Travel Teaches: PITTSBURGH TO PARIS

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We recently asked readers to share a traveling experience that taught them
profound life lessons. The story below from ,Tammy Ewers reveals how fulfilling a childhood dream offers memories that last a lifetime. — Editor

When I was a child living in Pittsburgh, I used to dream of traveling to Paris. I wore a red beret and tried to speak with a French accent. Recently, at 69 years old and with the love of my life by my side, my dream became a reality.

When we started planning our trip, there were two things on our list to see and do. First of all, we wanted to hang our wedding lock on the Bridge of Love, and secondly, to picnic under the Eiffel Tower with a bottle of wine and croissants. We soon learned the Bridge had been torn down due to the extreme weight of the locks. Worst of all, terrorists attacked the city of Paris one week prior to our departure. We were devastated, but agreed to continue on with our plans.

We arrived and opened the blinds in our 9th floor room to reveal the most beautiful sight, that of the Eiffel Tower. Soon we were unpacked and on our way to see the Louvre’, the Cathedrals, shopping areas, and the Art District. We learned that the wonderful people
of France had built a new Bridge of Love and so we tied our wedding lock on the fence together with ribbons from our family and friends.

On our last day there, we packed a big purse with 2 wine glasses and a bottle of Chardonnay, some tea towels, a butter knife, croissants, crème fraiche and creamy butter.
Next to the Tower we found a spot on the green soft grass and laid our blanket down. Hours went by and we laughed, talked, drank our wine, and enjoyed our pastries. As we approached the Tower, we entered what was like an airport security check and they scanned my purse.

The next thing I knew, police and security from all around were running toward us; they pulled me aside asking if I had a knife. I immediately responded “no,” not even thinking about the butter knife.

They asked me if I had glass on me and at that exact moment I saw my purse pass through the x-ray machine where one could plainly see the outline of the wine glasses wrapped in the tea towels and the knife lying next to the empty wine bottle.
Ooops! I thought we were in big trouble because I had just accidently lied to the French government.

Just as I began to apologize, an officer pulled out the glasses, which unrolled from the towels, fell on the concrete floors, and shattered into a million pieces. He then pulled out the butter knife and, with a scowl on his face, showed it to me. Tom helped calm things
down and they let us go.

We got in the elevator and soared to the top of the Tower. It was a windy, starry night. We were happy to be in love and to be in Paris; happy to be making my dream come true.

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