I never imagined my husband and I would have an opportunity to spend our twentieth wedding anniversary in such a place, yet here I was, staring out over the clouded skyline from my perch on the sixteenth floor. I’d boarded an Air France jet, flown for eleven hours, too excited to sleep, and found myself safely deposited in the Hôtel Rive Gauche, alone and waiting for Matt to fly up from his business trip in the South of France. As we did not want to spend our anniversary in separate countries, it seemed the perfect solution to meet him here to enjoy a few days together in paradise. He arrived later that evening, and with very little sleep, we embarked on the next five days with unrelenting exuberance.Share
My sweet husband had already arranged for me to attend a market cooking class the very next morning! Before I could say bon appétit, I found my jet-lagged self pouring white wine over chicken in Chef Eric Fraudeau’s kitchen with three other participants who were eager to learn the basics of French cuisine. At the end of the class, Matt joined us in the little kitchen, where a table was piled high with our delicious accomplishments. He reached inside his rain-spotted overcoat to reveal a bottle of Champagne he’d purchased from the market down the street. I’ll never forget that meal we shared with the entire cooking class to celebrate our anniversary on that rainy, romantic afternoon.
The next several days found us strolling along the Champs-Elysées, visiting Notre Dame Cathedral during evening mass, standing in awe beneath the magnificent Eiffel Tower, trekking to the very top of the Arc de Triomphe, and encountering Mona Lisa herself at the Louvre. We drank rich espressos, ate buttery croissants, and learned about various meats and cheeses of the region, breathing in every possible sight and sound along the way. (Read more.)