Parents in Paris!

Remember that time I got my parents to fly all the way across the ocean to see me get married and visit Paris? I know that was 3 weeks ago and it seems like I forgot but I swear I didn’t.

It was a crazy, full, busy week but it was so much fun!

Let me set the scene: my mother, a big European traveler in her day and, honestly, the reason my brain has been full of travel dreams since I was about 10 years old, hadn’t been to France in over 40 years. My father, on the other hand, had a brand-spanking new passport in hand, having never flown so far before in his life. Things were about to get very exciting. Continue reading

Packed & Ready

I’m heading back to Paris!

I can finally say I’m going back – to Paris, to my apartment, to my cat, and of course to the fiancé I left behind for nearly 3 months to wallow through the winter without me.

For the entire time I’ve been home, there has been some measure of uncertainty. Not knowing when I could go back, not knowing if my paperwork was going through, not being able to tell anyone at work I was planning on going back… It has been exhausting. When the pieces finally all fell into place and I not only had solid plans but could share them? That was a big day. And once I was able to tell my team and give my notice a huge weight was lifted and I finally felt like I could enjoy this a little. Not that quitting my job didn’t come with its own set of stressors, but I wasn’t keeping secrets anymore and that was a relief.

Speaking of paperwork, I can also finally celebrate all of it going through! We got our marriage stuff in order… I got my visa application in order and received it… all that’s left is to get on a plane and go to the city hall! Continue reading

An American in… Bruges?

I have been dying to go to Bruges for years. I tried to go once before, but was unable to make it happen. So once I knew I was moving to Paris and Frenchman and I would be making plenty of little trips, the very first one on my list was Bruges!

Bruges Brugge train station

It was a short trip – 2 nights and 2 very full days – but it’s a small town and we made the most of it. Bruges (or Brugge) is a beautiful little medieval city with some of the coolest architecture. It’s also home to beer, chocolate, lace, and waffles. I think you can guess which 3 of those things we focused on! (Hint: not the lace) Continue reading

Oh the Places I’ll Go

Being the insane over-organizer that I am (thanks, Mom), I have an entire spreadsheet dedicated to restaurants I want to try. There are columns for the name, the location, the type of food, a dollar-sign system for rating how expensive it is, a column for checking off when I’ve been there, and a field for notes to keep in mind before and after visiting.

As crazy as it sounds, it has actually been really helpful over the years. Who doesn’t walk around their city and spot a cool cafe or restaurant and think “I’ll have to remember that!” – and then promptly forget all about it. You forget the name, or you forget where you were wandering when you saw it… just enough to make it impossible to Google later. … or is that just me? Continue reading