949. You can fall in love at first sight with a place as with a person. ~Alec Waug

Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of
a bridge and lean over to watch the
river slipping slowly away beneath you,
you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.
~From WINNIE THE POOH by A.A. Milne

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What is it, I wonder, that makes one fall in love with a place without ever having been there? Was it because I was born before the world lost all its innocence, or because I was naïve from having lived a sheltered existence in my young, formative years, or because I’m a dreamer and a romantic who loves fairy tale stories with happy endings, or because at 13 I saw a movie with William Holden, Humphrey Bogart, and Audrey Hepburn and fell in love with the place of magical bridges, glorious sunsets, and a beautiful river? Or is it because I fell in love at 18 with a song bearing a French title and written by a French singer/songwriter? Or because I’ve always loved art and sculpture and beauty, and the place I fell for is a paragon of those things? Or because I studied the French language in school and fell in love with the sounds of the words and the pictures in my text books? Or because I read a novel by Earnest Hemingway and fell in love with him and the city he adored and wrote about? Or is it all those things, especially when seen through the eyes of a sentimental, perhaps even sappy, free-spirited, hopeful, love junkie? Mais bien sûr, oui, oui, et oui!!!

Paris, it is you of whom I speak, and I’m that girl/woman that for more than 50 years has had an ongoing love affair with you, an affair I might add that started half a century before I ever met you in person. And now that I have spent time on two different occasions in your confines, I’m more in love with you than ever. An ex-student and fellow blogger, Victo(Behind the White Coat) at https://doctorly.wordpress.com, partially described my feelings when he wrote that “Sometimes you go to a city and it becomes a part of you. Then you go back and you feel as if you are now, somehow, a part of it.” The only difference is that you became both a part of me and I a part of you at the same time, and I will forever hold you close and dear to my heart. I may shed tears now for your recent tragedy, but I will always celebrate with joy and a smile your grandeur that yet stands in place. And I shall lift you up daily in prayers for safety.

But let all who take refuge in you(Lord) be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. ~Psalm 5:11  ✝

**Images found on Facebook and Pinterest

772. I like the Eiffel Tower because it looks like steel and lace. ~Natalie Lloyd

Paris, ooh la la–
I’ve seen your, beauty,
and you belong to me now…
~Last 2 two lines are adapted excerpt
by Ernest Hemingway

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La Vie En Rose
I hold you close and oh so fast
because of a magic spell you cast.
Such is “la vie en rose.”

When I think of you heaven sighs,
and though I close my eyes,
I can see again “la vie en rose.”

Then as I hold you in my dreams,
I’m once more in a world apart,
A world where roses forever bloom it seems.

When at last you come into view, angels sing above
and everyday words turn into songs of love.
It is then I feel the rhythm of your “heart and soul”
and life again becomes “la vie en rose.”
~Adapted lyrics of this song as sung
by Louis Armstrong

The top map in the photo is of the area in Paris that encompasses the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees, the Pont Alexandre bridge and a few other landmarks you may recognize.  The photos beneath it are ones I took when we in Paris 2 years ago. (I took the one of James while he was resting on the grounds near the Eiffel Tower.) The bottom map is a blown up section of the upper map and the red sign is the location of our hotel, between the Eiffel Tower and the Pont Alexandre bridge. As you can see it is also only a block and a half from the Seine. I’m so excited: we leave for “home” two weeks from today.

Is not God in the heights of heaven? And see how lofty are the highest stars. ~Job 22:12  ✝

614. If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast. ~Earnest Hemingway

I love Paris every moment
Every moment of the year
I love Paris, why, oh, why do I love Paris
Because my love is there.
~Excerpted lyrics by Cole Porter

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Ooh la la! Je t’aime, Paris! It was my high school French teacher and lines like these above that began my love affair with the French language and Paris, the city of lights. Now more than half a century later, I still have to agree with Audrey Hepburn that “Paris is always a good idea” and with Earnest Hemingway that “Paris is a moveable feast.” In fact I thought it was such a good idea way back then, that when I went off to college, I decided to major in French in hopes that one day I’d be able to go there and live for awhile or for that matter maybe for the rest of my life. But alas and alack, as the poet said, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” And so they did! Before I graduated from college, I met and married my husband, a born and bred Texan who vowed he’d never leave this place, but being the young romantic that I was, I thought I could change his mind. It took awhile but eventually I did. During the summer of 2013 after we’d been married 50 years, my daughter, her husband, their three children, and James and I left Texas for a whirlwind visit to London, Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Dublin, and Paris, all places that we thoroughly enjoyed.  But go figure! James fell in love with Paris at first sight, so much so that if all goes well with my knee replacement next month, he and I are going to Paris again this coming summer. The rest of the previously mentioned crew will head to Italy while James and I stay in Paris, and then we’ll all come together in Strasburg for a 5 day Rhine River Cruise before coming home. The moral of the story: No matter how old one gets, he or she should never give up on his or her dreams, and God is always good!!! Four weeks, four days and counting…

Hold me close and hold me fast
The magic spell you cast
This is la vie en rose
~Excerpted lyrics by Guglielmi, Luis Gugliemo/Gassion, 
Edith Giovanna/David, Mack

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“You know, I sometimes think, how is anyone ever gonna come up with a book, or a painting, or a symphony, or a sculpture that can compete with a great city. You can’t. Because you look around (in Paris) and every street, every boulevard, is its own special art form… ~Quote from the movie, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

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Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. ~Proverbs 13:12  ✝

**All collages created were by Natalie from images via Pinterest