It was the time of year again. February, which meant, as a famous song used to say, "Love is all around." So my boyfriend, Gerard, and I decided that since this would be our first Valentine's Day together, we wanted to go big without paying an arm and a leg for our trip, which meant we were targeting a budget vacation. So when he told me he had booked us a trip to Paris, the city of love, I knew this would be the best day of love!
All that awful stuff …
Honestly, I've never been one to celebrate Valentine's Day. I don't know why, but it always seemed like a marketing scam more than a real celebration of love. But this year, I thought I’d throw my theories out the door and enjoy what it is. Marketing scam or not, I wanted all the usual petty Valentines.
When Gerard and I arrived in Paris, we booked at our hotel near the city center. We had the most amazing view that included a view of the Eiffel Tower. Yes, we were in Paris and the air was filled with excitement. Someone once told Gerard and me that Paris looked like romance was embedded everywhere, that you were surrounded by all the corners and poets' parks, gardens and art. That the Parisians knew how to enjoy life to the fullest and that they knew when to give up, so there was always time for the more important things in life.
Living the life of Parisians …
On our first day in Paris, it all started in true Parisian style, with a cafe and croissants for breakfast in a cafe down the road. I think Gerard and I both appreciated the way people sat in the morning with a cup of coffee, taking time to read the papers, almost as if they were in no hurry to start the day.
We spent the rest of the day walking around town and making one or two tourist hotspots, but not before we did one thing Gerard insisted on. Ever since I met Gerard, he mentioned to him once or twice that he wanted to go to the Louvre Museum, so when he finally got the chance, I was glad to share it with him.
While not quite what I expected, the Mona Lisa was definitely something that, I must even admit, was something magnificent. Gerard, who knew much more about art than I, explained the history of other artists, but what I liked most was architecture. I know, not exactly the main reason why you would go there, but I still found it quite fascinating.
Latina night away …
Our actual Valentine's Day was as romantic as I imagined. During the day we went to the top of the Eiffel Tower. The climb, although extremely scary, was worth the while because the view was simply stunning. When we got back down, we walked through different parts of the city and the coastal rivers. Our day was quite relaxing, but our big Valentine's Day will stand out for our plans for the evening.
We were booked for a romantic evening in Latina. It's Latin American cinema and bistro. A strange combination at first I thought, but it turned out to be the perfect solution. At seven o'clock that evening, we watched the Argentine-French film "La leçon de tango". Afterwards we went to Bistrot Latin for dinner and our little tango dance experience. Although neither Gerard nor I had ever danced tango before, it didn't really matter to us, it was all about enjoying the moment, and of course it was the most fun I've had in years, especially since we were absolutely useless in tango !
The rest of our Paris vacation was pure bliss and like Elle Fitzgerald once sang, "I love Paris in the springtime," because with the early signs of spring and the exciting atmosphere, it was really easy to see why Paris was known as a city of love.