My video of the Eiffel Tower twinkling at night

betty ming liu Travel 13 Comments

I’m so excited to share this video from my 2012 vacation in Paris. This post is about sharing memories  — and my thrill in learning how to make videos of them on Final Cut Pro X!

This time last year, my daughter Gabi and I were getting ready for a 10-day trip to Paris. We went with Judy, her godmother, who is my dear childhood friend. It was the most, most fabulous adventure ever. Renting a nice apartment in Le Marais had us in a great section of the city filled with restaurants, groceries and boutiques. We lived on $38 per person a day, which was quite an accomplishment.

Our vacation included a wonderful cruise on the Seine. We knew it would give us a view of the Eiffel Tower. What none of us realized was that this landmark lights up at night — and twinkles. The whole experience was such a delight.

Now we can share it with you in this YouTube video that I just made:

I did it! What fun to edit the raw footage, add the music, the dissolves, the openers and closers, the sound of splashing waves, the thunderclap when my blog url pops up…yay!

But I’m also smiling because this clip launches me on a new journey. I’ve always wanted professional video-making skills. It’s taken me so long to fulfill this dream that the software program of choice is no longer Final Cut Pro; in 2011, an upgraded version was released called Final Cut Pro X.

So now I’m taking weekly lessons to polish my skills at a bargain price. The secret, as usual, is the Apple Store’s $99-a-year One-to-One program. O2O allows me to take a private, one-hour lesson every week as well as group workshop sessions. Here’s my post on how it works. Definitely a good deal. And remember, you can only sign up for it when you buy a Mac computer at an Apple Store.

As for the Paris trip, I wrote a bunch of posts that are among the most popular entries on this blog. You can peruse the titles here. They’re filled with photos, travel suggestions, fun moments — plus my hysteria when I wuz robbed in a Metro station. :0

And before I go…if you get anything from me today, it’s the message that vacations keep us sane. Just planning one will already change the way we go through our daily routines. I can’t afford a big, fancy trip this year but there will be a weekend in Mohonk and several weekend art workshops. Just knowing they are on my calendar keeps me smiling inside. Here’s a link to the post where my shrink explains how this vacation-planning process works.

If you’ve got some dreams or vacation ideas percolating, please feel free to share/brainstorm those plans with us. Spring arrives this week, and it’s a reminder. Here’s our chance to plant seeds, blossom and grow. xo.

P.S. — A special thanks to Gabi and Judy! We were all taking pictures and video during the cruise, which were dumped into my personal files. This video is our collaboration.  :) 

Comments 13

  1. Hi Betty! Great video – congrats on your new skill! My update – 15 cm of snow expected here today BUT my tomato seeds are sprouting; my spring housecleaning is progressing; bathroom and kitchen renovations are underway and a very much needed and anticipated art workshop is organized for a week this August with a good friend! Special vacations are so uplifting!! Enjoy your workshops!

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    Heather, thanks for giving us a burst of your great energy. Glad you enjoyed my video. Part of me has the urge to go back and tweak this-&-that about it but…why? There is so much more creativity inside of me that’s waiting to get into the light too. Your comment inspires me to keep moving & stop obsessing. Congrats on all your great projects & good luck with the art workshop. Stay warm & safe in the snow storm!

  3. Betty: Thank you for the video! It brought back wonderful memories of Mike & I taking the same barge ride on the Seine. You know, one of the bridges has a legend that, if you kiss your true love when the barge sails under it, you will be in love forever. Guess that means Mike is stuck with me!!
    Its interesting that, when the tower was first built, the common opinion in Paris was that it has hideous and unnecessary. Now of course it is a national treasure! The American Asso. of Architects once figured out that there is a curve of 75 years in the life of a structure. Whatever people think of it when it is first built – wonderful or awful – if it survives 75 years it becomes an endearing treasure from the past, preferably to be preserved at all costs. A good example is the Jefferson County courthouse in the West Village. It came close to being torn down as a Victorian monstrosity, narrowly survived past the magic 75 year point, was made into a branch library and is now a greatly loved masterpiece of quirky, 19th Century eclecticism. I’m hoping that when I reach age 75, a similar process will occur and I’ll become a national treasure! LOL!

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    Aw, Toby. Big hug to you. J’adore the tidbits that you are feeding us in your comment. May you and Mike be in love forever. With an old bridge on your side, you’ve got a great foundation to build on, haha. As for that 75-year benchmark, I hope I hold up well too. In fact, best wishes for good health to all of us. Thanks for bringing that blessing to our collective table. :)

  5. Love your sparkly, musical, exciting Paris video. Hope I get to go there one of these days. No vacations planned yet, but I’ll have a visitor in April. Crystal is 21, from Washington State, and this will be first time in NYC. Showing her places I love in NY will be like a mini-vacation. Enjoy your workshops, Betty!

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    Thanks, Karen — and what a treat to see NYC through a new vistor’s eyes. It will make everything new again for you too. Btw, I love having young folks around because they are such fresh energy. I’ll bet there will all kinds of fun in hanging out with a 21 year old! So nice to hear from you…xo.

  7. Well, that is nothing short of spectacular! I will see that for myself…I promise to myself and the universe right now! I also have the desire to create really cool videos. I’ve done a little video editing but nothing on the professional level I’d like to create. It’s something I want to do for my website and coaching business. I know I just need to jump in and do it!

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      Kellie, do it girl! It’s not hard to learn the basics. But like a lot of tech skills, this is about use it or lose it because there are tons of commands and tricks to remember. The whole process is fun, though. Good luck with it!

  8. Love the video! Brought back wonderful memories of our time together. It was the trip of a lifetime. Glad to have spent it with you and Gabi!

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      I’m so happy we spent it together too, Judy. After a lifelong friendship — since the 7th grade — we finally got to vacation together. Woohoo! I hope we can do it again in this lifetime. xo

  9. Betty, that’s amazing because I’m currently in the process of planning a vacation for myself this summer — something I feel my body and spirit are screaming for. I’m going through some big changes in my life right now…recently single, dreaming of relocating to southern Florida, maybe changing careers. I just feel exhausted and in need of some palm trees and ocean waves. Not that I’m any different from the next guy in need of some fresh air, we all do from time to time. I guess I’m hoping by starting out fresh that I’ll forget what I’ve lost and be pleasantly surprised by finding something new. I don’t necessarily mean a man, though I wish I had one in my life just for the sake of a hug, but something truly refreshing. Do you think that’s possible?

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      Jenna, you just illustrated the emotional benefits of planning a vacation! That’s exactly what I was like when I sitting in my shrink’s office and explaining my feelings about an upcoming getaway. Such a good feeling, isn’t it? I’m no expert, but I say yes, true refreshment is possible! Maybe even a trustworthy, good man who gives warm hugs. And reading about your need for palm trees and waves has me wishing for the same. It sure would be nice to hit the tropics some time soon. Until then, congrats on all your changes and good luck. Big hug now from me to you. :)

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