Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Five years ago, I traveled to Paris for the first time. This was only my second trip to Europe, and I had no clue what was in store for me.

I merely had about 48 hours to spend in the City of Lights with my now husband. Back then, I was working 6 days a week as a pastry chef and rarely got time off. I was giddy simply to be in Paris!

Blurry eyed, I landed around 6 a.m. and took the train into Paris by myself. Luckily, Jason met me at Gare du Norde since he had arrived the night before from London, where he had been working for two months. We immediately dropped my suitcase off at our hotel and headed to Ladurée to squelch my macaroon and pain au chocolat desires.
We stayed at a hotel that was close enough to Ladurée so I could buy pastries there every day!
Then, we strolled down to the Place de la Concorde, through the Tulieries Garden and by the Louvre Museum. I had no desire to wait in line to see the Mona Lisa so Jason steered us toward another garden, which I later learned was the Jardin du Palais Royal. It’s ironic now to look back and realize how few photos I took that initial weekend in Paris!
May 2009 - Jason and I exploring Paris.
Inside the tranquil Jardin du Palais Royal, which dates back to the mid-1700s.

We walked under a canopy of trees and then admired the beautiful roses, which seemed as large as salad plates to me. The park was tranquil and set back from the business of Paris. I couldn’t have asked for a more romantic place at that moment.
I don’t really remember how it happened, but there we were sitting on a park bench and talking about who knows what. Suddenly, Jason got down on one knee and pulled a small, black box out of his jacket’s pocket. I couldn’t believe it! Finally!

The box included a mini spotlight that shone on the sparkling diamond ring. Jason asked me to marry him, and I said yes! After all, we were in Paris.

The weather looked like it might rain soon, so we headed for lunch at Au Pied de Cochon, 6 rue Coquillière. We celebrated our engagement over French rillettes de porc, oysters, champagne and who knows what else. (Sadly, I’m lacking in food porn pictures from back then.)
May 2009 - Showing off my new ring at lunch in Paris.
In May, almost exactly 5 years later, we returned to Au Pied de Cochon for dinner. I couldn’t have asked for a better dinner date or partner in our crazy expat life!
May 2014 - A return trip for dinner at Au Pied de Cochon.

So now you know why Paris will always hold a special place in my heart! 
May 2014 - Of course, we had to re-visit the lovely Jardin du Palais Royal in Paris.

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jaz@octoberfarm said...

happy anniversary and what a romantic story!

Terry at Adventures In Ankara said...

What a lovely and romantic story!! Best to you!

Joy said...

Awww...thanks Joyce! :-)

Joy said...

Thanks, Terry! Hope all is well in Turkey!

Unknown said...

A wonderful story! Congratulations to you both. What an incredible journey it has been since that trip.

BacktoBodrum said...

How romantic - wishing you both many , many years of health and happiness.

Mary Ann said...

What a wonderful anniversary story! Here's to many more!

TravellingAK said...

What I am curiouly wondering is how on earth he got the size right considering you wore it already in Paris? But maybe I should ask him that, not you ;-)
And about photos: Sometimes it is just better to enjoy the moment, the camera sometimes works as a wall between us and reality. Glad you had a romantic day; And whatever happens you will always carry the pictures in your heart :)

Unknown said...

Very romantic :) It's always fun to revisit those places for a bit of nostalgia! Paris is such a nice place to have those memories! (our engagement was in Poznan, special at the time but hard to have nostalgic feelings while living here!)

Joy said...

@thyme Sarah, thank you! Who knew we'd ever end up living in Europe? Not me, at the time! :-)

Joy said...

Çok teşekkürler, Annie! I hope we're still having adventures through our 90s like our grandparents!

Joy said...

A big thank you!

Joy said...

@AK, Jason asked a girlfriend for help. I honestly had no idea bc we hadn't even looked at rings - EVER!

And I agree with you about the photos. Sometimes it's better to just be in the moment! :-)

Joy said...

@joseph, thanks for stopping by! But no matter where you end up someday, Poznań will always have a special place in your heart too, I'm sure!

Geriatric Gapper said...

Such a beautiful, romantic episode in your life. Sigh! Happy Anniversary.