Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fish Out of Water Rule # 10: You Can’t Control the Weather, So Sing in the Rain!

Even in the rain, the beautiful gold statues of the Pont Alexandre III Bridge can be seen for blocks

I always check the weather forecast before I head out on a trip. In fact I start looking more than a week ahead of time thanks to the 10 day forecast feature on the Weather Channel. The day before leaving, I become so obsessed I often check more than twice!  Which is a big mistake when I know even a slight drizzle can drain my enthusiasm for a trip.

Case in point my trip to Paris. I’d always dreamed of visiting Paris—practically since I was in kindergarten. So when I finally booked a flight last year, I couldn’t wait to see the city of lights. But my excitement began to wane when the forecast was cold and wet. I only had three days in Paris before heading off to the South of France and rain had been forecast for the entire trip!

“Merde!” I screamed at the computer monitor.

How could fate be so cruel? I’d waited all this time to visit one of the most beautiful cities in the world only to pick a week when the weather was going to be awful? How could I walk the streets of Paris and take my customary thousands of pictures of all the city’s beauty and landmarks while battling the elements? Would the Eiffel Tower look as impressive soaking wet? I had my doubts.   

My friend Tracy, who had been to Paris several times, including in the rain, quickly brushed off all my hand wringing. “Get real! How can you be so upset over something you can’t control?”

Exactly. But I couldn’t let go. “I’ve waited so long to see Paris, why can’t the weather be fantastic?”

She put her hand on my shoulder. “Because Mother Nature can be a real dream crusher.”

No kidding! I’ll never forget the time I set off for Okinawa and the weather was beyond beautiful. My whole stay was perfect.  But as I rode the ferry back to the island of Kyushu, a pleasant voice on the intercom announced that we were heading straight for a category 4 Typhon.

So much for the weather—we almost capsized!     

I’m happy to report that after all my days of cursing Mother Nature—she came through for me in Paris. I had an amazing sun soaked two and half days and managed to see everything on my wish list.

Eiffel Tower, check.
The Louvre, check.
The Quai Brany, check
Notre Dame, check
Museum d' Orsay, check
Walk the Champs-Elysees, check
The Place de la Concorde and the amazing fountain made famous by the cell phone toss in the Devil Wears Prada, check
Stroll the Jardin des Tuileries and Jardin du Luxembourg, check
Eat my way down the Rue St. Germain, check 

I logged over 10 miles a day on my trusty pedometer!

On the last part of the third day, the rain finally arrived. Mostly a drizzle, it hardly put a damper on my last action packed day in the city of lights. In fact, I found that the rain seemed to amplify all the lights in the city by the reflections on the water soaked streets and buildings. Paris in the rain took on an even more romantic quality.  The place positively glowed!   

Moral of the story: Remember Fish Out of Water Rule # 10: You Can’t Control the Weather, So Sing in the Rain! Note to self: You’re in Paris, who cares if its soaking wet!