bonjour de paris!
Many of you are amazing guessers -- yes, we're in the beautiful City of Light, Paris!*
How we ended up here for our 10th anniversary (which is today, incidentally!**) is sort of a long story: when we married 10 years ago, we vowed at that time that we would celebrate our 10th anniversary in Antigua, where the sister hotel to the one in which we got married in London resides; renew our vows on the beach, that sort of thing. However, as time neared to plan our holiday, the thought of going back to the Caribbean for our 10th anniversary lost its lustre for me. You see, because I'm from the Caribbean, returning to that part of the world felt a bit too much like going home for our anniversary; and while I do love home, it wasn't exactly the adventure I was looking for to celebrate our 10th. (Similarly, because Marcus is English, Great Britain was a no-go for us, as well.) We really wanted to do something new and special, so we began thinking of exotic locations for our special day -- crazy places, like the Galapagos! Or Easter Island! Or Machu Picchu! You know, somewhere neither of us had ever been before! Somewhere intrepid! We knew that it would be a stretch, but we figured you only celebrate your 10th anniversary once, after all!
So we both started researching, and for various reasons, none of the ideas we each came up with worked out. Until suddenly, one day Marcus said, "I want to go to Paris."
"Seriously?" I was incredulous. "I mean, don't get me wrong, I'll never say no to Paris, but both of us have been there before." (Paris is one of the perks to living in London -- it's a quick train ride away.) "It's not exactly someplace new."
"I do not care. I'm in the mood for Paris."
So Paris it was. And the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea: while it's true that we've both been here before, neither of us had been here together; moreover, since we knew we'd bring Alex with us, and because Alex has repeatedly announced that she dreams of being a fashion designer in Paris (coupled with a module at her school this past year on Monet, about whom she has become surprisingly passionate), we figured it could be a great experience for her, as well. Thanks to the internet, we found and rented a tiny apartment (much more cost-effective than booking a hotel) in Montmartre; and once we arrived, we realized that the apartment is smack in the middle of all the locations where Amélie was shot. Since Amélie is the first movie Marcus and I ever saw together when we were dating, we knew we'd made the right decision.
And so, here we are. We're really taking in everything the city has to offer, trying to strike the perfect balance between seeing all the touristy stuff, and experiencing Paris like (albeit-very-little-French-speaking) locals: cooking meals in our little flat, buying groceries and baguettes and having picnics, that sort of thing. And of course, we're trying to soak up as much culture as possible. For instance, our first night, we managed to get Alex to try escargot (which both Marcus and I love):
She popped it into her mouth, and then made a face that, for the life of me, I couldn't read. She swallowed.
"Are you okay?"
"Would you like another one?"
I gave her another, which she duly chewed and swallowed again, without changing her confounding expression.
"Well? Do you like them?"
"Yes," she said, her face remaining weirdly contorted, "I definitely do. But also while I'm eating them, I'm totally grossing myself out."
That's my girl.
Escargot officially eaten, she was far more unrestrained in her enthusiasm for the dancers we encountered in front of L'Arc de Triomphe:
Definitely more her thing.
With that, I'm going to return to enjoying our holiday. I may share a few more photos/thoughts about our vacation over the next week (and I'll definitely keep #instacamp-ing -- some of your shots I've seen so far for this week's prompt are amazing), but I'll save the bulk of the images for when we return to Houston.
Until then, à bientôt!
* Sophie Wuzik, you were the first person to guess correctly yesterday -- congratulations! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can get you squared away with your prize.
** Updated: Here's how we celebrated our anniversary today.