My husband is a funny guy. For our tenth wedding anniversary in 2004 he sent me to the Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland for a week. It was a dream and made great fodder for an article in The New York Times Travel Section a few months later. For our 20th wedding anniversary, which was in June, he was back at it again. Only this time, he targeted Paris as the destination of choice for his gift.
After consulting with my sister and resigning himself to the fact that he'd be staying home with the kids, he booked me on an Air France flight to Paris and convinced my sister to get on board! Shocked when I received the gift on Mother's Day, my sister, Alison, and I soon enlisted our other sister to go, too.
Within a day, Alison and I made the executive decision to not stay in an exorbitantly expensive Parisian hotel but to hunt and peck on the internet for an apartment. Indeed, we found and booked a small but gorgeous apartment within 24 hours and our other sister booked her flight that quickly as well. Admittedly, I hadn't been to France in more than 25 years. My French was rusty. Nonetheless, it was a fabulous adventure that unearthed many delicious insights and observations.
Over the next few days, I will be writing posts and sharing photos of our eight day adventure. We ate everything from croissants and macaroons to falafel and artisan cheeses. We kept to a budget and walked countless miles. We strolled the heart of the city and ventured to the periphery. We mastered the art of navigation in Paris, sharing many belly laughs and laughing at ourselves while doing so. We thwarted more than a few overeager gypsies and marveled at the friendliness and charming smiles of so many Parisians.