Some fool man recently said a seventy-year-old widow had no business traveling overseas by herself
Then he had the nerve to say, "Mom, I want you in your hotel room by nightfall. And don't use the Metro. Terrorists like to bomb those things."
Since when, I ask you, should a woman listen to a man--even if he is her baby boy? Needless to say, I packed my bags and went. I showed him! Baby boy, or not! Why...the nerve I mean, really, would you listen to a thing this guy would tell you?
So, here's the view from my hotel room in Paris. My hotel was across the street from the Seine.
Sorry about the glare from my windows.
Notice the grey cast? That's how I saw Paris this time. I didn't have Calvin to hold my hand as I visited our old haunts. Instead I walked new streets and checked out new neighborhoods. I made my own memories. For example, I took a bus trip to Giverny where Monet painted his famous water lilies. The gardens there were fabulous. A sight I'll never forget.
Monet's house was gorgeous inside and out.
Kelly, Calvin's son, flew in from Berlin to join me for two days to be there when I spread some ashes in front of the building where Calvin and Kelly's Mom lived for a year. I couldn't do it. I broke down and Kelly ushered me up the street, telling me I didn't have to do it that day. "We can come back tomorrow," he said in a calming voice reminiscent of his father's. Instead, we went to Calvin's favorite writing café and had espressos.
Notice my swollen eyes. That night I had a long talk with myself and actually looked at the ashes, something I should have done earlier...but...
The next morning we went out for breakfast and then walked to 21 rue Galande. This time I was able to fulfil my promise to my beloved. A part of him will remain in the City of Light he loved so much. When Kelly left to meet his flight, he hugged me and told me I'd be all right. I laughed through tears and said, "Kelly, I've never been right in my life. I wouldn't recognize myself if I were." He was laughing as he strode away.
A few days later and I was in Edinburgh where the ancient castle of Scotland sits atop an inactive volcano. Some hills and current streets are formed of hardened lava. I walked the Royal Mile from the castle to the parliament building.
The view from my hotel room. The castle and the Royal Mile are on the hill. I took a bus tour to a whisky distillery, which makes the whisky preferred by Prince Charles. The Scottish spell whisky without the "e" and get a little pissy about those who mis-spell it with that "e" in it. I sampled aged whisky from ten to twenty-eight years old and doona recall much after that.
Another day I took a bus trip to see the Kelpies and the Highlands. Kelpies are mythical creatures that live in the lochs (lakes) and rivers as monsters and come ashore as beautiful horses with long, beguiling manes. When anyone tries to touch the manes, they are dragged into the water. Here I am, standing in front of two iron sculptures known simply as "The Kelpies."
Our tour guide, Calum, in his kilt. He told us the Scots spelled his name with one "l" and the British with two--Callum. There's your trivia for the day.
And the "hurry coos" that grow in the Highlands... or hairy cows in American-speak.
So this ole broad walked through ancient streets and beautiful European cities alone. I didn't get lost. I wasn't mugged or hurt by terrorists. OK...ok, so I was in my hotel rooms by dark. But it didn't get dark until nine at night, so... And who needs to ride the metro when there are taxis and comfy sandals. I did come home with four handbags, but each one called my name...honest.
I admit to being happy I'm back home. Evie was over-joyed to see me and I missed my little Shih-Tzu. In many ways I had a lovely trip and in an important way a very lonely one. I wouldn't mind visiting Scotland again, going to the more northern part of the Highlands. The best part was garnering some story ideas. Travel tends to do that. New sights mean an increased curiosity and "what-if's..." for a writer's imagination.
Follow me on twitter @VonnieWrites. Or visit my website www.vonniedavis.com and sign up for my newsletter--soon to be a monthly mailing. I've been lax on my newsletter of late. I'll get better. Promise.