Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Last Few Days in Paris

April has been a crazy month...filled with "see you laters" and preparation for the next chapter in our lives.  Although our future plans are still a bit up in the air, it seems that Dustin will be transferred to a city in North America starting at the beginning of July.  With baby Smith scheduled to make an appearance around the same time, we felt it was best to move me to Indiana so that I would not get stranded in Paris with a newborn all by myself.  My doctor in Paris said the latest she would let me fly was mid-April.  So, we booked my plane ticket home on April 17th. 

I am staying with my parents, while Dustin is still living it up in Paris.  I told him he should be miserable without me :), but he is in Ireland as I type this, and has several other trips planned before he comes to join me in mid-June. 

I spent my last week in Paris seeing friends, eating my favorite foods, and doing a few last-minute touristy things.  It was an emotional week for me.  Not only was I preparing to say goodbye to my hubby for a few months, but I was also saying goodbye to a city that truly changed me for the better over the last two years.

Yes, I did my fair share of complaining about Paris.  Parisians smell bad, they leave dog poop all over the sidewalks, they rarely smile, and they make everything more difficult than it needs to be.  But living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, where I don't really speak the language, taught me so much about myself.  I learned to look at the world in a new way.  I even learned to like Parisians (they really aren't so bad!) and their way of doing things.  Dustin and I became so much closer, as many of the things we were going through could only be understood by each other.  During our time in Paris, we traveled all over Europe.  We met people from every corner of the globe.  And we learned we would be adding a new member to our family. 

Yes, the last two years have been a special time.  I will always look back on these years as some of the best in my life.  I'm so glad we took the plunge and moved our lives across the Atlantic.  I wish everyone could have a similar experience. 

With all of those thoughts swirling in my head, I tried to really live it up my last week (well, as much as a pregnant lady can!). 

Waiting at a bus stop on one of my last days.  I will miss this view!

 I have taken this picture a gazillion times, but I just couldn't resist.

I'm not sure how I am going to survive without Ladurée macarons...

On our last Friday night together in Paris, Dustin and I went to the top of the Montparnasse Tower.  The view was absolutely stunning!  After the tower, we ate dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant. 

We stayed up until 1:00 am to see the "special" sparkling of the Eiffel Tower.  The gold lights go off, and all that you see are the white sparkling lights.  I've only stayed awake to see it a couple of times!

On our last Saturday, we went up to Montmartre to pick out some artwork.  We bought three small paintings of monuments in Paris.

On my last Sunday, we went to lunch after church with Megan and then stopped for pastries!

 My last bump picture in front of the Eiffel Tower - at 28 weeks.

On my very last night, Dustin and I took a walk around our neighborhood (while I fought off tears).  I stopped at my favorite crepe place for a Nutella crepe.  

Gosh, I miss this guy.  :(

When the morning of April 17th arrived, I said goodbye to our cute little apartment and Dustin and I grabbed a cab to the airport.  Although we knew we were making the right decision by sending me home, it was a tough morning.  I cried through the cab ride (while simultaneously holding on for dear life).  And then I cried even harder waving at Dustin as I passed through to the secure side of the airport. 

But I know that it's not goodbye forever - not to Dustin and not to Paris.  I'll be back.  And when I do get the chance to go back, I can't wait to stroll the streets of my old neighborhood, grab a coffee in a café, and just watch the city in action. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Parisians on a Sunny Day

The weather as of late hasn't been much to write home about.  Lots of rain, cloudy skies, and a chill in the air.  Most people stick to inside entertainment, and only go out in order to travel to and from work.  But when we happen to have a break in the nasty weather, the Parisians come out in droves.

A couple of weekends ago, we were blessed with sunny skies and temps in the 70s.  Dustin and I set out to take advantage of the sunny day, and ended up exploring a surprisingly beautiful park:  Parc des Buttes Chaumont.  We quickly discovered that we were not the only people in the city to have this idea!

View from the top!