So I didn’t drop off the planet…

19 Feb

But I did leave the country.  Voluntarily.

My husband decided to surprise me with a trip – to here –

Not so crappy Instagram photo

Not so crappy Instagram photo


Yes, Paris.  My first time there.  It was a surprise trip that included nice touches like a direct flight (because despite all my world traveling, I kind of hate flying, and by flying, I really mean just the take off and turbulence), champagne that turned out to be expensive, lots of Metro rides, and really sore feet.

A brief recap of the trip includes…

Getting both rained and hailed upon while trying to get to the hotel – something that hasn’t happened since Ireland.

Standing in the Louvre staring at a painting as Josh commented “Wow, there is a whole lot of decapitation happening in this painting.”  It’s true.  There was.

Learning that Nutella crepes weren’t quite as good as a giant warm donut frosted with Nutella (that culinary gift happened in Rome.)  And being okay with that.  Because otherwise, I’d be making a Nutella crepe right now.

Geeking out in the Musee d’Orsay – between Monet, Dega, Van Gogh, the giant clock, the views out across Paris and the architecture of the building itself – everything about it is wonderful.

Getting cursed by a gypsy woman because I wouldn’t play along with her “I found a gold ring, here, you have it…now give me some money because I let you keep the (actually fake) gold band.”  Not cursed out…cursed. Or at least, it sounded like a curse.  We’ll see if a plague hits the household.

Going into the coolest Metro stop near Notre Dame – it was like walking into a 1930’s sci-fi movie set.

Wishing someone sold the Notre Dame gargoyles. I looked for them, but sadly, couldn’t find them.

Walking into a store that sold cooking utensils and realizing it probably hasn’t changed in 100 years – tall wooden shelves and bins, narrow aisles, items stacked up to the ceiling, a whole section of wisks in all different sizes, copper pans stacked up – it was amazing!

The meal we had at Le Plomb du Cantal – a little restaurant near our hotel.  Cheesy garlic mashed potatoes, we bow to thee.

Warm goats cheese…Europe does so many good things with warm goats cheese.

Walking.  So. Much. Walking.

Olympics in French.  They seriously do say “Zut alors!” and “Ooo…lalalala…” and “Formidable!”.

The very nice people who agreed to speak English to us in stores, shops, and cafes.  (Josh does speak a bit of French.  I, on the other hand, remember almost nothing of my 4 years of bad French classes.  Top 40 pop songs from 1988?  Whole different story.)

Getting a few days with just the husband, relaxing and recharging.

Returning home to my kids, who were all happy in their own ways to see us.

Knowing that they don’t have school the rest of the week, which means I have time to fight off jet lag before dealing with real life again!

discreet selfie at the Louvre

discreet selfie at the Louvre



10 Responses to “So I didn’t drop off the planet…”

  1. franhunne4u February 20, 2014 at 12:01 am #

    Have only been to Paris once – on a drive through with the grandparents – and my French was nearly non-existing … still I was the only one who spoke it at all so I had to ask for directions. Well, let’s say we finally made it to Spain …

    • franhunne4u February 20, 2014 at 12:02 am #

      I envy you for your museum visits – and for that kitchen shop …

  2. Marci (@TheMarciFactor) February 20, 2014 at 4:25 am #

    Wow, such a wonderful gift! I envy the museum visits also! I’m a giant nerd, but my husband would have probably found a way to fit in a sports game of some sort (which I don’t mind).

    • phoebz4 February 20, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

      Oh, my husband would do the same – but there wasn’t a lot of sports happening (though the Six Nations Rugby tournament was about to happen or happening.)

  3. Amy Shelley February 20, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    I was lucky enough to spend a week in Paris and I loved every minute of it. Lots of walking, yes, but so many nice people and amazing sites and the museums ~ oh my goodness, the museums!
    If you are still interested, there are actually quite a few Notre Dame gargoyle replicas to be found online. I know it isn’t the same as having one from France, but they are out there if you want them.

    • phoebz4 February 20, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

      There’s actually a gargoyle store in Seattle! I’ll have to make a trip and see what they have 😉

  4. Amanda February 20, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    Paris! Just the thought of going to those museums has me nearly drooling on my keyboard. But to prove I cannot hate you for your good fortune, I’ll tell you about Design Toscano, an outfit in Chicago that sells reproductions of historic gargoyles as well as modern ones. A small version of their cast of the Notre Dame Spitting Gargoyle has graced my computer desk for years. Just click on their “Dragons and Gargoyles” section; he’s in there.

    • phoebz4 February 20, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

      Thanks! There’s a shop like that in Seattle too that I’ve been dying to go to. But I will keep that one in mind if they don’t have the ND ones!

  5. jodi February 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    Lucky girl! I’m still waiting for my husband to surprise me with this trip 😉

  6. lexiemom February 25, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

    Tres bon!

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