Monday, May 14, 2012

An hour in Paris...

It's my 4th night in a row without seeing my husband and I am missing him, so it seemed like the perfect time to write a post about the two of us in the "City of LOVE"! This is actually the longest we have been away from each other since we got married (I know, I know, I'm a wimp... but keep in mind we dated long distance for 11 months - only seeing each other once for one week 8 months in - so we have paid our dues! We video skyped last night and it gave me sad flashbacks to all those skype sessions half a world away :(

Anyway - back to PARIS! If you've followed this blog for long, then you know that Rusty and I travel a lot for our non-profit work. As much as we love our time overseas, our destinations are always 3rd world countries. So when we found a flight to Africa with a 12 hour layover in Paris, I was thrilled!

We typically can't leave the airport even if we have a long enough layover, because we have to bring our video equipment in our carry-ons (and who wants to haul 2 rolling carry-ons + 2 heavy backpacks around?!) so we really planned this one out. We decided to use some of our vacation savings to book a hotel near the airport so we could store our luggage safely, take a quick nap, shower, and then head out to tour the city. But things did not go as planned...

We ended up having a big event right before we left for Africa, and neither of us got the sleep we needed. By the time we landed in Paris we had several days of sleep deprivation + an 8 hour flight wearing on us. The "quick nap" we decided to take turned into about 6 hours (because my precious husband turned off the alarm clock!) By the time Rusty woke me up, we only had about 2 - 3 hours before we had to head back to the airport.

I quickly did the math in my head. We were at least 30 min from the train station. It was a 45 min train ride to the Eiffel Tower, 45 min back, 30 min back to the hotel, and then another 30 min back to the airport. We would never make it in time! We had come all the way to Paris and I wasn't going to see anything! At this point I had a total emotional breakdown got upset. (Do not underestimate what disappointment + jet lag + exhaustion will do to a woman!) I was truly heartbroken that I wouldn't get to see any of Paris, and Rusty felt so terrible. After a few minutes of watching me cry he jumped up, called the concierge, and told me to get dressed. We were going to take a cab straight from our hotel (we will not discuss how much of our "vacation savings" was spent on that!) and I was going to see the Eiffel Tower if it was all we did!!!

And so... off we went. No shower, still sleep deprived, having not eaten anything in over 8 hours. Romantic... right?

Well, to me it was! As bummed as I am that I didn't get down to the river to buy art like I wanted, didn't get to see the Notre Dame Cathedral, didn't get to go to the Louvre...

I am choosing to remember that this was the day my sweet husband did whatever he could to make a memory with me!

We talked random tourists into taking a few pictures of us together....

I shopped at the closest sidewalk cart I could find.....

(Old photographs printed on postcards count as "art" from Paris... right?!)

...snapped a few photos of the "Carousel de Paris"....

... and we ate 2 of the most delicious chocolate crepes on the steps in front of the Eiffel Tower! (Which took the place of our breakfast, lunch, and dinner that day - because I don't think either of us ate a proper meal for over 12 hours!) Seriously wish I had a picture of our crepes... not that I will ever forget how amazing they tasted!

On the way back to the hotel, we hopped into a cab with an Asian driver. When he asked (in French) if we spoke French, Rusty responded, "No, but I understand a little Thai" (in Thai). We totally freaked out when he responded IN THAI!!! Turns out we had found a Vietnamese cab driver - in Paris - who married a Thai woman, and knew Vietnamese, Thai, English, and French! Seriously?! What are the odds?! Definitely the perfect end to our crazy day!

Though it was physically and emotionally exhausting, I can now say we have been to the City of Love (and it was beautiful!)! I hope next time we can stay a little longer!


  1. I totally get missing your husband! My husband and I have only spent a few days apart since we have been married. Before that we were about 5 states away and only saw each other 1 week every 6 months or so.
    And even if it wasn't the trip you imagined, it is a great story!

    1. I know you understand then Andrea... when you have been through the long distance thing for so long, it is hard to be separated! Makes you appreciate the time you have together a lot more. I don't know how military couples handle the constant separation - I think military spouses are seriously like superheros! Some of the strongest people I know!

  2. Hi Ericka!! You won the giveaway over at my blog so email me at so I can send you your goodies!

    1. NO WAY! I am so excited!!! Sending you a message now! :)

  3. Glad you won the giveawy and love the choice. This is such a great story. That vacation fund can come in handy even if it is spent on a cab ride. Hope Rusty gets back soon!