(Rather than make this the longest post ever, there will be another post tomorrow)
Mid-October, my uncle emailed my sister and me to ask if we would like to join him in Paris to celebrate his 50th birthday over Thanksgiving weekend. He would be covering our flights and had lodging set up for us (his friends’ apartment), so all of the major components were taken care of. All we had to do was say yes or no. When I got the email, my jaw literally fell to the floor because this is not something that normally happens. When I told Joe, we tried to be practical and discuss if we should go to Paris or not.
Basically, every argument for not going was defeated by “…but it’s Paris…” so ultimately, we decided to go (because, like I said, it’s Paris - and who turns down a free trip to Paris?). Clearly, we are not as practical as we’d like to think.
The only thing stopping us was that I needed to renew my passport. It had expired earlier this year, and I had yet to change my name on it (the shame – two years of marriage and I hadn’t finished updating my name). The government was still shut down at this point so it was a bit stressful for me. Let’s just say that my uncle had emailed us on a Monday evening, I got my photo and application all squared away on Tuesday, and by Wednesday I had gotten everything sent away. Since we were sort of under a time crunch, I opted to expedite it – and somehow got my passport by the following Tuesday. Go figure.
With my passport in hand, all we had to do was wait for Thanksgiving weekend. For the next couple of weeks, we sort of just continued on as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening. Aside from discussing what we’d like to see in Paris, we didn’t really talk about it (it felt surreal). Few people outside of our families knew about the trip either because it felt like we were making it up. Seriously – how often do you get to go to Paris for the weekend because you’re going to a party? That’s something celebrities do and to be blunt, Joe and I are not in the 1%.
Since this was only a short trip, I was able to pack everything (clothes, boots, my camera, etc) in two small bags. Joe had a carry on as well and that helped speed along our travels.
Upon landing, we grabbed a cab and headed out to the apartment (we didn’t check any luggage so we got through the airport quickly). When we arrived at the apartment, we were greeted by my uncle, his boyfriend (Steve), and their friend Joan (whose apartment it was). We were able to drop off our stuff and all go out for a quick tea/coffee. We were then left to our own devices so we decided to explore Paris.
Our first stop was Notre Dame. We walked around back, sat in the garden for a while – which was wonderful since we were running on very little sleep. The three of us then opted to go inside. We wanted to go up to the top but someone had forgotten their bag in the cathedral so the police arrived and taped off the area, keeping us from getting anywhere close. That will have to be left for another trip :)
One of my favorite things about Notre Dame (or old architecture in general) is the amount care taken during construction. These details are amazing and they get me every time.
Since we couldn’t go up, we opted to continue walking along the Seine towards the Louvre. My sister and I had both been before, but Joe hadn’t. The Louvre itself is a bit overwhelming so I thought it would be best to spare Joe from the experience while going on 2ish hours of sleep on a plane. We ended up just walking around outside and exploring the exterior’s details.
We had clearly exhausted ourselves, so the three of us went back to the apartment to freshen up. Later in the evening, we got to enjoy Thanksgiving (a real Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and a ton of sides) with my uncle, Steve, Joan, and her family. It was very low-key and perfect for us since we were basically running off fumes at that point. It was a wonderful meal and the company was fabulous. All in all, a good start to Paris.
What did you all do for this past weekend? Any fellow travelers or did you enjoy being at home??