It’s not every day that your little sister gets engaged. But it’s also not every day that you’re in Europe on a trip of a lifetime. But if there’s one thing I know about our family, it’s that we like to be there for each other. So when faced with the prospect of missing such a monumental occasion, I just couldn’t do it. Thankfully, Dan generously encouraged me to “go make some memories” and I booked a last minute flight to meet my Mom in Chicago for 36 hours in order to surprise Amy and toast her engagement. AMS>ORD>PAR. Crazy! Meanwhile, my Dad and Katie Claire toasted from Colorado as my aunt and cousins had flown in to visit them. All in all, everyone was very excited for them!
Amy’s fiancé (still not used to that!) and my future brother-in-law, Parker, planned an elaborate evening of celebration and one my sister will soon not forget. After proposing at their home in Chicago right before Amy was scheduled to take Parker to his birthday dinner, they walked outside to a trolley (the location of their first meeting) filled with friends and family. A cruise through the city, complete with champagne and a whole lot of photos with the Chicago skyline in the backdrop, ended with an even larger group of loved ones congregating in the party room at a neighborhood bar. Needless to say, Amy, was teary and smiling (and a good dose of overwhelmed) all night and I was so thankful to witness this joyous night. And her RING…!!!
The next day, my Mom, Amy’s best friend, Casey, her future mother-in-law, Karen, and I had the chance to watch her try on a few white dresses before we boarded our respective planes to our respective destinations. As one would expect, everything looked amazing on her and we all cried at least once imagining her as the stunning bride she’ll be. While I’m still recovering from a double dose of jet lag, it was wonderful to be a part of such an amazing weekend and I can’t wait to continue the wedding celebrations!
With a heart full of love, I headed to meet my husband in Paris! I know, TOUGH life.
Dan and I are staying in an awesome Airbnb in Bastille, the 12th arrondissement (one of 16 Parisian neighborhoods) for the week. Our apartment overlooks a cute little courtyard and opens up to a cobblestone street full of cafés, crêperies, bars, and restaurants. Everywhere you look, the Parisian architecture is in view and it truly feels like you are in another world.
Two days in and we have already enjoyed many French favorites: crepes, espresso, croissants, cheese, wine, croque monsieur, and a number of baguettes. You may have to roll me out of here; the food is to die for!
My best friend, who I coincidentally met in French class in high school, Laura, studied at La Sarbonne in Paris for a year in college and generously put together a number of possible daily itineraries for us filled with her personal recommendations. Armed with local knowledge, we have already enjoyed delicious food and sites. Yesterday we saw the Panthéon, the cathedral of Notre Dame, St. Michel, the Latin Quarter, and the Luxembourg gardens. All while munching on delicacies we purchased from small stands along the way! Today we are heading to the Louvre, the Champs Elysée, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Tuileries. We can’t wait!
I have wanted to come to Paris for as long as I could remember. And while my French is definitely a bit rusty, the city is coming to life in a way I always imagined. Paris, je t’aime!