11.06.2012

holiday choices.

oh, holiday bokeh. i love you.
 
Throughout the past two months, I kept pestering Gabe about the holidays: Where are we going? Who are we seeing? Can I afford to buy a glitzy holiday dress?

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?

40 comments:

  1. Paris! There is NOTHING like being in Paris with the boy you love. Every moment is like being in a film. I took Jon for a weekend for his birthday (a lot easier when you're living in London...) the first year we were dating, and even the random quick fight we had (over... who even knows?) was tres romantique! haha :)

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  2. Ooh. Lovely choices. I might pick Rome if I were you.
    If it were up to me, I think I would go to Prague. So lovely. Such beautiful architecture. And kinda Christmasey. Really? I don't think you can lose anywhere in Europe.

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  3. I'd pick Rome. Paris is a little formal for me... like that makes any sense! Plus you and Gabe have been to Paris together right? Have you been to Rome together yet?

    I don't know, a baguette in the morning and walking through the amazing architecture sounds just perfect for the holidays!

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  4. Rome. (although I like the Prague idea as well.) you sound more comfortable just writing about it, so it seems like it fits. But I am sure that no matter where you go, you will have an amazing time. hope things are well! Missed seeing you when you were here.

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  5. I have yet to experience either, BUT I would pick Rome. It can be a new chapter for you and Gabe to experience together for the holidays =)

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  6. I would say go to Germany (Munich or Berlin)! The roasted nuts, markets, mulled wine, and all the lights scream Christmas. But seening you only have two choice my vote it for Paris, go back and celebrate your one year where you were engaged! So romantic. Happy travels no matter where you end up!

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  7. Italy! I think you want Italy and it soubds perfect. Lucky girl!!

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  8. I just saw a Christmas in Paris photo shoot and practically had to be slapped to get back to reality. Gorgeous!

    Also, just wanted to offer a little nudge of encouragement. My husband and I lived prohibitively far from home for a few years in terms of schedule and cost. The first Christmas away was hard/weird, but we ended up making some really amazing traditions of our own, which we still do even though we're back, closer to family! Good luck!

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  9. ooooo I love this. So romantic. With divorced parents & in laws across the country, sometimes my husband & I just want to do the holidays the 2 of us somewhere like Paris... or Rome...

    I say Paris. Rome is so recently YOUR place, whereas Paris is the two of you's place. Paris at Christmas? Must be heaven.

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  10. Rome!

    Mostly because you said you'd be most comfortable there - and I believe comfort is what we all want that time of year - that's why most people are home on their couch in their pjs :) So exciting that you all have that opportunity to be explorers over the holidays

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  11. Ooh I would say Rome, but it is my dream of going to Italy:) Gable has never been and it would be such a relaxing and romantic place to be for Christmas! Almost like being around your family:)

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  12. I still dream of going to Paris....someday - so I totally vote Paris! Imagine it during the holidays...so magical!

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  13. Paris Paris Paris! There's no doubt! I've been to both cities, and I can say that Paris is the best choice for the holidays, and Rome the best choice for a summer getaway. But if are going to be cold, be cold in Paris. :) And it's worth mentioning you were just in Rome and had a great time, and I bet you are crazy to share all those good experiences with the husband too, but I still say Paris. Then Rome next year with him on some warmer days!

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  14. Paris Paris Paris! There's no doubt! I've been to both cities, and I can say that Paris is the best choice for the holidays, and Rome the best choice for a summer getaway. But if are going to be cold, be cold in Paris. :) And it's worth mentioning you were just in Rome and had a great time, and I bet you are crazy to share all those good experiences with the husband too, but I still say Paris. Then Rome next year with him on some warmer days!

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  15. In any other case i would have totally said Rome all the way! but since you were just there and it is your first wedding anniversary and you got engaged I would say Paris it is!

    However i would really stress try somewhere new like maybe Greece, Prague, Germany? I know the last two probably do huge Christmas bashes. I don't know about Greece but it is beautiful especially the islands.

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  16. I'd choose Rome! You want easy, comfortable, and familiar for a week away and your first anniversary. :) You won't have to spend any time or brain power trying to figure stuff out. But this is a win-win situation so no matter where you end up it will be great.

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  17. I absolutely love the "unicorn gets his wings" part of your comment form. Just noticed it. Anyway, Paris. I would love to go to Rome at some point in time, but Paris. Romantic, apropos ;], Eiffel Tower...what more could you need? Have a wonderful time either way!

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  18. I would have to agree with the comment above and comment on just how beautiful and perfect Germany is for the holidays. It's such a wonderful place to be, and the Christmas markets are to die for! That said, I think both Paris & Rome would be beautiful. I would say go somewhere that you can be comfortable & just enjoy your cozy little family!

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  19. Try somewhere new together. Switzerland is fabulous! Add a new stamp to your passport if you haven't been there before. :)

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  20. Rome. The Christmas of 1997 Tim and I spent the week in Rome. Very romantic. Christmas Eve at the Vatican was beautiful. Italians make the holidays magical. I LOVE your shoe comparisons of both Paris and Rome...very fitting.

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  21. if I had a choice of which shoe of yours to choose, I would go for your pale pink flats with gold tips.. I would go for Rome. It would give you to the time to relax and enjoy your holiday, easy to get around/communicate, AND you get to show Gabe around as you mentioned he has not been to Rome before. Good luck on which choice=] I wish I could have the opportunity on spending the whole holiday season with just my husband and daughter, instead I spend Christmas and New Years mostly in the car due to trying to split holidays evenly with my husband's side and mine (who unfortunately do not live close to each other). p.s. let us know what choice you make!!=]

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  22. I mean, I've never been to Rome, but Paris during Christmas?! Ohmygoodness yes please! I was there in the summer, and it was incredible. I can only imagine it with all the lights and Christmas-y stuff going on. It makes my heart happy just thinking about it!

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  23. Rome always wins with me. Or, what about Florance? Charm of Rome but slightly smaller. Gosh, I loooooove Italy!

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  24. I've done both. Paris last year at New Year, and Rome during the summer. I'd say Rome a million times over. Fo' real. Rome. ;)

    -e
    http://notquitejunecleaver.blogspot.com

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  25. No LONDON come to London and I'll cook you up a storm hahaha Londoners are nicer than Parisian's and you can speak to Eddy about that lol he is French after all !

    Love Chrissi xo

    www.christianaholt.blogspot.com

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  26. i would also decide to visit a new country!
    as i now germany very well, spending the hollidays there is perfekt. go for the beautiful chrismas markets and awesome events at new years eve and you will never regret to spent your hollidays there!

    *if you and your love decide to go there, just let me know and i will give you all needed information ;)

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  27. Rome!!! LOVE love love Rome.

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  28. I haven't been to either, but I would choose Rome. And remember, even if you can't make it home to be with family, you are certainly family to each other and little Lucky. :)

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  30. Hard choices! Paris would be tres romantic for your story, since it has history. BUT, you have both already been there. And I'm all about seeing new places together. I know Gabe would love Italy! Italy is actually pretty quiet around the holidays, but not dead, so it's still quieter and peaceful. Maybe not those piazza parties though...


    Regardless, I'm sorry you won't make it back to your families. This will be a wonderful new adventure, so think of that come Christmas morning!

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  31. not that my decision matters, but I'd go with Paris. It's my absolutely most favorite city. Have fun smooching your husband no matter where you are. :)

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  32. Rome. You talk about it like it's a dream, so soothing and relaxing. Perfect for someone who hasn't had proper time off in way too long.
    Plus, you've already seen the lump of pointy steel.

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  33. Go somewhere new! Salzburg, Austria is beautiful!! :) If you at all are a Sound of Music fan...go for it!

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  34. Oh Bethany, I completely understand! This will be my first year not spending Xmas with my parents, either!! And the fabulous NYE tradition I've built the past 5 years with my best girlfriend will be missed!! It's heartbreaking, and I don't know what I'm going to do! Well, no, I do know what I'm going to do. I just wish I was doing something else - like going to Jordan to be with my mum, and then London to be with my girlfriend! Le sigh.

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  35. Rome! Ballet flats trump heels in my book.

    Or try someplace new together... Switzerland, Spain, Croatia...

    What a fun conundrum :)

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  36. Sounds like Rome was more comfortable. I'd go to Rome. As for holidays away from home- it's something all married couples face. In Kuwait or the US. Usually it's picking who's family to go visit or staying at home without family. Or if your lucky you get to work on the holidays. Start making your own holiday traditions and doing what you need to make it a good one together. Good luck and have fun in Rome! (or Paris)

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  37. Paris all the way! I'm very much a romantic, and nothing else says romance (to the nth degree) than the Eiffel Tower.

    Good luck with your decision. Can't wait to see what you pick!

    MJ
    Papersidewalks.blogspot.com

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  39. Both sound amazing! However, as a fellow world traveler, I highly recommend adding Prague to this list. It would be a new place to share awesome memories. I can liken it to hardly any shoes, but maybe if I had to, a beautiful pair of brown leather boots, broken in, but still with a lot of class.

    The trams are adorable, and make it very easy to get around (there's a metro as well), there's a castle (swoon) that has classical music string concerts several times a week, and the bridges might make you die of romance! So much to see, do, and explore, and its cheap! I loved the King Charles Botique Hotel (they didn't pay me to say that!)

    Any place you go will be magical though! Enjoy the holidays!

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  40. I say go to Rome! Show Gabe all the magic you saw when you went earlier this year :)

    x Jasmine

    PS. Australia is amazing that time of year JUST SAYING! Gracie and I would love to play hostess to you guys :D

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