A Paris Perfect Engagement

Sunday, December 21, 2008

As a little girl, I spent a great deal of time daydreaming about my wedding.  I'd try to imagine who I would marry, if he'd have a funny last name and importantly, how he'd ask me for my hand in marriage. 

Despite dreaming up dozens up scenarios over the years, I don't think that I ever could have truly imagined what getting engaged would really be like.  I would never in a million years would have guessed it would have happened in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in full view!  

May 31, 2008

It was one of our last days in Paris, and so Kris and I decided to venture outside of the city for the first time since our arrival. We took a train to Versailles to tour the palace and the magnificently manicured gardens. My favorite part of our visits was watching stone-carved fountains come to life as a part of the afternoon's Grandes Eaux Musicales. The show was simply stunning, and I could almost picture Marie Antoinette walking among the garden trails in her rich flowing gowns. Her orangerie was my favorite; with more than 1,000 trees, Marie Antoinette had extensive citrus gardens full of lemons, oranges and pomegranates, none of which were native to France.

After spending the day chasing the footsteps of one of history's most incorrigible figures, we hopped the train back to our hotel in Montmarte. We dressed for dinner and took the metro to the Latin Quarter where we dined at Le Coupe Chou, a fabulously romantic restaurant decorated as original 17th century appearance. 

The atmosphere of Le Coupe Chou was intimate and authentic (our waiter couldn't speak a word of English) with a touch of elegance. A large oaken grandfather clock guarded the entrance, flanking the stony spiral staircase to the cellar and the bar and restaurant, which appeared to be 
a small space, but actually wound into countless hallways and offshoots filled with rich antiques and the smell of freshly baked bread.

We had the most perfect table for two next to a cozy fireplace and adjacent to the windows where we were able to watch passerbys while savoring our three-course meals of salmon, duck, and our new love, crème brulee.  

After dinner, we took a stroll along the banks of the Seine. We talked and talked as we passed Notre Dame and Pont Neuf. And, after stopping to watch the fully lit dinner boats pass below us on Pont des Arts, he popped the question. After my emphatic "YES!", we could see the Eiffel Tower's lights winking and dancing in approval behind us. 

It was a Paris-perfect engagement and a new chapter that marked the beginning of our almost-married life. I don't know that there are words to fully capture the feeling you get when you realize you're going to spend the rest of your life with the man of your dreams, but it's certainly the stuff that fairy tales are made of. 


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