Sunday, July 12, 2015

10 FOR 10: Trip #5
London & Paris

"Paris was a universe whole and entire unto herself,
hollowed and fashioned by history..."
Anne Rice, Interview with a Vampire


Our fifth 10 FOR 10 trip was one for only AC and I, and one that required plenty of advance planning.  We were to spend a few days in London, with the highlight seeing our favorite football team, Arsenal, play, and then head to Paris for a few days, including Valentine's Day.  We ended up traveling back to London at the end of the trip so that AC could do some work, but that meant we were able to see Arsenal play again, which was just fine with me.  

I will be honest, other than that we went to the games and spent some much-needed time with local friends, I don't remember much of what we did in London.  I barely remember exactly what we did in Paris, because much of my memory of this trip is clouded by the dog's problems back home.  I do know that we enjoyed walking around various parts of the city and having some much-needed time to really focus on each other.

In Paris we purposely did not do every tourist activity, because we hope to go back with SC in the future.  We walked around the gardens at the Rodin museum, and made jokes about the number of sculptures that seem to have been done by someone other than Rodin, laughing at how we have no knowledge of how such large, elaborate works of art are actually made.  We climbed the stairs to the top of the Arc de Triomphe and in a very touristy fashion marveled at the traffic patterns. We leisurely shopped on the Champs-Élysées.  We spent a day walking in Montmatre, and stopped to have coffee in the square when the rain started, and laughed at the other tourists with their cheap umbrellas that didn't begin to hold up to the wind and rain.  

We made it up all three hundred stairs at Sacré-Cœur, and marveled at the view.  We watched the line of people standing in the rain, waiting to go up Notre Dame, and just listened to the bells ring as we chatted and had more coffee.  We walked through the Jardin des Tuileries, though nothing was in bloom.  We thoroughly enjoyed the Musée de l'Orangerie, and spent a significant amount of time viewing Monet's Water Lilies.  The vastness of these paintings is overwhelming and extraordinary.

We did not go up the Eiffel Tower, as that is one of the things I want to experience with SC, but the location of our hotel meant that we walked past it every day, at different times of day.  We also did not go to any of the other museums (even though we had initially planned to), instead opting to spend our days outside, walking around, and stopping more than once for coffee.  We also ate so much delicious food, and enjoyed the ability to have a long meal with no one rushing us in and out.  All in all, it was mostly a relaxing, romantic trip.

In case you missed the first post ...

Next July, AC and I will celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary, and as such have been discussing what sort of big trip to take.  However, it occurred to me that we typically take some pretty big trips every year, sometimes as a tag-along when AC works, and sometimes just using all the points and miles he has amassed from his work travels.  I couldn't help but wonder if another trip would really be that special and different.  So, I came up with the idea that instead of just one more trip, we should take ten trips to celebrate our years together.  I told AC, and told him that it didn't have to be just him and me (because SC is also part of our lives, obviously), but that I wanted to take ten purposeful trips, that are focused on celebrating us (and our family) as much as we can.  I told him that they didn't all have to be long or complicated trips, though we had already talked about a few places that will be, and we can start now (in our tenth year) and run through the end of 2015 so that we didn't take too much time away from work.  So, hopefully, these ten trips will make this a celebratory year, one that will stand out for us as we look back (in another ten years).

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