Travelogue: Finding love in Paris

Authentic French travelogue. Carnet de Voyage is a weekly personal travelogue of France submitted by our readers. If you'd like to write a story for Carnet de Voyage, find out more about how to submit it here..

Paris and romance are practically synonymous. Books, movies, and television are full of love stories that take place in the City of Lights. While these fictional world stories may be heartwarming, the real-life stories of finding love in Paris will be seared into your memory.

This is not my story. This is the story of Barbara and Darryl. A story of love and romance recently shared over lunch at a popular San Diego restaurant.Barbara plans to return to Paris to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary, she revealedth wedding anniversary. They wanted to return to where it all began. As the story unfolded, forks were put down and ears and hearts were opened.

In the summer of 1973, two people, one a traveling Shakespearean actor and the other a Bay Area speech therapist, were exploring a new relationship. In their twenties, carefree and vibrant, they quickly discovered a shared love of music, theater, and the outdoors. The spark was there. Serendipity, in the form of cheap flights to Europe, sends them hitchhiking across the continent to travel to as many countries as possible. They spent their first two weeks in Paris, staying at the Hotel Rue de Monge and camping. Bois de Boulogne. They toured the must-see sights and enjoyed the city's largely empty streets. “We fell in love within those two weeks,” Barbara recalled.

Favorite hangout in Paris, © Michael Harrelson

Wanting to explore more, they headed to Antibes on the Mediterranean coast, where they found work on moored yachts. Darryl is offered a well-paying job on one of the large yachts, but he turns it down so they can continue traveling together. Adventures in England, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Monaco and the French Alps followed.

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and as they head back to Orly and depart, their lives are about to diverge. Barbara needed to return to her career. Darryl needed a job and was determined to cash in his return ticket and return to Antibes to hopefully take back the job offer. They said their goodbyes with broken hearts and tears.

Barbara boarded a plane to America at the airport gate, waiting for the announcement that she might never see Daryl again. Darryl, who was traveling alone, learned of a place where he could sell tickets and headed there. When he arrived, he looked around, put down his backpack, and saw it fall over. During these two months, his partner's backpack, which was always supporting him, was missing. Darryl stares at his fallen, lonely backpack and returns to the airport without a ticket sold, stopping along the way to make his last purchases. Barbara was waiting in line at the gate when he felt a tap on his shoulder, and he felt helpless. When she turns around, there is Daryl with her bottle of Martel in his hand, telling her that he has no intention of leaving her and that he wants to be with her instead. The surrounding audience watched intently and cheered loudly as the lovers kissed and hugged each other. We all opened the bottles and celebrated.

That afternoon, Barbara told me that we would be together forever and that we had made a commitment on May The following year they married. On May 11, 2024, they will celebrate half a century of love and wonder in Paris. Barbara and Darryl! Let's go to Paris!

Read other Carnet de Voyage entries here.

Michael Harrelson has retired.”orthophoniste” and chose to dedicate his journey to almost exclusively To France, and always to Paris. Michael and his wife Nancy live in San Diego, California. They have explored most parts of France and love small villages. Semur en Auxois; Quiet, beautiful and the perfect place to watch slow movement Almancon Write it as a river.

Lead photo credit: Paris, Rock of Love, © Michael Harrelson

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