Throwback Thursday

I’ve resisted that annoying hashtag for as long as I could. But I found a gem a few weeks ago in a big stack of old photos and thought it was too good not to share, hashtag or not:

meinparis2000

Oh, just 13 year old Erin hanging out (in parachute pants!!) at the Musée Rodin in Paris in the summer of 2000. I wish I could tell you that even back then I was enamored with what is now my favorite city on earth, but the truth is I was such a little shit at 13. Sure, I may look like I’m smiling, but I am somehow, inexplicably, miserable. I’m sure all teenagers are to some capacity, but I couldn’t even shake my hormonal angst on a 10-day trip to London and Paris my mom was kind enough to take me on as an 8th grade graduation gift. Nay, instead I moped through the entire trip, complaining at every turn about having to get up early to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, and (I hate myself for this) making mom suffer through a ham and cheese sandwich every. single. day. in Paris. What was wrong with me?? Of the many things I would change about myself from ages 13-17 (don’t date that boy! don’t try to give yourself dreadlocks! stop listening to O-Town!), the biggest regret I have was not appreciating or remembering every detail of that trip.

Sure, I remember having fish and chips with my great-aunt in Westcliff-on-Sea, served wrapped in newspaper from the local stand near the sea. I remember making my mom laugh with my ability to clear a crowd of tourists around the Venus de Milo at the Louvre by pretending to sneeze really loudly, thus setting up the perfect solo photo-op. I remember what every hotel room looked like, experiencing my first heated towel rack, finding out our Parisian hotel served as the Gestapo headquarters during WWII, and even the flavor of yogurt I ate from the breakfast bar in the morning. But what I can’t tell you is how I felt the first time I laid eyes on the Eiffel Tower. That is a feeling I wish I hadn’t taken for granted, though I’ve more than made up for it on my last two trips when I bawled all over the place upon seeing it.

So yes. Throwback Thursday. Sorry I was such a brat, mom.

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January 9, 2014 / life / dog / Travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 24

24 comments

  • You were a teenager and I loved every minute of sharing the world with you. It was important to me that you got to meet my 90 yo great aunt before she passed away. I remember you refusing to wake up for our tour of London and whining about why we had to get out so early. The best answer I could come up with was the the Guard changed when the Queen wanted them to, not when you did.
    Pizza in London, ham and cheese on baguettes in Paris…..it was just perfect. As a matter of fact, it was so perfect that the next summer I took a vacation without YOU! Hahahahaha!

    • Excuse me, the changing of the guard is like at 11am and you had a wake up call set at 5am. That still seems as unnecessary now as it did back then. I know I’m slow going in the morning but jeez! I did love that trip though, it was such a blast. xo

      • We had to get down to the lobby, eat and join the tour bus….Ms Fancy Pants!

  • haha, this whole thing made me laugh. no, you look pretty miserable in that photo ;) maybe it’s because i have a teenager i can just spot that look of misery that they get when they know you want them to be having fun and they are like “oh, wait a minute, you want me to be happy and have fun? ok, then NO.” but i bet like my teenager you forgot to be miserable a time or two and gave your mom some good memories too. and geez, what an awesome mom you had!!! seriously the best ever and she reads your blog. lucky girl. xo

    • Hahah, the look only a mother could pick up on ;) I literally had nothing to be unhappy about in this picture (PARIS! RODIN! SUNSHINE!) and yet I couldn’t muster a real smile? What a turd. Haha I know this is going to come back to me karmically too one day! Oh dear. xo

  • HA! I love this picture and I love this story and I love that you haven’t changed at all. Minus the parachute pants, maybe! Just wait until you’re dragging your 13 year old around… or maybe you’ll get a Callum! XO

    • Hahaha definitely minus the parachute pants! Though I did love them, and they went with everything. I think I had think pale blue, too, now that I think about it. Hmm. They were lightweight for packing! Between the pants and my back pack I was a regular Rick Steves in this photo! And yeah, let’s hope I get a kid who is more enthusiastic than I was about travel!! xo

  • HAHA! Such a great picture and I think you described it perfectly. You are so incredibly lucky to have had parents that thought that it was so important for you to get out and see the world. My parents on the other hand have never traveled across the ocean and my grandparents never even stepped foot on an airplane. When I was in Greece before I had Nora I promised myself I would strap my kid to my back and get out there :)

    • Aw, thanks Erika. I was (and am!) pretty lucky for those parents of mine. Not that you can detect even a hint of gratitude in this photo ;) Good for you for making the choice to travel with Nora! Lots of people stop traveling once they have kids (and I totally understand why, cost and stress are just two small reasons) but it IS so important to share the world with them if you can! I might have to hit you up for Greece recommendations as our honeymoon gets closer! xo

  • Well you LOOK totally precious. Despite your teenage-y attitude. And sadly, I’m not out of that phase all the way yet. I will gripe about the weather, packing, unpacking, planes, trains, automobiles, and pretty much everything you can shake a stick at whilst traveling.

    • “Precious” is not a word that comes to mind, ahahah, but thanks girl! These days I’m much more enthusiastic about travel (I get excited for things like train rides, though I also get super anxious about missing trains or not finding the right platform, etc.)! xo

  • that is too funny! at 13, i too was a little brat. for my 16th birthday, my dad took me to italy, and it wasn’t really until that trip that i kind of grew out of my attitude. or it grew out of me :) um… dreadlocks? can i see that? or is that for no ones eyes?

    • Ooh Italy must have been gorgeous! At 16 we were probably a little more well adjusted than 13, that’s for sure ;) And yeah, I think there is a photo floating around somewhere of my hair situation, but I’ve tried to burn all evidence. Not a good look. xo

  • oh i remember that age – the age where you do NOT want to be seen with your parents!

    • Seriously!! What is wrong with teenagers?? xo

  • i have a parachute pants. ha

    • Haha they’ve gone out of style here for the most part, or so I had assumed! xo

  • Waaahaahaaa!! That’s so true, I’m glad I’m not the only one who was like that! My God, weren’t we brats as teens? I always found some reason to mope – either over-analysing what someone said/did, did the boy like me? If not, why not? Why was my life such a chore and why was EVERYTHING going wrong for me? Man. To go back to those days with the knowledge I have now…

    As much as I love the Eiffel Tower, I prefer Sacre Coeur – absolutely adore the market place nearby, and there was a chinese man who was a painter there on two separate occasions when in Paris, there were YEARS between the two trips. Needless to say, I still bought paintings from him that I then had to sacrifice items of clothing for in my suitcase.

    Those were the days. Thanks for the trip down memory lane! :) xxx

    • Oh you hit it right on the head: EVERYTHING was a chore that just felt exhausting to have to deal with! I would go back in time and slap my 13 year old self across the face and tell her to snap out of it (and invest in Google and Facebook, obviously). Sigh. If only the world worked that way! Hopefully this will give me more patience with my future child when they become a terrible teenager, haha.

      I love Montmartre! It’s my favorite neighborhood in the city, by far, and Sacre-Cœur is just one of the reasons. That market is amazing, isn’t it? I haven’t bought any of the paintings there, but it’s been on my list to do! I’ll search out your vendor next time I’m there ;) I love your priorities, too! Art >>> clothes xo

      • OMG you’ve got to look him up – I think he was facing the building with the silhouette cut-out-people (you know which ones I mean..?) but didn’t speak a word of English. As much as I attempted to haggle with him, he would always seem like he couldn’t understand me, and would write down the price he was willing to drop to. Would only be a Franc or two, until I was vaguely satisfied/bored/stressed that I NEEDED the painting! Love it.

        Aaahhh rapelles-toi Montmarte… xxx

  • This is pretty much the way I feel about growing up in Japan and Germany. I totally blew all the amazing experiences by being a whinging shithead teenager! I suppose we all do it, huh?

    I’m just catching up on your posts after being away nearly a month- a very late happy new year to you and yours!

    x

    • They should really make a pill that prevents teenagers from reaching their full teenager-dom misery. It would be doing the world a favor, honestly! Happy belated New Years to you and Ban, too!! Welcome home again, can’t wait to hear all about the trip! xo

  • Oh you were so pretty and cute and totally rocking All Saints!
    We went to Paris once and my brother made us eat in McDonalds every day. He point black refused to eat anywhere else. So that’s why more shameful than ham and cheese sarnies!
    We are not allowed to wrap chips in newspaper anymore :(

    • My aunt is visiting from Essex for the week before going on a cruise and I was just talking to her last night about those fish & chips and she said the same thing! I can’t believe they won’t let you wrap them in newspaper anymore! I’m glad I got them when they were still allowed. So sad.

      I always forget you have a brother! I’m laughing that you ate nothing but McDo’s for the whole trip. How sick of it were you by the end??! xo