It lasts longer

I would have to be one of the many that mourn Paris’ decision to permanently remove all the love locks around Pont des Artes.

Being one of the most visited places in the world, those locks signify eternal love and has become one of the must stops for lovers the world over.

I bet this decision didn’t come as a surprise to Paris’ beloved patrons, especially when a portion of the bridge collapsed early last year because of the weight of the locks on the bridge.

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I am happy though that Paris is finally taking a stronger stand in preserving its heritage.  Pont des Artes is one of the bridges that cross the Seine.

What makes me even happier is that the saying “take a picture, it lasts longer” was something I took to heart when Le Beau and I visited that famous bridge.

Love Locks with Allan

We were planning going back on our fifth anniversary maybe and spot that lock but I guess that’s not going to happen now. But the beautiful thing is the bridge will be riddled with artwork from various international artists.  Paris still stays true to its form as the art capital of the world.  At least for me.

Oh I am so happy that we have proof that Paris knew we pledged our love forever.

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#cheese

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The story

Of course, there’s always that story of how he proposed.  And it is a very good story.

I thought the proposal happened in Paris, January 7, 2014, while on board Roue de Paris.  We were taking in the view of the city; I still couldn’t believe I’m with him in PARIS.  Then he came close to me and simply said, “You know I am going to marry you, right? You have to know that.”  And I knew.

No questions, just a declaration of fact.

So all this time, I really thought that was it.  That was the proposal, just us two.

We spent a good amount of 2014 just envisioning how our wedding would pan out.  Around the last quarter of the year, I started scanning for suppliers and we started talking about telling my mom about our wedding plans when he visits for the holidays.

Then came the morning of January 2, 2015.

We had to move our annual get together to a later date because of my brother’s wedding.  It was Le Beau’s first get together so it really got me excited.  He said he was sleepless the night before, but it was a relief that his jet lag finally kicked in.

He was antsy the whole day, not to mention irritable.  Slightly jumpy too.  But of course I didn’t notice that at all. I attributed all his weirdness to his lack of sleep.  So the first thing I asked him to do was to take a power nap when we got to Antipolo.

He didn’t though, which made me more concerned.  Our get togethers last usually till the wee hours of the morning (even though we practically see each other monthly, yeah we still act as if we haven’t seen each other for a year).  So I just did my best to tend to him.  Got him house clothes.  Made his dinner plate.  Simply tended to him.

The time for gift giving finally came.  It was the kids’ favorite part of the night.  I was so surprised when Bianca called my name and said I have a gift from Le Beau.  I was beyond amazed; I couldn’t figure out how he found the time to get me a present.  All of his things are in my room, so I knew that gift wasn’t included in his luggage.

And then…

Completely out of nowhere.  Humbling.  Flattering.  Disarming.

All the words I would choose to describe him.

I do not know what it is that I did to deserve so much.  What I do know is this: there has not been a day when I stopped being thankful for everything.

I wish Tatay was here to see it.  He would have loved this the most.

So there you go, the engagement story.  I hope it was good to you just as it is to me.

Lost in Moments

I must have played this scenario over and over in my head and each time, I still was not able to take it all in.

I would be bundled up in a cozy sweater, leggings and knee high boots, my green scarf snug around my neck.  Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, L’Opera, Jardins de Tuileries, Eiffel Tower, Roue de Paris, the Louvre, Versailles, Kilometer Zero, the Catacombs, Musee d’Orsay, I must have seen them over and over in my head.

During a hop on hop off, I overheard another pair of tourists.  Allan was sound asleep on my shoulder, power napping because it has been a long day.  Anyway, perhaps one of them was furiously clicking the camera at every turn because the one she was with said this:  “You keep taking pictures to make everything last longer, but you’re missing the moment.  Moments are the ones you should never miss.  You can live without pictures, but you cannot live without moments.”

I sincerely hope she heeded that advice.

Here are the photos of Paris that we managed to take.  I hope these are enough for your viewing pleasure, but just so you know, we were drowning in so many many moments.

They were never enough, though.

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The Jardins de Tuileries weren’t in full bloom.  Weather forecasts showed overcast skies for the next 12 days, and the winds at the time were about 22-25 mph.  Nonetheless, everything still looked so pristine.

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He has a lot on his mind.

Allan said, he wanted to show that he had a lot on his mind.  This is a silly guy right here.  Still cannot believe he’s with me.

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There were a couple of Middle Easterners who tried to have us sign a petition.  Then out of nowhere, a French police came on his bike and basically ran them off.  He told us they were pickpockets.  Allan didn’t like that.  Almost immediately, we went to the hop-on hop-off tour.  Given that 80% of my day is all about work, this quick ride around the city really was worth it.

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He promised to take me here and he did.  It was just too bad that the carousel was being dismantled at the time we were there.

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Along Champs Elysees, we saw the brightest pair of shoes ever…

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… and a literal car charger.

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The streets looked so romantic.  And surreal.  I still cannot believe I am here.

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The beauty and Allan.  Hehehe.  The salesman was so nice, he let us in the showroom and let us take so many pictures.

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We ended up somewhere near Trocadero, the perfect view of the Eiffel Tower.  To be honest, it wasn’t much in the daylight.

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But the Notre Dame Cathedral was absolutely stunning.  This is probably the only architecture we managed to take pictures of.  Most of our long walks at the end of the day weren’t that documented.

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The most beautiful stained glass windows.

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We totally failed to make this right.

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It may have been ordinary in daylight, but at night it was the most perfect structure.  It was beautiful.  It was stunning.

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Allan fell in love with the bread here.

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And the weirdest statues.  Hahaha.

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We went to where Celine and Jesse met again.

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And asked for extra whipped cream on our cappuccinos.

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Who else can look at me like this?

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A Parisian Surprise

I finally found the time to tell you more about what I saw and did in Paris.  It’s mostly for work, though, so forgive me if the narration is not as extensive as any travel blog.  There are some things I am legally not allowed to disclose.  But this — this amazing moment in my life — I cannot wait to share this.

As I said in my previous blog, I had the opportunity to visit France for a Parisian work thing that I am not legally allowed to disclose.  (What an introduction)

You can only imagine how excited I was.  It has been too long since my last intercontinental travel and Paris nonetheless!  I was almost pissing my pants the entire time I was waiting for my departure date to come.  I knew immediately that I wanted to be a compact traveler, especially I would only be there for 10 days.  I was excited for the weather (tail end of winter!), for the clothes (boots, leggings and coats!), for the food (macarons, bread, bread, bread, and chocolates!) and most especially, the sights.  

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I was debating between getting a museum pass but given the strict work schedule, I don’t think I would be able to maximize its worth.  So in my head, after work, I’d just walk around, train around, get lost in the most romantic city in the world.  I had nothing planned, but I had my Lonely Planet guide with me.  My bags were packed, my plane was waiting and I jetted off in an almost 20 hour flight with two stopovers to Charles De Gaulle Airport, the busiest airport in France.  

The beau was quite excited for me and I thought it was because I was so excited for myself.  But when I exited the baggage claim area of Terminal 2F, I discovered why he was so excited for me.

He was there, waiting to keep me company for the next 10 days.  There.  Waiting.  For me.  In Paris.  To be with me.  In Paris.

I think I was crying for a good five minutes.

First Time

PARIS.  The most romantic city in the world.  With all the coffee and desserts and chocolate and wine and fine dining.  There with me.  Just me.  For me.  

It was the most romantic experience I have ever had in my entire life.  I remember feeling shocked, I remember crying.  There was a lot of hugging and kissing (ewww TMI sorry), and a lot of “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE” in a loud shrill voice.

Fifteen minutes in Paris and already it was turning out to be the most memorable experience of my life.

With Allan Again

Recovering

The first 12 days of the year was easily my most romantic ever.  If you’ve been following me on Instagram, my very good man followed me to Paris.  It was the best surprise of my life.

I just need time to sort all the photos we took, which are not much by the way.  I remember someone telling me that although taking pictures make the beauty last longer, it can also make you miss the moment.

And, my dears, we had so many moments.

For now, I wish you all a happy new year and may your heart be filled with a love that only lifts you up.