This year, for Round 3 of Parents in Paris, we needed to find a new destination.
The first year, we stuck around Paris because there was plenty to see for my Dad’s first time in France and of course there was that little business of my wedding. The second year, we covered a few more of Paris’ Greatest Hits including a visit to Versailles, and then hit the road up to Normandy for a tour of the north’s amazing WWII history.
For this trip, we decided to head south, to Provence.
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It was about this time last year that I unceremoniously and without warning just…. stopped posting. I got a little burned out and was feeling generally uncreative, so the blog took a backseat to enjoying my summer and digging into job hunting.
Now that I’ve resurrected the blog, I thought I’d give you a quick recap of what’s been going on in the last 12 months (backdating slightly to include July): Continue reading →
I have been kind of obsessed with Impressionism since, well, since I learned what Impressionism was. Monet, Degas, Renoir… I was hooked. Something about the colors and blurred perspectives and, I’m sure, the French aesthetic just drew me in in a way no other genre or period of art ever had.
I was lucky Boston’s Museum of Fine Art has a nice collection, but the very first time I went to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and walked into the dedicated Impressionist gallery, I nearly cried. It was overwhelming to be surrounded by the magnificent paintings I had only ever seen in books, and to see them up close, down to every brush stroke. To this day, the d’Orsay holds the title as my favorite museum in Paris.
However, this is not about the Musée d’Orsay. All this is just to set the scene for how excited I was for a visit to Monet’s home and gardens – including the infamous waterlily pond, in Giverny, France. Continue reading →
Warning: this is a long one. But there are lots of photos, I promise
I’m finally recovering from Parents in Paris: Round 2.
After more than a year since their first trip, my parents finally made it back to Paris. We’ve been planning this since last year and I was so excited to see them.
Their first trip to France was a big deal, so getting them back for a second year in a row was a challenge… until we dangled Normandy as an option in front of my dad, a big WWII history buff (like everyone’s dad). From there, convincing them to make the trip was a piece of cake. Continue reading →
It’s January, the start of a new year. Everyone at work, though just back from their holiday breaks, has been talking about what trips and vacations everyone has planned for the year. While I don’t have all of my weekend jaunts and 3-week retreats scheduled just yet, it got me thinking about what’s on deck for 2017.
So here it all is! A schedule of all the events and noteworthy Paris things to come this year that I’ve got on my radar. Give or take a few dozen, that is: Continue reading →
Frenchman and I are officially homeowners!
After months of apartment hunting, filing paperwork, and waiting for French bankers to come back from vacation, it’s finally official.
We’re key-carrying owners of our very own place.
We bought a place in France!
We just barely made it by the skin of our teeth, thanks to the banks losing our paperwork and not mentioning it to us until 3 days before the signing. After running like crazy to get them new papers in the mail, and a few angry emails and phone calls from Frenchman and our notary, we made it just in time, with the expedited wire transfer arriving in the account about an hour before our appointment. Phew.
After all that stress and living in various states of temporary, I’m very much looking forward to having a permanent home with my own stuff and no deadline of having to move out.
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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 →
Or, maybe you haven’t. But I have, so let’s go with that.
I got married!
I’m still saying it because those words – just like “my husband” and “wife” – still has a funny feel in my mouth. I try rolling them around now and then just to see if it feels more normal yet. Status update: still feels funny.
On Monday, April 4th 2016, I married my Frenchman. Yes, I will continue to refer to him as “Frenchman.” Not everything has to change.
We got incredibly lucky with the weather and had a gorgeous, sunny, mild day. Leading up to it, the weather was all over the map vacillating between rainy and horrible and partly sunny and “okay”. I got ready at my parents’ Airbnb apartment around the corner and, with the generous chauffeuring of his brother, we met Frenchman and his family in front of the Mairie in the 15eme. Continue reading →
Where do I even begin?
I’m back in Paris. I quit my job. I’m married.
So much has happened in the last 2 weeks, let alone the last 3 months, that I’ve been virtually nonexistent here. At the time, it made sense to wait on posting. What did I have to say about France when I was sitting in Boston living my normal, boring life? Not to mention it felt a bit too cocky writing about how to get a visa or how to navigate the Mairie to get married when it all wasn’t a sure thing for myself yet. I could just see it being confidently posted and then mere hours later finding out there was a new monkey wrench in my now-wrinkled plan.
And now, all those things have worked out but there are SO many more things to write about! I not only got the paperwork riddles solved, but I actually got married! My parents came to France – my mother for the first time in over 40 years, my father for the first time EVER – and I had the pleasure of showing them all around this amazing city. And just in the last few days I’ve had some lovely adventures seeing new things around Paris with the spectacular weather we had over the weekend. Where to start? Continue reading →
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 →