My junior high school, RFK, ran trips over the summer to foreign countries. Parents and kids could sign up and tour different parts of the world.
My parents were very excited about my SPS acceptance and I wanted to capitalize on their joy. They let me go on a tour of Europe before I left for Concord.
It was our final stop so we didn’t make it to the Eiffel Tower until dark and it was almost ready to close. A group of us had only 1 goal – make it to the top.
We raced up the stairs the way only teenagers can, bobbing and weaving through visitors making their way down the stairs. We snuck into the highest point right before the last people exited.
Looking out over the Parisian night sky there was no better sight I’d ever seen and no greater joy I’d ever felt. The guards eventually forced us out but we climbed down the steps slowly remembering how it felt to embrace a country that was so different from our own.
There were many new things to experience in Paris – rare meat was one thing. I did not know that eating rare meat was something people ever did. I could not do it and the fear of possibly eating something rare led to my decision not to eat meat in Paris.
Though there was something for me to eat in every little bistro – frites (french fries). They were better than any fast food chain in America – thin, crisp on the outside and soft in the middle.
I didn’t think life could get any better until Stop 2.