That’s a very strange phrase to find myself saying but it’s happened. The Paris adventure that has felt like it’s been in the planning for nearly a year and the weekend I’ve most been looking forward to for so long has been and gone and now exists only as a lovely memory of two great days spent in the sunshine with my four Best Women in one of my favourite cities in the world.
It sure is funny this wedding business – you feel like you wait an age for moments to come, bustling through life at warp speed and wishing away your days, and then suddenly all the time in the world seems to have passed and your longing to have that wait back again. To be in that position of longing once again. To have the time you need to get ready for those moments and fully appreciate them. To go back, to re-do, to savour all the tiny little happenings, to enjoy the things all over again and to be present enough to truly soak it all up.
Of course it never happens that way does it? Such is life, we all drudge through the daily grind, with days we want to move fast feeling like they go on forever and the days and weekends we look forward to the most zipping by in a flash of happiness and laughter.
Paris was as suspected subject to the latter. So much anticipation, so much build up, so much excitement (so much that it almost felt a little overwhelming when I got there and realised I was there, on the weekend, no more waiting, it was happening, time to enjoy!) and then over in a nanosecond before I’d even had time to learn the French equivalent of ‘Hen-Do’ or wear even half of the outfits I’d packed. People had told me before hand that your Hen Do never really feels like your Hen Do until it’s all over and you look back and realise it’s happened and now your moving forward onto the wedding, and that really couldn’t have been more true. I fear the wedding day will be much the same – going by in a blur of ‘is this real?’ before weeks of looking back and wishing I’d taken it in more.
But of course, it was a wonderful weekend and despite wishing I could do it all again I loved every second and wouldn’t change it one bit. Paris lived up to all of the expectations I’d set upon it after after my last two trips and remained as beautiful and romantic and rose tinted as ever. Each time I’ve visited, we’ve been blessed with extraordinary weather (maybe I should visit in Winter next time to see if it looks any different?) and this time topped them all – over 30 degrees the entire weekend and gloriously balmy – it felt like a true summer holiday (even if a little sweaty at times).
We realised early on that due to the extreme heat, an itinerary of frantic sightseeing was a sure fire way to tire us all out, make us a little moody and eat into valuable fun time, so we ended up forgoing set plans and activities for more leisurely time spent eating three hour brunches (do Paris do the BEST brunch or what?), sunbathing with a drink in hand at the top of the Sacre Cour, climbing the Eiffel Tower at night after a late dinner (eating outdoors at 10pm surely has to be one of the best things about being on holiday) picnicing in the park, and generally lounging around in bars and cafe’s chatting, catching up and getting the kind of midday drunk that a sunny weekend allows.
We did have the obligatory wild night out on the Saturday, after a game of Mr and Mrs with video answers from GB had got me ridiculously drunk and high on Paris life. We all glammed up and took ourselves to a Latin bar near our apartment where we danced salsa with French men until 5am before stumbling home and waking the next morning, a little fragile and in need of a serious caffeine and pastry fix.
Of course there is never enough time, and really another two days to do all of the things my Best Women had thought of would have been ideal – there was talk on the train home of tulle skirts and red balloons and photos by the Siene and I felt terrible that we hadn’t made that happen as how WONDERFUL does that sound? – but looking back I’m just not sure when or how we would have fit it in. There’s only one thing for it I guess – we just need to go back!
And so I’m home. Home to a mountain of work and wedding tasks that somehow all need to be finished by the end of this week before we head up to Glasgow for our final visit before the wedding, and yet they are hanging over me like a dark cloud that I can’t seem to shift. Instead I’m just ignoring the cloud and waiting for the inevitable downpour while I dream of sunny Paris days and three hour brunches….
At least I’m the lucky girl who has another small London Hen do to look forward to in a couple of months time!