Tag Archives: Paris

The Traditional Honeymoon: Planning the European Adventure

7 Aug

Readers, it’s been a while…


But lately, I’ve been thinking about wedding traditions past and present. One that I would love to revisit is the concept of the honeymoon. Apparently, when the tradition began generations ago it was a way to visit all of the far-flung relatives of the bride and groom who couldn’t make it to the wedding.

It would be great to re-imagine this tradition for couples who’ve already gotten married and maybe have a child they would love to present to family. This kind of trip could be a great mix of staying with family and/or any combination of hotels, bed and breakfasts, and/or rental apartments.

My husband and I have been talking about this idea constantly and we’ve settled on a European tour- it could easily be an extremely expensive trip for us; however, having family in France, Belgium, and England along with some friends in Germany make this a perfect choice!

Even though it’s not the most romantic, secluded journey it would certainly be an interesting one- experiencing Europe from a decidedly Congolese and Francophone point of view and learning more about cousins, aunts, and uncles – some who I haven’t seen in over twenty years. It is also a time to reflect- on a hazy time I barely remember, when my mother packed up my sister and I, taking us first to the Congo where we spent lazy days going to market on my aunt’s back and watching the red disk of the sun dip into the horizon. Then our next destination was Belgium with its tiny compact streets and french fries that you dip in mayonnaise. Then to Paris, which we visited a few years ago but can’t get enough of with possible side trips to the Loire Valley, or Provence, or the quiet Germanic romance of Strasbourg where my father saw his first westerns and my aunts attended school. I imagine myself with a notebook in hand while my husband pushes the stroller, working on the novel based on my family’s history.

Destination: England, France, and possibly Germany or Switzerland


Wedding Anniversary in Montmartre

12 Feb

{images from saipua, snippetandink.blogspot.com, stylemepretty.com}

Many people delay their honeymoons so they can take a big trip to Europe anywhere from a few months to a few years after their wedding. We haven’t been back to Paris in a while, so I’m playing with the idea of a wedding anniversary in Paris with a twist: staying at an apartment in Montmartre and really inhabiting its haunting, dream-like environs for a week or more. This kind of trip is perfect for those who long to re-visit a city or who are like me, both a voyajer and a homebody at heart, longing to capture just a small sliver of what it means to truly dwell in a foreign country.

The perfect romantic jaunt would begin with an exchange of handwritten love letters with directions to go to different places that signify romance for us. We could recover from the jet lag with dinner at Chamarre Montmartre for dinner.

We’d have plenty of time for the market the next day for most of our meals (a great way to save money period, or to leave room in the budget for splurges. Like, for example, an antique car rental to the countryside for a day trip or a weekend when the neighborhood begins to feel too small.

Other things to do: catch a movie at Studio 28 , catch some art at the halles de St. Pierre, an old iron market converted into a museum and performance space, or just walk around- especially on the world-famous steps…

{by toby vandenack}


Bon Voyaj,


Reve de Paris: Writing Retreat in Paris

23 Jan

I love Paris.

And I love writing. At least, I think I do. But I haven’t done it with any regularity for the past five years. Ideas get jotted down, scenes are explored briefly, but then I get bogged down with the minutiae and white noise of everyday life.
My dream has always been to attend a writing retreat, to get away from NYC to write. Not because I think I would finish the great American novel overseas, but I think it would be a great way to gain perspective on my own life here.

So even though I’m not going anywhere this summer (probably. sniff) I am really excited to bring fellow writers this great opportunity called The Left Bank Writers Retreat, where writers work on projects during the morning and tour Paris haunts that inspired great writers in the afternoons. It was begun by Darla Whorden, a writer and owner of her own public relations firm, who was inspired by the same process. Definitely check it out online at http://leftbankwriters.com/