Category Archives: Paris

10. Toto, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore- Ruby Slippers

Ruby Slippers

Have you ever felt you were exactly where you were supposed to be? When you were supposed to be and with the person you were supposed to be with?  Have you ever felt the spiritual connection with someone at your core and just couldn’t explain it? I knew this and  that Teddy Bear was the person I had been searching and waiting for, he was the soul that had always been in my life waiting for me. He felt it too. We spoke late into the night, we spoke of our hopes and dreams, of things we didn’t dare talk about with our friends or family for fear that they would think us a little bit strange. We spoke about philosophy, we made love, we spoke about fears, we made love, we slept, we woke in each others arms, we kissed.  We fell asleep again in each others arms, I slept like a baby content and secure in his arms.

Feeling warm and loved, I looked up into his face in the early morning light. It’s almost dawn.  I’m blissfully happy. The birds outside the window begin to chirp as the sun rises. He murmurs in my hair, “You are beautiful and you are an amazing woman. I love you, we will be together again.” He begins to kiss my face, but his face begins to fade. I smile, then realize “Wait, a minute, what’s that last part mean? “Would those birds be quiet? I can barely hear myself think. Why is he fading?” The chirping is getting louder by the second, unbearably so.

Then my eyes slowly open, I know. My nature alarm is telling me its time to wake up. I’m hugging the velvety soft pillow in my bed, sleeping alone, here in Denver, Colorado. I didn’t want to click the ruby slippers yet and come home.and Oberon is licking my face to wake me up. “Noooo, OBIE! not YET!” I linger in bed, hugging those pillows, wanting to go back to sleep, to go back to the dream. But I feel around my neck and the small gold aquamarine necklace is there. Was it a dream or a beautiful memory?

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9. Toto, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore-Gargoyles Watch Over Us

Gargoyles Watch Over Us

Night has fully fallen and Notre Dame has taken on a whole new dimension. The gargoyles are guarding the cathedral and the city.  As my teddy bear and I walk beneath them they look down upon us and watch as he gently kisses me in the shadows of where we first met. The clouds move slowly across the full moon and the night is slightly chilly, he wraps his arm around me as we continue our walk.  Paris deserves the title “City of Love” for a reason, along our walk we see many couples in the moonlight, holding hands, embracing, kissing and laughing. I look into his eyes and think to myself, “for once I am among those enjoying this pleasure as well and with such a beautiful person, how did I get so lucky?”.  As if he reads my mind, he strokes my platinum blonde hair, and tells me he loves how my hair shines in the moonlight and how beautiful I am.  He feels as if he is the luckiest man in the world tonight to be with me. We stand at the edge of the riverbank in a small park and embrace for the longest time, not wanting to let go.

GargoyleandtheMoonWe circle Notre Dame once more as he watches me take more photos of the gargoyles as I am fascinated by them. They are more predominate at night than they ever are during the day.  Are there more of them?  They seem alive. There is magic in the air. The moon plays peek a boo with the clouds. Teddy Bear and I kiss each time it hides.  We laugh and walk as we play our game with the moon.  We talk about our lives. He asks about my home, how often I travel, if I like to travel, if I like traveling alone if I would like a travel partner sometime.  I look at him as he smiles and looks at me out of the corner of his eyes. I find out that he is not from Paris, but from Italy, but here because he comes from a long line of artists and his family has art displayed in some of the museums.  His story is fascinating. He shows me the museum that is now closed where his father’s artwork is displayed. We have now walked to the west side of Notre Dame and closer to the Musee d’Orsay. He says,. “My apartment is near, would you like to come up for a drink?”  By now, I am becoming familiar with Paris and realize just how close he lives to my flat.  Not far at all.  “Yes, I would love to come up”, knowing full well, it means I will most likely spend the night in my lover’s arms.

  • Photography by Candace Stauber, Notre Dame, April 2016

8. Toto, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore – River Walk

metro500River Walk

We finally pull ourselves together and come out into the dusky colors of the setting sun.  The hues of blues, purples, and pinks in the sky amaze me. We walk to the Rue de Rivoli and follow the river to the metro stop. We watch the sunset over the water, holding each other tight. The sky lights up like fire, with the virga from the rains not quite coming to the ground, but giving the sky an astounding image for my camera. I set my camera on the bridge’s wall to take some pictures since I didn’t bring a tripod.  This is the perfect spot to watch the Tower come to life.  I was afraid I would be too far away, but with the water and the landscape, it is breath-taking to behold.
Suddenly the Eiffel Tower begins to sparkle, it looks like they are setting off fireworks.  It looks like a giant sparkler in the distance and then the golden lights start glittering and running up and down the struts of the tower. I know I am holding my breath in awe. As the spotlight starts rotating in the top of the tower. I try frantically try to set my camera settings to get the perfect picture. I feel foolish doing all this in front him, but I want the picture so badly. He smiles and waits. I must have taken hundreds of photos both with my DSLR and with my phone before I was satisfied enough to say, “Let’s eat, I’m starved.”

20160416_cityoflightsg500The skies have now turned to a beautiful cerulean blue, and the lights of Paris have come on.  The river is lit up. All the buildings are lit up. The sidewalks are bright. It is a gorgeous night for a walk along the Seine. He takes me to a small restaurant close to Notre Dame where we met, we sit on the second floor and overlook the city.  We have a wonderful view of the river and as we wait for our dinner, he pulls out a small box and hands it to me. I’m surprised. “What’s this?”, I say as I open it. It’s the little gold necklace I admired in the Latin quarter with the aquamarine crystal. I look at him, “This is beautiful, but,” and he stops my sentence midway. “I saw you admire it, it’s your birthstone, isn’t it?  It is beautiful like you. I want you to have it.” I smile and blush, lean over to kiss him as my lips brush against his, I say, “Thank you, you really shouldn’t have done it, but I love it. Thank you.”

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  • Photography by Candace Stauber, Center of Paris along the River Seine, April 2016

7. Toto, We’re Not in Kansas, Anymore -Afternoon Showers

Wrapped in his strong arms, I am content and happy. We lay together skin to skin, not feeling the chill in the air.  He is so warm and our breathing becomes synchronous. The day has been full of new sights and adventures for me, the afternoon, well, let’s say, I’ve met a lover I will not soon forget. His kisses are sweet and slow, his embrace warm and loving, his love-making, giving and demanding at the same time. Energetic and gentle, he’s a considerate lover.  His hands know where to touch but he also knows when to ask if something he does pleases me.

I’m  very happy right now. I make a soft little purring sound.  He chuckles. “So, kitten, are you ready to see the lights of Paris?” I  am comfortable in his arms, he’s so warm, I don’t want to leave this bed.“Hmm, but you are like a teddy bear, you are so warm, I don’t want to leave this spot.”, I tell him, speaking into his chest. He strokes my hair.”Don’t worry, your teddy bear will be right here when we get back if you want.  I know you wanted to see the Eiffel Tower all lit up, didn’t you?”  Okay, he knows exactly what I really wanted to see, he knows I don’t usually go out at night by myself when I travel, and I was looking forward to seeing the famous lights of the Eiffel Tower like I had seen on the news and in magazines.

“Let’s shower, get dressed, go out and we’ll get some dinner too, how’s that sound, kitten?” as I watch him rise from the bed and head to the shower. His muscular body makes me sigh, I enjoy watching that chocolate skin and ass walk away from me. “Mmm, very nice”, I think to myself.  He looks over his shoulder as he starts the shower, “Are you coming?”

The shower was smaller than both of us could really fit, but we manage.  Under the shower, we embrace and kiss.  As we kiss, he lathers up the wash cloth and begins to wash my body. The experience is exquisite. Of course, I am a firm believer in giving as much as receiving and he gets the same treatment from me as well. I cover every inch of his body and soon he starts moaning. “Stop or we may not make it to the sunset, my dear,” I notice just how aroused he is becoming as my slippery hands encircle his ever enlarging shaft. I smile wickedly, lean down and kiss him, slowly and deliberately.

6. Toto, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore – That’s Not His Name

That’s Not His Name

He opens the door for me and lets me the enter my apartment first.  Suddenly from behind, he sweeps me into his arms. I squeak in protest and slight embarrassment.  I’m not a little woman.  Think of those paintings by Ruben, those women lounging around with just a few more curves, yeah, that’s me. But effortlessly, he carries me over to the bed and places me down gently, not even out of breath.  Sitting on the edge of the bed he reaches over and slips off my shoes and starts massaging my feet. I blush.  This just doesn’t happen to me. It feels wonderful, though.  His hands are strong and sure. They massage and hit all the right trigger points, they start to move up to my calves and legs. “Is this okay, tell me if you want me to stop.”  I’m nervous but definitely not wanting him to stop.  I’m thoroughly enjoying this. His hands are warm and gentle.

The rain can be heard outside the window and on the roof, I’m on the top floor. The mood could not be any better. It’s becoming dim in the tiny apartment even though it is late afternoon because of the storms outside, but I love the sound of rain and with him next to me I begin to sigh. He lies down next to me and says, “I should go and let you rest, I’ll come back later.” as he kisses my neck and moves to my lips. I love his seduction and I don’t want him to go. “Stay, you’ll only get wet outside.  We can both rest”

His hands move up my torso and touch my cheek, as he slowly trails kisses down my neck he unbuttons my blouse one button excruciatingly slowly at a time. It seems like he’s taking his time enjoying my anticipation. His kisses move further down my collar bone to my chest and my bosom.  He is pleasantly surprised when he releases them from their bondage to see just how much he gets to play with. “Ohhhh, my dear, what large ….eyes you have” he smiles and kisses one and then the other.”OH, my dear, what a nice mouth you have”  I reply.

His mouth continues to explore my neck and bosom, while his masterful hands continue to undress me. I’ve managed to undress him as well, and my hands explore him, I notice the difference in our skin tones, he is so dark and I am porcelain pale.  His hair is so black and mine is so white.  We look like Yin and Yang lying there together.  His skin is a beautiful color, I admire the silkiness texture of it and the muscles beneath the surface. As he kisses me, his mouth moves further south on my body and I moan”Oh My God”.  He stops, looks at me, smiles and says,”Candy, that’s not my name.”

  • Rainy Afternoon in Paris along the Seine, April 2016. Photography  by Candace Stauber

 

5. Toto, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore -Be Still My Beating Heart

Be Still My Beating Heart

I wake early the next morning, I still hadn’t adjusted to the time difference from Colorado to Paris, but thinking about Frédérico hadn’t kept me asleep either. I was excited and anxious to see the man. I felt giddy like a young teenager on her first date, that’s how he makes me feel. Looking forward to today I search through my limited belongings.  I only packed one suitcase, not expecting to meet the man of my dreams by any means, so not exactly packing for the occasion.   Okay, something simple and yet classy.  That should do it. I dress and go to the local Starbucks to get my Venti Chai tea and to hook up to the available Wi-Fi.  He said he would contact me before he came to pick me up and the Wi-Fi in the apartment just wasn’t reliable.

Ding. Halfway through my chai, I hear the bell. It’s him. I know I’m smiling. He’s on his way, I tell him to meet me here.  We’re going to have a wonderful adventure today, I just know.

His presence in the coffee shop warms me more than the tea and as he leans over to greet me with a kiss on the cheek. His smile makes his dimples deeper and his eyes glisten. This man knows how to smile.  Not one of those fake smiles, but one that fills his whole face to his eyes.

We are close to the Latin Quarter and decide to walk to the Pantheon, I have no clue where that is, but the walk takes us past small interesting shops and he is patient enough to let me window shop on the way. In fact, there are a couple of jewelry shops I just can not resist and have to go in to see the handmade treasures.  I adore jewelry from other countries and always bring home at least one piece when I travel.  I had to remember this shop later.  The piece I had my eye on was an elegant little gold necklace with an aquamarine oval crystal and azure lapis stone dangling close by.   I didn’t want to take my time though buying jewelry when I was with Frédérico, so quickly moved on.

The Pantheon stood before us at the top of the hill, it looked like something I’d seen in Rome with all the columns. I didn’t expect that I suppose I should have with the name but was surprised. I hadn’t thought about the benefits of him being a museum curator, for one, admittance to any museum in Paris is now easy.  We bypassed the lines and got tickets, solely on his employee ID.  He is such a handsome man, and I noticed the girl in the ticket booth flirt with him and bat her lashes trying to get his attention.  He immediately circled his arm around me and asked for two passes.  She looked crestfallen and handed him the passes.  He smiled at me and gave me a wink. “I am yours, mon cher, and you are mine while you are in Paris.”

Having visited the Pantheon, we walked back to Notre Dame and grabbed a bite to eat at a small café.  It’s getting late in the afternoon. I’m exhausted, to tell the truth. I know I walk a lot while I’m visiting countries but having someone show the city to you is so much better and makes the time go so quickly.  The only thing it doesn’t do is ease the pain of the sidewalk on your legs.  I needed to rest.  We walk back to my apartment, Frédérico knows that we’ve had a busy day today but wants to spend more time with me.  I need to rest for a while.  I reluctantly tell him that I have fibromyalgia and that I need to rest for a bit. I don’t like to admit this to most people about having this disease, for one it’s hard to explain because I look just fine, but my body needs the down time and to pace itself, otherwise I hurt — a lot.  He opens his cell phone and googles it. Looks up at me and says “This?  Is this what you have?”  And points to the wiki page about fibromyalgia.  I smile and say “Yes, but I’m better than most, I take care of myself.”  He continues reading and as he gives me a gentle hug, he murmurs in my ear, “Okay, you go upstairs take a nap, I’ll pick you up at dusk to see the sunset and we’ll go to dinner, how’s that sound to you?”  I linger in his arms, not anxious to leave as I inhale the slight muskiness of him and the aroma of his aftershave.  It sounds heavenly!

Evidently, he is not anxious to leave me either, as he holds my hand and walks me up the narrow staircase to my flat. Sometimes it’s so narrow we can only walk one person at a time, yet he still holds my hand.  I need to rest for a couple of levels, but he is patient and kisses me while he waits.  I think he likes those pauses in the darkened stairwell.  Being so tall, he needs to duck when he gets to the top floor, so he doesn’t hit his head, but we finally make it to my door.

I reach for my key and fumble with it, he takes it and smoothly unlocks my door and smiles as he gives me a sideways glance with mischievous brown eyes. Be still my beating heart.

  • The Pantheon, April 2016, Photography by Candace Stauber

4. Toto, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore -Oz

Over the Rainbow

As I slowly make my way up the five flights and narrow staircase to my tiny Cinderella flat I think about Frédérico, wondering what tomorrow will bring. I still feel his kiss on my lips and smile to myself as I climb, blushing at the indecent thoughts I am having as I go up the dimly lit staircase.

In my small one room apartment, I quickly slip off my shoes and throw my pocketbook, camera and jacket on the fold out table. I quickly rush over to the window overlooking the street to see if I can see him somewhere on the streets below. Will I catch sight of that tall, dark haired man walking through the crowds here in St. Denis?  Not many are as tall as he. But, no.  I sigh. All I see are the hustle and bustle of the evening crowds starting to gather at the Cafe Oz beneath my window. The lights are bright and the Paris city is preparing for it’s party time. The city of lights is coming alive. I truly feel like Dorothy now.  I’m not in Kansas anymore and am definitely over the rainbow.

  • Feature Photo: Notre Dame Gardens, Paris, France. April 2016. Photography by Candace Stauber