One of the phrases that I heard a lot from my friends and family before I left for Paris was, "wow! I can't believe you are FINALLY doing this! For as long as I've known you, you've talked about going!" This is a true statement.
I was the teenage girl with Eiffel Towers EVERYWHERE in my room, when I went to college - it only got worse, and even now I have at least one room in my house (usually the kitchen - oddly enough) devoted to Parisian photos and the Eiffel Tower. I don't know what it is about that structure, but it just speaks to me. I love it.
So, having surrounded myself with images, lamps, ornaments, bottles, and key chains of the Tour Eiffel for well over a decade, I was very excited to see it in person - face to face. I've always joked that I would give it a big hug once I saw it. (...I didn't...or rather, I couldn't.)
I decided Monday was the day, to finally meet it in person. It was an odd phenomenon, coming to terms with making this dream of mine a reality. I'd finally get to meet this structure that has been in my life longer than most of my friends...that's a lot of pressure.
When I was describing my day to a friend back home, I used an analogy that seemed quite fitting for when I finally saw it in front of me: "We've all had those jobs, retail-customer service type jobs, where you see loads of people all day long, and you have to put on this sort of 'show' - and then one day, unexpectedly, one of your good friends walks in - and for a split second you don't even recognize them, your brain has to reprocess itself so that your eyes understand that who you are seeing is someone familiar. Well...that is pretty much what happened..."
I was walking by a construction site of all things, and I knew I as close, but I was heading in the wrong direction. I turned towards the construction site to try to get my bearings, and I see the top of the tower...I thought it was what they were building. And then it just hit me - that's it!
...this was a HUGE goal of mine, to see the Eiffel Tower, and to be in Paris. And I did it - with help from the most amazing friends and family a girl could ever ask for, I made it here. Before Monday, the Eiffel Tower was a symbol of my dreams and aspirations - now, it is a symbol of my accomplishments. It's an amazing feeling.
Hopefully a more food related post next time guys, thanks for humoring me with all of my 'touristy' stuff.