oh, holiday bokeh. i love you.
Answers were: No clue. We'll talk about it later. Duh, yes, that's a wife's non-negotiable.
With November 1st looming, Gabe and I finally had to get serious about holiday plans. The most time we could take away from Kuwait, given that we have a little furball who would have to be boarded, was 12 days...and with travel days to, from and within the US...that left us with 4 days with each of our families. All of those days we'd probably spend completely jetlagged. And one of those days, New Years Eve, is our first anniversary. Tres romantique? I think not.
The total airfare cost: six thousand dollars. (Not included: rental cars, lodging, incidental meal costs.)
We love our families. But we also love logic. So, we decided to forego the US, in favor of a week-long Christmas-New Years getaway in Europe. Much less travel, cheaper than a US trip, and actually relaxing for my husband...who works 12 hour days and has not taken more than a weekend off since we arrived in Kuwait.
Obviously there are a lot of emooootions (said with dramatic flair) around not being home for Christmas for the first time in 26 years. But whatever. Emotions-smotions. We're skipping all that today, because I just don't have it in me. And a holiday in Europe? Shut yo' whiny trap, girl!
We narrowed down our getaway options to two:
Paris. Ah. Paris feels like that amazing five inch heel you see in a window. It's glitzy and glamorous...everything you aren't. You know it's going to be a teensy uncomfortable. It's going to pinch and leave you fully aware that you do not fit the shoe...but you don't care. You just want to try it on, and totter about for six hours pretending it belongs in your life. Then, you spend the next few days nursing the wounds, wondering how foolish you looked pretending that shoe fit. But who cares! It was fantastic.
Or at least that was my first experience with Paris. Regardless, the Paris "pro" list is still long: The Eiffel Tower. Skating rinks galore. Macarons. We got engaged there, so spending our first anniversary there would be apropos. (Ew. Please note that I only reached deep into the recesses of my vocabulary for that word because it's French.) Baguettes and wine and fancy cheeses. Making out in public. I know a passable bit of French and could bone up on it throughout the next few weeks.
Cons: A bit of a language barrier. The people are more reserved, and I find getting around to be more difficult than I did in Rome. And, contrary to every photo you've seen...no fireworks at the Eiffel Tower at midnight...fireworks are reserved for Bastille Day, and the turn of the millennium (apparently they did it up in '99).
And then there's Rome. Rome is so, so easy it feels like my favorite ballet flats...pale pink with gold tips. Sensible, comfortable...and it's got a sweetness to it that can't be beat. You could probably wear those shoes forever. The people don't look at you funny and you don't stand out as much as you thought, so it's not a stretch to feel your shoes might belong in the sweet streets of Rome for a very long time.
Since I visited Rome in August, it's still close to my heart and the "pros" are fresh: I know the lay of the land well. It's absolutely charming...cobbled streets, shuttered windows. Gabe hasn't visited. The food is delicious, the wine flows like water. They're said to have a fantastic New Years party in a few piazzas. Also, making out in public.
Con: It's not Paris....? Really. It's dreamy, but there's no Eiffel Tower.
Gabe has left this in my hands. The hands of the MOST indecisive person you've ever met. Naturally, I'm so torn and if we don't make a decision soon...we'll likely find ourselves in Kuwait for the entire holiday. Womp-womp.
What do you think, guys...Paris or Rome? If you had to spend Christmas + New Years away from home, where would you go?