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Five years ago today, Lisa and I tied the knot in front of our family and friends. Yup. Been five years. Crazy. We’re both pretty shocked at how quickly the time has gone. So far so good. Last year we posted about the ceremony and the reception. This time I thought I’d share some photos and stories from the Honeymoon.
The Monday after our wedding, Lisa and I flew out of Philly to Toronto on the way to Paris. With a good 6 or 7 hour layover, we took some time to walk around Toronto and grab some lunch. Nice town (their hockey team is just so-so ).
Lisa suggested we check out that CN tower. This is as close as we got. Not a fan of heights. I blame a bad experience at the Space Needle in Seattle (that’s for another post).
After landing in Paris, we stayed four nights in the Left Bank in an American style hotel since the rooms are bigger. It was wonderful. Paris is… Paris. It’s such a unique experience. The food, the architecture.. amazing. I’ve never eaten as well anywhere in the world. The coffee and croissants are perfection. You haven’t lived until you’ve had a cafe au lait and a croissant in Paris. Even the truck stop food in France is unbelievable. It’s a joy to be there with nothing to do. We would bum around, grab a beer, have something to eat.. just sort of wander.
It wasn’t all sunshine and roses though. For Americans, the experience can be a bit maddening at times. We’re used to prompt service in restaurants with waiters that beam polite and grateful smiles at us as we order a half dozen items on the menu. In France, the people are warm and polite, but if you’re eating in a restaurant, expect to be left alone for long periods after your meal arrives. It’s just the culture there. The French don’t hustle in and out of meal time. That’s an American thing. So, if you have a tourist agenda with lots of sights to check out and you include dinner or lunch at a restaurant, expect it to be longer than you’d think. They can get a little frustrated with long customized orders too, although that may depend on the waiter, I don’t mean to generalize. Word of advice: go with the flow. Oh, and skip the steak tartare
We loved the Eiffel Tower. How can you not? As I mentioned, I hate heights. Lisa was all about going to the top even if I stayed on the lower levels. After she got to the first level though, she nearly had a heart attack too. The steps from the ground to that lower level are all open views. You can see the ground the entire walk up. The views even from that first level are pretty spectacular.
It’s breathtaking at night.
Notre Dame offers some primo history and great views of the city as well.
Also had a mini-heights freak out here too. lol.
Paris has the Louvre, where you can find some hugely famous sculptures and artwork.
Like the Mona Lisa…
There’s also Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
Huge museum. You can easily spend a few days in there.
We also made plenty of time to goof off… we have more than a few ‘awkward tourist face’ photos.
I also took up smoking because… I was in Paris, obviously and that’s just what you do.
After our first few days in Paris, we drove down to Lourdes to see the Blessed Mother Shrine, which is associated with Saint Bernadette. It was about an 8-9 hour drive from Paris. Lisa and I are practicing Catholics and I’ve also been to Fatima in Portugal, so that was a treat. The town is a bit packed with the second highest number of hotels per capita outside of Paris. We arrived into town very late at night and departed shortly after visiting the shrine. We thought the hotel was sorta gross so it soured our view of the town a bit.
From Lourdes we made the 7 hour drive East to Cannes and stayed two nights there. Beautiful little seaside town on the French Riviera. It was cold and breezy considering it was early June. I think the weather might actually have been more ‘beachy’ in New Jersey that time of year. Nice place. Nothing to write a blog post about for me. I enjoyed the Algarve in Portugal a little more.
After Cannes, we drove back up to Paris for another 3 nights and then flew home. We had our last coffee and croissant in Charles de Gaulle airport.
We’ve been hoping to go back to Paris since we left, but it’s a bit pricey and it’s not a destination where you’d want to do a quick weekend, especially if it’s your first time there. Quick story: One day on the Champs Elysees, after we saw the Sex and the City movie, we grabbed two beers. They were 10 Euro each, which after converting it to dollars was roughly $30. So, we payed $30 for two Heinekens. Oy. But then again, that’s the Champs Elysees. You can find the same beer much cheaper elsewhere.
I’d prefer to go back for a good two week stay, but then again, I’d love to go back to Portugal and Ireland. Still need to see the UK, Spain, Germany, Italy… so we’ll see. One day. Oh, and I’d love to win the lottery too.. just sayin.
So, Lisa and I are going to enjoy our anniversary by hanging out and cooking. Maybe I’ll catch a smoke… you know, to relive the memories.