Sacre Cour in Summer, Bumpkin BettyI’m home from my Hen Do.

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.

Brunch in Paris, Bumpkin BettyTravelling in France, Bumpkin BettyTour Eiffel, Bumpkin BettyParis with friends, Bumpkin BettyFearne Cotton for Very, Bumpkin BettyMust sees and dos in Paris, Bumpkin BettyParis Travel Blog, Bumpkin BettyVisiting Paris in August, Bumpkin BettyWhere to go in Paris, Bumpkin BettySacre Cour, Bumpkin BettySacre Cour view, Bumpkin BettyHen do in Paris, Bumpkin BettyCroissants in paris, Bumpkin BettyArchitecture in Paris, Bumpkin BettyHen Do celebrations, Bumpkin BettySacre Cour sights, Bumpkin BettySacre Cour, Bumpkin BettyBut 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.

The Eiffel Tower at Night, Bumpkin BettyTop of the Eiffel Tower, Bumpkin BettyEiffel Tower views, Bumpkin BettyVisiting the Eiffel Tower at night, Bumpkin BettyEiffel tower lit up, Bumpkin BettyParis adventure with friends, Bumpkin BettyParis moonlight, Bumpkin BettyThings to do in Paris, Bumpkin BettyWe 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!

Where to visit in Paris, Bumpkin BettyAnd 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!

Mimmi ·

Sounds like you had an incredibly lovely time! Paris must be the perfect place for a Hen do. These photos are beautiful, and make me want to head to Paris asap! And how exciting that the wedding is getting so much closer 🙂

Mimmi xx
Muted Mornings

Jaclyn ·

Thanks Mimmi, yes it was a fab time and Paris is so beautiful, I’d happily move there in a heartbeat! 11 weeks and counting – so soon xx

Michelle ·

Looking at you & your “best women” (love that- clever equality!) having such a wonderful time together made me smile from ear to ear. Taking time out to be with the women in your life is so important (I said more or less this in my current post coincidentally) & becomes harder to manage after marriage…..& kids?
I’m not really a wedding person, mine was a very small garden wedding that we surprised our guests with. Also I was 4 months pregnant whoops 😉 how’d that happen? I didn’t have a hen do or honeymoon because it’s not really my thing but having little mini breaks with a girlfriend or 3 most certainly is! You girls were so on the ball not to waste time sightseeing, you just enjoyed each other & absorbed that wonderful city along the way…Bravo! You could make it an annual thing, different city every time? I look forward to reading the next one.

Jaclyn ·

Thanks Michelle, yes I knew early on that I wouldn’t have bridesmaids but best women instead. I grew up with these girls and they really are the best! I hope, like you say, we still make time for get togethers after we are all married and with children. I wasn’t big in the hen do idea either so that’s why we just decided on a weekend away (although I have now been persuaded to have another London hen do so who knows what will go on there). We’re already planning a summer holiday for next year!! xx

Paula ·

I love all these pictures, sounds like you had an amazing time!The perfect trip 🙂 I’m off to Paris in two weeks, so let me know of any good spots you found? x x

Jaclyn ·

Ooh you’ll have a fab time Paula!! I love the Sacre Cour – my favourite spot, as well as the Tulleries Jardin near the Louvre (and there’s a Laduree there too – bonus!). Other than that just wander and get lost – waling by the river is lovely and up towards the Arc de Triomph! Oh you’re making me want to go back already! xx