, 30 Days of Indie Travel Project
DAY 9: ONE DAY
Travel helps us better appreciate the present moment instead of always looking to the next thing. Describe one perfect day you had while traveling this year. Where were you? What were you doing? And what made it perfect?
I liked this "one day" so much, I've actually already written about it. We were on the cusp of ending our year in Charleston. There were boxes strewn around the living room, things that needed packing, and I had to have a break. Josh was working, and I had a million and a half "more important" things to do, but I was in dire need of a trip to Paris. So I took one... all without leaving the city limits.
A good day of traveling can save your sanity, which was just what I needed at the moment.
Gaulart et Maliclet is a tiny, hole-in-the wall on Broad Street in downtown Charleston. I'd been wanting to go for months, but it wasn't until Paris started haunting me, that I took it upon myself to get there. You're seated at counters or tiny tables, sidled up next to perfect strangers -- which is such a fun part of traveling -- and told the lunch special (always includes wine, it's FRANCE!) before the servers scurry off to another section.
I dined like a Provençal queen, taking great delight in my goat cheese and salmon, while alternately reading my book, and listening to the man and woman sitting across the counter from me as they stuck up a conversation about Audubon paintings. Perhaps I really was in France after all.
I finished my lunch and strolled down Broad (the Seine, if you will), stopping to take a few pictures and peek inside the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. It was my own personal Notre-Dame de Paris that afternoon and served its purpose well.
Woody Allen isn't very French, but I'd been jonesing to see Midnight in Paris, and what better way to cap off my fantasy getaway than by actually getting lost in one for two hours? I drove out to my favorite local theater, dependent on its smaller seating, limited showings of "indie" movies, and bar at the concession stand (if you're ever in Charleston, go to the Terrace and eat at Zia next door) to help continue my afternoon's mission. Plus, I couldn't leave fake Paris to watch a movie about real Paris without a little "vin rouge" to guide me!
What makes a day of travel perfect, is a magical combination of place, time, leisure, and wonder. I tend to attribute those feelings solely to destinations outside my every day life, but my day in "Paris" proved to me that I can find them everywhere...
When the movie was over, so was the afternoon, but I remember calling or HeyTelling a friend on the way home, giddy about where I'd been. My first "real" visit to Paris was a solo excursion nearly six years ago, and giving myself a day to indulge in a little homegrown vacation was almost as thrilling as the feeling I had upon returning from my trip to France. Almost.