Happy Birthday

This last weekend was my birthday – one of the big ones. 40. How did we celebrate? My family took me to Paris for the weekend. I could write down a play by play of what we did and where we went, but instead I want to tell you about the things that meant the most to me.

I was not looking forward to this birthday, not because I was turning 40, but because I was going to be away from my friends. I had been apart of other friends’ 40th birthday celebrations and I always imagined that I would do something like that too, a big dinner with my closest friends, a weekend away wine tasting or running in a crazy epic running race with my girlfriends, however he Atlantic Ocean stood in the way of that plan. I think Rob saw this coming and he made a fantastic birthday video with messages from my friends and family. (Side note: he wasn’t able to get to everyone that he wanted to, so he is sorry for missing some people, it wasn’t intentional at all.) It was so fun to see everyone’s faces and hear your voices. Yes there were tears, but that just means that you did your job well. I have watched it many times since and it still makes me smile. So, thank you to everyone who sent a message. Maybe next year we can all go on the epic weekend run.

There were many things about Paris that were amazing. The one that really stands out is when we saw the Eiffel Tower sparkle. We thought that it happened at 10pm, so we slowly started making our way towards the tower a little before 9pm. We got on a bus and enjoyed the little mini tour while we got closer to the tower. The plan was to get crepes and wait for the sparkle. I didn’t really even know what to expect, I had just read that the “sparkle” was a fun thing to watch. We were almost to our stop when all of a sudden the tower started to sparkle. It was beautiful. I literally grabbed the oldest’s leg and gasped. We jumped off the bus as fast as we could and ran over to a nice viewing spot. It felt magical. It only lasted a few minutes, but it was memorable. We then learned that the sparkle happens every hour, so we hung around, ate some crepes, walked around and waited for the 10pm sparkle.

Saturday’s plan was to spend the day at Disneyland Paris. It felt like Disneyland, just different. Their magic hours are for 2 hours before the park opens, so we were able to get on several rides without any line at all. Several rides were closed for renovation (Thunder Mountain Railroad!), so that was disappointing, but we went on as many as we could. Tower of Terror remains my favorite ride. It’s just as fun in Paris as in Anaheim. Pirates of the Caribbean is also pretty fun. They have some of the scenes in a different order from the ride in Anaheim, and I think it works a little better. After the first drop you land right in the middle of the battle between the two boats. They haven’t “Jack Sparrow’d” the ride, so it was fun to see the original ride again. We stayed at the park until closing so we could see the night time show. Seeing the fireworks over the castle was beautiful. It was a great way to end the evening. We walked back to our hotel tired but laughed about all the fun things we did.

Sunday we headed back into Paris for a quick look around town and a stop at Angelina’s, a tea house. I read about their amazing pastries and hot chocolate, so it was a “must see”. It did not disappoint. The pastries were delicious. I splurged and ordered two – pain au chocolat and tarte au citron. The hot chocolate was great – very rich and super sweet. It was a beautiful restaurant. I sat back and sipped my hot chocolate, looking around the room and couldn’t help but be thankful for this crazy life.

Rob worked really hard behind the scenes to make this weekend happen. His day job takes up most of his time and when you add in the additional traveling he does, there is little time for extra. So instead of sleeping, he spent his time working to make my birthday weekend special. Watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle, eating crepes, croissants at Disneyland, pastries in Paris…these are the things I will remember about turning 40. Thank you for being a part of it!