Thursday, February 28, 2013

paris, day 3

Day 3! Our last day together. What started as a plan to pop back into Laduree for pastries and coffee turned into a leisurely sit-down breakfast that might have been one of the best meals we had while we were there. Not the mention, the dishes were just precious. I felt like I was at a tea party.

From there, we ventured to (finally!) see the Eiffel Tower up close. We thought about going to the top, but we knew that if we were almost miserably cold on the ground, we'd certainly be miserably cold at the windy top. Maybe next time!

One thing Andrew mentioned over and over and over again was how he wanted a Nutella crepe. We found one! We refueled on the warm ooey gooeyness of it and then set out to do some exploring. We had no real plan other than to see what we could see before he had to catch the train back. We just wandered, soaking up the culture around us, which seems to be our favorite way to tour any new city. I wouldn't trade it for any museum-packed itinerary you could find. Not when I've got this guy to hold my hand.

Once we got back to the hotel and backed his bags, we stopped for an early dinner where we tried not to think about what was next. I love this picture - see him in the mirror?

I thought saying goodbye to him at the pier the day he left was hard, but saying goodbye to him at the train station in Paris might have been harder. After having that time together, just the two of us, and knowing how well we do life together, it was just sad to see him leave again. But thankfully, there were four other ladies who had just done the same thing waiting back at the hotel. So I cried my way through the train station and onto the metro and onto another metro and to the hotel so we could commiserate. Emotional Americans!

I don't have pictures from the next two days, which involved one lazy day in the city with the girls and another lazy day at the airport hotel after our flight home got canceled because of all the blizzarding going on back here. But I made it home to Jack on Sunday night, just in time to tuck him in. I never worried about him while I was gone because I knew he was in very capable and loving hands with my in-laws, but I sure did miss him. I kissed his cheeks an extra lot over the next few days.

And thus concludes the Paris travelogue. It was fun, although it was different than I expected. I think I'd like to see it in the spring or summer, with flowers blooming and the weather nice enough to sit outside. But regardless, what I'll remember most about that whole trip was Andrew. I know I probably sound like a Hallmark movie right now but to be with him, with nothing to worry about except which cafe to choose for lunch, was absolutely priceless. It's been a hard year for many, many reasons and that trip was like a deep breath.

So thanks for that, my love. I can't wait to do it again sometime.

Friday, February 22, 2013

paris, day 2

Day two!

We slept in a little bit before hitting the streets to find some breakfast. We went to the closest bakery we could find that would sell us carbs and coffee and then parked it at a table outside. That was one thing we noticed about a lot of the bakeries - there was little to no seating inside and even though it was cold, patrons still sat at tables on the sidewalk. I didn't mind, though. It made for some good people watching. And my tart was so good that I would have eaten it while sitting on the ground.

After we fueled up, we made our way to The Louvre, stopping to enjoy some of the sites along the way. It was fun to take it all in, but it was also cold and windy so by the time we made it to the museum we were ready for an escape. We spent a few hours wandering around in there and saw some truly amazing things. This was one of the things Andrew was most excited about, so I'm glad we were able to fit it in. Apparently, it was actually a residence to start so it isn't just a box with white walls and museum-y stuff crammed inside. The detail of the building itself was unbelievable.

After wrapping things up there, we went out in search of more food! What we didn't know was that most restaurants are not open all day, ready to feed you whenever you're hungry. And since it was close to 2pm before we were ready for lunch we had a hard time finding a place to go. We ended up find an Irish pub and settled for fish and chips, which really wasn't "settling" at all because it was delicious.

From there we went to Notre Dame, which was remarkable. There's not much else to say about that except that it was absolutely breathtaking.

Now here's the thing about Andrew and me. He goes to Paris and looks forward to The Louvre. I go and look forward to PASTRIES. I had heard about Laduree and put it on my list for the week. So we made that our afternoon pick-me-up and took it back to our hotel lobby to pair with some coffee before starting to make dinner plans.

We picked a place for dinner that came highly recommended by the concierge, got all fancied up and headed across town to Au Petit Sud Ouest. Everything on the menu was duck and it was delicious. Andrew made me promise to blog this meal because he never, ever wants to forget it. The lighting was bad so I didn't get any pictures, but I had the duck confit and he had a duck stew in a red wine sauce. That stew was amazing. Duck can be sort of a tough, fatty meat but the stew. THE STEW. It was good. And to finish, we had a coffee creme brulee and it doesn't even make sense how delicious it was.

We decided to catch a cab on the way back to the hotel, but not before seeing the Eiffel Tower in all of its glory. It was pretty magical.

I told you. Magical.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

paris, day 1

Where have I been, you say? What happened, you ask? I got on the Downton Abbey train, that's what. I've spent every Jack-less moment for the last week watching that show and now I'm caught up all the way through Season 3's ending (BOO HOO, by the way, if you know what I'm talking about). So now I'm ready to share the details of our trip!

I traveled over with four other girls and all of our honeys were waiting for us at the airport. When we landed, it was 3:30am our time and most of us hadn't slept very well on the flight over. But adrenaline is a funny thing, as is love, because I didn't feel so tired anymore once I saw my guy.

The next few hours went a little something like this:

Reunite. Try to figure out how to get into the city. Buy train tickets. Get on the train. Listen to a man perform a song for us. Switch from the train to the metro. Get off the metro right in the middle of the Champs-Elysees. Navigate the sidewalks and alleyways with gigantic suitcases that scream AMERICAN! on our way to our hotel. Hand our bags over and go out in search for lunch while they get our room ready.

We found a cute little cafe just around the corner and ordered lunch. It was then that I realized just how unbelievably tired I was. By that point, I'd been awake for over 24 hours and could barely participate in basic conversation. It wasn't pretty.

We finished lunch and headed back to the hotel for a power nap. After that and a shower, I was refreshed and ready to go! We wandered around and did some exploring before finding dinner at a bistro that was so good that I came back with the girls a few nights later. We caught up on the last two weeks and enjoyed a leisurely meal together without the interruption of a certain toddler or the Navy. It was beautiful.

The French do meals differently than we do - it's slow and spaced out and amazing. There's no rush, there's no leaving the table stuffed because you ate three courses in 45 minutes, there's no impatience while waiting for the check. You're forced to enjoy the time and the meal and we really enjoyed that.

And that was that. We turned in early, determined to get a good night's rest before our first and only full day together. It was a short trip, but it sure was sweet...

Thursday, February 14, 2013


On this, the day of Love, it seemed appropriate to reemerge from my little vacation to say, "Bonjour! I'm back from Paris!" I spent three days rendezvousing with Andrew before he had to leave and this time it will be months and months before I see him again. Thankfully, there were four good friends who were there doing the same thing and we got to keep each other company for a few more days and do girly things like eat macarons in a tea room and shop.

I'll be back with more pictures and the play-by-play, but I'm still recovering from jetlag and currently trying not to let Valentine's Day turn me into one of those people who hates Valentine's Day. I just miss my guy, that's all.

The cheeseburger I had for lunch is helping. And I'm banking on a valentine from Jack, once I pick him up from preschool. If he didn't make something out of pink construction paper and glitter, I might really start to feel sorry for myself.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

pictures to make up for an extended absence

I should have called this post I've been busy preparing for a big trip and my mom is disappointed in my lack of blogging. Or maybe I'm going to be gone for a week, so here are some pictures of Jack to hold you over.

Either way, enjoy this photo dump. A lot of these are Instagram repeats. Sorry I'm not sorry.

Daddy's old cover from his previous rank is now one of Jack's favorite thing to wear.
Speaking of wearing Daddy's hats...
Recording a book for Jack. I probably cried.
Oldie but a goodie. First day of preschool!
Fair winds and following seas, my love.
I sent this picture to my MIL (who is staying with Jack this week) and asked her if she was sure she wanted to go through with it. She still says yes. (Note to self: bring home awesome souvenirs.)
A nice reminder, especially during deployment. Because it's usually a choice, you know?
Somebody get this kid a cup holder.
Tunnel time! This was a Christmas gift from Papa and Nana. If you want to pass the time during that bewitching 4pm hour at your house, GET A TUNNEL.
One of his favorite spots, especially if Rudy is outside.
This was the first time we've taken any toys outside. I think he enjoyed himself, judging by the epic meltdown that took place upon coming back inside.
Mid-chew. Still cute.
Upside down baby!
I fold clothes in my bedroom, he hangs out in the closet fort. Everybody wins!

Putting his hat back on. Sort of.
Little baby lumberjack! He looks like a bodybuilder in this picture and it cracks me up.
Fish tacos. I should share the recipe because they're probably the best fish tacos you will ever eat. At least that's what Andrew tells me.
Sometimes he won't smile, but he's still really freaking adorable.
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