NOTRE-DAME // A masterpiece of Gothic medieval architecture and one of the most famous historical landmarks in Paris. Over the course of its history Notre-Dame has hosted dozens of royal coronations, weddings and requiem masses, including the crowning of Henry VI in 1431 and the wedding of Mary, Queen of Scots to her first husband Francis, the Dauphin of France, in 1558. ⠀
I was lucky enough to visit the Notre-Dame before a fire partially destroyed the 850-year-old cathedral in Paris, obliterating its roof and causing its spire to collapse.
You guys... I DID IT! I drove my late grandpa’s car on a road trip across the country from where he lived in Boynton Beach, Florida to my cousin in Denver, Colorado. I drove through seven states and spent time in various cities including: St. Petersburg, New Orleans, Houston, Austin, Fredericksburg, San Antonio, Marfa, El Paso, Las Cruces, Mesilla, Santa Fe, Colorado Springs and finally Denver. I visited Enchanted Rock, attended the Agave Festival in Marfa, went on respective day trips to Big Bend National Park, Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands National Monument. I drove through mountains, hills, cities, small towns, ghost towns, plains, deserts, thunderstorms, what felt like eternal darkness, and played a time traveling Doctor while driving through time zones. Alone. Looking back, everything feels like a blur. Like a book of memories squished and compartmentalized into one quick memory to flip through. This trip opened my eyes to the U.S. and to the people — real people — living their lives. To bookstores and concerts, vampire speakeasies and car rides to NASA with new hostel friends, restaurants and bars and nights that lasted for a long time. I really can’t believe this trip happened — it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Sunday, June 16, was my grandmother’s birthday and it seems fitting, in a way, it should fall within my cross-country journey with my grandpa’s car. Toward the end, specifically after Marfa, I was on the brink of tears. I was anxious about mountain driving and about the journey coming to a close. I worked through the emotions and, in a way, these emotions show that we are alive and stronger than we think. The end of one chapter, the beginning of another. I have way more thoughts, but in the meantime, I’d like to thank my family for letting me go on this trip in the first place, to the places I visited, to my grandpa’s car for getting me to my destination safely even if there were a few brake concerns and the battery dying in the very beginning, to the people I met along the way and, of course, I’d like to thank my grandpa. Thank you for living your life. Thank you for the memories, old and new. Thank you for everything.