Relationship problems? Go to Paris. Need to bring back the romance in your relationship? Go to Paris. Looking for love? Go to Paris. I am convinced that the city of love could make a gay fall in love with a straight and the other way around. It’s that romantic, yes. Everywhere you turn people are kissing…parks, bridges, the metro, sidewalks, cafes, bathroom lines…everywhere. The city oozes romance, you feel it the minute you step out of your airport cab and you can not escape being swept up in the midst of it all. It’s the most romantic place…ever.
Being in Paris with the person you love is, in the simplest form, a treat. I do understand that a trip to Paris is not realistic for all people (It’s not for me!) but I promise, with all of my hopeless romantic heart, that it will be worth all the energy and effort put into saving enough money to make this dream become reality. Listed below are my suggestions of what to do while in the city of love.
1. Montmartre-Love. Love. Love. Take the steep steps up to this magical little section of the city. The streets are filled with artists, vendors, and people, both tourists and locals, many of who are standing outside of quaint bars having a mid day drink. While you are up there, walk around Sacre Coeur…there is a small park with a beautiful view of the city on the backside.
2. Cafe Lunch– Enjoy an extra long lunch (complete with wine) on the patio of any one of the city’s cafes. Don’t forget to wrap up lunch with a cigarette (why not, it’s Paris!) and an espresso.
3. Luxembourg Park-Busy and beautiful, take a stroll through this park that is filled with people reading, writing, and relaxing. Children line up to purchase ice cream from vendors, teenagers play frisbee and soak up the sun with friends, and lovers lay in the grass. Partake in the action or observe while passing through…either way, it’s a must.
4. The Latin Quarter-Quintessential Paris with it’s quaint streets lined with boutiques, cafes, and shops. This charming part of the city is one of my favorites and has a constant buzz at all hours of the day. Once my boyfriend left town I changed hotels and stayed here for a week. I roamed the streets night and day, falling in love with the city each and every time.
5. Pere -Lachaise Cemetery-I came here once I was by myself in Paris. If you find old cemeteries to be enchanting and beautiful, this is the perfect place to wonder alone. It’s almost entirely shaded by large trees and the grave stones date back hundreds of years. Turn on your music and get lost in your thoughts and in the maze of dated beauty.
6. Eiffel Tower– My boyfriend informed me that were were not going to the Eiffel Tower because it was “SO touristy”. I found this to be absolutely hilarious. I quickly brought him back to reality and made him realize that he was not quite the local he thought he was after spending a whopping 10 days there. I did not care to take the time (since we only had a couple of days) to go up in the tower, but wanted to get there to do a quick couple of pictures that would go on my bookshelf. Paris pictures are forever and a picture or thirty three with the ET in the background is without question, a must.
7. Ile de la Cite– The birth place of the city, this small island is situated in the middle of Paris and is home to Notre-Dame Cathedral. The most memorable part of the trip was sitting on the bank of the Seine with my boyfriend, sharing a bottle of wine and a cheese sandwich, while watching the river boat cruises pass by slowly. It was a perfect hour and a half that we sat there and talked about how amazing it was that we were there sharing that moment together. A true “thank you God” moment. Head to the tip of the island and you will find a small shop that sells bottles of wine (twist off and they supply the cups) and snacks **Suggestion-If you are with your lover, bring a metal lock. At the top of the stairs there is a bridge where people write or etch their names and the date on a lock, secure it to the bridge, and throw the key in the river (ugh, isn’t that SO romantic?!).
8. Hemingway Bar, Ritz Carlton– Paris is all about indulgence and extravagance. One of the big indulgences during our time in the city was heading to the Ritz after a romantic dinner and having drinks at the Hemingway Bar, where Hemingway spent a great deal of his time while in Paris. We sat in the cozy, intimate bar and talked about our trip while sipping $45 dirty martinis. Ridiculous? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely. The Ritz Carlton Paris is one of the most famous hotels in the world and to have the opportunity to be there and spend time in the most famous bar in Paris is a definite must…especially if you, like dream world Brittany, enjoy putting on a dress and heels and pretending for a couple of hours that you can afford a standard guest room that costs around $1000 a night. Oui, Oui!
Paris is love and love is Paris, so go. Follow my list of suggestions and there is no doubt that you will leave in a cloud of love. What happens after Paris? There are no guarantees, but the romance is worth the risk so soak it up and have a little too much champagne along the way!
*Suggestion-Always be sure to get a couple solo shots with the Eiffel Tower. Remember, you are on an absolute love high in Paris and when you get home reality does settle in and things may not work out. You will always want a Paris picture for your bookshelf, so out of respect for your future spouse, get some sans the lover.
Yesterday morning I woke up in my dress and heels, on a mattress with no sheets, which was in a loft with no furniture. I thought those days were over and it was a rough reminder that I am no longer 20 years old. No, I was not in a crack den. The apartment belongs to a friend’s boyfriend who moved in the day before he left for Nepal where he is currently (see what a difference a little explaining can do??). The upside of the morning was stopping for breakfast at Rooster. Service was slow, but the food (breakfast #7) and my chai tea latte were amazing. It was everything this girl’s body and soul needed…besides a long soak in the tub and some sleep, which came very shortly after.
Wedding- My one and only sister is getting married on October 1st. This is a very big deal and I am very nervous. I am nervous, not because I have a problem speaking in front of crowds, but because I am an incredibly emotional person.
*Side note- A highly recommended therapist once said to me, “Brittany, you are very emotional and that means you are probably a very good sexual partner”. I was 17 years old, had just come from tennis practice, and had never been to a therapist. He also told me I had nice legs. That was my first and last time with him or any other therapist at that…besides our family therapist but that’s a story in itself.
Wedding continued- My nervousness for this wedding stems from the fact that not only am I very emotional, but so is my sister, mother, father (most emo of all), aunt, uncle (big tough guy, total basket case), both grandmothers, and all great aunts. Needless to say, I come from a family of emotionally charged people and I’ve got to get ahold of mine before my big, shining moment! MOH Mission: Find a way to drain the ducts.
Option one: Drink a lot of champagne- Could make me even more emo…too risky.
Option two: Take a Valium- Could make me emo-less…no go on the V.
Option three: Fake Laryngitis-9th grade, World History, Doc Holiday…first oral presentation ever. Throw in some popular junior and senior guys and you’ve got one intimidated young lady. About to vomit, I approached Doc’s desk and informed (whispered) to him that I, for some reason, had lost my voice?! CLEARLY he would understand that I was unable to give my oral presentation that day and postpone it until next period. Did he? No. What did he do? He took my report from my hand and, as I was sure going to rip it up, went over to the podium and read my entire 6 page report to the class. That afternoon Doc Holiday gave me a whole new confidence that I took and still run with. Lesson Learned: If you believe you can get away with something, chances are you will. However, can not pull this at my sister’s wedding. Ironically, one of the guys I was so nervous to speak in front of will be in the audience. Full circle, people.
Everyone keeps telling me that if I recite my speech over and over again that the speech will just become words and the tears will stop, but every single time I say it in my head I start to cry….every…single…time. In my car, in cabs, on planes, in the mirror, in the bath, in the kitchen, in my bed…everywhere. I wrote my speech on my flight to Paris (Yes that felt glamorous to say) and I was literally sobbing (actual noises) while typing it out. I am ninety three percent positive the woman next to me thought that I was writing my fiances’ eulogy (no, I am not engaged, but it was that intense).
Final Decision: Going eau natural. No booze, no pills, no faux illness. Natural is better and even if it takes me a box of tissues and some pride (ugly crier). Cheers!
If you know me, you know that I love my things. I love to be surrounded by my books, pictures, candles…all of it. Since I travel so much, any time spent at home is absolutely precious and I spend lots of it in my cozy bedroom. It’s on the fourth floor of a very old building that used to be a schoolhouse in the 1800’s. I have a little corner room which is, by far, the coziest room I have ever lived in and I am absolutely in love with it. Upon my arrival next week I have a project that I am so very excited to get started on…a beautiful vanity. A place where I can display my jewelry, perfume, makeup, and also get ready for evenings out on the town. I am thinking all things antique…table, seat, mirror, and lamp. As usual, my inspiration for the room is Anthropology…the soft femininity of shabby chic decor is just so romantic, soft, and inviting. Come, Tuesday I will be perusing Antique Row, Cherokee Street in Saint Louis, and am beyond excited to search for the perfect pieces to put together this special addition to Rapunzel’s Room.
And, I’m back. Forgive me for my absence, I got a little wrapped up in a world I often visit and occasionally forget to leave….but I’m officially grounded and it feels nice. A quick peek into my little world these past few months…
Home– I survived my 68 day tour of the island of Curacao. The following I will never again take for granted: My bed, Starbucks, family happy hour, cloudy days, having a kitchen, my car, Target, trees (non palm), fall/winter clothing, and soup…big pots of soup (especially making it).
Paris– I could never insult my trip by simply including it in an entry, Paris deserves its very own…more to come on the trip of love.
San Francisco– This magical place has not left my heart nor my mind since last October. I fell in love, left, and will be making my way back. I mean, a city where a girl (or a boy) can wear leggings, boots and scarves almost all year?! Heaven! I envision a charming, shabby chic, cozy apartment (I’ve looked on Craigslist, realistically I would be in a rat den), market Saturday’s prancing around town, picking up groceries, and taking pictures with my serious, photography girl camera that I will get this year for Christmas (*Mom/Dad Nikon d300s*), outdoor concerts, and wine country Sundays! Ugh…die, die, die at the thought of it and will be reborn when life in SF is no longer a dream, but my very own Anthropology-esque reality!
St. Lucia-Call me Caribbean Queen, because I am back! Four weeks here and nine in Curacao mean this little lady has spent THIRTEEN weeks on the beach JUST this year. If I don’t see the Sun, sand, or a strawberry daiquiri for the the next twenty, you will not hear a complaint from me! (I will be home on Sunday, I will be home on Sunday, I will be home on Sunday)
Wedding– My big sister is getting married on October 1st. This is a huge deal because:
1. She is my only sister.
2. I am the MOH (Maid of Honor, daaaaa…I googled it about a year ago)
3. This is probably the one and only time I will be an MOH (Little bit bratty/Little bit flakey)
4. I have not been in a wedding since my big debut as a flower girl at the age of five. I was stunning.
5. Speech. Speech. Speech. This has been on my mind since the age of thirteen when I was informed that all MOH’s give a speech.
Just to emphasize, this wedding is a very big deal (in my world). I will keep you posted.
Fall. Is. Coming.