i had been to europe before and spent time exploring the history of spain, the beauty of southern france and the glamour of brussels. europe has, while cliche, a very old-world charm about it. you see the stories, the tragedy, the triumph in its architecture. you see the care and the pride that went into creating its cities, the thought.
london, for the most part, didn't feel like europe. it felt like a different country than we were used to. a beautifully different culture than what was our every day in philly, yes. but to me, it didn't feel quite european. even my mister said 'i feel like i'm in a different city, not a different country...' when we were in different parts of london.
europe hit us the minute we stepped into gare du nord in paris. this was the europe i remembered from 2006. the one that felt very familiar, yet still so much out of my comfort zone. the american expectation that everyone should speak english was thrown out after we paced through the train station a couple of times, distracted by the number of romani women who approached and asked us 'sign a petition for deaf people.' honestly, that felt truly european.
so, as we traversed the streets near the the train station, not knowing where we were going, how we were going to get there or how many people would be able to direct us (and after passing a coat in the window of a small european shop that will forever haunt me for not coming home with me), we finally just stopped a cab and said 'to the louvre.'
and to the louvre we went.
but it was tuesday, so it was closed. in fact, all museums were closed on tuesday.
we were on a mission, though, so we didn't let that stop us. after the obligatory photos in front of the glass triangle (we even got polaroids taken!), we decided on a pedi-cab. yes, we were going to see paris on three wheels, guided by our new friend, paul-victor, a young dream-chasing parisian, dressed in stripes and a beret. we could not make this up.
we ended up spending most of our time in paris with paul-victor, yet it was still pretty romantic to be on this unexpected adventure with my love. we saw the champs-elysees, walked along the controversial love-locked pont des-arts bridge, got a belgian waffle to warm up before we went to colette (because he just had to go see colette), ate lunch at this lovely, quaint traditional french restaurant before paul-victor took us to the top of the champs-elysees so we could explore on our own. after 6 hours and stocking up on goodies to bring back at laduree (literally, the birthplace of the best macaroons in the world), we went to say 'hello' to the eiffel tower.
we didn't go up, we just stared at its beauty. together. it was perfect and magical. we got to be in wonder together. and it was all we needed. we saw this little slice of paris together. on this whirlwind of an adventure together, creating our very own history.
so, my dear, if i haven't told you how perfect our day-trip to paris was, i wouldn't have seen it any other way. thank you for being game-on for anything.