The Big 30 in Paris: A Recap

I don’t always write-up a final recap of a trip. A lot of times we take three-week trips so writing a post on three weeks without making it the length of a Game of Thrones novel can be difficult. I also worry about making it derivative of what I’ve already wrote in my daily recaps. But I feel so compelled to write one final post on what was an incredible trip to Paris, that I’ve decided to give it a go. It all began almost a week ago when Jenn handed me a cup of coffee in a Starbucks Paris mug that then proclaimed a surprise that Jenn has been working on for most of the year. And even if I may have spilled a lot of that coffee on the couch seconds after it was handed to me it’s a moment I’ll never forget. 

After I was able to get all of my work stuff squared away and actually comprehend that I was going to Paris on a trip that my wife had planned and put so much love and care into crafting it’s hard to put into words how grateful I am. I’m grateful that we have the resources to be able to do something like this. I’m even more grateful that a spur of the moment decision I made when I was just turning seventeen has made me the happiest man in the world for the last thirteen years. 

Each moment of our time in Paris was specifically crafted by Jenn to make sure I was having a great time. Whether it was going out and walking the streets of Paris most evenings, going to Spring for dinner, booking a food-tour (even if we transferred it to Berlin) and taking me to one of the best Champagne makers in the world are all things I love and it’s amazing that Jenn was able to put this together and that it went out without a hitch. This might sound cliché, but my favorite parts of this trip were the twenty thousand steps we took each day exploring the lesser known areas of Paris. It’s a city that I personally cannot get enough of. I love the culture. I love French cuisine. I love that meals are slow, plodding even, and yet people aren’t hunkered into their phones nearly as much as Jenn and I even find ourselves when we are home. People are laughing, their definitely drinking and smoking, and they seem at least from an outsider’s perspective more aware of the world around them. 

I’m not naive. I know that part of my love for Paris comes from the rose colored lenses that comes with being on vacation. But even with that there is a part of me that also knows that I truly do love it in Paris. There’s a piece of me each time I get to Paris that feels at home. There was a moment when we had just arrived in Paris and got off the subway for our hotel that I had that flutter in my stomach that only comes from being somewhere you love. I do believe that at some point in our lives Jenn and I will move to Paris. Whether it’s a vacation home or a permanent residence, I don’t know. But one day we will live in Paris and I cannot wait.

When I think back on this trip, I think my biggest takeaway is the love Jenn put into this trip. She put so much time and work into it and was so nervous that I could tell all she wanted was for me to have a good time. And boy did I. Each day was special in its own way. We got into Paris and we went back to one of my favorite hotels in the world. We went back out that night and explored and walked for miles. On Saturday we had one of the best dinners I’ve ever had in my life and spent the night talking sitting along the river late into the night. On Sunday we took a situation that could have ended in disappointment and we made the best of not doing a food tour and ended up having two incredible meals and walking the city in the prettiest day of the trip. On Monday we explored outside of Paris and went to Mumms and had so much fun taking the train and enjoying champagne. Each day was perfect in its own way. I say this a lot but I’m truly the luckiest man in the world to have Jenn as my wife. A wife who planned an amazing trip for my 30th birthday and made it special each step of the way. 

So thank you Jenn, thank you for all the love and passion you poured into this gift. It’s one that I will carry with me on good and bad days. It’s one that I know we will be talking about for the rest of our lives. The ball is now in my court, as Jenn’s 30th birthday is only 366 days away and I have no idea what I’m going to do, maybe go back to Paris? Seul l’avenir nous le dira which in english translates to, only time will tell.