I had a full circle moment on my latest trip to Europe. I hadn’t been to France in 15 years and really wanted to reconnect with an old friend I met there all those years ago. We had visited each other in the States and shared lots of laughs and good meals but at least a decade had passed since we last saw each other. Finding my way to her flat on my first night back in Paris was an adventure I’ll never forget. It seems I’ve gotten older in the ensuing years, and all the walking and stair climbing I used to do so easily wreaked havoc on my old limbs this time. Thank goodness I can get a massage with a convenient Groupon coupon. I couldn’t wait to get back home and book an appointment.
I loved the convenience of the Metro, and delighted that I could take a high speed train from Brussels, where I was staying, to Paris and get there in less than 90 minutes. I couldn’t believe how fast that train goes. I shut my eyes for a moment, and when I opened them, we were hissing to a stop at Gare du Nord. While I dozed I dreamed of the time we took highway 1 up the California coast to Big Sur. We stopped and ate scones at a little roadside café, kicked our heels up in the surf, and spent over an hour going through one of the California missions founded by Junipero Serra back in the 1700’s.
I’ll never forget the view from the hilltop home of her friend. The lights of the city of San Francisco twinkled for miles. But reality crept in and a nudge from my seatmate on the train told me it was time to get off. Unfortunately, I headed off in the wrong direction and it felt like I’d walked for blocks before I realized my mistake. But the fun we had catching up that evening was worth every step. We drank wine, shared stories, photos and listened to good music until it was very late.
Now that I’m back home, I appreciate the ease and convenience of my Groupons even more. I always save so much money when I use them, and a good massage that’s 50% off is the perfect way to destress after long hours on the road.