Brian and I began our journey to Paris on Saturday
afternoon. We drove to Houston, with a Sunday flight which gave us plenty of time to catch up with friends.
We have planned this trip for months. Every stressful moment we shared would be followed with: " just wait until we're in Paris!"
In Houston, the excitement was building. Every moment of laughter was a reminder that we were on vacation- VACATION! It was a thousand exhales and so many I love yous. We poured into conversations with our friends and we were giddy to talk about the trip ahead.
Our Paris plan was this : slow down. We picked one city, one place to stay. Our little apartment was just near the Louvre, about a half mile from Notre Dame. We were committed to holding hands, eating cheese and bread, walking everywhere, drinking coffee, and getting lost together. One of the days was specifically dedicated to sitting in one place and reading an entire book- no agenda, just Paris!
But as it turns out, there was a problem.
As as we were headed to bed on Saturday, the night before the flight, our very loved and most meticulous friend Kyle was teasing Brian about his passport picture. He noticedBrian's expiration date was July 2017. As only Kyle would know, you can't have less than a 3 month cushion on your passport expiration when traveling to France ....
Thats really all Brian could say.
But we are not panic-ers. We googled and called and there it was- unanimously. There was no way we would be let onto our flight.
So here we are in Houston- about to have our last sleep in the states for a week... And as it turns out... We aren't going anywhere.
I will admit, the sleep was not as sweet. Brian was shocked and spent hours on the phone trying to salvage our Airbnb stays and tickets. I went into encouragement mode which is basically a desperate attempt to find another adventure and get excited about it.
WE LOVE THE BEACH
OMG LETS DRIVE TO DISNEY! "...
We woke up the next morning and had brunch with friends we weren't supposed to see until we got back. Keeping a brave face, we were dropped off at our car, still determined to make the most of it.
Honestly we we were ashamed at how sad we were. This was definitely not the end of the world - goodness, it's vacation. But something in us longed for the dream we dreamed together.
We sat in Starbucks for 3 1/2 hours trying to come up with a plan but nothing was going well and with no sleep, the communication breakdown game was strong. At one point at Starbucks I went to the restroom and found the toilet clogged and attempted to unclog it WITH MY ARM- it was not urine. That really has nothing to do with the story except that the whole time I'm saying to myself "I could be in Paris."
So I came out of the bathroom MAD and ready to be positive and excited about life...
We got in the car after all of the excitement and disappointment, and headed back to Austin. Exactly 24 hours before, we had been on the same road going the opposite direction, with a totally different attitude.
I'm not going to lie, we took turns crying. Never angry at each other but really mourning the months of dreaming. Ironically, my last blog was about holding dreams loosely.
We we got into town, had a good nights sleep, found a place to get away, and we did what you do when your plans don't happen the way you expect. When your heart yearns for a redemption story.
You say "thank you".
You raise your glass.
You take communion.
Because there is is nothing more powerful, more life-changing, more radical- than a grateful heart.
And you know what? We held hands all day and read an entire book in one sitting... We'll always have Paris.
I'll always go first to make space for your story.