And by Thursday I obviously meant over two months later. Clearly.
So the most beautiful part of my hot 26 hours in Paris was meeting up with a high school friend who is married to a Frenchman (and now a brand new mom -- she was apparently *just* pregnant when I was there) and now lives in Paris and weekends in the south of France on her in-laws farm. BECAUSE HER LIFE IS AMAZING.
Also, she is so gorgeous that if she weren't literally one of the kindest and sweetest people on this planet, you'd want to be jealous. But she's so genuine you just feel lucky to be in her presence. (And if you would like to peep what her life is like and see what I'm talking about, go visit her Instagram. We can hold support meetings for those of us bowled over by her meticulous eye and gorgeous everything and help each other cope with the fact that a beautiful life really is out there, it just may require expatriation.)
Anyway, she was so gracious to take me on a bicycle tour to see so many sights and gardens and have a lunch under the Eiffel Tower before she and her husband went out of town for the weekend. So I had the amazing pleasure of having a genuine Parisian experience led by someone I've known for roughly half my life but is also a resident of only the most stunning and moving city I've visited in my life. Guys, it was like my life suddenly became a movie.
Looking back, Paris might have been the first time I could see beyond the darkness of my divorce and overlapping breakup. It was the first time I saw beauty and life and love and felt things move me, again.
So I'll forever be grateful for Natalie taking the time to show me her city, because it revived me.
Not to be discounted in that was her apartment. Since I visited, she and her little family actually bought, renovated, and moved into a new apartment, so I saw the tail end of the old place for her.
And it took my breath away.
Again, the white space with the subtle colors and the archetectural details just made my chest ache in the best ways. And can you see that floor? That delicious chevron floor? SWOON.
It was just perfection. The natural sunlight (there was a small garden square below), the decor, the history, the feel, just freaking everything.
I MEAN LOOK AT THIS PLASTER WORK.
IT'S REAL PLASTER. FROM LIKE 1587* OR SOMETHING.
*(I don't know how old it is, it just has 1000% more likelihood of being older than a handful of centuries than most things I come across.)
What the AirBNB teased at, Natalie's apartment cemented into my core.
Twenty-three year old Tabatha moved into her first non-genetic familial home and worked her ass off to make a grown-up space, and then a family space, within the purview of the world she could see through a computer screen.
Thirty-two year old Tabatha has now seen a whole lot more life, traveled across the world(!), made friends near and far, and has no one to hold herself accountable to in what makes a home feel exactly just like that. I mean, save for the kids, but that's a slight bit different.
So as we embark together on my next house journey, I wanted you to see how pivotal that trip was for me. Not just for being the first international trip I've ever taken, not just for pushing me out of my comfort zone farther than I've ever gone before, but because the person I was when I touched down in Brussels stayed somewhere around the Tulleries at Fashion Week and I came home with someone I had no idea I could be.
And she's ready to finally feel at home.