By Ruth Buchanan
Then I planned a trip to Paris in the summer of 2016.
I did not plan this trip lightly; nor did I go into it unaware of current sociopolitical tensions. I had many serious talks with my travel partners, and we agreed to plan wisely while trusting in Yahweh for our protection.
I’m so glad we went. The Lord granted us safety, and the trip was phenomenal.
From the moment we arrived, we went hard from dawn to dusk, ranging far and wide to take in as much of the city as we could. As a first-timer to Paris, I was slathering to see the biggies: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, and—my personal favorite—the Gothic cathedral of Sainte Chappelle with its jaw-dropping stained glass and rich, jeweled light.
Apart from seeing the sights and fellowshipping with wonderful friends, my favorite aspect of the trip by far was the coffee. Already a great fan of the beverage in general, I fell hard for café au lait, which is like white coffee except somehow infinitely better—and I’m hardly even exaggerating.
Time would fail me to tell of our adventures: how I got lost in the Louvre for hours (like, literally lost); how we accidentally climbed Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe on the same day and almost killed our legs; how we found ourselves locked out of our blacksmith-shop-cum-apartment and had to wait in the street for an hour at night until a man with a buzz saw showed up; how a waitress laughed aloud when she overheard me telling my party that I’d gotten up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and had fallen headlong. Of eating savory crepes in the streets. Of sipping coffee in sidewalk cafes. Of confusing myself and others with my non-French.
Throughout the trip, we had constant reminders of protection. Everywhere we went, we saw armed military personnel patrolling the streets, hinting at just how precarious was the safety we enjoyed.
Given the state of world affairs, I don’t know that things will turn around for Paris any time soon. I’m grateful to have visited the city during a week of relative quiet during which to bask in the glory of crepes, gargoyles, flying buttresses, and coffee.
Her first novel, slated for publication in 2017 with Harbourlight Books, is titled Collapsible: A Novel of Friendship, Broken Bones, Coffee, Shenanigans, and the Occasional Murder.
Find her on Twitter and Instagram or at her blog, “Catch the Sunshine.”