I might have mentioned, just once, or maybe twice, that for my 30th birthday in exactly one week and one day, that I wanted to be in Paris. I have always wanted to go, in a completely irrational, illogical, soul pulling way, but that indescribable pull has been strong in recent years. I want to be there sure, but part of me needs to be there. Playing monument bingo and eating macarons along the Seine. And turning 30 seemed such the perfect punctuation mark. Such a good reason. Bingley has never been to Europe and we will both be 30 at the same time.
I have been planning this trip whimsically for years; little ideas stored neatly and some haphazardly. Then a few months ago, after the squee inducing moment of purchasing flights, came the completely overwhelming and magical feeling of looking at apartments and hotels and not only dreaming, but choosing. Of getting to decide where I will wake up on the first morning of my forth decade. I had a tatty 2c exercise book from Kmart that I scribbled in ideas, and addresses and webpages. I doodled little pictures of croissants and glasses of red wine as I methodically and then often chaotically looked up places to go and visit and see. Recording faithfully details like opening hours and secret entrances. Because those sorts of things are important.
I would ambush Bingley, after we'd tackled the children and squished them in bed, about what did he want to see, and do? Where did he want to visit? And he would look at the manic glint in my eye and shrug and smile and tell me he didn't care. Which was both infuriating and perfect, because I got to pick all of it. Then tell him occasionally of the treats he had in store. Printing off receipts and stapling them into my little exercise book. More pencilled in thoughts and suggestions.
I would come home from work sometimes, after 8pm, on a day I'd left home before 7am, and would crash on the couch, open a webpage of castles in the Loire valley and would feel my pulse jump and my whole body tingle, because we. are. going. there. I booked a castle to stay in for a few nights, probably in a cupboard, but I don't care, because I. am. going. to. sleep. in. a. CASTLE.
Every hour of bone crunching overtime I endured because it was more money to go see some of the things I've dreamed of for so long. It's like Disneyland for adults except I'm replacing overpriced Hot Dogs for foie gras.
And then I came home last night, tired after work, with a waxing appointment and hairdressing appointment to squeeze in, and just wanted to sleep. I couldn't think about Paris and Loire and all the other best bits. I could just think about sleeping, because I had hit the absolute wall. And as I drifted off to sleep, curled up under the blankets with a slightly sniffly nose, Bingley bounced on the bed, stroked my hair and reminded me that I have no more work for a whole month. A WHOLE MONTH. And tomorrow my friends, I am getting on a plane, for that trip that we booked 6 months ago, and I am so excited I can barely breathe.
And because I'm quite possibly the luckiest not quite 30 year old in the world, today we also pick up our brand new car. A shiny, red, European designed and built, proper grown-up car. With leather seats and more gadgets than you can poke a stick at. And three zillion airbags (I counted) and a partridge in a pear tree.
26.5 hours until take-off!!