Grumpy husbands and Paris just do not go together. Not when it is a trip of a lifetime that you’ve been anticipating and dreaming about.
You see, it was our first trip to France. I had never really imagined that I would one day be going to France of all places. It seemed like a fantasy world too far away and too mysterious for an upstate New York girl to aspire to. But then one day, out of the blue, my husband asks, “How would you like to go to France for our ten-year anniversary?” “Yes!” I exclaim. Thus, I started researching, compiling information, dreaming, and expecting it to be everything and more. After all, it was France—a place I had only read about from time to time in the pages of Victoria magazine, a world of romance and charm, far far away.
So we finally arrive in Paris after flying all night and manage to pick up our car rental. I know, it sounds crazy to get a car rental in Paris. But we were heading into the countryside after a few days and thought it would be a good idea. So now, being in a foreign country and not speaking any French, we try to make our way out of the most confusing airport we have ever encountered—Charles de Gaulle. It takes us forever just to find a way out of this maze. We hit the road like we are on a racetrack, cars going 90 miles per hour—insanity!
My stressed out husband is about to have a meltdown. Somehow, we finally make it to the center of the city in search of our hotel. We drive round and round the traffic circles by la Place de la Concorde, being passed by “sweet,” little old french women who are driving 90 miles per hour. We can’t find the street where our hotel is located, and so we continue to drive in circles. Suddenly, to my devastation, my husband blurts out, “I hate Paris!” My heart sinks. I’ve been dreaming about this place for so long. I don’t care what goes wrong. This is Paris! This is France! And we’re going to love it! At that very moment, when my beloved uttered those words, the Eiffel Tower lit up, the tree-lined Place de la Concorde lit up, the city came alive with brilliance and sparkle. We drove in silence.
Shortly after, we found our hotel. We carry our luggage up two flights of stairs and plop it down in our very tiny Parisian room. It had been a long day. We venture out for our first bite to eat in the City of Light. We don’t make it far when we stumble upon a little crêpe shop. This seems like just what we need at the time, something not intimidating but simple.
So we sit down and decide to order our first crêpes in Paris. Out they come. My husband cuts into his and the rich chocolat just oozes out. He takes a bite, looks up with a smile, and says, “I love Paris!” So there you have it! Just feed a grumpy, stressed out husband a chocolat dinner and all will be good.