It all started on one afternoon, in a way that went something like this:
Bedroom. Clothes strewn about. Suitcase half-packed. Spotlight on middle of room. Alisa is pacing back and forth, throwing beauty products into suitcase, then taking them out. Process is repeated several times until eventually, visibly exasperated, Alisa gives up and continues pacing without packing anything at all.
Boyfriend: What's wrong?
Alisa: I don't know anything. I don't know what to pack, I don't know what to wear, I don't know. I've had the worst day of my life, and right now, I don't even want to go. I don't want to get on that plane. I don't want to say bye to you-
Boyfriend: Can we sit down for a minute?
Alisa: I don't have time to sit down. I have to-
Boyfriend: Just for a minute. I have to tell you something.
Alisa: I'm really going to miss my plane-
Boyfriend:I'm coming to Paris with you.
And in that moment, everything stopped. It was more than I could've ever expected to hear.
Then, everything started spinning. There was a huge hurdle ahead of us: the flight to Paris was out of another city, so he basically needed to drive all the way home, find his passport, fly from our city to the next, and make it onto the same flight as mine - if there would even be seats left. As I attempted to come to terms with basically the best news of my life, my guy raced home - except it was rush hour, and he lives about 40 minutes away. I don't remember the flight to Montreal very well because I was sweating harder than Rob Ford around...never mind, and then it was final boarding call for the flight to Paris, and he still wasn't there. I begged the airline representatives to wait just a little longer. They, of course, reassured me that an international-bound two-storey plane of 400 people would absolutely wait as long as it took for a random last-minute passenger to tie his shoe-laces at the security check. I, of course, was about to cry. "He should be in the airport already- he'll be here!" I told them, and they smiled and nodded. They then urged me to board, as I was now the last person in line, and would surely be reaping the luggage storing repercussions of foregone first dibs, and I begrudgingly handed them my ticket. I would be alone in Paris, after all.
I hope they at least show Ricky Gervais movies on the plane, I thought to myself, that's all I've got now.
But then, I heard his footsteps. He was running to our gate, wearing a pair of shiny dress shoes and holding his passport and a little bag. He made it. He actually made it, and the check-in crew, who had by now decided that I was the sixth-sense guy of relationships (I see boyfriend) were so relieved that I wasn't a maniac that they sat us together. I don't think that I will ever witness or live out a more magical moment. Here we are, in our cozy Air Canada seats, at take-off:
When we arrived in Paris, I quickly learned what a French Starbucks coffee size is like: a thimble. Not nearly enough to resuscitate us from the jetlag, we opted for something a bit more practical: wine.
|My new favorite $6 wine|
And of course, before we had even checked into our little hotel room, we picked up a collection of warm baguette, cured meat, cheese, and figs. We spread our findings out on our lovely bed, and began to absorb the reality of what had just happened. Ten hours ago I was sitting on the bed hating my upcoming solo stint in France, and now here we were, watching Parisians walk through the narrow streets outside our little balcony.
|Loved the wall-paper and matching curtains!|
|The view outside our window|
One of the best things about our hotel (Hotel Villa Opera Lamartine) were the many flower shops nearby. I'm still amazed by how common peonies are in Paris. I can't remember the last time I saw such an abundance of them in Ottawa, but here they were readily available and about the price of my new favorite bottle of wine (bragged about, above).
|My heart is racing just looking at these|
And speaking of abundance, I've never seen as many cheese varieties as I have here. It got to the point where I felt too overwhelmed to try anything at all, and ended up buying a heart-shaped cheese from the grocery store because at least heart=love and you can't go wrong with love.
Nothing was quite as exciting as the éclairs, however. We had heard about L'Éclair de génie (14 Rue Pavée) being the top place for 'designer' éclairs, so of course
we I had to try them, and we certainly weren't disappointed. We found a secret courtyard, opened the box, and ate all of these in one sitting. #noshame
And sometimes (every day, three times a day, roughly) we would thug out on macarons from McDonald's. Yeah. Let that sink in.
We spent our four little days exploring grand, historically-entwined buildings such as this one (I mean window shopping at Boulevard Haussman)...
And eating ice cream on the Pont des Arts, while admiring the myriad of love locks...
|So hope, such lock|
And drinking giant frothy cappuccinos, tempting each other with the thought of smoking a cigarette but deciding it's not worth the glamour...
And walking through a fair in the Jardin des Tuileries...
And just when you think you're feeling inspired enough, you catch a glimpse of this guy and...wow. How majestic.
|A stunning view of that ol' thang from the boat|
A long, long time ago I wrote about an amazing restaurant I visited, and even included some photos. We decided to have our pre-anniversary dinner (we needed an excuse) at Bistroy Les Papilles once more, and hilariously enough, the menu was exactly the same as last time. I really can't complain - it was unbelievable both times: tomato soup with lardons, boeuf bourgignon, a cheese and prune platter, and a pot de crème (not pictured). Can French cuisine ever be done wrong? Je ne crois pas.
Les Buttes Chaumont is another place that will forever have a green little place in my heart. Long pathways guide you to and around the center, where a stone 'gazebo' stays perched on top of a green, earthy cliff.
The day before my sweetie left, we went for a walk there and the day was so perfectly warm and sunny that we decided to have a picnic right by the water. Of course, to me that just meant we would buy more macarons, and we did, and it was glorious. Except I got so relaxed that I forgot to take a picture of anything aside from my feet.