My husband and I got married last year the day after Thanksgiving. Yes, that means we got married on Black Friday. We eloped to a lovely little winery in Banner Elk, NC, and it was gorgeous. There was an unseasonably early snow, so we got to have the most amazing wedding pictures taken. But because we eloped, we decided to have a subsequent ceremony and small brunch in New Orleans over the holidays so that we could celebrate with family and friends. It occurs to me I should write more about this, because, in the end, I’ve decided that no matter what my budget for a wedding was, this is exactly how I would do it again. But what it did mean was, for this and other reasons, we had to delay our honeymoon.
So this year, we left on November 14 for a trip to Paris, Edinburgh, and London. The first part of the trip was supposed to stand in as a honeymoon. Since no fewer than three close friends got married this past year as well, and we travelled to all of those weddings, we were both a bit broke and a bit low on vacation days. But we had to visit the UK to see family, and for my husband to do research on his novel, so we tacked a few days in Paris onto the schedule and decided it would be a minimoon, to be properly followed by an actual real vacation and honeymoon for just the two of us at some point in the hopefully-not-too-distant future.
And so frequent flyer miles were used, and two tickets were procured to Paris round trip. And then the Bataclan terrorist attacks happened. I wrote about that here, so I won’t revisit it now, but needless to say, it changed the trip. Because I had planned a pretty hedonistic tour of Paris. Originally, we had planned on taking a few food tours and cooking classes. But as our time was short, and as we had such a limited budget, we changed this. I ended up pouring over Pinterest, articles online from Conde Nast and Bon Apetit, and other blogs and putting together a DIY Food Tour of Paris. I wanted to do it all – chocolate shops, creperies, fromageries, patisseries, and restaurants. In three days. It was, indeed, too ambitious. Especially considering much of our plans had to be altered and amended because of closures due to the attacks.
That said, we still managed to hit a number of the places we’d planned to on my list. We walked an average of ten miles a day. Which was great, because then you feel less guilty about all the eclairs and pastries you’re eating!
So I’m going to post in each of those categories about what we liked best, and maybe even a bit of what we didn’t get to see, but will next time. Because we will definitely be going back. I have at least seven pages of notes and places we didn’t get to! And that’s just a start. I have plans to do a deeper study. I lvoe that I cna call my plans to eat myself silly all over France a “study.” But thats just what I want to do. I want to eat in paris, I want to drink wine in Burgundy and Bordeaux, and I want to snack on mussels in Marseilles.
Of course, falling in love with Paris and French food is hardly a new thing. It has, in fact, transitioned from de rigeur to passe, one might argue. But thats an argument I would happily take up. Especially since, as pescetarians, much of French food is off limits to my husband and I. Still, I think its possible to carve out your own, unique Parisian experience. And hopefully, what we did this time will heklp you do the same whether or not Paris is your destination. I’d pretty much do the same thing if I were going to Lima or Hyderabad. Because I’m a bit obsessed with delcious food, and because I think food is the best inroad to a culture there is. And also because its fun. All the research I did for the trip helped me through a difficult time, and transported me to the banks of the Seine even though I was in prosaic pyjamas at home.
She says, navigating over to Pinterest to start planning her next trip to France.