Le Tour Eiffel

Today when I opened up my Facebook News Feed, I was surprised to learn that it had already been three years since I visited a country that changed my life, France. Back in my senior year of high school, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to France with our French Club, and spend two weeks in the country that many dream of visiting throughout their lifetime. After months of fundraising and preparation, our plane took flight from Minneapolis on a chilly spring evening, and ten of us were off to the foreign land.

The Eiffel Tower, circa 2013. Taken by Brett Mensing

I could write dozens of pages on this experience, but am choosing to center on my visit to the Eiffel Tower for this blog post. The photo that Facebook displayed as a blast from the past was my friends and I standing below the skyscraping Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. After all of the terror attacks that have been taking place in France over the past few months, I have really started to think about my visit once again, and reminisce about all of the life lessons that the two-week visit taught me. I choose to write this entry under the “Things I Remember” page, because I still to this day remember being so surprised about the size of the Eiffel Tower. Growing up watching TV and various movies and taking three years of French in high school, I had seen numerous pictures of the iconic monument, but never really realized just how big the Tower was.

When we arrived for our visit, I was breath taken by the 1,063 foot tower; amazed by the structural aspect of this ginormous attraction. I never realized just how much work it would really take to construct such a monstrous yet beautiful piece of art. The amount and size of the bolts and metal holding it together is something that I will never forget. Never seeing something built like this before, my mind started racing while thinking about the countless hours and lives that were lost while the construction took place. The Eiffel Tower serves as an important part of telecommunications throughout the country of France, but we often forget that it has a true meaning, beyond its glimmering lights that shine and twinkle every night across the City of Love.

This was one of the most memorable experiences from my trip abroad, along with the meal that we ate in the Tower for lunch on that bright yet chilly spring day in the city. The meal consisted of raw tuna for a hors d’oeuvre, calf for our meal, and a delicate chocolate mousse for dessert. The meal was extremely authentic, and not something that I would eat on a daily basis back home. But this was the start of my new beginning, and realization that life is a changing path that we must conform to in order to have fun, and life it to its fullest.

This post has allowed me to reminisce about my past, and think about going back to the City of Paris one day, hopefully for my honeymoon! I believe that after my visit to the Country, there is still a piece of my heart situated back in the land, a piece that will one day be put back in to place. I hope to visit my French family that I stayed with while on my second week of the experience. I recently contacted my French brother, Tom Vezier to interview him for a story I did for UTVS News after the Paris attacks back in November of 2015. It was nice to chat with him once again, but it made me realize that I must work to keep better contact with him, because it is important to have global connections in life.

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