The one you’ve all been waiting for

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

Return of l’Américaine

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

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

Not an optimist [UPDATED]

UPDATE 3/14/16:

It has come to my attention that this blog post fell flat like a pancake crêpe and/or totally confused everyone. Here are some clarifications to hopefully make it all make more sense.

  1. This post was written in total snark and sarcasm.
  2. Everything is fine.

For a bit of context, this post was intended to be a funny, quick exploration of French vs. American perspective and attitude. It was written in response to a funny exchange with my Frenchman in which, after reassuring me that X would be fine, Y would be fine, and Z would all be fine, he also expressed “I am not just being optimiste, I am just realiste.” I interpreted this moment as a silly, succinct example of one of the many differences between Americans and the French, in the way he felt compelled to clarify to me that he was not, in fact, being optimistic (apparently a bad thing), he was just being realistic when he said everything was going to work out perfectly smoothly.

I thought it was funny. Apparently everyone else did not. Continue reading

I’m still here, I swear.

I’ve been slacking.

I was supposed to write about Christmas in Paris, but Christmas came and went and I didn’t get around to it. Then I thought, hey fine – I’ll write about Christmas and New Year’s Eve together, that’ll be great. Then New Year’s came and went and I didn’t get around to it.

I’d like to say that I’ve just been so busy with my fabulous life and that I was just “living it to the fullest” so much and that’s why. But that’s not exactly true.

True fact: I have been busy. True fact: it is not with fabulous life-living. It’s with paperwork and planning and flights home and trying to find enough sweaters to not freeze to death in this arctic New England weather we’re so nicely experiencing just as soon as I got back here.

So here’s your quick recap of the past couple of weeks, in photo/summary format. Continue reading

(Festive) Scenes from Paris

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Now that it’s December, it’s officially acceptable to talk about the holidays, put up decorations, and listen to Christmas carols.

I make an effort not to think about Christmas in November, certainly not before Thanksgiving. Not an easy feat here in Paris, where Thanksgiving isn’t a thing, and therefore creates no barrier between fall and SANTAAAAAA! We started seeing holiday decorations by early November. It was too soon. But now! Now it’s time 🙂

Much like last time I posted a Scenes from Paris, this isn’t a real post. It’s an excuse to share more pictures that I otherwise might not have reason to sneak into the blog.

It’s Christmas in Paris!

Nutcracker Paris Ferris Wheel Continue reading

Thanksgiving in Paris

I’m not usually one for gushing, “let’s go around the table” declarations of what we’re grateful for at Thanksgiving dinner. To be honest, if someone asked I usually wouldn’t know what to say (I would probably make some snarky comment). If you suggested it with my family, we would all probably awkwardly ignore it and try to move on. We’re not touchy-feely types.

But this year, there is so much to be thankful for. I’m thankful for my safety, after a stressful and tragic few weeks. I’m thankful for my family – awkward as we are – for being totally on board with Project: Elizabeth Moves to France. I’m thankful for my job, giving me the ability and opportunity to keep it and still be here.

And I’m thankful that I get to live in this amazing city:

Notre Dame Paris

Francegiving: An American Thanksgiving in Paris

I may be in France, but there was no way I was going to miss out on one of the best holidays of the year. A holiday entirely devoted to food? Impossible. Continue reading

Back to life

This weekend, we went back to life as we know it here in Paris.

Sure, it’s been over a week now since the attacks at the Bataclan, restaurant terraces, and Stade de France, and they’ve caught, arrested, and identified many people involved in those terrible events. But few people are sitting at cafes and restaurants like usual, and even the plaza underneath the Eiffel Tower is basically empty when it’s usually so packed you can hardly take two steps before having to dodge another tourist, another picture-taker. Even the sketchy men hawking trinkets and keychains seem a bit sad with no one to harass for a euro.

Eiffel Tower blue blanc rouge lights Continue reading

Paris, November 13, 2015

It’s usually around this time that I sit down to write about my weekend, show pictures of the places I’ve been, the things I’ve seen. Obviously, this weekend is different.

This weekend, there were no long walks along the Seine. No strolls past the Tour Eiffel. No lighthearted, smiling wanders from quartier to quartier doing the early Christmas shopping we had planned to do.

This weekend was heavyhearted. Continue reading

A Weekend in Deauville

After two whole weeks spent in Paris, it seemed the most French thing to do was to need a vacation. We have a weekend in Bruges coming up, but two more weeks was just too far away. So off to Deauville we went!

Deauville Trouville

It’s the off-season in this beachy, seaside town in northern France and since we were only planning to go for one night, we splurged on a great rate at a fancy shmancy hotel front and center on the beach. Our view – and our room – was spectacular. Way more than we could have asked for, and we took full advantage. Continue reading