He Surprised Me With Paris

A few days before our wedding anniversary, I was heading to the airport check-in counter not knowing where we were going.

The grin on Pete’s face was wide with a hint of smugness. He was certainly pleased with himself, having successfully kept a secret for the past month on our destination. I had a strong suspicion of where we were headed, but did not know for sure until he handed me the boarding pass.

Paris Boarding Pass


(There might have been some making out in the airport at this point.)

We had been “saving” Paris for years, flirting with the borders of France but never making the leap to its capital and the famed most romantic city in the world, wanting to visit only on a special occasion. So it was appropriate that on our happy twelfth anniversary, Pete would whisk me there in a dramatic and mysterious fashion.

In our minds, Paris was meant strictly for romance, and it loomed with lofty towers of hype. So much so that as the plane descended into Charles de Gaulle, I was slightly worried. Our usual philosophy of traveling sans expectations, so as not to be let down, definitely could not apply here. Paris would need to match our absolute elation, our gaiety, our anticipation, our passion….or Paris would fail.

The city did not let us down.

Eiffel Tower


Paris is for lovers.


The banks of the Seine are meant for romantic strolls, its bridges for cozy photos with the landmarks that line it, and for sweethearts to lock up their love and throw away the key. (In fact, Paris is in danger of suffering from too much love.)

Pete and I always spend time at the “love lock” bridges we find around the world, hoping to find a padlock marked with our initials.

Love Locks


We found this one instead.

True Love Never Ends


In my mind, the romanticism of Paris has always been tied up in the curb side bistros, with patrons lingering over glasses of wine, fingers tangled together, whispering and softly giggling as the world passed by. Their faces would be lit up by dim neon, a plate decorated with luxurious cheeses on the table but barely touched.

French Bistro


This bistro was right outside our apartment doors and it’s ambiance encapsulated everything I thought it would. And there would be another one just down the street, and others a few blocks over. They were everywhere.

And when we weren’t lingering over cheese plates ourselves, we were seeking out landmarks, marveling at the sheer size of such things as the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, so much more massive than photos depict. We felt dwarfed, but in a cozy way, like we could just tuck into a small piece of it undetected and claim it all for ourselves. Whether in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe, or on a small bench in the Champ de Mars park with an unimpeded view of the Tower – it was ours, to do with it whatever we pleased.

And what we pleased was a whole lot of this.



I’ve been raving a lot lately about Pete and my marriage, and I think now it’s easy for you to see why. He gave me PARIS, and Paris did not disappoint.



Many thanks to GoWithOh.com for setting us up in a wonderful apartment during our stay. For a full review, please click here.


33 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • October 29 2013

    That is incredibly romantic. Good husband! And glad it did not disappoint: Paris is amazing!
    Marsha recently posted..Top 10 Rome Attractions

  • Aggy
    October 29 2013

    Oh such romance! I have always wanted to wander around Paris with my special someone but it has never happened – but I still have hope!
    Paris is certainly for those drunk in love, what a great gift πŸ™‚

    • November 4 2013

      I hope you get there too! It is easily the most romantic place we have ever been. πŸ™‚

  • Laura
    October 29 2013

    Awwww this is so sweet! What a guy! Happy anniversary to you two and I’m so glad Paris lived up to your expectations.

    • November 4 2013

      Thanks Laura! It was a pretty magical few days.

  • October 29 2013

    How romantic! What a lovely surprise! We are already planning Paris for our three year anniversary in May. Last time I was there was with a bunch of ladies, which was wonderful, but I’m excited to experience it as a lover πŸ™‚ I love all your black and white photos- such a nice touch!

    • November 4 2013

      That is a good plan for your next anniversary! Paris is the place to be! πŸ™‚

  • October 29 2013

    Wow, what a surprise!! Lucky you! Glad you two enjoyed it, it looks so romantic.
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..Rain, rain, rain = new look!

  • Gillian @GlobalBookshelf
    October 30 2013

    Sweet. What a perfect time to save it for.

  • Charlie
    October 30 2013

    How incrediably romantic! I hope to one day walk the streets of Paris with my other half. What a perfect place to spend an anniversary! Congrats on the 12 years!

    • November 4 2013

      It is THEE place to be! πŸ™‚ Thanks Charlie!

  • October 30 2013

    Happy Anniversary! What an utterly perfect way to celebrate πŸ™‚

  • October 30 2013

    Awww. Loved this. Paris does not disappoint ~ I completely agree. Congrats!

  • October 30 2013

    What a lovely surprise! Beautiful pictures as well, Paris and you guys look pretty rad in black and white πŸ˜‰

  • October 30 2013

    How romantic you lucky lady. Looks like you had a great time and I love these B&W photos.

    • November 4 2013

      Thanks Monica. I am damn lucky. πŸ™‚

  • October 31 2013

    Paris NEVER lets you down. It should be a mandatory yearly trip (if only I were to rule the world ;-)). I’m so happy you enjoyed it and you both look really happy.

    • November 4 2013

      I like that. I think we should make it yearly!

  • Mariella (Bridgekeeping Traveller)
    October 31 2013

    You guys… *tear* xx

  • October 31 2013

    Congrats on being one of the cutest, most awesome traveling couples I know!

    I’m glad that Paris lived up to your romantic expectations. I definitely want to go back with a boy someday!
    Amanda recently posted..Cemeteries Around the World

    • November 4 2013

      Aww, thanks Amanda! And thanks for your help in planning. πŸ™‚

  • Beautiful post! Paris is one of my favorite cities and I’m so glad you got to enjoy it, especially for such a romantic occasion πŸ™‚

    Happy travels!
    Lauren Meshkin @BonVoyageLauren recently posted..Happy Halloween! Photo Essay: My visit to Bonaventure Cemetery

  • November 1 2013

    This made me tear up a little bit! Partly because I miss Paris so much — seeing it through a first-time visitor’s eyes makes me feel like I never appreciated it enough when I lived there…
    Edna recently posted..The 5 best things I ate in Paris: Extended Edition

    • November 4 2013

      That is always the case! I never fully appreciated the places I lived until I left too!

  • November 2 2013

    Dalene, Certainly a romantic gesture, but Pete gets bonus points from me because he moved beyond romance and into thoughtfulness.

    Kudos and happy anniversary!
    Maria recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – Ogoh-ogoh

    • November 4 2013

      Thanks Maria! He is THEE most thoughtful person I know. I think I’ll keep him.

  • November 2 2013

    So glad you got to experience Paris! These pictures are gorgeous. How did you capture them?
    Morgan recently posted..Kicking Casanova to the Curb

    • November 4 2013

      You mean, the ones of us? The magic of the tripod and timer. πŸ™‚

  • November 6 2013

    Dante and I had not been dating very long, and I was already back overseas in Europe, when he told me that he really missed me and wanted to see me. Even if that meant he had to come after me and travel to where I was. Since I had no plans of returning to the states anytime soon. I thought, like other men who had said similar things, that he didn’t mean it and he wouldn’t actually come to visit me when it would mean such a costly plane ticket. But I did have some time coming in Paris which he could have easily joined me for because of the nature of my schedule in the city. When I told him that, he got excited and said he’d always wanted to visit Paris. Of course he would come, he said. When we disconnected Skype, I wrote in my journal that I did not believe he would visit. The next morning, I received his flight itinerary. A plane ticket to Paris for the dates I would be there. I decided then and there that if he would keep me, I would most certainly keep him.

    There’s just something about Paris, as you point out, it is for lovers and for some kind of magic. So glad to read of your Paris adventure and so glad you were finally able to visit, finding that it lived up to your expectation.

  • November 7 2013

    So romantic πŸ™‚ I love the romance of Paris, even as a single, haha. It’s a great city for singles and couples alike. Glad you enjoyed your visit!

  • November 7 2013

    Swoon! Not many women can say their husbands gave them Paris! I can only hope that our next trip to the City of Light is half as romantic!

  • It’s official. You guys are the cutest couple ever.

  • November 12 2013

    Aww, you guys are cute. You look so happy to have finally made it there! Can’t imagine my boyfriend ever doing that for me – he’s a keeper!

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