23 October 2011

Quarante à Paris

Who's got the best husband in the world?  Moi!  That's who.

My husband Christian, a man of many fine qualities, has never been known as a good keeper of surprises.  For example, at 11am on December 13th, 1994, he purchased a ring with the intention of proposing to me twelve days later, on Christmas morning.  By 9pm on the night of December 13th we were engaged.  Come to think of it, in twenty years, we have not once woken up on Christmas morning to an unwrapped present under the tree.

Once we made it to December 24th, but that was a fluke.

So the man gets big props for planning and executing a birthday trip that remained a surprise until the moment of departure, when the lady at the airport check-in desk asked "What's your destination today?" and he answered "Paris."  At which point there was much jumping up and down and joyful squealing on my part.

For weeks he's been leaving fake leads and false clues.  Notes saying "cancel donkey ride" and "book balloon trip" casually left on the table.  Learn to Speak Spanish books lying around.  Computer screens have been left open to "Grand Canyon Tour"  and "Bahamian Cruise Line" pages.  Each day he asked me if the Nevada tourism board had returned his call or if we'd gotten anything from Costa Rican Jungle Tours in the mail.

He nearly broke one Saturday afternoon over Mexican food and margaritas, "Tell me now if you know because I am dying to talk about it."  But keep the secret he did and I have to say I enjoyed the buildup almost as much as the surprise itself.  And his patience paid off - I had no time to fret about travel plans and was walking on cloud nine the whole weekend.  We're still operating under the "he can do no wrong" policy.

But enough about him...let's talk about Paris!!

Chris and I usually travel as cheaply as possible, which includes staying at hostels.  But when you turn 40 you deserve a little something special.

Which meant this charming boutique hotel.  The tony Hôtel L'Addresse.  Ooh la la!  Our room was a chocolaty little gem on the top floor, known as the Chocolate Satin Room.  Sigh.

Small by some standards, spacious by Paris's.  And look!  Luxe bathrobes on the bed! And a window we could fling open wide to look out over rooftops!  And what else could we see out that window?

The Eiffel Tower!  Sure, just the tip, but with something so beautiful, the tip is enough.

Especially when you could see the tip all lit up and sparkling every hour.  Hôtel L'Addresse is in Paris's swanky 17th arrondissement (or district) just down the street from....

The Arc de Triomphe!  BAM!  Just like that, within minutes of arriving at our home for the weekend, we've seen and mentally hugged two of Paris's icons.  Let's get moving!

The 17th (and neighboring 8th with its Champs Elysee) arrondissements are lovely, genteel neighborhoods for strolling.

And even nicer, there was a Metro stop just around the corner, on a main line, for easy access to the rest of the city.  Much like New York, Paris is a city that never runs out of faces and personalities to show you. So stay tuned for Quarante a Paris - Part Deux in which our heroine meets an international man of mystery, a smart French woman with a big heart, three tipsy Musketeers and a dead rock star.



Tina Haltigan said...

I missed your blog post Kelly. Glad you had a good time. I meant to call you this weekend to here some stories. Chris you done good bro!!

maryanne B. said...

this is great. keep the story going...