Meeting Evan for a week in Paris was absolutely as romantic as it sounds. I felt like a little kid in Disneyland walking around this gorgeous city, everything was beautiful and delightful. The Eiffel Tower at night was just mesmerizing, it really never gets old. I did do a good portion of solo sight-seeing while Evan was working during the days, but that was pretty magical too to peruse a museum for three hours devouring every bit of history I wanted and not thinking for one moment about which one of my offspring was breaking an antique. I loved listening in on everyone's conversations on the metro- mostly because I couldn't understand a word but isn't French lovely! They must have all been saying the nicest things. One morning we did Evan's laundry and watching the mothers walk their tailored trouser-ed and scarf wearing little people off to school was too charming. The scrolling iron balconies and monochromatic architecture make you want to take a photo at every street corner.

Day 1: Getting to the hotel, meeting Evan at a little Parisian cafe for lunch after 2.5 weeks apart (the longest since we've been married!), and then spending the entire evening in line to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It was worth it but... if you can, get your tickets ahead of time because it truly did take 4 hours. I came prepared though and gave Evan the Cliffnotes version of Malcom James' Outliers to keep him entertained.

Day 2: Wandering the city alone had me terrified for a couple of hours as I got stuck on the Metro going the wrong way and  couldn't shut off the flashing sign in my head screaming "WATCH FOR PICKPOCKETS". After a nap I decided to take another stab at it and went out to Sacre Coure- perhaps my favorite view in Paris. It was pouring down rain all week but when I climbed the dome there was a brief half hour where the clouds parted and the sun shown warmly down on the city and it was a moment I will relive over and over again. The church was built as a gift of repentance from the Parisians to the Lord and since it opened someone inside is praying for Him to be understanding of the sins of the world 24 hours a day 7 days a week. There were many people worshiping inside and the nuns were singing, it felt so peaceful and holy especially during the week leading up to Easter.

Day 3: I was using the Rick Steve's Paris book as my planning guide for this trip and the hotel Evan's conference had recommended just happened to be right on Rick's favorite street in Paris- Rue Cler. I loved all his audio guides and spent the morning assembling the perfect Parisian picnic for a lunch date with Ev. I want to move to Paris for the fresh bread and the cheese alone! I have to admit we tried many highly recommended restaurants for dinner and kept thinking we were just picking bad places until it hit us- we don't love french food! Escargot, onion soup, duck, quiche, just not our jam. But the breakfast pastries, macaroons, and the fresh lunches we can really get behind. It is a law that the location produce was grown is prominently displayed at stores and apparently many people will only buy things from France because they want them to be fresh- well it works because our strawberries literally melted in our mouths like cotton candy.  I wandered around Napoleon's tomb and the World War II museum while Evan finished up and then we spent our date night at the Louvre. Don't throw a tomato at me but I was underwhelmed by the experience- the museum is way too big, it felt like a poorly planned maze. Couldn't spend a week in Paris without seeing it though so... check that box.

Day 4: Evan had Thursday off and the rain took the day off too so it was serendipitous planning. We toured Versailles which has been on my bucket list since AP European History class my senior year of high school. I want to go back someday when the gardens are in bloom because I can only imagine how magnificent it really was! This place was a show stopper. Next we climbed the Arc du Triumph and walked the famed Champs Elysees.

Day 5: This is the very first thing I booked way back in January when I found out the trip was really happening- a cooking class! We learned how to make croissants and breakfast pastries and it was everything I dreamed it would be. Wanna know the secret? American butter is made up of 50% fat and 50% water so when you bake, half of the volume evaporates. French butter on the other hand is made up of anywhere from 82%-90% fat!! Can't wait to get myself to a Whole Foods so I can practice. We spent the afternoon at the Orsay Musuem (WAY better than the Louvre in my opinion) and then ate at this Italian restaurant... if you can all it that, it was really a teeny grocery shop with folding tables and chairs set up for dinner time. They were making the noodles and grinding the meet right in front of us!

Day 6- Apparently this is when Easter Break begins for Europe because the crowds suddenly came out in droves. We hit Notre Dame but it was the stained glass at Saint Chapelle that was really unforgettable. A dinner cruise on the Seine was the perfect way to bid farewell to the city of lights! Seriously- looking at that iconic tower never gets old.