On Sunday night my husband and I returned from our trip to Paris. It was an amazing vacation. Obviously we didn't see it all (I think that's impossible in Paris), but we saw a lot. We wandered through side streets, hit the tourist hot spots, tried out what little French I'd managed to master before we left, and had a wonderful time in each others company. It was the best anniversary a couple could ask for.
There's just something about Paris. Its every avenue drips with history, every building, alley and doorway is something special. I did a lot of research before we left, which helped a lot when it came to understanding the etiquette of going into shops, ordering at restaurants and so forth. I've heard a lot of people say the French are rude or snobby but in my experience this couldn't have been further from the truth. Everyone I interacted with had impeccable manners. The French conduct themselves in a way that is just all together more classy. From the way they dress (no booty shorts or too tight tops or jeans, skank is not an embraced fashion choice there) to the way they talk in restaurants. In a tiny crowded bistro you never had to shout to be heard by your dinner companion. No one tried to talk over anyone else, there was a polite consideration for your fellow diners that you just don't see in North America. The difference was so pronounced that while we waited to board one of several flights home in Canada, I leaned over to my husband and whispered, "I miss the French." I'm a very proud Canadian so that tells you something.
Of course, the real star of Paris (after the history) is the food. Oh. My. God. The food. Everything was so fresh, with so much consideration put into the dishes, while at the same time being so startlingly simple. Being there for just that short time has taught me a lot about eating, about really enjoying my food and not settling for prepackaged garbage. Why have Doritos when you can have Pain au Chocolat? After such an extraordinary trip for my tastebuds I'm looking forward to simplifying, but also going for a slightly higher quality. And if I can find a bakery with good Pain au Chocolat, then I'll really be set.
Of course, our vacation curse struck again when we got home. (Every time we go on vacation, we come home and are struck by some kind of financial grenade). This time our water heater went kaput and leaked water all over our basement floor. So, that's getting replaced by the end of the week and we've been busy cleaning up and getting rid of the dank in our basement. (Which is also why this post is late). It's a financial expense we really don't need after a pricier vacation, but I'm not going to let it get me down. These things happen and this vacation was worth it!