engagement-moon-ing in paris

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engagement-moon noun: to take a romantic vacation upon becoming engaged. The lobby of The Peninsula Paris was so romantic and ethereal.  The lobby of The Peninsula Paris was so romantic and ethereal.

Paris. PARIS. paaaarrrriiiiiiis. It's someplace I never thought I'd be lucky enough to see. I can remember growing up and dreaming about it (but almost in that "never going to happen" way you think about going to the moon or something). And then, the trip is booked.... And you look forward to it and look forward to it.... and THEN! The love of your life puts a ring on your finger. *sigh* Yes, that happened. (to me) So the trip became our engagement-moon. Here's a little snippet of our trip:

The first thing I noticed when we got to our hotel, the Peninsula Paris, was a 1934 Rolls Royce - in perfect, beautiful condition sitting out front. We checked it out, we drooled, we photographed, and then we changed out of airplane clothes and went out to explore. Hours later, we get back to the hotel, jet lagged and hungry (I don't know how I was hungry, because I ate every thing I saw) and asked concierge to reserve us a table later that night at the hotel restaurant, L'OISEAU BLANC. They apologized and said there were no tables. Andrei asks if maybe they would be so kind as to please call The Restaurant Jules Verne that is at the tippy top of the Eiffel Tower. Naturally I look at him like he is bonkers because I know they don't - they have been reserved for weeks (maybe even months) (I know this! I have been trying to book a reservation!!)... But concierge calls, chats rapidly, hangs up, and says.... "your car will be ready in fifteen minutes". Two things: 1. What?? How??? There were NO RESERVATIONS! 2. FIFTEEN MINUTES?? We have been walking around and I'm stinky and have to change and wash my hair and shave my legs and do my makeup!!!! Nevertheless, we book it upstairs, and fifteen minutes later (pretty sure we hit some kind of time warp) we are ready and in the lobby.

Now it gets really good.

The doorman says, "your car is ready".... so I walk towards the black Mercedes with the driver standing next to it (duh.)... Instead, he steps in front of me and opens the door to the ROLLS. As in the one that was out front earlier from 1934. I think he's joking so I laugh. He laughs, I laugh, he's still standing there. Only now it's like that impatient look that you give you kids... like with a smile, but get in the car NOW. Kind of awkward, but he was so sweet- he just said that we were going to miss our reservation... and off we went!

Magic. That right there, being engaged to my Andrei, in Paris, going to eat on the top of the Eiffel Tower in that car.... magic.

The dinner was amazing (of course), the views were spectacular (of course!). There is nothing quite like kissing on top of the world....

using the Smarter Paris app was a huge help! using the Smarter Paris app was a huge help!

The rest of the trip was pure exploration. We walked, biked, ate, and wined our way through this city.

We installed an app on our iPhones called Smarter Paris and it was SOOOOO helpful! There are guided walks all over the city.... one of my favorites was the walk through St. Germain. It took us to the Cafe de Flore... a regular spot for poets and artists in the 30s. We stopping in for a glass of rose before finding Rue de l'Abbaye, where I took a selfie in front of the bust of Dora Maar (called "La Poesie') that Picasso gave to the city in memory of his friend, Guillaume Apollinaire. Along the way we found this brilliant antique shop. Everything there had a price, but somehow nothing was for sale.... there was a  sculpture I wanted to bring home which would not be sold - but somehow the memory of trying to talk the shopkeeper into selling (and getting denied) is even better. Somewhere along the way we found a strip of incredible galleries- I brought home the most beautiful painting (the one on the left in the below photo).

Parisian Art - we brought home the one on the left!  Parisian Art - we brought home the one on the left! Tango in Paris Tango in Paris

I can't forget about the tango in Paris! Oh my gosh! We took a car to the area, which was off a side street, poorly lit, and a little scary. Luckily, the music was loud and led us to the venue on a trail of Di Sarli....

When we finally made it through the halls and open aired courtyards, and alleys, and doorways, we were very warmly welcomed! First on the agenda, shoe change, second... drinks! Andrei wanted me to try the drink that everyone in all the Buenos Aires milongas drink, Fernet Branca. I promise I tried to like it, (I assumed I would loving tango so much!)... but not so much!

There was a leader that Andrei nicknamed "The Mathematician" based off of his super precise footwork and posture. I thought, when he asked me to dance, that it would be stiff and unyielding and rigid but it ended up wonderfully musical and elastic. I love surprises like that!

I can't wait to go back! Au revoir!

Links:

The dress I wore to Jules Verne: (the one I wore is no longer available but here is another similar Byron Lars dress)

The dress I wore biking along the Seine: this Milly shirtdress

The most comfy sneakers for exploring: These cute Supergas

The watch that kept us on time and matched everything: This Michael Kors wrap watch

The airline we choose for international travel: US Airways

The app we used for exploring Pairs: Smarter Paris