A few years ago at a conference, I was at a session that asked me to write down 10 goals to work on and kept those goals with me at all times. I was really inspired by the speaker so I completed the exercise and made a list of 10 goals on my iPhone. Two of the things on my list were:
- Go to Paris I had never traveled to Europe and in my mind Paris seemed like a place where I would fit in. I also felt that it would be inspiring because of the culture, pace, fashion, art, etc. When thinking of a vacation this summer I looked at my list of goals and suggested Paris- easy enough : )
- Get a Tattoo. I listed a tattoo down as a goal because I have always dreamed about getting one and really like certain tattoos on other people. I just have never had the courage to make a choice for what to get and get over the fear of how much it could hurt. I decided to conquer this goal in Paris because it would make the tattoo more memorable. I researched ideas for tattoos and places before we went. In fact, it was really the only thing that I looked into, I let Bennett handle the rest of the planning. My research led me to a tattoo shop called Abraxas. I found out that they actually consulted with a hospital for their sanitary procedures. It was very clean, they spoke English there, and it was a beautiful shop, so I felt very comfortable making an appointment there. They were booked solid for the week when we went in to get an appointment, but did find a small opening for me and managed to squeeze me in since my tattoo was so small which I was grateful for.
All morning I was nervous for the tattoo, mostly for the pain. My tattoo artist was awesome and helped me design the perfect font and size based off the inspiration pictures I brought in. The actual tattoo only lasted 3 minutes and 12 seconds and was not nearly as bad as I thought in terms of pain. I am really proud of myself for having the courage to do it and am very pleased with how it turned out.
The tattoo I got is the Latin phrase "alis volat propriis" which translates roughly to "she flies with her own wings". I took Latin in college and have always loved the language; getting a Latin saying reminds me of college in a way. I love the phrase because it is a constant reminder for me to be confident in my ideas, opinions, abilities, and to have my voice heard.
Bonjour nouveau, Bennett here. After Allison's tattoo experience, we strolled down to Notre Dame to meet up with our friends Al and B again. We waited for an hour or so while munching on sandwiches in order to climb the stairs to the bell towers of Notre Dame. Unfortunately, the bells were under renovation, so we weren't able to meet Quasimodo :(. However, the long, spiraly trip was well worth it. The view of Paris was spectacular, and the sights of Notre Dame were equally so. The gargoyles, which are technically only the rain spout fixtures (from the word gargle), and Chimera, the decorative sculptures that are often called gargoyles, were extremely photogenic and unique. After climbing down, we took a short walk to Saint-Chapelle. This church is basically floor-to-ceiling stained glass. It tells a linearish story with hundreds of panels, and I am pretty sure it is the world's first comic book. Next we decided we may as well go for the Paris moneyshot--the Eiffel Tower. But first, we stopped and had a wonderful time catching our breath and having some coffee and snacks on the banks of the Siene. We waited in line for another long while, then finally took the elevator up to the top. I loved the ride, but our other 3 intrepid travelers had a more difficult time appreciating the view from that height. When we got on solid ground though, everyone appreciated the wonderful perspective of Paris. The Tour Eiffel did not disappoint at all, and I felt it wasn't touristy or cliche, just a fantastic experience. On the way down, we decided to take the stairs to move from one level to the next. Again, it seemed like I was the only one enjoying the descent, so we hopped on the elevator to the bottom. Afterwards, we had another super French dinner, where B got to disgust a waitress by putting tobasco on his mussels.