Three happy years

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Three years ago, we were married under a large tree in a small park in Georgetown.  That day was breezy and full of golden light, and a small group of our dearest friends and family stood in a circle around us while we made promises to each other.  The years since have been a happy mix of new adventures and quiet days, but I’m most excited about all the ones that are yet to come.  I love you so, my beardy guy.

Photo by the amazing Maggie Winters

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She stole the blush from the rose

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After you’ve lived in a city for a while, it can be tempting to avoid the crushing crowds that fill the city during the biggest tourist draws like Independence Day, political rallies and marches, inaugurations, all the museums during the summer months, and, of course, the cherry blossom festival.  And yet, I’ve found the cherry blossoms themselves to be an irresistible temptation.  Without fail, every year I find myself down by the Potomac or the Tidal Basin.  The luscious pink and white blossoms are just so lovely, and you can’t help but feel lucky to have the chance to see them.

Most of my friends have developed strategies for seeing the blossoms while avoiding the crowds.  Some find remote patches of trees, others take boats out on the water.  I prefer early morning or late afternoon visits.  Preferably on a weekday.  One lucky year, it drizzled, and my roommate and I practically had the place to ourselves.

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Travel detox

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Eating different foods is obviously one of the great pleasures of traveling, but when I get back home I can really feel the effects of the delicious but mostly unhealthy foods I’ve been eating (I’m looking right at you, menudo.)  Right now, as I’ve just gotten home from a fantastic long-weekend in Houston, I’m exhausted and dreaming of diving right into this pile of fresh vegetables that the Mister recently roasted for taco night.  Surely, piles and piles of fresh veggies will erase the effects of too much fried shrimp, etouffee, Tex-Mex, barbeque, wedding cake, and champagne, right?  Right?

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It’s Friday, I’m in love

A favorite photo of my favorite guy in Tuscany

Weekends are nice, but today is extra special because it’s my favorite person’s birthday.  We’re on the road, today celebrating the Mister’s big 3-0, and tomorrow a loved one’s wedding.  I’m excited to spend a few days hanging out with my guy, catching up with family, and hopefully dancing till I drop.

Hope you have a great weekend!

The world is quiet here

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Spring is full of many lovely moments.  Daffodils.  Tulips.  Cherry blossoms.  I look forward to them all, but my favorite part of the season happens in a quiet park not too far from where I work.  About a week before the cherry blossoms bloom and the city is overtaken with tourists, this little park, lined on all sides by tulip magnolias, quietly becomes a sea of large, pink blossoms.  Every year, for that one week, I walk out of my way to pass through this park, leaving for work a little early so I’ll have a bit of extra time to linger in this quiet, blush-colored oasis.

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Mama in Paris

I live far from where I grew up, which means I often miss family events like birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.  This year, my mother had a milestone birthday, and we thought it would be fun to celebrate an important year by planning a little Parisian getaway, just us two ladies.

Here are some of my favorite photos of my beautiful Mama in Paris.

The sweet life

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Since we were largely in Paris to celebrate my mother’s birthday, we thought it would be fun to try to visit at least one pastry shop everyday for a little something sweet.  While we used David Lebovitz’s Paris Pastry App as our primary guide, as we wandered around the city, we found ourselves visiting any chocolaterie, patisserie, crepe stand, or ice cream cart that caught our eye.  I’ve never eaten so many wonderful, and beautiful, sweet things in a single week.  Here are a few of our favorites.

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Le carrousel

On our last day in Paris, my mother and I were walking past the carousel at the Hotel de Ville.  In a moment of whimsy, she decided that a few rounds on the carousel were in order, and before I knew it, she had paid the fee, found a pretty place to sit, and was going round and round looking as pleased as I’ve ever seen her.

It’s Friday, I’m in love

As much as I’d be happy to be back in Paris right now, ideally in this pink-treed park, I’m excited for the weekend.  The Mister has a big birthday coming up soon, so we’re having a little party to celebrate on Saturday.  It’s always wonderful to gather up friends and family, and, in a way, it feels like a little bit of a kick off for the fun and busy summer ahead.

Here are a few photos of a lovely park we found near the Jardin de Reuilly.  Every single tree was blooming pink, and as we sat on the benches showers of blush-colored petals rained down us.  Hope you have a great weekend!

Through the city streets

Paris has many charms.  Monuments, palaces, parks, amazing food, and great shopping.  But I’m more than content just wandering up and down the city streets, admiring the buildings, and watching the hustle and bustle of people going on about their everyday lives.  Those city scenes are what I love most about Paris, and what I most look forward to about going back.

Wanderings: Jardin du Luxembourg

After such a long and bitterly cold winter, it feels so amazing to be able to sit outside, feel the sun on my face and not freeze my toes off.  We whiled away several lazy hours in the Jardin du Luxembourg, admiring the tulips and the geometric rows of trees, but most especially the children sailing boats in the basin.  Most of them were adorable and so well behaved, but one rambunctious pair had more fun beating the water and each other with the boat pole, than sailing the boat itself.  We giggled for nearly an hour as their poor nanny chased them round and round the basin, trying to keep them from falling in, punching each other, or whacking passersby by with the boat pole.

Marché Baudoyer

An outdoor market is the perfect place to pick up a few things for picnic in Paris.  A baguette here, some cheese at the stall over there, a few fresh strawberries, and you’re ready to find the perfect shady spot along the Seine to watch the world pass by.  We stumbled across a few markets while we were in Paris.  This beauty was open on a Saturday morning, not far from the Hotel de Ville.

Wanderings: Promenade Plantee

The other must on my list for this visit to Paris was a walk along the Promenade plantée, a greenway built on an old elevated railway, much like the newer High Line in New York.  Ever since I first saw the film, Before Sunset, some ten years ago I’ve wanted to pay a visit and I finally found myself in the neighborhood.  To my delight, nearly every tree and bush seemed to have just bloomed.  We walked slowly along the quiet path, inhaling the sweet scent of blossoms on the breeze, and enjoying the bursts of yellows, pinks, and purples that framed the rooftops of the classic Parisian buildings.  It was a perfect way to spend an afternoon and I think it is my new favorite place in all of Paris.

It’s Friday, I’m in love

I’ve been having fun reminiscing about Paris through photos over the last few days, and have more to share over the coming weeks.  But still, I’m happy to be spending a weekend at home snuggled up to my Mister.  We first visited Paris together, and while I was happy to be there at all, many of my favorite places there made me miss him and others new ones I wanted to share with him.  I’m already dreaming of another visit, this time together.

Wanderings: Le mur des je t’aime

It’s nice to visit certain places again and again.  Eventually you make your way through all the major sights and can spend your time getting to know the city itself.  The layout of the streets, the rhythms of the neighborhoods, and all the little details that lie just off the most beaten path.  I have that feeling for New York, and, slowly, I’m getting it for Paris.

One of the details on my list for this trip was to visit Le Mur des Je t’aime, a mural in the little park just behind the Abbesses metro entrance.  Upon the blue tiled wall, created by Claire Kito and Frédéric Baron, the words I love you are written in 250 different languages, interspersed here and there with pieces of a broken heart.

Wanderings: Awash in pink at Notre Dame

Notre Dame is lovely on any day, but haloed by these lush pink blossoms, it seems to have an extra special magic in early spring.  They were in bloom the last time I was in Paris, and I was happy for a chance to see them cast their rosy glow on the cathedral once again.

This particular variety of tree was blooming on my wedding day, and ever since I’ve had a particular fondness for them.  In my mind, I call them carnation trees, but I think they are actually Kwanzan Cherry trees.  Any gardener friends out there know for sure?

The magic spell you cast

It’s hard to imagine anything lovelier than Paris in springtime, and my mother and I couldn’t have timed our visit any better.  The city was aglow with freshly blossomed trees and tulips, and we basked in their glow, spending idle hours sitting on benches and enjoying the sweet smell of blooms on the breeze.

It’s Friday, I’m in love (with Paris)

Today is our last full day in Paris and I’m a little sad that the week has flown by so quickly. We’ve had the loveliest weather and have taken full advantage by spending hours in the various gorgeous parks and sitting at outdoor cafe tables.

I’ll be back next week with more photos from our travels, but for now, here’s what I’ve been up to on Instagram. Have a great weekend!

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Springtime in Paris

Hello from Paris! It seems like every tree in the city is bursting with blossoms, and we’ve had a lovely time strolling around and relaxing on park benches.

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