Friday, March 1, 2013

Paris for Valentine's Day

There's just nothing that cures the winter blues like a romantic getaway to Paris, amIright?

The fact that the above sentence is a reality for me is still just a little bit mind-blowing. My husband took me to Paris for Valentine's Day. (swoon)

This definitely makes my top three list of Valentine's Days. First prize goes to the Valentine's Day when Z proposed. Second prize to this year. Third prize to my junior year of college where my roommates and I ordered pizza (with pepperoni arranged in a heart shape) and watched movies together. 
But really, all Valentine's Days are my favorite, so it seems unfair to rank them.

ANYWAYS, before you roll your eyes at how spoiled rotten I am or feel pangs of jealousy or twinges of slight annoyance, let's remember that I do live in another country, far far away from friends and family and almost everything familiar. I haven't had Chickfila or good Mexican food in over 8 months. My husband is gone for long periods of time for training exercises with very little opportunity for communication. I'm struggling to navigate in foreign business culture at a challenging job that leaves me exhausted more often than not. So let's erase pictures in your mind of me lounging around, sipping wine over leisurely lunches in outdoor cafes, laughing with all my (imaginary) European friends while our toy poodles sit on cushions next to us, then being whisked off to Paris for a weekend of magical romance and shopping sprees. 

What I'm trying to say is, you should be feeling sorry for me and my trip to Paris.

I kid, I kid. But seriously. It was a much needed break from reality and a really wonderful chance to reconnect with Z and spend some quality time together between his extended absences and my frequent business trips. 

Let me just say this. I LOVE Paris. I fell in love with Paris in 2007 when I visited whilst studying abroad in college. I wandered around the city with a fellow study-abroad student and we both fell under the Parisian spell. We talked a lot about how one day we would come back with our husbands and it would magical and romantic and perfect. Sigh.

Fast forward 6 years and it was happening. Z and I were in Paris together. And it was magical and romantic and perfect. 

The best part about the trip was that Z and I had both been to Paris before, so we had already done the "turbo tourist" thing. This allowed our experience to be much more laid back and relaxing. We wandered around the city, walking down any interesting street we came across, with no real urgency or agenda. Yes, we hit up the "main spots" but we skipped out on things like the Louvre and going up the Eiffel Tower. We had a long lunch in the park, enjoying the sun and amazing French sandwiches and pastries. We had coffee at curbside cafes. We had late dinners at amazing restaurants. We enjoyed a LOT of pastries. But it was ok, because we also walked 6 to 8 miles each day. Breaking even, people. The food and wine was phenomenal. I would go to Paris just for the food scene. Mmmm.

We also enjoyed amazing weather while we were there (40s and sunny, never thought I would consider THAT to be amazing weather). It was wonderful to get a break from snow and frigid temperatures.

Oh how I loved it. Take me back!

I could go on and on, but I'll just stop it there and leave you with some pictures from our trip.

**Important update** I wrote this and got my camera card and transferred the pictures from my camera to my computer. Then I plugged in my iPhone to transfer the MAJORITY of the pictures from our trip (like 100 pictures)...we take most of our pictures on the iPhone because it's easier to get arm-shots with the reverse camera view and it's just more convenient to carry around the phone. I think you can see where this is headed... I plugged in my phone, it doesn't recognize the phone and iTunes asks if I would like to set up the phone. Sure, yes. I restore from a backup, a backup I assume was recent. False. All of my Paris pictures are gone from that phone. I feel physically ill. I sat there in shock for a little while. Then I googled a lot of things about reversing a backup or how to restore or ANYTHING to fix this cruel, cruel joke. Nothing. So then I cried. I texted Zach in distress. It is truly a terrible feeling. And nothing can be done. So. there's that.

Sigh. I am SO annoyed and distressed over this. It's not even the Paris part, it's the pictures of me and Z together...I HATE losing those. Oh I hate it. STOP IT WORLD, you're really ruining my life. I am ill over this.

Here are the pictures I still have...from my camera and the few I posted to Instagram.

View from our hotel balcony

Squinty Seine River picture

Other view from our balcony

The Louvre

This weather! Everyone was soaking up the "warm" sun

View of the Eiffel Tower from afar...

The Arc de Triomphe

Notre Dame
Pastries. Stop it. 

View from the Arc

This is what I love about Paris...turn the corner and BAM! This.

Our picnic in the park

Cafe with a view

I guess this means we will have to go ahead and plan a return trip and recreate all the pictures we lost. Trying REALLY HARD to find the bright side in this...

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